Blog marketing has been a staple of digital marketing for years now. It still is – just not in the same way it once was.

It’s not that blogging has become any less effective – it’s just a lot more crowded. Research from SEMrush indicates that as of 2020, there were just under 32 million blogs on the internet. 

And while that popularity means it’s never been easier to start or maintain a business blog, it also means we now have plenty of great examples of companies that have found success with blogging. 

Brian Clark grew Copyblogger from a website about the benefits of content marketing into a software education company bringing in eight figures in revenue per year. But as you may know, that site was launched in 2006, still considered the early days of the blogging boom that has now been around for a while.

Luckily, it’s still possible to turn a blog into a powerful source of leads and revenue for your business in 2021. You just have to go about it in a more specific way.

Below, we’re sharing our top tips for blog marketing in 2021 and beyond. Whether you’ve been blogging for a while and want to take it to the next level or you’re getting ready to launch a brand new publication, follow these steps to maximize your shot at success.

Use SEO but don’t go overboard

Search engine optimization refers to the process of optimizing blog content so that it appears higher up on search engine rankings. The full extent of search engine optimization is beyond the scope of this blog, but part of the process involves including certain keywords in your writing.

SEO is a great example of one of those things that have changed drastically since the early days of blogging. Back in the day, you could get away with “keyword stuffing,” basically listing as many relevant words as possible at the bottom of the post.

In 2021, search algorithms have become much smarter. Keywords still matter, but it’s important that you don’t keyword stuff or even write in an awkward way just to incorporate keywords. Quality should always be the first concern when creating blog content, not SEO.

Put simply: people can tell when they’re reading something that was written for a search algorithm and not a human being. It’s off-putting and will damage your credibility, especially if you operate in the B2B field and your prospects have technical knowledge.

Quality should always be the first concern when creating blog content, not SEO Click To Tweet

It’s okay to optimize your blog for search engines, and you can aim to include certain keywords, but don’t do it at the expense of quality. Striking the right balance may require the help of a skilled SEO content agency or writer.

Quality is king

In keeping with the theme above, quality needs to be foremost in your mind as you create content for your blog. That doesn’t just mean that you need to have content that’s written for a person and not an algorithm – those are table stakes.

You want to have content that either addresses a new issue or challenge that others haven’t discussed or improved upon what’s already out there. To do this, start by performing some keyword research for the terms you’re interested in and evaluating high-ranking content.

What does it seem to do well? Are there any shortcomings? Are there any places where you feel like you could add additional information that the reader can use?

Try to be as thorough as possible when developing blog content. HubSpot recommends creating “pillar pages,” which provide a great framework for high-quality blog content. The pillar framework – also known as the “hub and spoke” model – involves creating one massive pillar page on a broad subject, with a link to several sub-pages or spokes that get more specific on a certain topic.

Source: HubSpot

Experiment with different frameworks to see what works for your own specific content development needs. Whatever you do, make sure your content is well-written, easy to understand, and helps readers solve a relevant problem.

Embrace multi-channel media

Blogging is certainly a valuable way to reach prospects and drum up new business. But in 2021, it’s not enough for your blog to be the only method you use to reach prospects and customers.

In an ideal situation, your blog will complement other forms of digital marketing and vice versa. A quick example: if you’ve checked out the Credo blog at all before, you probably know that I like to create videos for many of the more complex marketing topics we cover here.

Embedding videos in the posts and uploading them to YouTube allows the blog to work seamlessly with another platform and medium. That’s just one example – we also take snippets or high-level points from our blog posts and use them to create posts on other networks.

You don’t have to be a master of every single marketing channel. That would be impossible even if you tried. If you feel overwhelmed or are wondering where to start, try picking one other platform besides your blog and dedicate your efforts to integrating it with blogging.

Maybe you’ll choose to make videos like I do, or break down your posts into bite-sized chunks that you can share on Facebook or LinkedIn. Perhaps you’ll condense your blog posts into a few key points to mention in a TikTok video.

One final tip: don’t forget to leverage the power of marketing automation software. Tools like HootSuite, Wistia, and Canva can make life much easier when it comes to promoting your blog content and changing it up into a different format. 

Set realistic goals and targets

If you’ve already been blogging for a while, you know that blog marketing isn’t a quick fix. While it’s possible to get results quickly, blogging is generally viewed as a long-term solution. It’s the type of marketing that you have to do consistently for a while before reaping significant benefits.

That’s why it’s so important to set goals along the way that are calibrated to where you are in your blogging journey. If you’re starting a brand new blog from scratch, it’s unrealistic to say you want to bring in 100 leads per month from a blog.

On the other hand, if you’ve been blogging a while, you can set goals as a way to help you level up. Maybe you want to break 1,000 unique visits in a week, or you’d like to double the number of monthly leads you bring in from your blog content.

The key is to set goals based on what you’ve done before, even if they are a bit of a “stretch.” When you match an ambitious goal with an increase in resources devoted to the blog – more hours from your internal team, for example – you can achieve more than you might think.

Final thoughts on successful blogging in 2021

While a lot may have changed with blogging, one thing has stayed the same: a dedicated blog strategy facilitating the creation of high-quality blog posts can help your business attract more leads. 

And because it’s a widespread tactic that requires a consistent effort, blogging is also one of the best types of campaigns to outsource to a specialist.

Credo can connect you with our network of vetted digital marketing providers who have deep experience across the most common digital marketing disciplines including blogging, Facebook, and SEO. Whether you’re looking to improve your existing blog strategy or develop a comprehensive new blog marketing strategy in 2021, we can match you with the right providers for your needs.

If you’re ready to shorten the amount of time it takes you to bring on the marketing partner you need for consistent growth, schedule a free consultation with us today to learn how to get started.