The Blogosphere is littered with dead blogs. Literally millions of them, all started in a rush of excitement and all too soon abandoned, unread and unloved.
One negative or controversial comment is enough to cause a wobble in even the hardiest businessperson but, think about it: no interaction at all is even more disheartening. Even if you’ve gotten into a great routine of creating blog posts regularly, are they as interesting and relevant as they can be? They are if they’re creating conversations, encouraging shares and ideally, going viral – which is what you should be aiming for with each and every post.
But it can be a minefield: where do you start? What do you write about? How do you establish a great routine? Will people read it and, if they do, what do you want them to think, feel or do?
If you’re finding that your Google Analytics graphs aren’t awesome, your Mum’s the only person sharing your stuff and the only comments you’re getting are from silly spammers, you need to take a long hard look at your blog...
8 Great tips to Blog a Blinder
1. Know Your Stuff
Blogging is a great way to establish your expertise in your sector. Look like you know what you’re talking about and you’re also helping to build trust with your customers. If they also like what you do and how you do it, they’re more likely to keep coming back and so you’re creating customers for life. Blogs are also useful for getting feedback – handy if you have an idea something is wrong or you want try out new business ideas.
2. Reel them in!
A hard-hitting headline is a must have – and it’s a ready-made tweet or facebook post that will generate clicks to your blog site. The more sensational or thought-provoking the better – get inspired by the old school hacks who came up with winners like ‘Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster’! Because a winning headline is a winning headline in any medium. Then all you’ve got to do is make sure your content lives up to the hype...
3. Be Their Guest
If your marketplace or industry has a well known blog, pitch them an idea for a blog piece. They’re getting new content and you’re getting new eyeballs... which you can then redirect back to your own blog or website. It’s a win / win, will boost your SEO and increase your traffic. Creating backlinks between sites over the longer term will also boost your search rankings, your brand or business is mixing in good company, creating positive associations with new and potential customers, and if you’re really good, you might even score a regular gig! Be creative about it too – look for complementary businesses where your products or services would work together to be of benefit to customers. Local online newspapers are also always on the lookout for fresh content...
4. Google + It
Think you’ve got all the angles covered on popular social media? Don’t discount Google + because that’s not where your audience is. Use it for one very simple reason: it’s owned by Google! So simply featuring on Google + will really improve your organic search results.
5. Share the Love
If you write good things about good products or services, only good things will happen! Other companies will share glowing posts with their audiences... so getting your name in front of them too. Make it real and authentic, have some fun with it, be engaging and entertaining - and be nice. If you really believe in a great product or service, by sharing that you’re demonstrating your values, and helping to build trust and shared standards with your audience.
6. SEO Is Key
Give some thought to what people are searching for and try to include some of those words or phrases as naturally as possible. It can make all the difference to your traffic if you do it right – that means not going overboard or spamming other blogs with your link. Keep it light, keep it natural, keep it human and keep it relevant. Think of SEO like fine tuning that will give your blog a little bit of an advantage. Most importantly of course, if your content is good, your readers will want to share it and your content should naturally go further from there.
7. Beyond Blogging
If you’ve established good writing habits and have assembled an audience, it’s always good to look ahead to see where you can take it next. It may be that your subject is pretty specialist and there’s only so much you can write about yellow gloves or brown envelopes. So spice up your media! Think about vlogs – video logs, create webinars and slideshows, set up your own youtube channel and post short product demonstrations. Vine is brilliant and with clips at only 6 seconds long, you can create something fun and eye-catching very quickly indeed. Getting people to opt-in to view this kind of content by leaving their email addresses will also grow your contacts list. Plus – don’t forget to ask them to follow you on social media too!
8. Push it!
Don’t be afraid to push your content out there. Post links on other blog comment threads where your content is relevant and responds to the post or posters comments. And don’t just throw a single tweet out there and expect all of Twitter to come your way. Twitter is such a transient media, you should post at different times of day and on different days. Keep an eye on what’s trending and look for opportunities to be relevant – and of course the more blogging you do, the more chance you’ll already have a piece posted that you can redirect a new audience to.
It’s a virtuous circle!
Blog, blog and blog some more – look around at blogs you like and try to adapt that tone and style to make it your own.
Most importantly, remember that unless yours is a business blog, keep it light and fun and conversational – you’re talking to people in their down time so they won’t want to read anything too wordy or heavy.
Or just ask us what we would write about if we were you talking to your customers – our team of in-house writers can work with you to develop and deliver a blog strategy that will help to build your brand and your bottom line.