Translated by Núria Adell.
We continue to talk about the marketing plan we will be following to make of Nelio Content a great success. This is the ninth post of the ten than make up the series :
- The Idea
- Strategic Objectives
- Marketing Training
- Marketing KPIs
- Buyer Persona
- SEO Strategy
- Web Content
- The Blog
- Social Media and Emailing
On the previous post I already discussed that in order to increase the number of visits by more than 12,500 per month in 6 months, of which 4,000 must be by organic search, it is clear that the content of the website and the blog is critical.
So today I want to talk about the importance of our blog, the distinctive features of our design and our plan to generate the continuous content of the blog.
Advantages of having a blog
I suppose by now you already know the advantages of having a blog on any website. Basically:
- You can regularly add new content to the blog and so easily share it with your audience.
- It allows you to have new posts to share on your social networks.
- It increases the level of communication with your readers: allowing comments on your blog and generating discussion that will easily help you understand the opinion or suggestions of your readers.
- It lets you add internal links to other pages of your website, products and services or other related posts.
- It generates a greater traffic to your website: it is possible that the user who goes into your website through a published post continues to look at the rest of your content, since it is someone who is probably interested on what you are offering.
- It increases your credibility and maintains a positive image of you: updated and high quality articles offer an image of professional competence and can position you as an expert in a particular area.
- It generates trust amongst your readers: all interesting and high quality content on your blog will have a multiplying effect on the confidence level of your readers.
- It builds loyalty from the reader: if the information on your blog has actually been useful to them, they will probably subscribe to your email list or come back to your blog looking for updates.
- It allows you to do marketing in an effective and inexpensive way: we are tired of ads, but we are willing to follow recommendations of those who we trust.
- If you syndicate your blog (through RSS), your posts will appear on other websites helping to increase the diffusion of your content.
- And, finally, possibly the most important advantage: the blog is key to achieve a good position (SEO) of your website on search engines.
And if you are not convinced yet, I also recommend that you read a couple of articles by experts who talk about this topic: The 20 Biggest Benefits of Blogging by Nick Scheidies or The Top 10 Benefits of Blogging On Your Website by Jayson DeMers.
Guidelines of posts
Given the importance of the blog, what have been our guidelines and what content should we publish on our posts?
Since until now we are only three (regular) authors of the blog, we didn’t have to write an excessively formal document (or Guideline) on the topic. But because of the way the three of us work (we’re quite hard-headed), we decided that in order to guarantee uniformity and quality in the posts, it was necessary to establish a set of rules. In other words, the great advantage of having a guideline is that we can be much more efficient without losing quality or fighting over our different opinions ?.
A quick point: notice that the current blog is the result of merging our old blogs and the posts we create. It is possible that a lot of the old posts don’t fulfill the newly established requirements ?.
Let’s carry on. As a starting point, we used a very simple guideline (Contributor Guidelines) that we had defined for an external contributor we hired for the blog of Nelio A/B Testing.
Nelio A/B Testing
Native Tests for WordPress
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Purpose and audience
As I already mentioned on the article Is It a Success or a Failure to Merge Our Blogs the purpose of our blog is to:
freely talk of what we truly like: our experience in WordPress, marketing, entrepreneurship… and plenty of other news and developments that will surely keep coming up!
Firstly, we decided that our audience should be made of website developers, entrepreneurs, and experts in digital marketing and SEO, without forgetting any other WordPress blogger who wants to increase the traffic or conversion rate of their website. Thus, focusing on Nelio Content, we defined our Buyer Persona:
- Business Blogger
- Professional Blogger
- Affiliate Blogger
- Personal Blogger
- Mom Blogger
And we identified some of the main problems of our buyer persona (with which we can help): they want to increase their traffic, increase the number of leads (potential clients) and improve their conversion rate.
In sum, as I already explained on the post in which we talk about how we define our SEO Strategy, after an analysis of keywords, we established that our posts should be classified in one of the following categories: Community, Inside Nelio, Online Marketing, and WordPress. These categories summarize the topics of our new posts.
Keeping this in mind, it is possible that some posts are not the most appropriate to optimize our position in search engines. Or that some posts aren’t the most appropriate to encourage the reader to buy one of our products. But the objective of our blog isn’t just to do marketing. We still have some romanticism in us and we like our blog to be “a blog” and to have fun writing and creating our startup ? (let’s hope it lasts!).
All posts of the blog are published in English and Spanish. All images or tables done by us that are included are made in both languages, but one may not be the literal translation of the other. In fact, in many cases, the references have to be adapted to the context of the language. For instance, it doesn’t make much sense to reference Spanish articles on an English post (the other way around, to find references in English on a Spanish post, can be more common).
Size of the post
All posts should have a minimum of 1,200 words, with paragraphs that are not too long and, if it’s possible and makes sense, that include images.
The style should be the appropriate for a blog, meaning it should try to establish a conversation between the writer and the reader. Therefore, it should use the second-person singular and keep a friendly and approachable tone, with a license to make some jokes. I have to recognize that I was personally the one who found this the most difficult, since I am usually more serious and formal when writing. However, as I explain later on, we have established a revision system of the posts during which my partners add the touch of friendliness and charm that I lack ?.
