A professional blog filled with high quality content can go a long way towards establishing you as an expert in your field. Regardless of your niche, you can build your reputation as an entrepreneur and make valuable connections by creating high-quality, relevant blog content.
Whether you’re considering starting a professional blog or you’ve already posted some content, these five tips are bound to come in useful for improving your posts and maximizing efficiency.
1. Use the right platform for your content
Before you start posting all of your ideas to Blogger or another generic site, spend some time researching your niche and figuring out where most of your target audience is likely to find content. If you prefer to focus on creating and posting content, with little to no engagement and an SEO-based traffic strategy, setting up your own website might work just fine. If you want to reach a community quickly, however, you need to go where your audience is.
The specific platform choice will largely depend on your niche. In general, LinkedIn and Medium are two of the most popular blogging sites for entrepreneurs. LinkedIn is geared more toward corporate success and business professionals, with a tougher crowd in many ways – it’s the way to go particularly if you’re looking to impress your peers and potential business partners or customers.
Medium, meanwhile, has a much broader community, with online publications helping to cater to specific niches. By pitching to publications and posting your content, you can reach a wide audience who are already interested in your niche. Medium articles also tend to rank higher on Google than LinkedIn long-form content and – as a small bonus – Medium articles that gather a lot of interest can be monetized.
2. Find a good middle ground for SEO
SEO-friendly content is a must if you want to draw in any traffic at all. It’s fairly easy to find and follow best-practice SEO guidelines. However, you might want to find a balance between search engine optimization and letting your style and personality shine.
Unfortunately, SEO is skewed towards largely simplistic content. Keywords and heading formatting are easy enough to implement, but short sentences, tiny paragraphs, and avoidance of “difficult words” also count towards good SEO and readability scores. For many bloggers, this is something of a limiting factor. If you feel your content is prevented from reaching its full potential by an imperfect SEO score, you may want to compromise on the stylistic elements of SEO and readability. Quality content with a strong personal feel will ensure readers keep coming back, with or without excellent SEO.
3. Develop a content calendar
Contrary to popular opinion, running a professional blog as an entrepreneur isn’t as simple as spending an hour a week writing a post on any topic in the niche.
Rather than making it up as you go, spend some time first developing a content calendar, at least for the next month. Research possible topics, find keywords, plan your approach to each post, and decide when to publish. In addition to helping you organize your work, this will help to ensure you post regularly – something your readers will definitely appreciate.
4. Provide solutions to common problems
The current gold standard for written content that hopes to bring in traffic is that it should solve a common problem within a specific niche. The reasoning behind this is simple: Google is most commonly used to find answers and explanations to something we don’t understand. If you can answer these questions on your blog, you’ll get plenty of visitors – always assuming your posts are SEO friendly.
A good way to come up with topics that fit this theme is to consider your area of expertise from an outsider’s perspective. It’s not easy to “disable” all of your knowledge and experience for a moment, but try to think of some areas in your niche that most people wouldn’t intrinsically know or understand.
Talk to people who aren’t familiar with your niche but have an interest in it. Review long-tail keyword search stats for topics related to your expertise, focusing on phrases starting with “how”, “what”, and “why”.
Quora is a veritable mine of ideas, too. Browsing the platform for just an hour will give you a long list of answers that people are searching for. Of course, not all of your content needs to fall into the “explainer” category, but these types of posts do help to bring in traffic, as well as enabling you to showcase your expertise and unique perspective.
5. Take advantage of tools and apps to improve your content
As you may expect, there are hundreds of apps and tools available for bloggers, many of which will be useful for entrepreneur blogs, too.
For instance, although the Google Keyword Planner is a highly useful tool, there are plenty other keyword generators out there with more specific functionality. SEMRush, for example, returns long-tail keywords to queries, while Answer the Public will help you figure out what questions people are asking online about a particular topic.
For the content itself, consider apps that automatically correct your grammar and spelling, and make suggestions on streamlining the content – such as Grammarly. The Hemingway App is another great tool for making your writing more concise and to the point. Check these out and take advantage of how much more efficient your blogging can become.