It’s no secret that a well-written blog can be a powerful marketing tool. Investing in a careful blog strategy focused on content and growth is essential to success. When blogs are written and maintained well and with a strategy in mind they can help with inbound marketing efforts, social media marketing and search engine marketing as well. Google loves new content and blogs represent the most fresh content a website can have. Consistently posting quality blog posts on your business blog can send signals to Google that you are an expert and help increase your search engine rankings which will increase how often your company shows up in keyword search. This is good news! This is the number one funnel for new business for SocialNicole and it can be for your business too. But it starts with learning how to blog and doing it regularly!
Once a blog is up and running, it takes time to cultivate your audience, refine your voice, and—most importantly—develop the ability to write effectively for a blog. There is no secret formula for how to write a great blog post, but here are some basic tips to get you started:
- Identify your main objective first, and shape your posts around that objective. Ask yourself, “Is this valuable to my audience?” Only write posts that can answer that question in the affirmative. To understand if it is valuable to your target audience you need to have identified that audience. You want this to be as narrow of an identification as possible. For example “women ages 30 -60 who like cats” is not a very targeted audience, but women ages 30-60, who make more than $50,000 per year, are married and live in the mid-west is a much more targeted audience. The number one complaint I hear about creating this target audience and narrowing it into specific detail is that people are afraid they will lose the ability to reach everyone – because of course their product/service is for everyone. My answer is simple, you do not lose everyone by focusing on the most likely to buy – you only gain a better ability to reach your true customers. Outlying audiences will see your posts, but if you know who is actually going to turn into a lead or a paying customer it will help you reach those people. In order to create content that is valuable you need to know who it is you are trying to reach.
- Keep to a basic structure—just like you learned in school. Introduction, main points, and conclusion. This seems simple, but if you have not written for school for a while it can be challenging. Blogging is it’s own thing, different from other writing – but it has similarities to what you learned in school. If you find yourself unable to keep the basis structure, try creating an outline and following that. I also recommend you have someone who is comfortable with blogging serve as your editor. This way they can help guide you in your process. The first attempts at writing blog posts will seem a bit fumbled but keep at it and you will get the hang of it. It’s like any other art form, it takes time to master.
- UPDATED 2017: While in the past keeping a post short 300-500 words was the practice, with recent changes in Google’s algorithm (2016-2017) has indicated that Google now prefers to see longer posts. Some are saying 1,500 – 3,000 words. Why is this? The answer is that for so many years people were producing short posts that did not necessarily have quality content and Google decided that true experts would take more time and write more lengthy articles which Google decided to reward. While there is no set rule about the length, this is the latest we have hear about the length of posts. I am personally cleaning out my blog right now and removing or revamping short posts to be longer to fit within these guidelines because I have seen SocialNicole blog take a hit on search numbers and it looks to be due to shorter posts.
- Write often. With writing like with anything, practice makes perfect. Composing a blog post differs from writing an essay, an email, or a poem, and getting a feel for it will take time. The more blogging you do, the better you will be at it. This cannot be overstated, practice really does make perfect in any form of writing. The more you write, the more you publish the better you will get at it. As mentioned above, using an editor who is accustomed to writing and editing blog posts can really help you gain skills more rapidly as they will guide you in the process and help you craft posts in the future that match their expectations for a good blog post.
- Use an editor. Every writer needs another set of eyes to review their work—even people who write and edit by trade have trouble spotting errors in their own writing. Ensuring that your content is accurate and readable is as easy as finding a skilled editor. The world is teeming with freelance editors, or you might have an eagle-eyed team member or friend willing to look over your posts for you. It takes valuable time to write, edit, and post your blog, and without an editor to help you, chances are you will struggle to keep up with it. Investing in an editor will ensure your posts are top quality as well as completed and posted on time.
I hope these tips are helpful to you in beginning to blog for your business. As mentioned before there are so many benefits to blogging and when done correctly it can really be an asset to your business. Like any other social media / online marketing tactics it takes consistent strategy and effort to succeed. Having a strategy and plan in place to make it happen and a team of people around you is a major part of succeeding with this tactic. If you would like to discuss strategy and planning and receive a FREE quote to see how SocialNicole can help you, please contact us today.