The kind of content you create depends on your audience's needs at different stages in the buyer's journey. You should start by creating buyer personas (use these free templates, or try makemypersona.com) to identify what your audience's goals and challenges are in relation to your business. On a basic level, your online content should aim to help them meet these goals, and overcome their challenges.
Focus on your target audience. Although you likely want anyone and everyone to start reading your blog, typically only a specific target audience will make up the primary readership. Look at popular blogs that are similar to yours or how you want your to be, and emulate the ways in which they hook their audience on content. By creating specific, detailed content rather than general, vague content, your target audience will be more likely to become repeat readers, and to share your blog on a regular basis.
To create an effective DMP, a business first needs to review the marketplace and set 'SMART' (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-Bound) objectives.[67] They can set SMART objectives by reviewing the current benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs) of the company and competitors. It is pertinent that the analytics used for the KPIs be customised to the type, objectives, mission and vision of the company.[68][69]
Inbound marketing refers to a marketing methodology wherein you attract, engage, and delight customers at every stage of the buyer's journey. You can use every digital marketing tactic listed above, throughout an inbound marketing strategy, to create a customer experience that works with the customer, not against them. Here are some classic examples of inbound marketing versus traditional marketing: 

Simply put, digital marketing is the promotion of products or brands using electronic devices or the internet. It also includes text messaging, instant messaging, video, apps, podcasts, electronic billboards, digital television and radio channels, etc. Digital marketing uses multiple channels and technologies that allow an organization to analyze campaigns, content and strategy to understand what’s working and what isn’t – typically in real time.
Pick a topic to write about that really interests you. It can take a long time for a blog to develop strong regular traffic, so you'll want to pick a subject that you'll be happy to write about even when you aren't getting a lot of feedback. While selecting a popular search term as the basis for your blog can get you a lot of hits initially, traffic will quickly drop off if you don't know your subject and you'll be stuck with a blog with little to no traffic that you aren't interested in writing.
Great post Moz. I really enjoyed reading your 21 tips and the 22nd is the one that really hit home. You are right about the importance of consistency. Blogs, like any other business or venture, take time to get going. I've had my ups and downs with my blog but am in it for the long haul. So thanks for reminding us to be persistant! The first 21 tips did have a lot of good information and I will continue to work on those techniques as well. Best of luck!
Digital marketing activity is still growing across the world according to the headline global marketing index. A study published in September 2018, found that global outlays on digital marketing tactics are approaching $100 billion.[46] Digital media continues to rapidly grow; while the marketing budgets are expanding, traditional media is declining (World Economics, 2015).[47] Digital media helps brands reach consumers to engage with their product or service in a personalised way. Five areas, which are outlined as current industry practices that are often ineffective are prioritizing clicks, balancing search and display, understanding mobiles, targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic, and cross-platform measurement (Whiteside, 2016).[48] Why these practices are ineffective and some ways around making these aspects effective are discussed surrounding the following points.

Traffic is one of the most important parameters for your blog; the more people who find your blog, the more people who will read your ideas. If you're ready and willing to have your blog admired in the online community, then try a few different methods of increasing blog traffic. You'll create better content in the end, and probably have dozens of new viewers each day.
Brand awareness has been proven to work with more effectiveness in countries that are high in uncertainty avoidance, also these countries that have uncertainty avoidance; social media marketing works effectively. Yet brands must be careful not to be excessive on the use of this type of marketing, as well as solely relying on it as it may have implications that could negatively harness their image. Brands that represent themselves in an anthropomorphizing manner are more likely to succeed in situations where a brand is marketing to this demographic. "Since social media use can enhance the knowledge of the brand and thus decrease the uncertainty, it is possible that people with high uncertainty avoidance, such as the French, will particularly appreciate the high social media interaction with an anthropomorphized brand." Moreover, digital platform provides an ease to the brand and its customers to interact directly and exchange their motives virtually.[39]
With the explosion of digital media, people began to engage with each other – and the companies they did business with – in new ways. The relevance of traditional print and broadcast channels declined, completely changing the consumer-corporation dynamic. Digital channels opened doors for consumers. No longer passive participants in a one-sided marketing conversation, consumers became empowered authors, publishers and critics. The digital landscape is participatory, an area where consumers exchange ideas. Marketers no longer drive the discussion. Everyday consumers are now the style makers and trendsetters.

Use social media platforms to promote your blog. Possibly the most effective way to promote readership outside your friends and family is to promote your blog on social media. Although it can be difficult to manage multiple accounts, if you’re able to juggle your presence between a few different sites, you’ll likely notice a significant increase in viewers. Consider using social media platforms such as:
A generation ago, consumers were at the mercy of advertisers who spoon-fed them marketing messages across a few media channels: print, billboards, television, radio. These advertisers created markets, defining and reinforcing consumer stereotypes. In the 1950s, advertising was primarily a one-way conversation with a captive audience. TV advertising grew and matured into a viable marketing medium. Experts were the style makers.
Consider having a guest blogger. If you’re able to link up with a fellow blogger in your community, contact them to guest blog on your site. They’ll post the link to your site on theirs, bringing in a whole slew of new readers who otherwise might not have discovered you. Further, they might return the favor and ask you to guest blog for them. Before you decide to ask someone to be featured on your blog, create a rubric or set of questions you plan on asking them. Having a blog post outlined for them will make them much more likely to accept your offer.

