Do you know why some blog posts succeed and others just don't?
Okay, sometimes it's a guessing game... (Although lots of SEO gurus would send me a digital slap if they read that line.)
Sometimes you just want to write about something and it clicks with your audience well. And other times it's a total miss.
Strategy or not, digging into your blog posts each month, quarter, and year can give you incredible information. Info you can use to create and nurture an "epic" content marketing strategy—beyond what you'd ever imagine.
So, that's what I did in this post.
It was time for me to do my yearly review. And today I'm sharing the top 6 pieces of content in 2016.
why they were so popular
how they worked so well
and at the end, I'll wrap it all up with some actionable tips you can apply right away.
1. 8 Time Management Tools You Should Use For Killer Productivity
Towering over all the content on my site, the 8 Time Management Tools post comes in with a whopping 17,000+ social shares.
When I wrote this post back in February 2016, I never expected it to take off like it did.
Before this piece, I was writing content to help people—not thinking much on the profitability side.
Pre-February, I didn't care too much about a passive income. At least not until the trading hours for dollars aspect of my coaching business became monotonous.
So, this post launched a new strategy of selling through blog content.
Specifically, the focus was on selling [the now insanely popular] #BlogStrategy Planner and sharing non-affiliate software I use to grow and maintain my business with.
So, why did this post come in at number one?
There are several reasons outside of my content marketing efforts.
Simple things like the fact that my focus is on [business and personal] growth and productivity. So, my existing audience was already into this topic.
But other things like it being a List Post—which is one of the top types of posts that get read (skimmed) and shared—helped.
And how did it get it's traction?
Well, I have Pinterest to thank for that.
And the keys were:
tall, text overlay images
loooooong, helpful images (infographics, etc.)
First I looked for Group Boards within my niche that accepted requests to join.
Once I was active on a couple boards, I started receiving invitations to join several others.
In less than 10 months, this post received over 60,000 unique pageviews and earned me 47% of my passive income for the year.
Another contributor to this post's greatness was the use of keywords.
Keywords in the title, in the URL slug (the last, custom part of your blog's URL), and hashtag use on social media.
The primary keywords are:
Time Management (or #TimeManagement)
Productivity (or #productivity)
Using these two keywords in the title and URL slug, the post already had a search engine optimization (SEO) advantage from the start.
With content, sometimes you'll just get lucky.
This was one of those posts.
Sure, there was some strategy to it. But I definitely didn't expect it to become my number one blog post.
2. 4 Ways To Win At Vendor Events
I might be a slight sell-out with this post. (Okay, with the whole series, too...)
Well, I've ventured as far as I can from working primarily with direct sellers—what I used to do before converting Goff Creative into a growth-centric resource for solopreneurs.
Sure, I've still got lots of direct sellers in my audience. But, I didn't want to make direct sales a focus.
But, assured by many of my loyal D.S. audience members, my present direction and teachings were easy to implement in their business models, too.
So, I left this post and a few others available from the network marketing days of reign.
With that premise, this post lands itself firmly at number two.
If you're in direct sales, you know it's hard to come by quality information written for your industry. You know, info that isn't just "Rah, rah! You're awesome! Show the world your awesomeness!"-type bullshit.
The vague, cheerleader crap that doesn't hold actual value.
That was a huge reason why these posts are still up. And why I wrote them in the first place.
On the technical side, it's another list post. Most all audiences love list posts.
Generally in an easy-to-read format, list posts help readers read (or skim) effectively.
Who wouldn't love that?
How this post got it's glory is from Pinterest.
With several infographic-type images and the use of specific keywords, this 2015-written post is still going strong.
3. How To Simply And Effectively Organize Your Work-From-Home Schedule
In this super-handy schedule-focused post, this was another surprise success.
I put most of my eggs in the next post in the scheduling series, yet this one kicked that one's butt.
I know, I know. There she goes with all that keyword stuff again. But seriously, keywords.
Three, specific keywords, in the title proved to be quite effective in getting the point across:
Work-From-Home [Mom]—in the original post
Oh, and let's not forget that it's another super-popular post format: The "How To" post.
Between Lists and How To's, I bet you're getting some great ideas for posts your audience will devour, yes?
Now, we know the why, but how did this post gain traction?
Big surprise here: Pinterest.
Those keyword-enriched descriptions with specific calls-to-action. All shared across my own relevant boards and relevant Group Boards.
And, the key here: Content that my audience actually wants to read and use.
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4. How To Get Started In Direct Sales Like A Primed Pro
Seeing a pattern here?
