One of the big challenges for brands looking to use their blog to drive their content marketing efforts is how to set it apart from the competition.
If there’s one thing the internet is not short of these days it’s blogs. According to WordPress, the world’s most popular blogging platform, bloggers produce 56 million new posts every month globally, generating 22.8 billion page views and 45 million new comments.
So how do you get your blog noticed above all of this competition?
The good news for the committed blogger is that the majority of blog content is pretty lightweight and not great quality. It’s the kind of content you can easily out-do with a little effort and creativity. Here a couple of ways to get started…
Finding and using authoritative sources
One of the best ways to raise the bar for your blog content is to be really strict about the source material you use. Rather than relying too much on your own knowledge, finding authoritative, original sources for your information will make your blog content more valuable to users and more successful in search, in your email campaigns and on social media.
An underused but highly adaptable goldmine of material is published every week in scientific journals. While this material can at first glance look a bit dense and specialised, a bit of lateral thinking and some basic editorial skills can turn it quality posts for your blog.
Sources like these give you something real and meaty to base your blog content around, which is good for users and good for your search rankings. Google is constantly tweaking its search algorithm as it discovers new ways to measure quality and where you get your material from will keep you on the right side of that trend.
One day, Google could even be fact-checking your blog. A research paper published by the company last year revealed details of a project called Knowledge Based Trust in which Google identified facts in a document, checked those facts against its Knowledge Vault and then gave a score based on the result.
So if your blog is relying too much on broad statements that nobody would disagree with when you could go out and research some stats or pull some quotes from a source with real authority on your topic you might start to get left behind.
Starting with a great source instead of an okay idea
One of the common mistakes bloggers make is to rely on their own creativity to start the process of producing a piece of content.
Looking out the window and having a think about what to write is a huge time suck and often leaves bloggers wedded to an idea regardless of the quality and accessibility of the material available to base it around.
Often this approach leads to repetitive articles that offer little new information and rely heavily on the writer’s existing knowledge.
The best way to break this cycle is to start your process with a really good piece of source material. A recent survey, a research paper or a big news story can provide the hook for genuinely interesting blog content, but you need to find your source first and then get creative with the ideas you can spin off it.
This not only puts something real at the heart of your blog content, it is also much more efficient, which is going to become increasingly important as your business demands more and more content for the various different platforms on which it needs a presence.