You want to get as many readers as possible when running a blog. But just as importantly, you want to keep them engaged. After all, someone visiting your blog regularly is more likely to be a customer or subscriber than someone who just came by once.
Since organic traffic is that traffic that comes from search engines without the use of paid advertisements or other forms of monetization, it’s the purest form of traffic you can get on your blog.
If you want to increase your organic traffic, you have a couple of options. One is to use paid ads. The second is to use user-generated content (UGC). The latter is much more effective in getting traffic and converting it into customers and revenue. So let’s dive into how you can use user-generated content to increase organic traffic.
The Growth Of User-Generated Content
User-generated content (or UGC for short) is content that is created or curated by users. These users could be individuals or companies. The important thing to note here is that the content is not curated or created by professionals but by everyday people like you and me. This means it has a much more vibrant community that supports it.
With traditional content, a professional or a company might support or sponsor the content, but their involvement is usually quite minimal. That’s not the case with UGC. The audience’s involvement in supporting the content is intertwined with the content itself.
For example, if I search for “running shoes” on YouTube, I’ll get a variety of video content showing different types of runs alongside product reviews. While all these videos are technically UGC, they wouldn’t exist without a company or brand supporting them. Most of the platform’s content is sponsored or supported by a brand.
While UGC isn’t new, it didn’t become a popular choice for content creators until the late 2000s. That’s when platforms started recognizing the value of this type of content in generating revenue. In the past, SEO was the only form of marketing that guaranteed traffic. With the introduction of paid ads, content creators can engage with their audience through paid advertising. This opens up a world of possibilities that were previously closed to them.
Why Should You Use User-Generated Content?
Why should you use user-generated content in your blog? Well, here are a few reasons.
- It’s an untapped source of potential traffic.
- It has a bigger audience than you’d expect for a content type.
- It’s easier to gain traction with than you’d think.
- It’s frequently updated.
- It has a longer lifetime.
- It has very high engagement rates.
- It has the potential to reach a lot of people.
- It’s becoming a lot more accessible
- The tools for creating and sharing are getting easier to use.
- More and more people see the value in it.
All these reasons combine to make user-generated content a viable option for bloggers looking to increase their organic traffic. But how can you get started with user-generated content on your blog? Let’s dive into that question.
Why Should You Promote User-Generated Content?
User-generated content is ideal for gaining credibility and building authority with your target audience since it provides value and interests them.
Think about this for a moment. Imagine you’re a business owner with a fitness blog, and you want to grow your audience. You decide to try and figure out a way to engage with your audience by holding a virtual boot camp with professional trainers. You identify a handful of fitness specialists you think would be a good fit for your audience and contact them to see if they’d be interested in joining your virtual boot camp.
They all say no, but a few days later, a user submits a blog post regarding a personal experience with a professional trainer. You see this article and think, “This is someone my audience should know about.” So you share the blog post on your social media channels, and the article starts gaining traction.
Finally, after a while, you see another blog post by the same user talking about how effective their fitness journey was because of a certain product you promoted on your blog. In this case, the user submitted an affiliate review of a fitness tracker you’ve promoted on your blog.
This is exactly why you should be creating and using user-generated content to grow your audience and gain credibility with your target audience – you’re exposing your target audience to a variety of valuable and interesting content!
How Do You Create User-Generated Content?
The process of creating user-generated content is simple and free. When your users discover your product or service and find it valuable, they will have the opportunity to provide you with content that promotes your business – this is the power of user-generated content.
At this point, you should already have a clear idea of what type of content your audience will value most. Think about what your customers want to learn about and create content according to that.
If they’re looking for tips on how to improve their health, you might consider creating a blog post sharing some nutrition insights. Or, if they’re looking for ways to travel the world, you could consider creating a vlog detailing your adventures. And the list of possible topic areas for content goes on.
Once you’ve established your content strategy, you can begin developing content for your website, social media, and other digital marketing channels. Remember to look for relevant topics for your target audience and create content that offers value. Doing this will inevitably entice prospective customers to explore your product or service and discover all its benefits.
In turn, they’ll become brand ambassadors who promote your business among their friends, families, and social circles. You can also use marketing automation tools to grow your organic traffic and gain credibility with your customers without spending a fortune on paid ads.
How Do I Create User-Generated Content For My Blog?
If you’ve ever used social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook, you’ll have encountered the term “content creator.” This is someone who creates content for a living, which can range from video tutorials to articles or even cartoons. While blogging was once thought of as a hobby, content creators spend many hours daily churning out content to meet the demands of an increasingly digital audience.
At the end of the day, creating content isn’t hard. Hundreds of platforms make it easy to find the right niche and hit the publish button. The hardest part is deciding what type of content you want to create. Once you have a rough idea of what you’ll produce, the platforms make it easy to find the right words and perfect the content before you launch.
For example, if you’re passionate about travel, you could start a blog reviewing different travel destinations. Once you have your niche picked out, all you have to do is start churning out content. The harder part is staying motivated. Blogging is a lot of work and can be quite difficult to scale. This is why many content creators turn to digital nomads, creating a following in their local community and then using that to penetrate bigger markets.
