Writing a good blog post takes a heck of a lot of work. Nowadays I can complete a post, from outline to scheduling, within about 3 hours, but it used to take me a good 8 or more. That’s a lot of work to go through for something that may not be helping your business move forward. For that reason we’re going to go over how to make the most of your blog posts.
I used to write posts without clear outcomes in mind. All I was thinking about was hopefully attracting a few new readers and I never thought of a larger goal beyond that. I don’t think I’m alone in making that mistake.
Let’s start with digging into the problems I see with a lot of amazingly high-quality blog posts.
The problem with many blog posts
You write, but don’t share
This is a more common problem for those who are just getting into blogging. I remember how absolutely terrified I was the first time I shared one of my blog posts.
What if no one reads it?
What if someone does read it?
What if everyone hates me?
What if they think I’m a fraud?
What if the whole world explodes?!!
Okay, I got a little dramatic, but I’m sure a lot of you have been through something similar. It’s scary to put yourself out there those first few times.
But if you’re not sharing your content, you’re doing yourself a disservice. If you’re writing the content to help people you need to make sure they see it.
If you’re a bit hesitant about sharing your content, start off slow. You don’t need to be scheduling 10 tweets per day and pinning to 5 group boards. Try sharing your content once every-other-day and work yourself up to at least once per day (while mixing content from others in there as well).
You write and share, but it doesn’t help your business
This next one is a bit more common once bloggers are up and running. You write an amazing actionable post, you share it out and draw new traffic to your site, aaaaaand that’s all.
You miss the opportunity to do something with that traffic.
I know it feels good to see those page view and unique visitor stats climb. But those numbers don’t do you any good if you’re not being intentional about what your visitors are there for.
We’ll get into some examples later, but almost every single one of your posts should include some type of call-to-action that supports your blog and business goals. (I say “almost”, because I still think blogging for fun should be a thing ;))
So now let’s get into the good stuff and talk about how to make the most of your blog posts.
How to make the most of your blog posts
What your blog posts should do
Let’s start off with going over what most of your blog posts should do. Now, I’m saying “most” here because I don’t think every single one of your posts needs to related back to your products and services. I know I’ve gotten a lot of new readers from more personal posts (like this one and this one). Sure, not all of them care about what I have to offer, but some of them do. Those posts have gotten me new readers and helped me build deeper, more personal connections with the readers I already had.
Draw an audience
Your blog posts should draw your audience in. The free value a blog posts brings is the perfect way to attract new members of your ideal-audience and help people discover you when they wouldn’t have otherwise.
New posts give you a reason to be more active on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook groups, which is exactly where most of my traffic comes from.
Provide value, while relating to your products and services
If your posts aren’t providing value, people aren’t too likely to come back. So most importantly, make sure your posts are leaving people feeling like they’ve learned or accomplished something.
In teaching or helping people take a small-step, you’re really preparing them for the products or services you offer. Maybe you’re showing them why the topic of a course you teach is so important or giving them the first step of what would be required to work with you.
Providing your readers with small wins will make them want more. (And then you both win!)
Provide a next step
We’ll go over some examples shortly, but most of your blog posts shouldn’t be there just for people to read. Ask your audience to do something as well.
It doesn’t always have to be signing up for your list. It can be as simple as reading a related blog post or sharing on social media.
All of those things will benefit your blog and business in some way.
Some common calls-to-action
You might think that the only way to benefit your business through a blog post is to encourage readers to sign up to your list, but there are so many more options. We’ll go over 8 (yes, 8) of my favorites and you can decide which ones work best for your business goals.
1. Read a related post
We’ll start small. If someone is actively reading one of your posts, it’s pretty safe to guess that they’d be interested in a similar topic. Suggesting a post or two for someone to read as they’re making their way through your posts is a great way to get them more familiar with you, your content, and the value you provide. And showing how deep your knowledge is on a particular topic will do a lot to show your expertise.
It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. For example, I did it in the above paragraph in a way that shouldn’t have caused you to miss a beat. If you’re interested in positioning yourself as an expert you likely clicked on it. And if not, you kept right on reading.
