Why You Should Start a Blog, and How

So you’ve decided to start a blog. Perhaps you’ve discovered how much Google loves written content, and how a library of content can help you smash the online rankings. Or maybe you’ve seen how well your competition is doing online as a result of their article library, and you want to do the same. Heck, maybe you’ve already dipped your toe in the water, written some articles and had less than inspiring results.

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But where to begin? And how do you make sure that the effort and resource required to start a blog isn’t wasted on an ineffective, and potentially costly process?

Begin With the Law of Five

When creating a blog, everything you do should be predicated on a target persona – your ideal client – and they will be naturally drawn to certain headlines and types of content offerings. Begin by creating five pieces of content specifically designed for that particular person. At this stage you’re not creating an editorial calendar or planning a marketing sequence, you are simply creating five things that you know your ideal prospect will enjoy reading. This forms the basis of your blog and ensures it doesn’t appear ‘unfinished.’ Make sure there are at least five pieces of content online before publishing.

Need help with buyer personas? Here’s our free guide.

Learn the Rules of SEO

The most compelling, engaging and relevant article in the world means nothing if it isn’t read. In the digital age, the gatekeeper to new clients is often Google, so you need to know the rules of search engine optimisation.

Importantly, be honest with yourself as to your level of experience with SEO; similar to marketing, real estate and politics, search engine optimisation is one of those subjects that seems to be all about common sense, but there are many intricacies involved in taking a good piece of content and optimising it. To begin with, have a look into a good optimisation tool, like www.webtexttool.com, https://raven-seo-tools.com or https://moz.com. These programs will help you define short and long tail keywords – single words versus phrases that are searched on in search engines, and help you gauge the opportunity. Understanding whether a keyword or phrase is going to be impossible to rank for can mean a better allocation of resources and a higher chance of success.

Use Imagery

Your article is relevant, timely and searchable. Already you are ahead of the curve and will likely see some improvement in the number of people coming to your site. Now make sure you are appealing to all the senses through sourcing a visual that reflects what you’re writing about. Blogs that have high-density imagery tend to keep visitors on the site longer and get more clicks. That may mean your prospect is reading more of your blogs, and getting to know you further, or perhaps they are moving onto other pages on your site – such as pricing, and product offerings.

Create Content Packages

When you start a blog, it can be tempting to write pieces, publish them and get on with the rest of your life – job done. But a content library presents other opportunities, and through packaging your articles, you can broaden your audience, and increase the depth of your relationship with your existing community.

– You can easily take a group of articles, and convert them into incredible looking HTML5 e-books. We use www.flipsnack.com for this purpose, but there are numerous programs available.

– Create categories on your blog. It means readers have a more defined journey and can continue reading articles that are on topic or relevant to them.

– Create follow-up pieces. Add additional commentary, research, or information to articles after they’re published and demonstrate you’re a thought leader on the cutting edge.

– Compile your blogs into an attractive template and send it out as an email every month or quarter. This is best done through email software like https://mailchimp.com. Be sure to add a newsletter subscription box to your site, and gain another point of contact.

Drive Traffic

Don’t rest on your laurels. Every time you publish another article, sure it’s on social media and ask your team to do the same thing. Also, linking to your suppliers and other organisations you hold in high regard can increase your reputation, add value and encourage reciprocity – they may even share the article with their audience. You will learn which channels are most effective for your business, but also don’t be afraid to share on industry and social sites that you may not have considered – you never know.

Be Patient

Blogging is low cost and high reward, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Like any relationship, the one you’re building with your audience takes time and consistency; so don’t give up too easily. And hey, if it gets too frustrating, contact us here and we can do it for you. Most businesses that start a blog, fail because it’s not structured; make sure you have publication and writing times in your calendar, or that it’s assigned and non-negotiable to one of your team.

Also if you’re on the learning path with digital marketing, check out our free ebook on lean digital here.