The featured image is a very important component of our content. Using a featured image in a post is a very visual way to invite a visitor to read it, making the post more attractive. The image can also add information that may not be easily explained in words.
Having said this, including an image for each post isn’t something as simple as pressing a button and uploading it; the conditions we agreed on to guarantee homogeneity and quality in the blog are the following:
- Type and quality of the image: the idea is to have a real high quality picture that somehow evokes the topic of the post. And in any case, it should be a nice picture to look at.
- Focus of the image: one should be able to properly see the whole picture on the actual post, but also on thumbnails. In other words, the content should be visible in the reduced versions shown on the main page. In order to do this, and given the way our current theme generates thumbnails, the focus of the image should generally be in the center. Toni already explained this when merging the blogs and changing the theme; he had to redo the thumbnails so that one could visualize them well in the new theme.
- Font: in order to provide a more homogeneous format throughout the whole website on the style and quality of the images, we decided to download all featured images from the website Unsplash (there are plenty of websites that supply images for free). An advantage of Unsplash is that all pictures are taken by authors with a Creative Commons license and so we can always include them on our posts, referencing the authors as it corresponds.
- Size: the size of the picture is directly linked to its quality, but it is also related to the downloading speed of the image and post (the bigger the picture, the higher the quality, but the longer it will take to download). This is why we have established that all the pictures will have a landscape format and a width of a maximum of 1,200 pixels, with the peculiarity that we upload them compressed to the Media Library. I always find this requirement from Toni a bit annoying since all pictures from Unsplash are much larger and so after downloading them, we have to reduce their size and then compress them ?.
- Image information: all images and files uploaded to the Media Library must have the appropriate name. We always include their metadata: Title, Legend, Alternative Text and Description.
Design of the blog and each post
When we suggested that the website design was made by the Silo Creativo team, we gave them the details of the aspect we wanted the blog and each post to have. I don’t think it makes sense for me to describe the exact details of the design of a post since you’re seeing it right now.
However, I wanted to highlight a few points:
- We wanted the pictures of the posts on the main page to be shown in a similar way to the template we used on our old page WPrincipiante: the most recent post with a big picture on the left, four pictures on the right and then the older posts below.
- In order to properly visualize the heading of a post (title, categories, date, reading time and tags), which is written in white, we darkened the part of the image right underneath it. This effect is also applied to the thumbnails shown on the blog.
- The featured image of the post has to occupy the whole screen (our own personal esthetic decision).
- The posts must have a writing font and size that are pleasant to read. We did several tests until we reached consensus.
- In terms of the comments of each post, after looking at several blogs, we also agreed on a format we liked.
- We didn’t want any side ads, or any other element of distraction such as popups or ads in the middle of the posts that could distract the reader (I have already mentioned we wanted the blog to be simply a blog and that’s it).
On this last point, we have now allowed ourselves to add a speech balloon for the author (as in a cartoon) at the start of a post (as you can see above) inviting you to try our new plugin, Nelio Content. And by the way, if you haven’t tried it yet, let’s see if you come around! ??
Elaboration of each post
Finally, I wanted to talk about the process we follow to be efficient in creating posts without losing quality:
- We usually plan the posts we will write a month in advance. To do so, we obviously use Nelio Content, which has the great advantage of making us totally flexible to re-plan the publication of our posts as many times as it is necessary.
- One of us three writes the post in Spanish.
- Another one reviews it in the same language (Toni was the one in charge in this case).
- Initially, we hired someone to translate the posts to English from Fiverr (the price for a translation Spanish-to-English is around $20 for up to 3,000 words).
- The author of the post (in this case myself, Ruth) makes the relevant changes to the English version so that it makes sense in the English-speaking context. This includes changes in images, sources and, if necessary, full paragraphs so that they make more sense in the English version.
- And then the third partner reviews the English version directly without comparing it to the original (David reviewed the English version of this post).
- In order to promote the post on our social networks, we use Nelio Content. In many cases, it is the author who, after writing the post (or while he or she is writing it) programs the majority of the social messages.
This is the initial process we followed to elaborate any post, but lately, to go faster, we sometimes translate it ourselves or write the original post in English instead of Spanish.
Those who review the posts (Toni or David in this case) not only correct typos or grammatical errors, but also, depending on their inspiration at the time ?, make some changes. And, as I have previously mentioned, they add the charm that makes my drafts more entertaining. In addition, they give some spark to the social messages we program with Nelio Content.
This implies, as I mentioned earlier, that the English and Spanish versions of a post are not the literal translation one of the other.
Oh! And obviously, in my case, if there is something you don’t like of a post I have written, it will definitely be because of a modification made by either David or Toni on the original version ?.
And you, how do you plan your posts? Do you have some sort of defined guidelines on your blog? And in terms of the promotion of your posts on social networks, do you make sure you do them simultaneously while you write a post? Do you use external tools? Leave a comment sharing your experience.
Dont miss the last post of the series: Social Media and Emailing.
Featured Image by Rayi Christian Wicaksono
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