How to produce blog posts that attract and scale traffic

Posted by Murray Sye

on Mon, Feb 9, 2015 @ 11:58 AM


Do you own a business blog?

How would you like to increase your readership from where you are now, let's say from zero, to 100,000 readers overnight?

Well, it's not going to happen!

But, what I can tell you is that with a little perseverance and an equal amount of patience you can make a significant difference in your blog readership. Here's what you can do to help kick-start your way to 100,000 readers. 

Your buyer personas should define everything about your content – the form, the style, the substance, and most importantly, the topic. If you want to get organic traffic from your blog, you need to write about topics your audience is actually searching for. Here's what that looks like: 

  1. Your target audience searches for a specific term or phrase.
  2. You write posts bases on the keywords they're searching.
  3. You get organic traffic to your blog.


Create a persona-driven keyword list

Based on your knowledge of your buyer personas, choose a few long-tail keywords or topics that your audience searches for most. These should be relatively specific. For example, "Instagram" is not a good keyword – it's too general and too widely searched for. You need to be much more specific and write posts for a more niche group of people. "Instagram hashtags" would be a more niche topic. Within that specific topic, you could have long-tail keywords such as "Instagram Hashtag Tracking." These search terms could be used as fodder for new blog posts.

Using these Instagram-specific topics as an example, here are a few different blog topic ideas:

  • 10 Sports teams who are rocking hashtags on Instagram (topic: branded hashtags on Instagram)
  • Top ten list of hashtag tracking tools for Instagram (topic: Instagram hashtag tracking)
  • 15 Nonprofits who are using Instagram hashtages for social good (topic: branded hashtag tracking)
  • How to measure the amplification of your hashtags on Instagram (topic: Instagram Hashtag Tracking)

When you find a topic your buyer personas love, start digging deeper and writing more blog posts about that specific topic. For example, the long-tail keyword "Branded hashtags on Instagram" can give you a lot of great ideas for additional blog post topics.


Identify the blog post types your personas like best

The reason you should create buyer personas at all is to determine the kind of content your target audience wants. Make sure you experiment with different forms of content on your blog, but also choose one that your audience really loves and get really good at it.

You'll find, through measuring post views and shares, that your buyer personas will prefer a certain type of post – and it's this type of post that you should focus more of your blogging efforts on. Maybe your audience really love list-based posts. Or perhaps they're more interested in visual blog posts. To get your creative juices flowing, here are some types of posts you could test out and see how your audience reacts:

  • Infographic
  • SlideShare
  • Podcast
  • YouTube video
  • Original data
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Controversial discussion
  • Timely, news-related and informative piece
  • Industry examples
  • Entertainment

As you're experimenting with your blog posts, remember to keep these questions in mind:

  • What are your buyer personas actually searching for?
  • What is the intent behind these searches?
  • What problems are they trying to solve?
  • Which type of blog posts makes them click, read, or comment?

Remember, your buyer personas should ultimately decide what types of blog posts you produce. You may have a preference for one type over another, but you are not your own target audience. Your readers will help you decide which style your posts come in, and the proof is in the pudding. If every time you post a SlideShare your posts get significantly more views that a list-based post, you might want to continue testing visual content on your blog.


Develop a personality that's appealing to your personas

Every successful brand has their own unique style and personality. Although immeasurable, it's one of the most important aspects of a brand. Why? Because people tend to gravitate towards brands they can relate to. For example, in your life, you probably find that you gravitate towards people who are similar to you, tend to be drawn towards you as well.

Of course, this is no different with business blogging either. Consumers of blog content will be more inclined to read content from a brand personality that resonates with their own personality, lifestyle, and interests. It's not enough to know simply what kind of content you audience wants – you also need to figure out how they like it styled. This could include tone of voice – whether they like a more professional or more casual tone, or this could involve posting cat memes vs. professional stock photos as your blog feature image.

An excellent example of a successfully developed style personality would be Red Bull. This company's personality caters to an audience who is active, excited, extreme, and eager to show off their experiences, so it intentionally adopted a style of content that's suited towards this audience. Their popular blog displays content of people doing a lot of active, exciting things – often involving biking, skiing, skateboarding, or other extreme sports. All their content is high energy and intense, which makes sense considering they're an energy drink.



Maintain a routine publishing calendar

So far we've talked about target personas, what they want from your blog and how they're going to get it. Now, you need to determine how often that's going to happen.

The frequency of which you schedule blog posts will probably be different from the frequency of your social media updates, and maybe even you emails. Generally speaking, the more time and resources you put into a blog post, the less frequently you'll be publishing.

It's perfectly fine to spend time and money on a high quality blog post, because what really matters are the results you get relative to the amount of effort you put in. If you spend 10 hours on a post but get 10X the traffic from that post than you'd normally get, I'd say your efforts have certainly paid off. You'll need to figure out how often to post based on the type of posts you're publishing and how long it takes you to actually create that content.

You also need to keep your buyer personas in mind. When will they be accessing your blog? In the morning? At night? How frequently? When will they be most likely to see your posts?

Once you've determined the frequency of your blog posts based on post type and your audience, you need to start routinely scheduling it. Planning your publishing schedule is the best way to execute your blogging efforts successfully, and the right software can help you get it all done efficiently. For example, HubSpot's Calendar allows you to organize, schedule and publish all your content in one place – without a consistent and strategic schedule, you can't expect to attract potential customers and gain 100,000 readers. 

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Written by Murray Sye

Murray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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