Content marketing sucks in Singapore. Let’s be honest, the majority of blogs of companies ranging from big corporate companies to small medium enterprises suck. The content is thin, de-perzonalized and nobody really reads it. Currently, I am only a fan of one SEO writer in Singapore.
When I was an SEO freelancer, I got to know many other SEO freelancers. They mostly hated the writing and preferred to outsource it out. I actually once attempted outsourcing my content on this site, I hired someone from some third country, paid him peanuts to write it. The quality turned out to be poor, I hated the fact that I was doing it, I deleted everything and decided to write everything from scratch.
It was also a business decision.
This was how I was going to position myself differently from all other SEO consultants in Singapore. Whilst other companies focus on buying links (it’s obvious from your backlink profile), I focus on publishing useful content and creating a successful blog.
So, what are the elements of a successful blog?
How to Create a Successful Blog?
Writing What Your Audience Wants
To launch a successful blog, you’ll need to write what your audience wants, and not what you want. You’ll need to meet where your audience is at, and not where you want them to be. Subtle difference, however, it makes a huge difference in your marketing results.
Here are a couple of tools you can use to figure out what your audience wants:
- Uber suggest
Pop in a couple of keywords into the search bars of these tools, and refer to the drop down list of keywords they provide you with. This is also the root of successful SEO.
Provide Practicality and Utility
Your audience will want steps how to overcome to particular problem they are facing. Here are two frameworks to curate content.
- Touching on your audience fears, hopes and dreams
The first way is to write about the fears of learning something. This can range from going to your first yoga class, starting a business, writing your first blog post etc. You can help your audience tackle their fears and address their worries.
This is something I personally enjoy writing about a lot. There’s just so many technical guides out there already. Yet, not much is written on the underlying fears and psychology of them.
When you flip through an SEO course brochure, what do you get? You get technical terms like Google panda, penguins, canonical element, analytics, blah blah blah.
How can you make these elements relatable to your audience?
- Step by step tutorials
Next, you have step by step tutorials on how to do something. This can range from building backlinks, writing copy that sells, pitching a guest blog post and etc. You can include real life case studies and line by line scripts or techniques that you use in your own niche or industry.
SEO expert Brian Dean is a master of this one. He publishes 5000 worded step by step tutorials that’s beautifully crafted with images, videos and infographics. He then pushes them out to the market, and that way, he automatically get’s backlinks from the market because they use his step by step tutorials as a resource.
Make it Personal
How many SEO or digital marketing blogs out there are dry and boring? Yes, 98% of them. I can only name a couple in Singapore that I actually read and take advice from.
One of the elements of a successful blog is making it personal. This means: not writing in corporate jargon. Nothing is more boring and dry than corporate speak.
Write like you would send an email to your friend, write like you are speaking to a friend at a bar. Even if you’re a huge corporate company, you can get some in house writers to personalize your content on your website, hence making it more human.
Get Your Readers to Respond: Make it a Two Way Conversation
When you write, you should want to hear responses! I know there’s not much of a blogging/ commenting culture on blogs in Singapore (except for Facebook), however, if you’re a reader reading this, feel free to reply to me and leave a comment. I actually installed a Disqus plugin for this solo purpose.
Secondly, some sites tend to get too technical, and they make their content seem like a University lecture. I know some personal finance blogs that are guilty of this. Reading them is akin to reading my notes from my finance modules in University.
Thirdly, you can showcase your reader’s answers (blurring out their names of course) and writing a response to them. This way, it’s a two-way conversation.
Stop thinking ‘internet marketing’, and start thinking: building an audience. Behind all the analytics, these are real human readers. Stop thinking ‘email marketing’, start thinking of building an actual relationship with your readers.
Lastly, your blog has to stand out from the rest. I am the only one or two SEOs in Singapore that writes everything from scratch. I don’t purchase backlinks. I play by Google rules. I publish unique content.
What’s your voice?
From time to time, I make fun of bad advice and scammy ‘internet marketing’ gurus. I’m also quite sarcastic at some points. These are my personal ticks and I enjoy it to an extent. You can hate me for it (sue me motherfuckers), but these things make me unique and stand out, I’m also sure some of these articles can connect with some of my readers. I have friends that tell me: Marcus, you write what everybody is thinking about.
Done deal. That’s my go pass.
If you simply rehash content from the web, you’re never going to stand out, you’re never going to rank in Google and you’ll never position yourself well in the market.
I don’t think every post has to be a 5000 worded essay filled with practicality, in fact, I don’t do that. You can come up with various pieces ranging from short Seth Godin form of advice to long essays like Brian Dean’s. There are various ways to do it ranging from the methodical to the inspirational. The serious to the light hearted. The logical to the emotional.
I personally like a mix of different elements. I want to my content to practical, relatable and not too serious so it’s readable to my readers. This is the way I stand out.
So, what’s yours?