Insights on Marketing & Technology

The Blog Learning Curve: How to improve your results

There’s a blog learning curve: Your blogging results improve as your knowledge of blogging increases over time.In manufacturing, this is called the experience curve.

  • By: Heidi Cohen
  • Published: 09-05-2014

Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies and an actionable marketing expert. Heidi works with online media companies and e-tailers to increase profitability with innovative marketing programs based on solid analytics.

10 Tricks To Smarter Blogging Based On Your Experience

There’s a blog learning curve: Your blogging results improve as your knowledge of blogging increases over time. In manufacturing, this is called the experience curve. Based on cost behavior analysis, it was developed in the 1960s by Bruce D. Henderson and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).The 85% experience curve means that unit costs drop 15% from their original level with every doubling of output. While based on manufacturing, these 8 experience curve elements are adapted to improve your blogging learning curve.

  1. Increase efficiency. Members of your blogging team gain experience so that they know how to develop, craft and present optimal posts. As a result, they’re more confident and create shortcuts
  2. Improve blogging with standardization and specialization. By implementing processes such as collecting post ideas, selecting images and search optimization, efficiency increases
  3. Learn from others. Whether you’re using growth hacking techniques or actively involved in social media, you can become a more efficient blogger. (BTW—Sign up for our weekly emailing and get 101 Blogging tips!)
  4. Use technology better. With experience, you gain the ability to use the blogging and related technology more productively
  5. Change your resource mix. Over time, bloggers may get help and support in their blog content creation and production processes
  6. Incorporate on-going testing. Bloggers continually try adding new features and approaches into their blog to see what works best
  7. Leverage the power of network effects. Getting help and support from your social media community helps spread the word of your content
  8. Expand shared experience. Leveraging the power of your blog content as part of a larger social media and content marketing plan to achieve your higher business goals, helps reduce costs

Bloggers, like manufacturers, need to continually reassess their position with respect to the changes seen in new blogs, social media and key audiences.
The blogging learning curve doesn’t happen by itself. Just publishing more blog posts the same way, without testing and implementing what’s most effective, doesn’t automatically yield improved results.

10 Tricks to smarter blogging based on your experience

Here are 10 tricks to leverage the power of your blog learning curve that will improve your results.

1. Know what information resonates with readers
Over time you learn what your readers like. This translates into  categories of information, reader hot buttons, ways that you can spin a topic and tags associated with posts.

Actionable Blogging Tip: Ask your readers what they want and think. While this seems obvious, many bloggers overlook this point. At a minimum, add a question at the end of each post.

2. Find the best mix of content formats
Blogs provide a platform for a variety of different types of content. Take advantage of this. Use more than just plain text.

  • Photos 
  • Graphics
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Audio
  • Presentations
Actionable Blogging Tip: Incorporate at least one image to attract reader attention.

3. Improve headline effectiveness
Headlines grab your prospective reader and pull them in. Over time you learn what works best for your target audience. Also just as media entities like Upworthy and Buzzfeed have perfected the power of traffic driving headlines, you, too can create better titles quicker.

Actionable Blogging Tip: Leverage the power of headline science and words that increase blog traffic. (Here are 7 headline tips guaranteed to attract readers every time.)

4. Provide style and design guidance
When you first start blogging, you may try a variety of different options in terms of design, typography and style. But over time, you discover how to present information on your blog so that your key audience can consume it efficiently.

Actionable Blogging Tip: Establish design guidelines so that your blog stands out. Consistency is one of the major keys to branding your blog.

5. Streamline your production flow
While many people think that blogging is all about writing, the reality is that once you’ve finished writing, your work first begins.

- Include content review, copyediting, formatting the post, ensuring that it renders across devices, and adding tags and categories
- Get additional technology support where appropriate
- Edit audio or video when used. Add tags, keywords and links to photographs, video and audio
- Provide guidance for handling comments. Here’s how to create a blog comment policy

Actionable Blogging Tip: Set up a process checklist that includes every step that’s done manually after the post is written as well as who performs this task (if you have more than one blogger.) Then look for ways to reduce the effort over time.

6. Optimize content for find-ability via search and social media
Your blog content needs help to appear on search engines and get shared on social media.  Both search and social media optimization are as much art forms as science. (Here’s what 15 SEO experts say about blogging.)

- Blogs by their architecture are search-friendly. Write posts on the basic content that your target audience seeks and wants. Focus each post on an appropriate keyword and use it in the title and in the article.
- Link to other information on your blog and website. The goal is to provide service to your readers. This is a good way to drive traffic to your product pages.
- Incorporate content that people like to share on social media. Create information that makes your readers look good to their followers.

Actionable Blogging Tip: Make social sharing easy. Reduce what your audience has to do. Where appropriate, be part of a community where you share and promote each other’s work.

7. Determine the best timing for publication and social media sharing
While research can help you optimize your content for distribution and reach, your audience’s habits may vary. Think holistically about your target market and their content consumption habits as they relate to your information.

Actionable Blogging Tip: Incorporate your publication frequency into your schedule. Don’t focus on when you create the content or when you’re working but rather when your audience is reading your information.
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