Why create a blog?
In short, because that’s what Google wants and they have a huge impact on SEO trends. Google’s latest Hummingbird update puts emphasis on websites that answer questions, and away from keyword-heavy content that is not legible.
Google want to provide users with content that provides answers to their questions, and websites that do this successfully will be given a better ranking. A blog is a simple way of frequently addressing the issues your audience are interested in.
For this reason, businesses of all sizes are investing in good writers to communicate and interact with their customers. Engaging and informative content helps to build brand loyalty, industry authority and can directly or indirectly improve online conversions.
How to start a blog
Thankfully there are a number of cost-effective and easy ways for businesses to create their own blog. If you are just starting out you could create a free blog from providers like WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr.
In fact, creating a blog isn’t even the hard part; the hard part is generating engaging and well-written content. The content you publish must be short, sharp and immediately answer the questions your visitors are looking for… hopefully just like we have done here!
Frequency is just as important as quality
One of the biggest difficulties small businesses have, especially when they’re writing their own content, is to keep the momentum going. New content needs to be published and updated regularly in order to build an audience. Finding the time to choose a subject and flesh out an article can be tricky.
On the other side of the spectrum, some businesses have too much to say and bombard their audience with posts, causing them to switch off.
So how can you stay between the flags?
The best way we’ve found is to create a content strategy and timeline for your business. Take the time to create a list of potential article subjects, so you can write them quickly each time.
Secondly, create a timeline and post on set days to avoid posting too much or too little. One or two articles a week is plenty.
What kind of content works best?
The kind of content that will appeal to your audience really depends on who your audience are. You need to analyse your typical demographics and identify what language, style and format of content will get through to them.
There are many different types of posts, which all have their own goals. Below are just a few different types of blog posts, to get the ball rolling:
- Industry news
- Tips & tricks
- Top 10 lists
- Opinion pieces
- “Coming soon”
Consider your structure and scanability
Unlike other forms of content, blog articles need to be specifically written for the fast-paced web environment. Users tend to scan every article they read, usually only absorbing the headline or some introductory dot-points before deciding whether to read more.
Blog headlines are always very important for grabbing attention. Make your headings interesting and try to appeal to your audiences’ sense of something (i.e. safety, family values, saving money, saving time, personal interests).
Encourage two-way communication
The great thing about creating a blog for your business is that it opens the channel for two-way communication. Blogs can serve as a talking point between you and your customers. You can ask questions and through the comments section on your blog or social media channels, customers will be able to provide valuable feedback you can act on immediately.
It’s never been easier or more cost-effective for businesses of all sizes to create and start managing their own blogs. The hard part is ensuring you’re not wasting your time creating content that your audience will not see or worse, will not be interested in.
The best place to start is with research and planning. Take the time to discover who your audience is, what information they are seeking and where they are actively searching for it.
If you have found that a blog is a good opportunity for you to build an audience, then the second thing you need to do is establish a plan of attack. You need to compile a list of potential stories and then publish them frequently on assigned days.
A good blog takes time to manage and maintain, but if done well, it can also build a huge following for your brand. If you are serious about starting a blog for your business we suggest speaking with the experts at Digital Thing.