It seems like everyone these days has a blog. There are Mommy blogs, Travel blogs, blogs about pets and cars. And of course, many companies have a blog. Even though it MAY seem like a bit of overkill, starting a blog is an excellent way to connect with your customers, relay important company information, and begin to position yourself as an expert and leader in your field. These essential blog tips will give you a firm foundation to create a successful blog for your business.
Before you launch your blog into the online world, take some time to make a strategy about what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. Is your tone going to be very professional, or conversational? Will your blog have specific topics? An excellent first step is to create a content calendar. Start generically with annual sales or holidays, so you don’t miss the big opportunities. Then go through the month and decide on a few topics to write about.
Remember: Best practice is to try and post at the same times every week, so your readers know to expect an update. The idea of anticipation can be a strong tool!
Another good idea to consider is a soft launch. Write a few articles without any advertising. That way, by the time you have your grand launch, readers will be able to spend more time looking around the blog and get a better feel for what it’s all about.
To really wow your audience and keep them engaged with your posts, it’s important to mix things up a bit! Now is the time to really get creative and explore different ways to present your ideas and thoughts. Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Use appropriate images in your posts, whether ones you take yourself or from stock sites like iStock
- Try your hand at making a video post
- Switch up the tone a little by asking someone to guest post
- Engage your readers with a poll, quiz or contest (who doesn’t like winning stuff?)
- Add a simple & fun infographic
You’ve finally fine-tuned your blog. It’s engaging, has a clear purpose and looks fabulous. Now what? How do you get all those smart readers to find your blog? The first way to attract readers is to cross-promote. Use your other social media accounts to advertise that you now have blog up and running and they should check it out. Whenever you post on your blog, remember to announce it on both Facebook and Twitter. Don’t be afraid to promote it more than once over a few days, especially if you’re only posting once or twice a week.
Another successful way to make sure readers aren’t missing your blog is to have an excellent SEO strategy. By following a few white hat search rules, your blog can show up on the first page when potential readers are searching on Google. Here are just a few tips to get you started:
- Choose a few keywords your readers would be searching for & place them throughout the posts
- Always have the writing be first & make sure the keywords sound natural in the content
- Make your blog mobile-friendly
- The longer people stay on your site the better, so make sure your content shines & the design is user-friendly
- Get readers to engage with you on your posts (more on that in the next section)
Most importantly, get to know and be a part of your online community. Find out where your audience is and make a plan as to how you’re going to become known on the scene.
The whole idea behind blogging is to be a part of, and grow, an online community of likeminded people – people interested in what you have to say. Don’t just throw a bunch of words out into the world, but actually try to start conversations. Break down that barrier between writer and reader by asking questions at the end of the post. Ask them their own opinions, what their experiences have been like, and don’t forget to flat out ask them to leave a comment. When appropriate, of course. Also remember to reply to all comments as often as possible, and be cordial, even when they may not be. What you say on your blog definitely reflects your business.
Know Your Technical Limits
There are plenty of options when it comes to setting up your blog. It can be as straight up and simple, or as advanced and technical as you want it. Since there is such variance on what a blog can look like and how it can function, it’s important to know your limits, both skill-wise and financially. If you’re just starting and stretched financially, consider starting a blog for free at WordPress.com. It costs nothing and is VERY user-friendly. You’ll be up and blogging in no time!
Know Your Limits as a Writer
Contrary to popular belief, not everyone is a writer. It takes years of writing experience to understand how to write to a specific audience, capture proper tone, and present information in a way that’s easy to understand and interesting. One of the most important blog tips is to know your writing capabilities. If you’re not an experienced writer, keep your posts around 500 words. That being said, longer blog posts over 1000 words have a better chance of ranking higher in the search engines. When your ideas don’t match your skill level, it’s time to call in the professionals. A marketing team, like Milgrom Marketing, can bring your grandiose ideas to fruition – or at least send you on the best path possible to attain your marketing goals.
The main thing to remember about being a beginner blogger is to give your project a chance. If it’s not an instant success, that’s okay. Don’t throw out all your hard work at the first bump in the road. Blogs can actually be a slow burn, but, if given a chance, in the end may be the brightest star in your marketing tool box.