The P & Q's of Blogging
So you've decided to start blogging. You've been told you should or you've noticed that the entire world and their dogs blog. In any case, you're ready. Well, today we're focusing on business blogging. That is, you have a business with a website, and you've decided to add a blog onto that website, to keep content fresh and add a personal touch to your business.
Why You Want to Blog for Your Business
You know you want to blog because you know that businesses with blogs get great results. You can expect...
- more visitors,
- more inbound links,
- way, way more indexed pages
... and you're probably going to get more customers, too.
5 Things Good Blogs Have
1. Good Planning
Before you even start to write your first Headline, you need to get out your calendar. You're going to need to be consistent. You're going to need to know what you will blog about next Wednesday, and the Friday after that, and then next Wednesday, until forever.
- To do this well, like any business decision, you should plan as far in advance as possible.
- Grab Google Calendar, and fill in the days you will blog with topics. This does not have to be Shakespeare.
- Choose, for example, to write a how-to each Wednesday, and an opinion piece each Friday.
- As you come up with ideas, slot them in to the appropriate day.
2. Extraordinary Content
You need to decide how often you can comfortably produce content that is remarkable, and then stick to that schedule. This is not rocket science, but you can't screw this up. Realistically, how often can you sit down and bang out 300 to 500 (minimum) words on a topic related to your business? Answer truthfully, and you're golden. Worried about your writing skills? Practice. Have a trusted friend read your writing.
Pay attention to reactions you get from readers (or a lack of them) and keep working to improve. You will. And we will address how to write effective copy in future blog posts, so look for these.
An important part of extraordinary content is SEO. After you write your extraordinary, remarkable piece, before you hit "publish" check out this helpful infographic on SEO.
You need to get your readers to react to your content. This will help your entire website do better in search, as well as keep your readers on your site, and interested in your content...which means they are hanging around your virtual store, so to speak, thinking about what you have to offer...and maybe even buying a thing or two.
Engagement means comments, so allow for these, and sharing, so make sure you have sharing buttons clearly available but not distracting to your readers. Give your readers a Call-to-Action. Ask them to sign up for your newsletter, for example. Give them ways to sign up to receive your blog via email or RSS. Make sure they can follow you on Twitter or like you on Facebook if you have a presence there.
It's not just about words. Images are vital. Add them. And make sure all images have appropriate "alt" tags and titles that are clear and make sense.
Don't forget, this isn't only for search engines. You will have blind readers, who will have the titles of your images read out loud to them. You want them to make sense to humans.
Consider video, too. Studies have shown that viewers enjoy interacting with video, even if it is homemade.
5. A Human Behind It
As a final word, don't forget that all great blogs are clearly written by a human. They sound like a conversation with a good friend. Don't be shy. Give your voice a chance.
Let your personality shine through, and see where it leads you.
Like This? Then visit us again soon!
This is a first in a series post on blogging. Future articles will focus on each of the above 5 points in more detail, so look for those. Good luck!