We recently deconstructed why some of Eloqua’s 280 blog posts generated considerably more views than others. We looked at the headline, topic, author and whether or not there was any PR driving traffic to the post. Then we came up with six absolute locks for triggering views.
Simply put, do these six things, get more viewers. Here goes:
Host original content. Your blog needs to be the hub of your content wheel. What does that mean? It means if you engage in content marketing (creating e-books, infographics, videos – that sort of thing), the assets should first appear on your blog, and you should standardize linking to your blog from all of your social outposts. I cannot emphasize this point enough. Our top three most viewed posts – by a significant margin – each hosted a content marketing asset.
If you can’t create, curate. The public wants packaged content. Readers don’t seem to care very much if you create the content, or if you curate it for them. They just want the goods. So if you don’t have the resources to create original content, it’s ok. Instead spend your time gathering, organizing and packaging up the best of the Web. Your readers will thank you for it.
Call in the CEO. And fast. Whenever major news breaks in our industry, Eloqua’s CEO Joe Payne is the first to comment. Sometimes he’s hammering away at a post late at night. Other times he’s jamming early in the morning. Our goal is to be first to market with a fresh, honest perspective. And viewers reward us with their eyeballs. The most consistently high performing blog posts are without question Joe Payne’s “first responder” articles.
Ugh. Lists. I hate this one, because I’ve gone on record as saying, “Lists are dead.” They aren’t, though I wish they were. To me, most lists (not this one, of course) are cobbled together collections of the obvious. Reductionist writing for lazy marketers. But I guess I need to get over it, because readers like lists. Your blog should give readers what they want.
Straight-shooting headlines. Don’t get cute with your headlines. We’ve been too clever for our own good, and our haughty or obtuse headlines have cost us would-be readers. It’s a drag because we’ve compromised some pretty great copy with some not-so-great headlines. From now on: get right to the point, tell the reader exactly what to expect from the subsequent 600 or so words.
Stir the pot. This is interesting. We have aired dirty laundry on our blog three times. Once we explained why we made a difficult business decision, and twice we called out a competitor for questionable practices. Two of those posts were wildly popular. Also, I personally blog from time to time about marketing practices I find disagreeable. Despite the fact that no companies are mentioned, these posts also perform well above the norm. I guess we all love a little drama.
So there you have it. Six sure-fire ways to get more people reading your blog. And if you noticed, the title of this post met two of my own criteria. What am I missing? Go ahead, stir the pot.