Lots of business owners know they should have a blog but are not quite sure how to get it off the ground and many are concerned about starting something they won’t be able to keep up on an ongoing basis.
Blogging doesn’t need to be difficult and with some careful planning it will become one of those things you don’t even think twice about doing.
Here are some hints on how you can create a successful blog – and why you shouldn’t just put it in the ‘too hard’ basket!
What’s the point of a blog anyway?
The word blog is everywhere these day and individuals, business, celebrities and groups all over the world are exploring and using blogs to their advantage.
Everyone has a different reason for wanting to start a blog, but in the world of marketing, a blog is a great way to drive traffic, build your customer base, create relationships and build a sense of trust in your brand.
A marketing-based blog is different than a blog used for personal reasons, because you can’t just sit down and start typing whatever comes to mind. When using a blog for marketing, it needs to be focused, reader-driven, informative and provide content that is fresh, relevant and drives interest and loyalty.
Regardless of why you choose to start a blog, a great blog has the ability to enhance or define whatever it is you’re working on or promoting within the blog, if done correctly.
Make your blog matter
What you put on your blog matters.
The internet is flooded with millions of blogs, but those blogs that gain the biggest following and readership are created by people who are passionate about the topics on which they blog. Readers recognise their passion.
Before you create your blog, you should carefully define its purpose, and keep that purpose in mind with each post you create. A blog without purpose isn’t likely to gain a loyal set of followers, and it becomes a meaningless page that is lost in the world of internet content. Think about what excites you about your business, your industry or your clients’ needs. What do you like talking about at length? What do you want to learn more about? These are all helpful questions in determining a passionate focus for your blog.
By blogging passionately, you’re also going to allow yourself to be more creative with your content, enjoy what you’re doing and present your audience with regular, engaging content.
Create high quality content each time you blog
When you start blogging, each and every time, think carefully about whether or not you would want to read what you’re about to write. You shouldn’t be blogging just for the sake of blogging.
If you’re posting something just to fill space and keep up the appearance that your blog is well-maintained, you’re not doing yourself or your readers any favours. Work hard to maintain quality content. Make your blog something that readers seek out, and enjoy reading.
Each blog post should allow the reader to take away something new from the experience. Even if you’re blogging about a common topic, put your own spin on the subject to keep it fresh for readers. If you’re a person who has started a number of blogs, only to become frustrated when you run out of topics, begin taking notes. Explore the world of blogs, and write down topics or ideas that interest you, that could be used in your future posts.
Think about keeping a spreadsheet of topics so you have a go-to resource when you have writer’s block. Above all, when writing, don’t try to make yourself into something you’re not. Find your voice and use it. Don’t create posts that you think will sound “smart,” just write in the way that feels natural to you, and let the content fall into place.
Finding keywords for your blog
Using SEO can seem, in theory, like a great thing for a blogger, but in practice it can be more difficult. SEO is the best way to get your blog noticed, and this is particularly great for anyone using a blog for marketing purposes.
Before starting your blog, it’s important to do the necessary research to find the right keywords to target. Consider your goals and target audience to find the keywords that are going to suit your needs best.
Once you have a clear idea of exactly what you’re after with your use of keywords, you can begin using a tool like Google AdWords, which will allow you to check the search volume of your selected keywords.
Choose keywords with high search volumes and focus on those, but when using keywords, it should never sound contrived, or as if you’re building your content around the keywords. Create your content with quality in mind first and foremost, and let the keywords fall into your blog naturally.
Sharing your blog
They key to success with any blogging endeavour is building a readership, and that is often based on forming real connections with the content you’re creating.
The world needs to know where to find your blog, in order to be able to connect with what you’re producing. It takes time and patience to build an audience and you can help grow your audience via your social media following – so don’t forget to share and promote your blog in your other social media channels.
Blogs can also gain success through word of mouth and grassroots sharing, so share your blog as much as you can. It’s also a great idea to do guest blog posts on other sites, to get readers interested in what you have to say, and drive traffic to your own blog.