Many of my clients and prospects are worried about blogging; they are concerned about the commitment; the loss of control over quality; there is some fear of the unknown i.e. I actually just don't know where to start and people worry if the payback will be worth it.
Well here are 7 ways to start blogging successfully.
A blog is becoming a key element to most businesses and forms a central plank in many lead generation strategies. It's a GREAT way to get your business found online by search engines and your target audience. A good blog is a real corporate asset.
It allows you to gain visibility as a thought leader; done well it can engage your audience in a two way conversation and it acts as link bait for that all important search ranking on Google.
But these benefits only accrue to your organisation if you can actually get visitors to your blog. Here are some simple strategies you can apply to each of your blog posts that will make your blog traffic soar quickly.
I hope we all recognise this by now, creating really great valuable useful content for your target buyer based on their buying journey, on a regular basis, WILL pay off. If your blog is pushing overtly promotional content you will turn off your visitors in droves.
Take as much time on your blog title as your blog article. The title is the most important part of your blog articles. You must intrigue your target audience sufficiently to tempt them to click...no click, no go.
Remember your title isn't only going to be seen in your blog it will be an email title if people subscribe via an RSS feeder or a LinkedIn post or Tweet if you use those mediums to broadcast your message. Remember this when you compose your title.
Here are some blog title strategies that work well:
- Use numbers (examples: “5 easy ways to” or “7 best strategies for”).
- Start with “How to”.
- Use relevant keywords for which people are searching.
- Include benefit to reader (examples: “Get more visitors” or “Reduce costs”)
- Be controversial (example: “Email marketing is dead”)
- Be clear - don’t fill your title with puns or try to be too clever
3) Make Your Writing Tone Easy to Read
Remember that blog posts are much more conversational in tone and site visitors are typically impatient creatures, dense text that is heavy going will turn readers off. Here are some ways to make your content easy to read:
- Use images
- Use numbered lists
- Use <h2> tags for subheadings to separate content
- Use bullet points to break up large sections of text
- Bold important statements for emphasis
- Write at a high-school level. Don’t use too many “big” words or technical jargon.
4) Make Your Content Search Engine Optimized (SEO)
Search engine optimization is necessary if you want people to find your blog via Google, Yahoo, or Bing. However, you don’t want to just write for the search engines; you want to write for people. It’s a delicate balance, but here are some tips to help you optimize each of your blog posts:
- Meta title: The meta title will be your blog post title; put keywords as close to the front as you can, keep it under 70 characters so it doesn’t get cut off, and make each blog title unique.
- Meta description: The meta description should be more than just an excerpt; it should be a summary of the article that includes keywords. These keywords will be bolded in the search results when people search for them, which will attract their attention.
- Alt Tags: Make sure you add alt tags to your images
- Header tags: Use <h2> tags when creating section headers instead of just using bolded text.
- Internal links: Link to other relevant articles in your blog using keyword-rich anchor text.
5) Encourage Interaction
If you want your readers to comment on your blog posts, ask them to! Always add a question in bold to the end of each blog post encouraging readers to comment. It’s an easy way to let your readers know that you care about their opinions and want to hear their thoughts. Also, encourage interaction on your social media pages, such as Facebook and Twitter, using this same question strategy.
6) Include Social Sharing Buttons
Make it easy for your readers to share your content with their social networks, which will get you even more readers. Standard buttons include Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Like, LinkedIn, and you could add others that are relevant to your blog topic.
7) Link to Other Relevant Blogs
If you mention something in your blog post that you know has been written about in another industry blog, link to that blog with relevant anchor text. That blog’s author will likely see that you’re linking to them when investigating their traffic sources. Add an insightful comment on that article you’ve linked to. If your comment was meaningful, you’ll get new visitors to click through, and you could even get that blog author to reciprocate, giving you some nice inbound link SEO juice.
So what are your top tips? Let's see if we can make it a top 10 list!
If you want to read more check out this free eBook on business blogging best practices.