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Lean Content Marketing: 12 Tips to Help Your Blog Take Off This Year

Sure, your brand has a blog, but it’s not really up to snuff. You started one because everyone said you needed one — and you know they’re right — but you never really had the time or money to devote to it. But this is a new year, and you’re going to change all that. Here’s the thing, though:

You’re still strapped for cash.

Hey, we get it. If you had a huge budget and the time and resources to develop long-term campaigns, that would be ideal. But you don’t. Check out these lean content marketing tips and help your blog take off in 2016:

Inject some SEO into your blog

You can spend thousands of dollars by hiring an SEO marketing firm, or you can do it yourself. To begin:

Create content around keywords. Lean Content MarketingCheck out WordStream’s free SEO keyword tools and resources or WordTracker, which just requires that you create a login for a free trial. Then, use these keywords in your blog titles and within the posts themselves. You don’t want to litter your posts with these keywords, though; use them naturally and where they make sense within the context of your content.

Use an anchor text over-optimization tool. Google penalizes over-optimized sites, and a big component of that is having too many keyword-rich anchors. Use a tool such as Remove’em, which highlights potentially over-optimized anchor texts and suggests diverse anchors instead.

Link to credible websites & aim to be a resource on quality sites. This helps increase your search ranking. Once you put out high-quality content for a long period of time, you’re going to get noticed by websites and blogs and they will link to your blog as a reference.

Alert customers to new posts via email

Some brands rate email marketing as the most effective digital marketing tactic. Every time you publish a new post on your blog, alert customers via email. Make sure to:

Personalize it. Including the recipient’s name in the subject line boosts open rates by 29.3 percent, according to Experian Marketing Services.

Test your subject lines. The best subject lines contain a recipient’s name and city, are short, and avoid too much promotional language like “free” and “percent off,” according to MailChimp. To determine whether or not your emails will stand out in an inbox, test them for free at

Ensure you’re not getting sent to spam. Email providers contain filters that are triggered by certain phrases and email content. To make sure you’re not going straight to spam, do a test at

Engage them on social

Include images in your tweets and posts. According to research from Buffer, tweets with images receive 18 percent more clicks and a whopping 89 percent more favorites than those shutterstock_158486894without. On Facebook, posts with visuals generate 53 percent more likes than those without, Kissmetrics reports. A great photo, gif or meme is going to attract more eyeballs than a text post.

Use popular hashtags in your posts. By participating in the hashtag conversation, you’ll have the opportunity to reach more people. To see which hashtags are currently trending, check out

Hold contests. On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you should hold contests that encourage customer participate. Ask customers to post a photo, video or status that relates to your brand. You will generate interest in your company as well as gain content that you can later repurpose.

Finally, cough up a little cash

Pay content creators to write for your blog. Your blog is what is going to drive traffic to your website. Instead of making it an afterthought, keep it on the top of the list of your promotional priorities. This may mean hiring freelance writers to create quality content for you. It’s an investment in your business.

Create longer blog content. As Neil Patel points out, it’s not all about length — your posts should contain attention-grabbing headlines, links to credible, popular websites, search engine optimization keywords, videos, pictures and subheads. That said, Patel found that posts longer than 1,500 words perform better than those with fewer words.

Check for duplicate content. Before you hit “publish,” run your content through a plagiarism checker. Besides the obvious ethical mandate, Google will ding you if you publish duplicate content, whether deliberately or inadvertently. There are several free and paid services out there.

By focusing on content marketing, you’re making big strides for your company. And as your business achieves further success because of your content marketing, you’ll be able to invest more in it.

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