So many of our clients tell us they know they need to write blogs but in a lot of cases that’s as far as their understanding and knowledge go and they are stuck.
What is a blog?
As with so many of our Strategy Series topics we like to start with the basics, so that nobody is left behind! So to put it simply, a blog is a series of posts about a given topic, or a set of topics. Usually these posts are relevant to your business and they should always be relevant to your audience – clients, customers, potential customers.
A blog post is an article within a blog and is an opportunity to write about a topic where you have a good level of understanding which you can share and which may be able to help others. This sharing is a great way to show what you know, what your areas of expertise are, and to let people see how you might be able to help with some of the problems they are facing.
We’ve talked to a lot of people who’ve become almost scared at the idea of a blog, in which case we advise to simplify and pare it right back to quick and short articles. It is less important how much you write or how often you post and more important that you are consistent and that your content is shared from your website so that as many people as possible see it. We’ll get to the SEO stuff later.
What is a blog NOT?
Please resist the urge (we ALL have it!) to write about the technicalities of how you do what you do. No offence, but in most cases your audience could not care less!
Write about the problems they may be having in the area, how you can help them, the benefits of working with you. Give them the why, not the how.
What should I blog about?
Although we’ve referred to the types of topics that you should consider writing about, the overall aim of each blog post falls into at least one of 4 categories – Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action.
You are giving people information about you, your business, what you can do.
You are letting them see why they might like to work with you or buy from you.
And you are (hopefully) starting to trigger an action to take the next step.
Your posts should be engaging – educational, informative, interesting, fun, entertaining – making the person who lands on the post want to read it, share it and take action on it.
How often should I blog?
If I had a euro for every time I’ve heard this one! Honestly, it is not nearly as important as being consistent. Let your audience get used to hearing from you every week, every 2 weeks, every month and be consistent so that they can rely on your content.
Most blogging platforms allow you to schedule, so if you have written 3 blog posts then set them all up and set them to publish on the timeline you have decided on. There may be exceptions here, where a post is time sensitive, and in this case I would say go ahead and post those immediately and stick to your schedule around it.
Why should I write a blog?
Blog posts are one of the best things you can do to improve your SEO rating on your website.
They tell Google that you are alive and kicking, that your website is live and updated.
Each time that your content is read or shared it improves Google’s ranking on your website.
When a link to a blog post is shared on social media, if it is reshared, liked, commented on or otherwise engaged with that all feeds into the SEO rating for that post and, as a result, for your website overall.
Regular blog posts give people a reason to visit your website, and increasing traffic improves your Google ranking which will improve your search results and further improve your traffic.
It’s fun! Honestly, once you get started and gain some momentum you might even enjoy it and it’s really nice to get feedback for what you have written.
Let’s get technical (only a little bit, honestly!)
We’ve put together a checklist so that you can make sure that you have ticked all the boxes as you publish each post, checking these points will allow you to make sure that you are making the most out of each post that you write.
- Check your title is engaging and clearly tells the reader what your blog post will tell them about – this makes sure that people who see your blog post linked on social media or in google search know what they are clicking on – making it more likely that they will click and more likely that they won’t arrive at the post, realise it wasn’t what they expected and bounce out.
- Make sure you set the featured image, this is the image that social media platforms show when you share the link to your blog post and they make sure that your shared link is more eye catching in people’s feeds.
- For featured image and other images in your blog post, make sure that you are using them legally! Also check that they are high enough resolution to be clear and are relevant to your post.
- Check your text – make sure your blog post reads nicely and in a similar tone to a conversation with you and that the information is relevant and interesting.
- SEO – use a plugin like Yoast or Rank Math in WordPress to rate your blog post for SEO points and see where you can improve your score.
- Check the alignment of text and images so that it looks neat and not thrown together!
- Use analytics to see when the best times to post are and schedule accordingly – both on your website and in sharing to social media platforms.