Yep, direct sellers love my content. *Winks*
And this one, I knew, would be a winner.
Why? Because—just mentioned earlier from the Vendor Event post landing at number two—there's a lot of fluffy garbage online for direct sellers.
When they come across something that delivers on the how instead of just "Rah rah, you're awesome!!" it tends to do well.
Keywords in this one?
Post type: A show-stopping "How To", Baby.
And how'd this bad boy pick up steam?
You guessed it: Pinterest.
5. 5 Crucial Tips To Organizing And Maintaining Your Mobile Office (When You're Constantly On-The-Go)
Yep. Another List post tops the charts. Funny how that works out, huh?
Other than that (and keywords... Ahem. *Clears throat*), this post is unique in a sea of stationary entrepreneur -focused content.
There's tons of content on organizing your home office and all that jazz. But not much for the solopreneurs (like me) who prefer to move around.
I've got three kids, so "traveling" isn't so much my thing. But working from wherever I want to on any given day is essential to my workflow.
Having empathy for the other mobile entrepreneurs out there, I decided to fill a hole in the industry with this post.
And damn has it made a difference for business.
Although the post doesn't get the same social love as the others on this list, it surely gets the traffic.
(Plus the desirable bonus from passive income in planner sales, and a few hundred here and there from affiliate links.)
Okay, so outside of the uniqueness and filling a hole in the industry, how'd this post make the list?
Nope. Not Pinterest this time. (Crazy, right?)
This time I have the Google [Organic] Search to thank for traffic.
This post earned it's way to the number one spot on Google Search for a few different reasons.
One being keywords.
Second, it linked out to several different quality websites.
Yes, Google loves it when you suitably link out to quality websites. In this post's case, it linked to eCommerce pages and a few others.
And third, because it was unique enough to warrant being a top-referred piece of content for the searched keywords and keyword variations.
6. How To Start Organizing Your Business In An Active Space
Have you noticed it's all Lists and How To's in this review?
That's no accident.
Outside of making sure your How To posts deliver on their promise, most audiences want to learn or gain something from your blog content.
Especially if they can learn how to do something quickly, easily, and for free...
This post was another one of those there's a million-and-one other posts about this kinda stuff.
It had to fill a void. It had to be unique.
That's where splitting 3 days of organizing a solo business into one post and making it a "How To" came in.
How'd the post get traction?
Right again: Pinterest.
Pinterest is my bread and butter (outside of the beloved email list, of course).
What are the takeaways from all this?
There's a few, actually.
Put weight in quality, industry and niche -specific keywords.
Social media wants keywords (and hashtags) just as much as search engines do.
ACTION STEP: Search for your keywords now. Make a rolling list and add the ones that perform for you at the very top.
Lists and How To posts kick ass.
Hands down, these two types of posts get seen, clicked, and read. Especially if you're actively promoting them.
There's just something so sexy about an effective post...
ACTION STEP: Do you have an older blog post that you can repurpose into a List or How To post? Add it to your schedule today.
Be on Pinterest RIGHT NOW.
I can't emphasize this enough. It's not just me and my industry—bloggers, coaches, consultants—everyone can use and benefit from Pinterest.
ACTION STEP: Create at least one tall, text-overlay image for each blog post, course, landing page, and so on.
Track and monitor your analytics [at least] monthly, quarterly, and yearly.
Whether you're up on keeping in touch with your audience through something like a Facebook Group, blog comments, or even email (like I prefer to), your analytics hold lots of secrets into your audience, too.
While researching this post, I learned that my audience prefers content on productivity and organization.
But, I want to (and am) transitioning to growth hacking as my primary focus.
So, I know that I need to incorporate productivity and organization into my growth strategies to provide a deeper level of value to my existing audience.
See how that works?
ACTION STEP: Make tracking and reviewing your progress a regular part of your action plan. Start with the 6 keys I used to grow my business by 1213.56% in less than 6 months »
And the ultimate key: Know your audience.
If you don't know who you're writing for, what they want and need, what interests them and so on, you're likely "speaking" to the wrong people. Or, even worse... Trying to speak to everyone.
ACTION STEP: Explore your existing audience right now. And / or find your competitors using your niche keywords and Google Search. And explore their well-defined audiences. (You know, the audience you want, too.)
What are you waiting for? This post is done.
Get to your action steps, my Dear. *Winks*
P.S. Comments, emails, running a business and being a mom of 3 were just too much for me to handle. So, blog comments got the boot. But the lack of a comment box doesn't mean I don't want to hear what you think! Share your thoughts with me via @GoffCreative on Twitter or directly via email.
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