Interview with Marko Saric | Tips for Building an Effective Blog
By Dean Schwartz: Although my blogs are focused primarily around helping you market your brand more effectively by creating really cool SWAG, at times other topics seem relevant. As I constantly strive to improve my own blog, I came across the site, HowToMakeMyBlog.com. After receiving some incredibly helpful tips, we decided to reach out to its Editor, Marco Saric, for insight we thought you might appreciate. Below is our interview with Marko about how to building a successful blog…
SOBO: With all the content on the web, how can businesses compel customers to read and/or interact with their blogs?
Marko: There might be a lot of content on the web but not a lot of it is of high quality. The best way business can compel customers to read and interact with their blogs is to figure out what their audience wants and create some high quality content around those topics and interests. High quality doesn’t mean in a traditional “New York Times” quality sense, but it can be as simple as creating great GIF. Figure out what your audience wants. I did a post on trends and predictions in blogging which touches on some of this – take a look at it HERE.
SOBO: Why do companies need to have a blog?
Marko: A blog is a great way for a company to publish content. Compared to a Facebook page or a Twitter stream your blog has no limitations in terms of format, in terms of length etc. You are completely flexible to do whatever you want there and you completely control and own it. Compare that to social media platforms which constantly change their rules and policies and you see the value of having a blog.
SOBO: Is there a specific format a blog should take?
Marko: Not really. Whatever works for your audience is the most important factor. Some successful posts for certain types of audience can be 2,000 words long, there is trend of some publishers starting to create long form content (click HERE) and being successful with it. On the other hand some successful posts for another type of audience can be 100 words and an image. Test the different styles and formats and see what works best for the audience you are targeting.
SOBO: How often should a company publish a new blog? Is there a max or min to keep relevant and respectable?
Marko: Again this would depend on how much quality content you have to work with and what resources you have for content creation. In general to keep a blog active you should post once a week as a minimum, but the more quality content you post the better it is. Some successful blogs can post less than once per week but they rely a lot on their content archives, so for a company that is just starting out the frequency has to be a minimum of once a week to build that archive and the initial audience.
SOBO: What’s the best way to promote and drive traffic to your blog?
Marko: Your content will be the main traffic driver. If your content resonates with your audience they will help spread the word for you. Make sure your design is optimised and you have the relevant social share buttons on your posts to help your existing readers spread the word. If you’re just starting out you need to spend at least half of your time proactively working on driving traffic, or otherwise nobody will know about you even though you may be publishing great content. Figure out where your audience is (in social? on other sites and blogs? in forums?), go there and connect with them. Here’s a list of things I found work well going from 0 o 1,000,000 visitors on my own blog:
SOBO: Any days of the weeks better for publishing a new blog? What about times of the day?
Marko: This again really much depends on your audience. You have to think who your audience is and learn about their habits to know when and how to best reach them. Some people are best reached in the working hours as they spend time surfing at work, some people are best reached in the evenings as they don’t use internet at work, while some are best reached in the weekends.
SOBO: Any thoughts as to how companies can use their SWAG to promote and/or enhance their blog?
Marko: The best way to do it is to give incentive to your audience to take some action. For example you could give SWAG away for people that register for an account or join your mailing list. Other example is doing a social media giveaway and telling people to follow you, like you or RT you in order to have a chance of winning. You will experience spikes in engagement and numbers every time you run a giveaway.
SOBO: Any thoughts as to how companies can use promotional products to drive traffic to their blog?
Marko: A good way is reaching out to relevant influential users and offering them a product to review or test. If they like the product and share the link with your audience you could be getting decent spikes in your traffic. It is all about figuring out the best influencers to reach out to and then getting to know them and seeing what it would take for them to review and spread the word about your product.
SOBO: What’s your favorite promo item that you’ve received?
Marko: Back in the day when I was very active with my Metallica site I loved getting different CD’s, books and merchandise from different companies that worked with the band. It kind of felt being closer to the band and that was a good feeling to have.
I want to thank Marko for taking the time to share some of his insight into the world of blogging. If you’re interested in improving your blog, make sure to check out his site at http://HowToMakeMyBlog.com. Let us know if you found this helpful and if you’re looking for cool and relevant SWAG to promote your business, make sure to give us a call at 888-752-0432 or email us at info@SOBOconcepts.com.