Blogging 4.0 basically means an online business that is centered around a blog.
A few years ago you would have been able to post a blog once or twice a week and that was enough, but that’s no longer the case.
What was once considered a lucrative and relatively simple way to make money has become so competitive and saturated that newer businesses and bloggers are struggling to be seen in a cluttered online space.
To put this into perspective for you, there are currently:
- Over 8 million blogs
- Nearly 8 million vlogs
- Approx. 600,000 podcasts
That’s what a newbie will have to compete with if they enter the blogging space today.
If you haven’t been scared off yet, know that it’s still possible to build a large and engaged readership for your blog. But it won’t be easy, or at least as easy as it used to be.
If you’re prepared to work hard and think beyond blogging you can make it work - and blogging 4.0 shows you exactly how you can achieve that.
Blogging 4.0 consists of:
- A blog: this is where readers will find all of your long form content and learn more about your product or service
- A podcast: this is an area of content marketing that’s just taking off so you have a chance to really make your mark
- Social media: pick one or two platforms and use it to showcase your product or service as short form content
- Video: this includes vlogging on Youtube, Facebook lives and Instagram/Snapchat stories
- Repurposed content: reach more audiences by reposting you best, most viral-worthy content on sites like Quora, Medium, LinkedIn, etc.
Let’s run through each of these in more detail to see what they actually involve:
Blogging remains the main source of content marketing with 53% of marketers agreeing that it was their top priority (HubSpot). In order to create a successful blog that brings more eyeballs to your website you need to:
- Create well researched, insightful long form content. The longer and more detailed each post is, the higher it will rank on Google. Short quotes and advice and tip pieces should be saved for social media.
- Solve a problem. The easiest way to do this is to go onto Google’s Keyword Planner and look for the most searched terms relating to your blog topic. ‘How To’s’ are extremely popular so try and incorporate this into some of your blog posts. The more help and advice you provide, the more engaged your reader will be, which ultimately creates trust.
- Offer freebies - just make sure it’s worthwhile. Free ebooks are extremely popular and are essentially just an extension of your blog posts. Try to offer something of value so that the reader is willing to part with their email address (to help build your email list - very important).
- Offer to write guest blogs for brands and companies in your niche and vice versa. Even better - reach out to websites and podcasters to take part in interviews which will help you reach a bigger audience.
2. Start a podcast
Podcasts have been around for ages but it’s only in the last 2-3 years that it’s really taken off as a lucrative way to reach an audience and consumers. The amount of podcasts out there is also much lower compared to blogs and vlogs, which means there’s more room to succeed.
However, don’t assume that starting a podcast is an easy way to make income. Creating, publishing and marketing a podcast takes a lot of technical skill and work, hence why there’s less competition.
Like radio, podcasting is also great for those who want to reach out to the ‘commuter community’. The number of listeners is also rising with a reported 16 million people in the US alone claiming to be “avid podcast fans” (Nielsen Q1 2018).
3. Build a community
People connect to people, not brands, which is why it’s so important to build a tribe of loyal followers who will subscribe to your content.
Social media’s a good place to start as it allows the customer or client to see you and your business behind the scenes. This is a great way to send traffic to your blog and the best part is that it’s completely free (minus your resource costs, of course).
A recent report also found that consumers are using social media to research products before they buy, which is why it’s essential that you have a prominent online presence on social media.
4. Don’t forget about video
So you’ve mastered the art of creating a Google-friendly blog post.
You’ve jumped on the (lucrative) podcast bandwagon.
And you’re building the trust of your customers via social media.
The next, very obvious step, is to embrace video content.
If you’re camera shy or the thought of posting a video on YouTube terrifies you (YouTube trolls are the WORST), there are other, less intrusive ways to embrace video and share content.
If you want to make informative videos you could create a presentation on SlideShare (This one case study got over 2 million views from Slideshare in just 16 presentations) and upload it onto YouTube, or you could venture into other video platforms like Facebook lives and Instagram stories.
Remember, video, much like blogs, is incredibly saturated so don’t wait to be found after you hit upload. Market your videos like crazy and share them as much as you can. Find your ideal customer and sell yourself.
5. Repurpose old content
These days simply publishing your content on your blog isn’t enough - you need to repurpose your best content on other, bigger platforms in order to gain maximum exposure and widen your readership.
Authority sites like Medium, Quora and LinkedIn have millions of users, which means that your content will reach more readers. In fact, author Benjamin Hardy managed to get 20,000 subscribers in just six months by reposting his content on Medium.
The bottom line
Blogging 4.0 requires a lot of work but the benefits you reap from putting in those extra hours will eventually pay off.
Blogging is an incredibly competitive space and readers are more attuned to what good content is so don’t scrimp on the quality of your blog. A well-researched, thoughtful post, with plenty of helpful information can help your business explode.
And, by implementing the tips above consistently there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to grow your readership quickly and effectively.