Content Marketing vs. Blogging: Which one are You Doing?
There are a lot of blogs out there, and a lot of bloggers, but not all of them are content marketers. That’s because content marketing and blogging are not necessarily the same thing. Content marketing uses content to entertain, educate, or persuade, but it ALSO boosts your site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and helps you rank higher on online searches. How do you know if you’re blogging or content marketing? Here’s a quick quiz to help you figure out which one you are (and to teach you to get better at content marketing in the process.)
Do You Start With a List of Keywords?
You probably know which terms or business segments are important for your business. You may be wondering if it’s even POSSIBLE for your business to rank high for those words. “Keywords” is the industry term used to describe the words or phrases that are most important to you and your business, that people use when they want to do an online search for businesses or services like yours. If you’re still not sure what keywords are, check out this video for a quick tutorial.
Once you have a set of keywords in mind, that should drive your writing process. They should be part of your headline and present in two or three of your subheads. As a rule, they shouldn’t account for more than three percent of your text. If you exceed that percentage, there is evidence that Google and other search engines will penalize you for keyword stuffing.
If you want them to show up more, then create more text. For example, if you write 100 words, only three words can be keywords. If you write 1,000 words, 30 can be keywords. In short, more text = opportunity to include more keywords.
Do You use Content Calendars or Editorial Calendars?
Once you know which keywords you want to promote, and the types of content you’ll need to support those keywords, it makes sense to map out timing, topics, lengths of blog posts, which keywords you’ll promote in each blog post, and what offers or call to action you’ll use.
Content calendars are evolutions of old-school editorial calendars that every professional magazine writer has used since the Guttenberg press started printing mass media. (Yeah, Ben Franklin probably created editorial calendars for Poor Richard's Almanack.)
They still have a useful place in today’s content marketing world. When you take time to map out what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it, you ensure that you’re creating regular content, focusing on all the relevant topics, providing a variety of content, and covering all your promotional and SEO bases.
Do You Check SEO Once You’ve Posted the Content?
Most website CRMs, like WordPress and Joomla, allow you to add SEO plugins and addons like Yoast, SEMrush, or Ahrefs. These tools will help you analyze your posts against a series of SEO rankers and help you improve your content in ways that will help it rank higher for the intended keywords. Here’s an example of what you might see if you check your post with an SEO plugin like Yoast.
All your SEO basics are right here, and it will rank your post against each recommendation. Once you edit your post, you can reapply the ranker again and again until you get top scores across the board.
Are you Pointing People to Your Content?
Once your content is up and running, it’s time to point people to your content from other sites, also known as creating inbound links. This is a good idea for many reasons.
You want more people to read your post and see how great you are.
The more active your site is, the more search engines like you and the higher they rank your site.
Inbound links from other sites help boost SEO.
Not sure how to point people to your content? Try these tactics:
Create social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat–whichever platform makes the most sense for you and your business. Using scheduling tools like Hootsuite makes it easy to schedule posts ahead of time.
Create paid social media ads, so more people see your content and click on it.
Create paid search ads, so more people see your content and click on it.
Create online display ads, so more people see your content and click on it.
Send out emails letting your contacts know you’ve just published a new article that will help them learn more, do more, be more, get more, or save more.
Are You Including Calls to Action?
A call to action clearly tells potential customers which action to take next. When done correctly, a call to action removes friction or barriers that prevent people from taking the next action.
Even if it is IMPLIED that they should contact you to learn more, do more, be more, get more, or save more, you may say it specifically and literally. Telling people “We’re here to help” is not enough. Instead, ask them to “Click Here to Schedule an Appointment Today.”
Do you Want Help Improving Your Blogs and Content Marketing?
Creating effective content marketing isn’t fast or easy, but with some professional help, it can turn your business around and make sales soar. Click here to contact us today, and find out what we can do to help you reach your content marketing goals.
Want to find out more about ways to improve your content marketing? Check out these articles from Cup O Content:
38 Content Marketing Terms You Need to Know
SEO Checklist: Free Tools from Google
Super Simple Secrets to Consistent Blogging
Why Weak Content is Killing Your Business