Asking your audience to write a comment might not seem that it could benefit your business, but it does more than you think.
When people comment on your post you have the opportunity to learn what they like and don’t like, learn about any pain points you may be missing out on, and build relationships with your readers.
Include a couple of questions for your audience members to answer throughout the post and be sure to ask them to comment at the end! If you do this, be sure that you reply to every single person that comments to keep those relationships going strong.
3. Share on twitter
This is one of my favorites, which I wrote about in more detail right here. (See what I did there?)
Increasing your shares on social media is a great way to reach a new audience. However, it’s important that you make sharing your content super easy, or people aren’t as likely to do it.
Including a click-to-tweet is a quick and easy way to encourage someone to share your posts. All they have to do is click a couple of buttons and your post has been shared out to their audience.
Here’s an example: (and yes, you can totally tweet that ;))
4. Use an infographic to increase Pinterest shares
Having a vertical image with your post title on it is great and all, but including an extra reason for people to share to Pinterest is even better.
Infographics definitely take a lot of work, but it can be worth it to increase your presence on Pinterest.
And as an added bonus, don’t be afraid to straight-up ask people to pin your infographic. Sometimes all they need is a little reminder.
p.s. I’d love for you to pin this one!
5. Subscribe to YouTube channel
If you’re into video content, which seems to be a rising trend, your YouTube channel could become a huge part of your business. To make sure your visitors don’t watch one video and disappear forever, encourage them to subscribe to your channel. That way they’ll get updates when you post a new video and you’ll appear in their feed when they visit YouTube’s website.
Carrie Green of the Female Entrepreneur Association has made video a huge part of her business. Not only does she have a subscribe button appear above her videos, like this
but she occasionally includes a clear written call-to-action, like this
6. Offer a content upgrade
Content upgrades are a great way to provide additional value to your readers. You can often provide extra resources, lead them through a process, or more effectively teach them the first step needed for your product or service.
In exchange for a content upgrade, you’ll get email addresses and now have the ability to connect with your audience directly through email! I see a nice increase in subscribers when I include a good content upgrade and it’s always good to know that you’re able to help someone out a bit extra. I always include some sort of graphic or brightly-colored box to grab attention and stand out from the rest of the post content.
7. Mention a free course
As great as content upgrades can be for growing your list, free courses can be even better.
Free courses tend to provide a ton of value while also leading into a paid product or service, so they benefit both you and your audience.
Just like with content upgrades, be sure to include a graphic or colored box that stands out from your content and includes a clear call-to-action.
8. Talk about a webinar, training, or workshop
Writing a post related to an upcoming live event is a great way to draw some extra attention to it. You know that if someone is reading a post closely related to the topic you’ll be teaching that there’s a high likelihood of them being interested.
I like to include a call-to-action to sign up for live events right at the end of my posts with a graphic and description of what will be covered, like this:
How do you know what to include?
Now that you have at least 8 ideas of how your blog posts can work for your business, you have to decide which one(s) to include in each post.
A mistake I see a lot is including too many calls-to-action. For the best results and to keep your audience from being annoyed or overwhelmed, it’s best to stick to one main call to action. You can mention it several times throughout your post, depending on the post length, but you almost always want to stick to one.
An exception to this rule is asking them to do something simple like sharing with a click-to-tweet and also including an opt-in for a content upgrade or workshop. These two “asks” are very different and click-to-tweets are simple enough to not bother anyone.
However, be sure that your readers have to do a little scrolling before they run across each call-to-action.
I know how hard it can be to include just one when you have so many things you want to say and show your readers. To help me manage what I want to share, I use the following three tactics:
- Alternate between goals, sharing one per blog post
- Choose what fits best with your post content, since you always want things to be as relevant as possible
- Support the goal that needs to most help
I definitely cheated a bit in this blog post with all of my calls-to-action, but my hope was that the illustrations provided would help you brainstorm for your own blog! Feel free to check out my other posts for a better idea of how many calls-to-action you should include.
How are you going to make the most of your blog posts?
This post covered a lot of information and hopefully you have a much better idea of how you can use your blog posts to grow your business.
What have you learned that you can implement into your existing and new posts?