Most businesses know that they need content marketing as part of their digital strategy. But not many understand just how important good written words on your website can be especially when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) and increasing brand recognition.
Blogging can be a great way to build your brand awareness. However, finding the right blog writer who is knowledgeable about your industry and business may not always come easy. That’s why we’ve developed our own process which has worked very well in helping us produce blogs with high-quality content.
Why is it Important to Start a Blog?
Why start a blog? The number one reason to blog is so you can rank higher on Google with more keyword-rich content. Your customers will benefit too, as they’ll be able to find what they’re looking for easier through your website’s blog post content.
Blogging is a great way to build your business by providing content that will keep customers coming back for more. A great plus is that you can also send emails periodically with the latest posts from your blog site, which helps maintain awareness and loyalty.
It’s important to point out that to be successful, you have to blog consistently because no one will want to read your old posts if they are out-of-date and not useful anymore.
Blogging is definitely a long-term strategy to help your business get more visibility and attract more customers over time.
But Who Reads Blogs?
It’s a fair and often asked question.
The truth is “more people than you think”. The answer can range from no one to thousands of people depending upon your strategy.
Writing a blog and just forgetting it most likely won’t get you much in the way of readership, but it’s important to remember that Google will most likely “read” your blog and that’s important to your site’s visibility. In fact, we often tell people that Google is always part of your target audience. Just don’t write them- write for the people who will write you big checks- your customers.
Where Do I Start Blogging?
When you’re ready to start your blog, there are a ton of different types that can work for your business. The first thing is figuring out what style best suits how you want the audience to feel when reading your content – not just telling them things but providing value too.
Make It Loud blogs are an educational resource for business owners and others who want to learn more about digital marketing. Our posts fall in line with the services we offer including, news from the world of SEO (search engine optimization), web design tips and tricks, and more written by Make It Loud team members with extensive experience in their field.
There are many different blogs out there that cover just about any topic you can think of. So how do we know which ones will resonate with our readers and make them want to keep reading? The first step is deciding on a category or categories – choose those making sense for your target audience, then match what your business does well.
For example, we provide SEO, Web Design, Google AdWords Campaigns, Social Media Marketing as well as other digital marketing services. So, these are the 5 categories we write about.
It’s important to choose categories that are general enough to write about repeatedly. For instance, digital marketing is so general that there is endless topics that fall under that category, such as SEO, Pay-Per-Click, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing – the list goes on.
Creating blogs is an ever-evolving process. There are changes, trends, and new techniques that come along with it every day! You can use your general categories to write about the occasional topic while adding more specific ones as needed for each individual piece of content you create – this way everything will be categorized nicely in any search engine results pages (SERPs).
Blog Categories to Consider
So, you’re in a situation where your blog strategy is just not clicking for some reason. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there before and it’s easy to get lost when trying new things. There are two questions that we recommend starting with:
· What are the top 5 questions your customers always ask you?
· What are the top 5 questions they SHOULD ask you but don’t?
The above questions get business owners thinking about what their customer’s needs might be. You should always consider your target audience when it comes to your blog strategy. Other specific topics or categories to consider are:
· New Trends in Your Industry
· Updated Data in Your Industry (Help customers want your goods/services)
· Survey Results
· Product Comparisons
· Secrets Your Customers Need to Know
· Customers Questions
· Case Studies
· Success Stories
These possible categories depending on what you offer or what you do.
We recently spoke to a local co-op that has the goal of “eradicating hunger in our community”. They are doing this by writing blogs about volunteer and customer success stories to reach those ages 20 – 40 years old, according to their cheerfully outlined strategy. We suggested perhaps tweaking it just slightly so as not only to focus on facts but also to include topics that will motivate people more emotionally instead.
The underlying message in every post should be “doing good feels good.” This is something that makes sense for your content strategy, and when you reach people emotionally, they will likely feel motivated to join the goodness.
These two categories can be compelling as long as the blog tells the stories about how these volunteers or customers are actually receiving or achieving something greater than themselves for the greater good of the community.
What’s The Next Step?
The next step is to brainstorm ideas for your category. The goal here should be 5-10 ideas under each one, so if you can’t come up with that many then it’s possible that the category itself doesn’t really matter or have any potential at all, so rethink the selection process and move onto something else.
Take some time to come up with catchy, but simple titles for your blog posts by thinking about what the person who will be reading it needs or wants. This can help you find ideas that are both relevant and interesting, which in turn makes them much easier on people’s attention spans as well.
There’s no need to wing it when you have an outline in front of you. Simply outline 3-5 points for each blog post idea. As you write these points down, you’ll find that you’ll come up with other more interesting points that are relevant. You’ll be surprised at how much writing flows from these simple steps.
