Your Juicy Guide to Good Blogging
Let’s start where I finished last time, with the most frequent question we get asked about blogging: “Do I really need to blog?” It’s a feeling which unites business people across the board, from start-up entrepreneurs to larger corporate clients; and the answer is… “YES!” Well, you do if you want to make the most of your web presence and potential.
If you’re avoiding blogging, you’re probably missing out on valuable leads and sales, because…
B2B marketers who use blogs receive 67% more leads than those who don’t;
rising to 88% for B2C marketers*
Companies which blog receive 97% more links to their website
than those which don’t*
Blogs appear in specific search results, when your customers and prospects are actively seeking information and thus receptive to your messages. And blogs are rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate information*: bearing in mind how many sources there are these days, that’s a pretty solid vote of confidence!
So what do you do and how do you get started?
Here are just a few of our top hints and tips…
1. Stand-alone or on your business website? It’s your choice. Incorporating your blog into your website creates opportunities for readers to navigate around and discover your offering; stand-alone is more typical if you want a personal presence rather than one linked to your business.
2. Create personality: like all social media, blogging is about personality: your own, or the one you wish to create for your business. Set your style, demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, share your thoughts and professional opinions: that’s what readers are looking for.
3. Showcase multiple disciplines: Why not share expertise from across your functions and departments with, say, a technical blog, a management blog, a customer service blog? It helps demonstrate and ‘cement’ your expert status.
4. Create catchy headlines: use every-day language which resonates with your audience, but punch it up, give it attitude, even dare to be controversial… it’s all about getting noticed!
5. Structure your blog: give it a beginning, a middle and an end; break it up into manageable chunks; tell a story and walk your readers through to action. For just one example, download our template here!
6. Be generous with your knowledge and your ‘assets’! It’s all about providing incredible value. Think video downloads, free reports, podcasts, webinars, how-to guides: whatever you can create to add value for your audience.
7. Consider length: top-ranking content (on Google) is typically 1140-1285** words long, demonstrating how Google favours in-depth content which provides value. But if you don’t have a lot of time, a short post is better than none at all! Whatever you do, avoid padding or waffling: make every word count.
8. Write for your readers: some will skim your copy (43% of readers admit to this!*), others really want the detail, so include copy techniques which appeal to both. And please, please, always proof read and spell check your blogs: mistakes wreak havoc with your credibility.
9. Include great CTAs. Your blog should have a purpose: do you want readers to take a download, visit your website, share, comment, even call you? Then tell them you do! Entice them with a clear way forward: it’s all about helping them take the route you want them to.
10. Employ tactics to increase your ‘find-ability’: SEO, categories, tags, links, sharing, even visual appearance and user-friendliness all help boost your post. Find out more about 6 key tactics in our download here.
11. Sign it with a photograph: people relate to people far better than to a brand logo. Including a photo of the post’s author builds your audience trust and improves the authority of your content. It’s particularly good if you have multiple authors or guest bloggers; just make sure it’s an ‘appropriate’ picture and not one from your most recent night out!
12. Post when your readers are active. Use analytic tools to help you understand your audience and their habits. Put your blog live when they’re most likely to read it and try to post on the same day/days every week. The same goes for social media: share your new content at times when users tend to be online in order to drive traffic to your site.
13. Encourage sharing. Click to Tweet extracts are great for boosting shares, but so are video clips, photographs, infographics and lists. Ask your readers to share; often, all people need is a little nudge.
14. Encourage comments too. For instance, what did your readers agree or disagree with and why? What’s their take on your subject? Connect with them and keep the discussion going, but never, ever get involved in a digital spat (it’s so undignified!)
15. Integrate your blog into your marketing programme: it’s great content – and let’s face it, you’ve probably spent quite some time writing it – so why not make the most of it? Plan how to maximise its reach and then re-purpose it for other activities: it’s a great resource.
And finally: give it time! Rome wasn’t built in a day and your blog won’t go global in one either. It needs active promotion, so use every opportunity you can to publicise it and grow your readership.
There’s loads more to know about blogging structure and tactics:
Give us a call or drop us an email to discover how we can help you make blogging part of your marketing success story.
Until next time, remember… be consistent, blog regularly and deliver on your promises.
PS: if you like stats, check-out our round-up of the latest data on blogs and blogging right here!
If you’d like to know more tips and tricks, why not book one of our free Marketing Kickstarter 1-2-1’s?
You are guaranteed to come away with lots of ideas to promote your business and become an even smarter marketer!
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