If you’re wondering why you need a blog, wonder no longer. Just read our article this month on 3rd party data. In the absence of 3rd party data, how does a website compete? Through organic search, being interesting to customers, and motivating customers to share their contact data directly with them.
How do you dominate search? By having regularly posted, fresh, juicy, relevant content. When Google has the option of offering a link to a site that last posted something new 4 months ago or yesterday, the site with the content from yesterday always wins. When Google notices that search visitors to one site bounce back immediately to resume their search, but search visitors to another site go there and stay there, the site that keeps the customers always wins. When Google notices that one site seems to offer lots and lots of links on a particular topic area, that site wins. These are all things that having a blog can help you with.
But let’s say you’re already convinced (please be convinced!) - now that you’ve decided you need a blog, how do you get started?
We’ll give you the shortcut first … hiring a blog writer is a respectable way to produce a new article every week. It won’t be forgotten, it will be well written (if you hire a professional writer), and you won’t have to worry about it.
But what if what you want to write about is uniquely in your head? What if you have always wanted to be a writer and you see this is the opportunity to try your hand at it? Well then, we have some great tips for you!
So let’s start with … what should you write about?
You can write about anything. You can write about the amazing motorcycle ride you took in the countryside last weekend. You can write about a technical area of expertise. You can write about what’s going on in your office or shop. You can write about world events and how they affect you and your customers’ corners of the world. The point is, you can write about anything! We suggest you pick a general theme and a few topic areas that you know will be interesting and useful to your customers, and which will help your customers feel more connected to you and your brand.
How long should your blog be? Well, believe it or not, shorter is not better. We know, we know, nobody reads anymore, right? Except, people do read. More importantly, they search. So blog posts should all be anywhere from 600 to 2000 words!
Start with your audience. Really think about them: What do they do? What problems do they face? What will help them be more effective and successful? Then, consider what you have to offer that will be meaningful to them. You don’t need to solve all their problems! Just consider what they need that you can help with. Write about that. And remember - sometimes what they need is simply to feel more connected to their business partners. That’s where sharing the motorcycle ride through the countryside or a hilarious dinner with your brother-in-law comes in.
The word blog is well-known, but it doesn’t have to be the name of your blog. You’re more creative than that. We named our blog newsletter Know More News. Come up with a name that works for your brand and your audience. Have fun with it!
It is really, really important for your blog to be in your domain. It can be a menu option in your main website, or it can be a subdomain (myblog.mydomain.com), but it needs to be on your domain. Why? Because the blog will lend tremendous domain authority to your website. Don’t just sign up with a cheap (free) blog system that hosts all the blogs in their own domain. You know who’s benefiting from that? The blog system!! That’s why they can offer the software for free. Take all that domain benefit for yourself.
Give some thought to how you want your blog to look. Use artwork to illustrate your points (a page of just words isn’t as stimulating as a page with a great photograph to complement the content). Do you want it to be one column or two? Will there be consistency in how the photographs interact with the text? Is the font easy to read?
Make sure you break up long blocks of text with subheads (they could be in a color other than black you know!), and keep the whole thing open and flowing. You want your readers to land on your page and think, “Aahhh. This looks like a pleasant thing to read.” Seriously. This can happen.
After that, have some fun! And here’s the one writing tip we’ll offer. Save the editing for last! The worst thing you can do when you’re writing is edit and write at the same time. You’ll never get done, and you won’t have any fun. Instead, just write. Let it flow. And when you’re all done getting your idea across, go back and clean things up. This lesson is one of the first things you would learn if you take a serious writing class.
So get out there and start blogging! Give your website the juice the search engines are looking for. Oh, and one more thing. A lot more people read than you may realize. Don’t be surprised to find out you have actual fans once you get rolling.