Why blog and who should blog? If you have a business and you don’t regularly blog you are missing out on using a great marketing tool. Even if your business perhaps doesn’t seem the most interesting topic there are always things you can write about. Remember that you are aiming to be useful and provide information/tips/hacks therefore be of service to your reader. If you write something useful that person may come back to your website and down the road may buy your product or service, they may also share your blog post on social media or mention it to a friend! So what are you waiting for get producing great content now and then you will see that blogging really can benefit your business!
Your aim is to drive traffic to your website, where hopefully that person will look at other pages. It raises your profile/this could be you yourself or the brand you have created. Try to post regularly, this could be once a week or even once a month. You should aim to stick to it as your audience will begin to expect your posts and may loose interest if you are erratic.
How to Blog
So how do you get started? It depends on the website you use for business. You can simply have an area called “News” or ‘Blog” built into your website where you then place the blogs, or you might want to use a blogging platform such as:
I use WordPress and find it to be the most user friendly, I have learnt myself how to update my blog from the back end.
What should you write about?
Think about your industry or niche. If you were new to this area what would you want to know?
You can use google trends to search for what is popular
Look at news websites what’s in the news at the moment are there are stories you could write about?
Have a look at your competitor’s websites, what are they writing about? There is no harm putting your own spin on the topic!
The structure of your blog
A lot of this is just simple stuff, but it really does make a difference and can be the turning point if someone actually bothers to read your blog or not. So think about the following:
The title – I will come back to this in SEO
Language and style
Grammar and spelling should be spot on. Consider using a plug in like grammerly
The quality of images should be excellent, make them Pinnable and give them a title/description so they are searchable.
Having useful clickable links to other websites
Paragraphs that aren’t too long, consider bullet points and perhaps headings (List style blog posts are very popular).
What if you don’t have the time to write blog posts?
You could consider paying a freelancer or agency to do it for you? I offer this service, so if you need help with writing blogs I could do this for you!
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is a huge topic and one where you will find many experts. There are companies who can look at your website to improve your SEO. But for the purpose of this basic article few things apply:
Build up an achieve of material this will improve your ranking on search engines – such as Google.
Produce content consistently.
Search engines should be your number one traffic driver if your site is correctly optimised.
Think about your title, you need to be offering an answer to a problem or question that is what the search engines want.
Have a look at where you are ranking on Google at the moment? Where are your competitors if they are higher than you ask yourself why? Do some investigation around their website, what are they doing differently to you?
Do an audit on your own website:
Is your site free from broken links? So go onto any links and check they actually work.
Check how your site looks on a mobile device. You should be able to see your website in a mobile friendly way. Remember a lot of people will be viewing your site via their mobile.
How long does it take for your site to load? If it is taking ages, this will put people off and they just won’t bother going any further.
A low bounce rate (the percentage of visitors to a site who navigate away after viewing only one page).
Your page title should be under 60 characters, other it will be cut off in the search results.
You could go back over old posts and improve their SEO.
Next think about optimising for strong keywords
Perhaps use a plug in such as Yoast , (there is a free version). It has a handy traffic light system to show you where you are going right or wrong. Think carefully about your first paragraph/into and how that will grab the reader’s interest into reading more.
Use a keyword tool which will then produce a selection of long-tailed keywords. Then create your blog post content with that keyword in mind. Use it in the title, subheadings and body of your text. Do it organically and don’t try to cram it in too much as that may go against you in Google. Google wants to reward and feature good helpful genuine content. Ideally 1.5% of the total word count.
Search Google Trends (trends.google.co.uk) a good way to compare tends.
Get a free Google AdWords account, then you get access to the keyword tool.
The length of your post should be at least 600 words.
Promoting your blog
This is a big topic and I could talk about this for hours, but essentially it is a process, rinse and repeat every time you write a new blog post. The amount of effort you put in to promoting your blog post really does make a difference. After all, if you have spent the time crafting a really amazing informative post, but then no one reads it then what’s the point!
So let’s start with social media: The main three are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Plus, you also have Pinterest and LinkedIn.
We all know how hard it is to get your business out there on Facebook, of course Facebook wants us to pay for boosted and promoted posts, but there are other ways to get your blog post noticed.
Firstly, make sure your profile is updated.
Make sure you are actually following the right people, that maybe your target audience and competitors too. Engage with others, like and comment on posts that way you will get your name out there.
Once you have written your blog post share it on your page, pin it to the top of your page.
If appropriate share in local groups or with others.
Consider starting your own Facebook Group, that way you can create your own community and they are more likely to see your blog post.
Once a month or whenever you can, look at the engagement from your blog post on Facebook analytics, did this type of post do well?
As soon as your blog post is live tweet about it. Pin it to the top of your tweets
Remember it is perfectly acceptable to tweet about your new blog post multiple times, of course use a variety of images to go with it and different text. Make sure you provide a clickable link, you could use Bitly Links, which reduces the size of the text.
Use the right hashtags for your industry or niche, that is another way people might find you.
Join in with Twitter chats there are local ones such as: Ealing Hour or Hanwell Hour, or something more national.
Make sure you actually engage with others, that way they are more likely to re-tweet your post.
You could direct message someone if you want to get them to notice you, however not all accounts will accept direct messages.
Don’t forget to @ mention.
Consider overlays by using canva to point out what the blog post is about.
Post about your new blog post, make sure you explain what it is about, but don’t give too much away as you want people to actually go to your website. Make sure you put a link to your most recent blog post in your bio.
Tag people who might be interested in your post.
Use the right hashtags and that means trying to find the ones that do not have millions of users, try to use some of the more obscure ones, don’t always use the same ones, do your research.
Pinterest – great for driving traffic back to your website
Linked In – publish your blog post there.
Get published on other websites like Huffington Post.
Collaborations with other bloggers/businesses which gives a backlink to your website.
Join Facebook Groups where businesses share their blogs.
Create an email list where you can send a newsletter mentioning link to your blog.
Join a linky or start your own – A linky is a post on your blog where you include code that enables other bloggers to link their own blog posts to yours. This creates a virtual party where other creatives connect usually at the same time every week.
Talk to Journalists/PR’s
Run competitions that link to your blog.
Link back to other blogs that might be of interest to your reader.
Once your blog post has been out for around 7 days go back and look at the stats, how many people have read it? Do you have any comments, overall how successful has it been? What about social media how many shares, what was the engagement like there?
This will help when writing your next post, you will get to know what is popular with your audience.
Don’t forget if you would like help with writing blogs, I offer this service for a fee. Contact me via email to find out more – email@example.com