Blogging

Continuing to create relevant content, attract a targeted audience, build customer engagement and establish authority in an industry are challenges found by many online marketers. That's why it is more important now than ever to keep your business blogging top notch and to stand out from the crowd.

 

Ranked as the #1 Content Marketing Blog by Content Marketing Institute and the #2 Social Media Blog by Social Media Examiner, TopRankBlog.com is here to offer you expert advice on the opportunities, best practices and current state of blogging in the digital marketing world.

 

Browse our blogging articles and meet our TopRank blogging team to find the answers to all your blogging questions.

 

Caitlin Burgess

How to Make the Switch to Content-Driven SEO #MNBlogCon

Caitlin Burgess on Oct 16th, 2017     Blogging Strategy, Content Marketing

TopRank Marketing’s Joshua Nite made his debut on the speaker circuit this past weekend at the 8th annual Minnesota Blogger Conference held at Concordia University in St. Paul.

Charming the crowd with his unique brand of wit, creativity, mad content marketing expertise, and numerous “cats with hats” references, Josh delivered a The Good Place-themed presentation titled: “The Good News About Creative Content: From SEO-Driven Content to Content-Driven SEO.”

As someone who spent 12 years as a creative comedy writer for a video game called The Kingdom of Loathing, Josh said he was terrified by the concept of SEO-driven content when he made his transition into content marketing.

“The worst content to write, and the worst content for people to read, was the stuff that [search engine] robots liked to read to most,” Josh said.

Joshua Nite

How Does Your Garden Grow? How to Create and Maintain Evergreen Content

Joshua Nite on Apr 24th, 2017     Blog Optimization, Content Marketing

Every good gardener knows there are two types of flowering plants: Annuals and perennials. Annuals bloom once and have to be replanted the next growing season. Perennials stick around; they continue to flower year after year.

Most blog posts are annuals. You publish them, they generate views and shares for a while, and then they basically go dormant. Readers might happen across them occasionally. But think of it this way: When was the last time you went through your favorite blog’s archives? Or clicked on a search result that was over a year old?

Rarely, though, you will find that a post has perennial appeal—what some marketers call “evergreen content.” Even though you published it in 2012, it still gets liked and shared. That’s a clear sign the content is still relevant to your audience.

Joshua Nite

In a Content Marketing Slump? Spice up Your Program with These Tips

How can you turn out haute cuisine content on a fast food production schedule?

Your content team—especially if it’s a team of one—can be on the hook for creating a vast quantity of content. Between sales enablement, eBooks, white papers, and blog posts, it can be overwhelming.

The temptation to churn out uncreative but passable content is hard to resist, especially if you’re behind on the editorial calendar. This kind of rushed content can lead to each piece having a same-y feel—same format, same voice, same structure.

Not only is bland content hard for your readers to stomach, it’s not particularly inspiring to create, either. If you’re feeling like a short order cook instead of a celebrity chef, try these tips to spice things up.

Kevin Cotch

Mastering the Art of Blogging: 6 Recipes to Help You Become A More Successful Content Creator

mastering-the-art-of-blogging

Last Saturday, Ashley Zeckman presented to a packed room of bloggers and shared a presentation titled: Mastering the Art of Blogging: 6 Recipes to Help You Become A More Successful Content Creator at the annual MN Blogger Conference.

The MN Blogger Conference offers a great opportunity for bloggers and content marketers to gather and learn insights on content strategy, search engine optimization, and social media. In her presentation, Ashley shared that unfortunately only 37% of companies have a documented content strategy (according to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs) which presents an opportunity for content marketers to gain an advantage over competitors. Ashley was able to outline six recipes or strategies to gain your advantage. The six content marketing recipes include:

  1. Discovery Donuts
  2. Content Mission Canapés
Joshua Nite

What Social Media Marketers Need to Know About Facebook Live

facebook-live-what-you-should-know

In the age of Netflix and DVRs, it’s weirdly ironic to watch the growing popularity of live video for social media marketing. Sure, most of it is recorded so you can access it later, but it has far more in common with the nightly news than with modern on-demand, personalized content.

It turns out, there’s something about watching an event unfold live that’s hard to replicate. To be there as it’s happening, in the moment with a group of friends and strangers, sharing a singular experience. It’s powerful. And it never really went out of style—it just took a while for technology to create a compelling modern version.

Joshua Nite

Avoid Content Ennui: 10 Creative Blog Types to Serve Your Audience

creative-blog-types

When it comes to blog content, a lot of us are serving breakfast when we should be serving dinner.

Let me explain. Odds are you have a go-to breakfast that you eat nearly every day. A bowl of cereal with a banana, some oatmeal with maple syrup, a haunch of beef seasoned with the tears of your enemies—generally there’s not much variety from day to day. On the other hand…

batsaneye

For dinner, we generally require some variety. Maybe it’s that no one is fully awake for breakfast, so it doesn’t matter what you eat. Maybe it’s the realization that eggs and bacon are perfect foods.

