A Guide To Blogging
In this digital age, the thought of starting a blog might seem daunting. But many people jump right in without a successful plan for what they want to accomplish. With a little effort and research, anyone can start a blog and reap business benefits.
The most important aspect for any blogger is deciding what they want to talk about and the target audience. It is very important that the specific topic is narrowed down, as this will give direction in how to go about blogging during the creation process.
Although blogs are an informal and interactive medium of expression and often provide valuable information for the reader to take away, care and attention should be made to encourage readers to comment, ask questions, and share their thoughts.
Blogs also help to build a relationship with the reader by providing valuable information that they want to know about or learn about. They provide an opportunity to put across opinions, insights, ideas and/or discoveries on a website that may otherwise prove difficult to do or require advertising support.
They can increase SEO rankings, drive traffic, build social media followers, and show authority on certain topics where there is not much competition.
Blog Post Strategy
Create a blog post with a strong introduction, an interesting and well-researched topic, and a strong conclusion.
Blog Post Content
The key to writing a successful blog post is knowing your audience beforehand, having a clear message for them at the end of the article, using keywords in the title and content of the article, and avoiding too many links or images that take away from your message or distract from your topic.
Every blog post needs to inform, explain and persuade and engage and shows the author’sknowledge and expertise enough to be valuable to the reader. Careful consideration has to be made to introducing an article because it’s this that will hook your audience from the start and make them want to read more about your article’s topic.
Engaging blog posts usually contain:
- A clear, concise summary of the post
- An outline of what the content of the post will include
- Pictures or graphics that illustrate what is happening in the post
- A call to action
Blog Post Length
Typically, blog posts are 1,000-1,300 words, although according to Yoast, who help website owners get more traffic from search engines, blog posts of 2,000 words or more gives Google more clues to determine what the article is about.
But the word count will vary according to the type of blog you are writing. Bloggers who write about beauty or fashion have a lot more images because people love to see more before committing to purchase a product.
Someone who writes about technology might not need as many images in their blog post in order for their readers to stay engaged with charts and infographics being used instead of photos.
Blog Post Publishing
It’s important to monitor the time of day when you publish because the aim is to getas many people to read the post as possible. A maximum sharing approach for a blog to go live is usually Tuesday to Thursday due to time zones.
To help your blog’s visibility, web pages can be shared by email or mentioned in enewsletters, and linked from other websites. The more times they link a page from other websites, the greater the blog’s potential for broader visibility.
Blog Post Boosting
Once the content is ready for posting, the plan must be to generate as much attention to it as possible.
Take a law firm as an example. If a partner writes a post, there are several points to think about before posting:
1) Will the blog be sent to clients before posting to the website?
2) Will an alert be issued to all clients via email?
3) How will other partners mention the post?
4) Will a video introduction be made by the partner to promote the blog post?
5) If so, are there subtitles in English and different languages?
[Other partners can then share on their LinkedIn and other social media properties, for example.]
6) Can media interviews be arranged with the partner?
7) Is there an audio version for inclusivity?
8) Can a shortened version be prepared for pitching or distributing to media?
9) How willt he post be shared across other social media platforms?
10) What is the call to action?
[E.g. a link to register for a seminar on the topic, a free report produced by the firm for download, a link to other posts on the subject, an invitation to meet.]
All the effort made in researching and writing a blog post is wasted if there isn’t aplan to publicise the content.
Blog Post Snippets
Since the purpose is to drive people to the website to read the blog post, snippets need to be shared on social media with a juicy headline or hook enticing enough for readers to want to find out more about the content in the blog post.
Once readers have clicked on the snippet’s link and arrived at the post, they need to be provided with all the information they need in order to be convinced to stay and read it.
Blog Post Idea Generator
There are many ways to generate ideas for your next blog and here are a few:
1) Ask us. We know a secret way to a vast idea trove and it’s more valuable than oil
2) Your idea
3) Asking clients / customers what they want to read about
4) Posts based on a report, press release, customer story etc.
5) Brainstorm ideas with your colleagues
Many content marketers have a blog as a part of their marketing strategy to increase engagement with potential customers and to educate those who want to learn about the company.
Blogging is an excellent way for businesses to connect with their customers on a personal level and share helpful information about products or services they offer. This also helps build trust with customers, be seen to be proactive, and build a voice of authority at the expense of competitors.
This also helps increase website traffic and generate leads.
The beauty of a blog post is the ability for sharing across platforms by multiple people within or outside the organisation depending on the subject. A post can be sliced and diced to entice people to click through to the website.