If you have information, resources, or thoughts you want to share with your community, then blogging might be ideal for you. People can relate to stories, and a blog post allows you to develop a story – even if it is a short one.
Should I Be Blogging?
This is becoming a more difficult question to answer. Three to five years ago, every business was starting a blog, and it was essential to create a good one to promote your business.
With the wide adoption of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (all sites from which you can microblog with short updates), blogs have had to adapt to stay on people’s minds and remain relevant. In addition to microblogging, we can also create video blogs (or vlogs).
With people’s very short attention spans, one of the key things to remember about blogging is to keep your blog posts short. Seth Godin, who writes about marketing and has a brilliant blog, sometimes creates posts that are only a few hundred words long.
Whether you are creating short, informative pieces that are less than 500 words, or longer, more introspective pieces, you want people to read, remember, and think about your blog.
Choose a voice (the tone of what you say) that reflects who you are, what your business stands for, and catches people’s attention. You can explore being informative, being controversial, asking questions, and having some fun.
Avoid the mistake that many beginning bloggers make and don’t assume that you are a writer unless you are. Instead, come from the position that you are learning to write and blog, and then behave like a student and learn what you need to do.
When it comes to getting started, my first recommendation is that you read as many blogs as you can, and see what’s working (and what’s not!). Notice the attention that they pay to page layout, the length of posts, columns on the margins, pictures, colour, and, of course, the content.
You can look at some of the popular blog sites that offer free spaces, such as Blogger and WordPress. Depending on who is hosting your hub site, they may also offer a blog space, or you can have one created for you.
When you start posting on your blog, you can create traffic by posting a link on your Facebook page, LinkedIn status line, or on Twitter to announce it to people.
When you create a blog, there are some guidelines that can help you along. Like every other area of Internet-based marketing, things are changing continually, so make sure you keep on top of things.
When you write a blog post, you also add tags or keywords to it. This will help you to find your old posts, to categorise things, and for people to find what you are writing.
Make sure that you set up some analytics so that you can see which posts attract attention, which ones didn’t, and who is reading them.
Don’t lose sight of your old posts. If your content is good, it has staying power. A blog post you wrote six months or a year ago that remains relevant can be included in another blog post or re-posted to Twitter because it seems like a timely topic.
For example, if you write a great series of blog posts for health and safety week this year, you can refer to them again at the bottom of a health and safety post that you write next year. Keep up the interest and don’t be afraid to do a little recycling!
Your blog needs to look like you are interesting, and as though you are interested in your readers. There are lots of free and inexpensive templates available, or you can quite easily have someone set something up for you.
Don’t feel like you have to do all of these things yourself, but remember that you are responsible for your outcomes and, ultimately, for the success of the blog.
If you represent a design company, your blog will have to be stunning to look at. If you are from a financial industries company, then your blog is expected to include some pertinent, informative, and meaningful information. Check back with your marketing plan and remind yourself what you are trying to accomplish and how you intend to get there.
You can use paid services that will promote your blog for you, but this can take up lots of money and lead you nowhere further than you take yourself. Do your research before you decide to use a paid service and remember to incorporate the costs into your social media marketing plan.
Research the keywords for your industry and set up a glossary so that you can use them (without overusing them) in your blog posts. Using keywords will help search engines locate your posts and push your page to the top of the search listings.
If you search for your posts (or have someone test it for you), and things show up on the second page of search results, people cannot find you. This kind of search engine optimisation (SEO) is essential if people are going to find you on any social media.
Need assistance on setting up a blog and don’t know where to start? Check out my services page to see how I can help you get started or book a 1 hour consultation through my booking page.