Joshua Nite

20 Must-Have Content Marketing Tools for Writing Better Blog Posts

20-content-marketing-tools

Fans of high culture rejoice. We have finally realized our potential as a species. We have reached the pinnacle of creative expression.

That’s right. MacGyver is getting a reboot.

For those of you born in the 90’s, MacGyver was a TV show starring Richard Dean Anderson and his amazing mullet:

MacGyver

Image via Telestar

Breathtaking, isn’t it? MacGyver was a secret agent who used the power of feathered hair (and an array of improvised gadgetry) to fight the forces of evil. Give the man a paperclip and some bubblegum, and he could make anything from a deadly weapon to a stylish evening gown.

Content marketers tend to be the MacGyver of the marketing world. We may not have the hairdo (or any hair at all, in my case), but we’re used to making miracles with an improvised toolkit.

Caitlin Burgess

9 Dos & Don’ts for Writing Compelling, Clickable Headlines to Draw in Your Audience

how-to-write-more-compelling-headlines

Well, hello there. I’m so glad you’ve stopped by the TopRank Marketing blog today. I’m pretty sure I know why you’re here — you’ve been searching high and low for the most adorable cat video of the day. Well, here it is:

Okay. Okay. Just kidding. But I really do know why you’re here. You’re looking for a little headline help. And regardless of how you found this blog post today, you believed something valuable, educational and actually on the topic of writing headlines (not cat videos) was waiting for you when you clicked—and that’s all thanks to the headline.

Headlines are arguably the most important aspect of any piece of content. It’s the first thing—and often the only thing—users will read. In fact, 8 out of 10 people read headlines, but just 2 out of 10 will actually continue reading the rest of the content, according to Copyblogger.

Ashley Zeckman

Boost Content Marketing Results & Learn How LinkedIn Grew Their Blog by 30X

Ashley Zeckman     Blog Marketing, Online Marketing

Boost-content-marketing-results-linkedin-blog

Conversations between digital marketers are always abuzz with the latest, greatest and most innovative content marketing techniques. Everything from different content types, to the newest ways to promote content are never far from their lips.

There is no doubt that content plays an incredibly important role as part of an integrated digital marketing program. And one of the most tried and true content marketing tactics that has stood the test of time is blogging.

In fact, 45% of marketers still say that blogging is the most important piece of their content strategy and marketers that use blogging as part of their strategy, generate 67% more leads than those that don’t.

Joshua Nite

Content Marketing: 5 Unexpected Places to Find Inspiration for Your Blog Content

content-marketing-inspiration

Creative inspiration is like a butterfly: It’s beautiful from a distance, but full of weird insect parts up close.

Sorry, let me try that again. Creative inspiration is like a butterfly: Sometimes it seems like no matter how far you stretch, it flutters above your head, beautiful but just out of reach. Sure, you could sit perfectly still and wait for it to land, but your editorial calendar beckons. Few marketers have the free time to truly find their creative space. At the same time, you know that content with that creative spark will be far more compelling.

The next time your creative butterfly just won’t sit still long enough for you to get a good look at it, grab your butterfly net of proactivity and go after it. Here are five ways to get inspired when you’re stuck.

Debbie Friez

3 Examples of Brands Using Podcasts to Increase Sales, Offer Value & Build Audiences

Debbie Friez     Content Marketing, Podcast Marketing

MIMA Event Podcasting

[Note From Ashley: TopRank Marketing team members Debbie Friez and Joel Carlson recently attended a Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) event in Minneapolis and collaborated to bring you the insights below from the event.]

Long gone are the leisurely evenings and weekends where people disconnected from the outside world and made time to relax. Today’s consumers are ALWAYS connected and constantly consuming information from a variety of sources.

The question for marketers is: how can you capture the attention of your audience while they’re on the go and multi-tasking constantly? One of the solutions that has surfaced in recent years is incorporating podcasts into your digital marketing mix.

Below we’ll dive in to three case studies MIMA social broadcasting event that uncover how different brands are working podcasts into their marketing strategy.

Joshua Nite

How to Write for People: 5 Ways to Create Connections & Personality in Your Content Marketing Efforts

write-content-for-humans

Greetings, humans. It is I, a fellow human and certainly not a trench coat full of cats posing as human. I would like to tell you how to show personality in your writing so other cats—I mean, humans, like me—will enjoy reading it.

All cats aside, it’s surprisingly easy for marketers to forget that we are writing for people. We write for a persona, a target audience, an industry. When was the last time an industry sat down and read a blog post over their corn flakes? By trying to write for everyone, we can end up writing for no one.