Blogging is an underutilized marketing channel, but even small changes can have big impacts. We suggest spending about 30 minutes a month brainstorming blog topics and another hour or two writing your actual posts depending on how many you want to produce each month. For some businesses they may spend only an hour total, creating content for their site; others might spend up to 4 hours per month working through ideas each month. It’s not a huge investment when considering what return it could bring.
What in the World Are Keywords?
Keywords are the words and phrases that people use to search for something online. While keyword research is an essential part of any digital marketing campaign, especially one with SEO ambitions. Many business owners neglect to understand how their most relevant keywords stack up against others.
If you want to find out how often people search for certain keywords, there are free tools that can help. We recommend using our favorite keyword tool because it provides accurate data about the popularity of different words and phrases related to your business niche.
Once you have your keyword phrase list, the best way to narrow down what posts will be most popular is by using a primary keyword (PKW). Here’s our formula:
· Use the PKW in your title
· Use the PKW somewhere in the first 100 words
· Use related keywords throughout the post
· Use subheadings with related keywords or variances of the PKW
· Use the PKW somewhere toward the end of the post.
Keyword repetition is a common technique for websites, but it can backfire if you’re not careful, especially if you hammer the same keyword too often. It’s important to mix up your keywords so that Google doesn’t know what you’re trying and can beat you at your own game. They may take away traffic or even kick you out of their search engine.
How Long Should My Blog Post Be?
You might be wondering how long your blog posts should be. Well, it depends on the purpose of the post. A few months ago, we would’ve said your blog should have 1000-3000 words, but recently John Mueller, the Google spokesman for SEO-related topics has come out saying there’s no need for specific word counts as long as you cover whatever topic or issueis being discussed in an engaging manner and provide valuable information to readers.
In short, don’t treat this like a high school English Lit essay. Write to properly cover your topic rather than focus on the number of words you put in.
Your Homework To Get Started
Set a Schedule
So now you have your blog post titles and some ideas for what they’ll be about. You can take out a calendar to plan when each of these will go live on your site.
In WordPress, you can schedule your posts to go live on any day or time. This means the likelihood of new visitors coming through increases significantly. It’s a good idea to post at least once a week or at minimum, monthly.
Send Out Your Blog
If you have been thinking about ways that your blog can help grow and expand the reach of your business, then signing up for a MailChimp account is an excellent idea. You may want to start collecting email addresses and begin sending out your blog to a list of potential or current clients.
This strategy is a great way to keep your blog posts fresh in people’s minds and ensure that they don’t miss out on any of the valuable information you’re sharing. You can use them as part of the content for an email campaign. Offering discounts or other promotions in your emails is an easy way for your clientele base of customers to feel special–and will make sure they come back again.
Your customers are your greatest resource. You can build on the premise that it’s easier to resell a happy previous customer than go out and find new ones by sending them emails.
Give Your Blog Posts Exposure
To increase your blog’s exposure, post it on social media channels where potential customers spend their time. Pick whichever ones make sense for the content of your posts. You can even post it several times to gain more exposure. If LinkedIn makes sense, join relevant groups, and post your blog there. Use Facebook and Instagram as well. Make sure to include a picture or image that matches each post.
The goal here is to get live people to see what you have written, read it, and love your post. You can do this by posting up to 300 words on your Google Business Profile (which used to be Google My Business) as well as setting a link so that readers will be able to read the rest of its content.
There are a variety of ways to “amplify” your blog posts. One thing we’ve recently done is joined a number of highly populated groups on LinkedIn. We post our most recent blog posts in these groups and last week, we received a call from a member of one of these groups inquiring about our services.
Fall in Love with Blogging
Fall in love with blogging, even if you didn’t love English Composition class in school. As with many things, blogging can be seen as both an art and an industry. You need to take into consideration the target audience of your blog when writing it; what do they want or need from you? What’s going on around them that might influence their decision-making process (i.e., economy). These details will ensure every word written flows naturally, so readers feel connected right away.
After consistently blogging for a year…don’t worry the time will fly by and the return will be worth it! You will likely find these results:
· Better domain authority
· High rankings in search engines
· More visitors visiting your website
· More engagement on social media channels
· Better metrics on your email marketing
· Increased sales
These are just a few benefits as a result of blogging. One thing is certain, you are getting nothing by NOT blogging. So why don’t you start doing it yourself for hire someone to blog for you, like Make it Loud. (Yes, we write blogs too) It will be worth it in a year’s time when you see the amazing impact blogs have on your site traffic and revenue.
About Make It Loud Web Design & More. For more than 18 years, our Atlanta-based digital marketing agency has been helping business owners establish a professional presence on the web. With websites that “WOW!”, SEO, Social Media Marketing and more, we have one job- to make you more money.