As you can see, there's all sorts of great insights to be gleaned by looking at where visits originate, analyzing how they were earned and trying to repeat the successes, focus on the high quality and high traffic sources and put less effort into marketing paths that may not be effective. In this example, it's pretty clear that Facebook and Twitter are both excellent channels. StumbleUpon sends a lot of traffic, but they don't stay very long (averaging only 36 seconds vs. the general average of 4 minutes!).
In the parlance of digital marketing, advertisers are commonly referred to as sources, while members of the targeted ads are commonly called receivers. Sources frequently target highly specific, well-defined receivers. For example, after extending the late-night hours of many of its locations, McDonald's needed to get the word out. It targeted shift workers and travelers with digital ads because the company knew that these people made up a large segment of its late-night business. McDonald's encouraged them to download a new Restaurant Finder app, targeting them with ads placed at ATMs and gas stations, as well as on websites that it knew its customers frequented at night.
When pitching your guest post make it as easy as possible for the other party. When requesting to post, have a phenomenal piece of writing all set to publish that's never been shared before and give them the ability to read it. These requests get far more "yes" replies than asking for the chance to write with no evidence of what you'll contribute. At the very least, make an outline and write a title + snippet.

Great advice, especially Bonus#22. This is my second time at creating a blog.  I am definitely going to stick with it, even though I have some friends who think that it is a waste of time having a blog.  I know that it takes time for blogs to grow and acquire great traffic, but I'm sticking with it this time and definitely using some of the advice above. Thanks.

Using Dr Dave Chaffey's approach, the digital marketing planning (DMP) has three main stages: Opportunity, Strategy and Action. He suggests that any business looking to implement a successful digital marketing strategy must structure their plan by looking at opportunity, strategy and action. This generic strategic approach often has phases of situation review, goal setting, strategy formulation, resource allocation and monitoring.[66]

If other blogs in your niche have earned references from sites around the web, there's a decent chance that they'll link to you as well. Conducting competitive link research can also show you what content from your competition has performed well and the strategies they may be using to market their work. To uncover these links, you'll need to use some tools.

In the 2000s, with increasing numbers of Internet users and the birth of iPhone, customers began searching products and making decisions about their needs online first, instead of consulting a salesperson, which created a new problem for the marketing department of a company.[15] In addition, a survey in 2000 in the United Kingdom found that most retailers had not registered their own domain address.[16] These problems encouraged marketers to find new ways to integrate digital technology into market development.
Thankfully, you don't need to spend a dime to figure out where a large portion of your audience can be found on the web. In fact, you probably already know a few blogs, forums, websites and social media communities where discussions and content are being posted on your topic (and if you don't a Google search will take you much of the way). From that list, you can do some easy expansion using a web-based tool like Google's Display Planner:

Thanks Rand. I finally got the chance to read through this post last night and this morning. We will certainly be adopting most of the tips you have covered. I'm especially excited about utilising Reddit. We have some great posts in our blog but we are still in the early stages of building up a following through Twitter and Facebook so we don't get many views. I think Reddit could definately help increase traffic numbers. Fingers crossed 
I see these two opportunities as the future of ShoutMeLoud after the email-list. 90% of my blog’s traffic is from search engines, but I would like to have the complete freedom to reach out to users without relying on search engine traffic. For now, that can be accomplished by my blog app and my YouTube channel.  These will more than likely provide the next big move forward for my blog.
Word of mouth communications and peer-to-peer dialogue often have a greater effect on customers, since they are not sent directly from the company and are therefore not planned. Customers are more likely to trust other customers’ experiences.[27] Examples can be that social media users share food products and meal experiences highlighting certain brands and franchises. This was noted in a study on Instagram, where researchers observed that adolescent Instagram users' posted images of food-related experiences within their social networks, providing free advertising for the products.[32]
Search engines are a massive opportunity for traffic, yet many bloggers ignore this channel for a variety of reasons that usually have more to do with fear and misunderstanding than true problems. As I've written before, " SEO, when done right, should never interfere with great writing." In 2014, Google will see over 6 billion daily searches from around the world, and that number is only growing:
In the parlance of digital marketing, advertisers are commonly referred to as sources, while members of the targeted ads are commonly called receivers. Sources frequently target highly specific, well-defined receivers. For example, after extending the late-night hours of many of its locations, McDonald's needed to get the word out. It targeted shift workers and travelers with digital ads because the company knew that these people made up a large segment of its late-night business. McDonald's encouraged them to download a new Restaurant Finder app, targeting them with ads placed at ATMs and gas stations, as well as on websites that it knew its customers frequented at night.
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