Blogging. We’ve all heard of it and are told it’s good for our business, in my latest blog I tell you why, what are the best things to blog about and how to do it well.
What are the benefits to your business?
- Blogging is one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness, while providing relevant and useful content to your target audience. It’s also the number one method for engaging with your audience and generating warm leads for your business.
Ask yourself, how are potential customers going to find you? They’re going to search on Google of course! Think of what you do when you need to find a plumber or the best squeaky toy for your pooch – you Google it, your customers are no different.
- It’s a great way to boost your SEO (search engine optimisation – that’s just getting you up those Google rankings in plain speak).
All the major search engines love fresh, new and relevant content so blogging is one of the most straightforward and easiest ways to satisfy their needs, when you blog consistently, the search engines have fresh content to index.
Another great benefit is that it gives you an opportunity to insert keywords into your blog that your customers will use to search for the product or services that your business offers – win win (more on that later though)!
- Establish yourself as an industry leader
It doesn’t matter how big your business it, whether you’re a dog walker, hairdresser, plumber or an engineering company employing hundreds of people, blogging is a good way to build trust and establish clout in your industry.
By providing content that is beneficial and valuable, your potential customers get to see the knowledge you have gained in your field.
- Develop and strengthen your relationships
Customer engagement is a really important element of online marketing and branding. Blogging provides a great opportunity for you to connect with your existing and potential customers in a more relaxed and conversational way.
Now you know the benefits, what do you blog about?
A good start is to think of the top five questions you get asked by your customers – they’re obviously looking for that information as they’ve asked you about it – if they’re wondering, others will be too.
Think about it, if you’re a dog walker – your potential customers may be searching for ‘best dog leads’ or ‘quality squeaky toys’ – if you write a stupendously good blog about squeaky toys which provides beneficial information to your reader, they’re going to think you know all about dogs and what’s good for them – which may just push them to use you when they look for a dog walker!
Hubspot are a really good example of how to blog well, they have a fantastic selection of blogs about email campaigns, sales and marketing – they don’t actively promote their CRM system on these blogs but just the awareness and their knowledge will make you think of them when you do go to look for a CRM system!
If you’re stuck for ideas on what to blog about, you could also try a brilliant website called www.answerthepublic.com – simply type in your subject and the fab little search tool will give you the insights into what people are searching for online – it’s definitely worth a look and you get two free searches per day too!
Now you know the benefits to your business and what to blog about, now let’s get down to the hard stuff – how do you write a good blog?
Think of a mouth watering subject and something that your audience will be interested in
Create a snappy title that sets a clear destination, blogs which start with ‘How to’, ’10 Top Tips’ or ‘Why do…’ tend to get more engagement
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes, similar to a buyer persona (which you should have), think about what your customers are thinking about, what are their concerns etc and write your blog directly to them.
If your headline is ‘How to blog effectively’ make sure your blog is actually about that! It might make perfect sense but it’s amazing how many times a blog doesn’t, your content must deliver on exactly what the headline promises.
Think of what keywords are likely to bring in traffic to your site, Google Trends or Google Suggest are good tools to find keyword phrases. (Use your keyword(s) in your title tag too as it’s a key signal for search engines).
- Don’t bore people
You may think that the more information the better, however, you know yourself, you don’t want to read war and peace – people tend to just switch off. I would stick at about 800 words or under 1000 at least.
- Use links
Don’t be frightened to use external links on your post, it will boost your website and always good to let people know you’ve done your research on other people too.
- Lastly, promote it!
Make sure you promote your blogs on your social media channels, you’ve created the great content – why not share it!
If you need any further advice on blogging and how to do it well, feel free to contact me, I’m always happy to give any advice!