Creating and posting regular, engaging blog posts can have a multitude of benefits for every business – large or small. From improving your SEO rankings, establishing your brand as an industry leader, expanding your online presence, improving brand recognition and connecting with new and existing customers, to creating content that your readers can share with their own followers (i.e. free marketing!) – blogging is one of the simplest ways to set your company up for sustained growth. Better yet, it doesn’t have to cost you a cent. Here we examine a few tried and tested tips and techniques to make sure you get the most from your blogging efforts.
Brainstorm topics and create a schedule
Because you don’t have to publish regular blog posts, it’s one of those things that all too easily gets put on the backburner – which is a great pity. Having a proper schedule and deadlines not only helps you stay on track, but it ensures that you spread your posts out evenly and regularly – which search engines appreciate and reward. Say you decide to publish a new post every Friday. It can be tricky to come up with an interesting topic and content on the spot, but if you sit down and have a dedicated brainstorming session on your own or with your employees from time to time and outline a schedule, you’re more likely to stick with it. It can also be useful to have a spreadsheet or Google doc ready and waiting should inspiration for a new article strike out of the blue too.
Make sure to update your older posts too
Despite the fact that search engines tend to give preference to newer posts, online marketing and software giant HubSpot recently shared that 70% of their traffic comes from articles that weren’t published in the current month. In the crowded, noisy blogging realm, quality always trumps quantity in the end. Fresh content that doesn’t actually provide quality information might see a brief spike in rankings simply because it’s new but will very quickly fall off the first page of search results if it isn’t actually useful. If you’ve put the time and effort into creating a great piece of content, going back and updating it from time to time allows you to get the best of both worlds.
But what if I just don’t have the time, or aren’t confident in my writing?
Some people are excellent communicators in person, but find their mind goes blank when they sit down to write something – especially something potentially lengthy like a technical blog post. Working with a freelance writer, or a reputable and experienced digital marketing agency such as Ruby Digital who have a team of writers, may be the solution if you know you simply aren’t going to get round to it. If, however, you are in a very technical field or an industry or niche which requires experience and know-how, you should try to be as involved in the process as possible, perhaps working with a proofreader who can jazz up your writing without sacrificing accuracy.
Keep your goals in mind
Always remember why you’re writing a blog post in the first place. Are you trying to sell something, generate leads, get more traffic to your site, or trying to improve your brand recognition and online presence? If you’re selling, you should try and include a few ‘buying keywords’ – the kind of thing someone in the market to buy your product or service might type into a search engine. If you’re looking for quality leads, you’ll want to write a more detailed, in-depth post and dangle a carrot – such as a free eBook or ‘How To’ guide – in exchange for an email address. (Make sure to keep this kind of evergreen post updated so it continues to work for you!) If you simply want to drive more traffic to your website – for example if you’re running your own monetized blog – you might want to focus on trending topics and current affairs.
Use keywords strategically to align with your goals – but remember not to ‘stuff’ your posts with them, as this is obvious to readers and search engines! Keep it organic and natural.
Get familiar with SEO basics
An in-depth, well-written, well-researched, insightful and informative blog post will do well even if you pay virtually no attention to SEO, but it really doesn’t hurt to get familiar with the basics! This is especially true if you’re in a very competitive niche, where good basic on-page SEO techniques may make the difference between your blog post ranking first or second in search results.
With just a little extra effort, you can turn blogging from a chore into a rewarding exercise that helps your business grow, allows you to connect with your customers, and establishes you as an authority in your field.