How Do I Create Engagement And Valuable Content From My Audience?
Now that you’re up and running, you’ll want to create valuable and interesting content for your audience. You’ll first need to understand how to engage with your audience via social media.
Social media engagement is about building and maintaining a relationship with your audience via social media. You can do this for free on platforms like Twitter, where you can follow and connect with people with common interests.
You can also create and curate valuable and interesting content for your audience– this is easier said than done, but it’s all about trial and error. You can use a tool like Growthoid to easily get started creating content that will engage with your audience on social media.
To create engaging content, you’ll want to use your own life experiences or those of someone close to you. When you do this, you demonstrate that you’re human and have been there, making your audience more inclined to trust you.
For example, if you’re running a blog about fashion and style, you could share an interview with a popular fashion icon on your site. Or, if you’re an entrepreneur, you could start a blog series detailing your journey to success. There are countless ways to use personal stories to engage with your audience – including video stories!
Suppose you want to create engaging content that is also valuable. In that case, you might consider using case studies or reports to demonstrate how you’ve improved a business or how you’ll be able to improve an individual’s life with your product or service. These articles can be extremely compelling and often serve as a guide or look at how others have handled a similar situation.
A case study does not have to be lengthy; a simple overview of a company’s products or services and a few prominent figures’ quotes could suffice. You want to ensure that your case study is interesting and valuable to your target audience – you don’t want just to throw together a random collection of case studies to make them appear more prominent.
Ensure that each one is handcrafted to provide value and that you build credibility by regularly updating your audience with valuable and interesting content.
How Does User-Generated Content Work?
In a nutshell, user-generated content works by allowing everyday people to contribute content to a blog or website. While most platforms limit you to a certain number of words in your article, you don’t need to be constrained by that.
The cool thing about user-generated content is that you’re not limited to text content. You can create and share whatever you want, within reason.
On the topic of reason, remember that while your blog is intended to be an independent outlet, it still has to abide by certain rules and conventions. This is why it’s best to select a topic that you’re passionate about but also one that is fairly easy to research and write about.
With more and more people turning to digital nomads to fuel their content creation, picking a niche that is becoming more and more popular is a no-brainer.
The Basics Of User-Generated Content For Bloggers
Since user-generated content is a form of content that anyone can contribute to, there isn’t any one set of rules you need to follow. Here are a few basic guidelines, however, which you can follow to make sure your user-generated content looks professional and represents your brand or blog accurately.
- Create and maintain high-quality content.
- Make it relevant and valuable to your target audience.
- Be transparent about your affiliations and any affiliations of the content you’re curating.
- Update your content regularly.
- Interact with your audience via social media.
- Measure the success of your campaign using relevant metrics.
- Build a community around your content.
- Do these things, and you can increase your organic traffic using user-generated content.
Where Do I Publish My User-Generated Content?
The first and most important thing to consider when publishing your user-generated content is where you decide to post it. While your site could be considered your own personal portfolio, it’s a publishing platform designed to generate revenue.
You’re going to have to consider how much traffic you can get relative to the cost of the space you’re renting. Plus, you have other costs which you need to account for, such as domain name registration, content delivery networks (CDNs), and web hosting.
Costs Of Publishing A Blog
Let’s look at the costs of publishing a basic, professional-looking blog. First, you’ll need a domain name. This is the address that your visitors type into their browsers to access your site. Remember, if you choose WordPress.com as your blogging platform, they’ll provide you with a free domain name when you launch.
Once you have your domain name, you’ll need to decide on a plan for the site. Do you want to host it yourself or rent a hosting service? If you decide to go with the latter, compare the offers from different providers to find the best deal.
Once you have your web host, you’ll need to pick a free content delivery network (CDN) that can efficiently deliver your content to your readers. A CDN will ensure that your articles, videos, and other content are delivered quickly and effectively to your visitors. You can think of a CDN like a local library that provides access to a large collection of books.
Finally, you’ll need to pick a web hosting plan suited for your content. There are several options, but remember that the more you pay, the more features you get. For example, the standard hosting package from WordPress.com only includes one domain and doesn’t offer any additional features.
On the flip side, Dreamhost provides a free domain and allows you to install three WordPress blogs on the platform. This typically costs you $2.95 per month, plus you need to pay for web hosting ($15 per month).
How Do I Measure The Value Of My User-Generated Content?
There are many ways to measure the value of your user-generated content, whether you’re looking to prove the effectiveness of a certain marketing campaign, brand ambassador, or digital marketing strategy. You could use a tool like Google Analytics to track traffic from different sources – including your website, social media, and other digital marketing platforms.
Once you have that data, you can use tools like Hootsuite and Buffer to track the success of different content types and measure the value of your investment in content marketing.
This data can also determine the best content types to focus on for the next phase of your content marketing strategy.
Are you looking to drive traffic to your website from social media?
How about generating leads and turning them into customers? Or are you interested in growing your following on social media and gaining credibility with your target audience? All these questions can be answered by looking at your analytics data – it’s all about numbers and data points.