Blogging for Dummies
When people first started blogging they wrote more about their personal experiences. Though they do it today, but blogging has evolved into a huge content medium.
What is Blogging?
Your blog is a place to regularly publish and promote new content related to your business and industry.
Business Blogging helps Inbound Marketing in 2 ways:
- It helps Track New Visitors: If a visitor with problems searches for solutions on the internet and if your blog provides a solution to those issues, then the visitor would find your blog and would want to click and read through them eventually turning them into visitors. Every time you write a blog you are increasing your chances of getting found in the search results of the search engine, and having other websites linked to you and having shared in the social media and all of the above would add new traffic to your website.
- And helps convert those Visitors into Leads: Once people get into your website, you have actually opened the door to them. If they are interested in your content they would be interested in your offer and get converted into leads. Your blog can strategically promote offers if your visitor wants to learn more provide them with that next step from your business. (Anything from you e-book to free consultation)
Blogging helps you stand out as an expert in your industry. The more you blog, the more will people look up to as a reliable and trustworthy source of information, and building trust will help convert them into customers down the line.
How to Start a successful blog for Free?
Blogging best practices;
- Pick a Topic & Title: Write educational content. There are people searching for information online, in order to attract them you need to answer their questions or problems that people are searching for answers to. Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer personas. Write about your company not yourself, you are trying to attract the attention of the strangers who have never heard of your company before, so they are not going to find you through search engines.
If you just blogging about yourself then brainstorm about a specific list of Topics that you are going to blog about like;
- What are the most frequently asked questions?
- What do your buyer personas need help with?
- What do you wish people knew about your industry?
- What are the industry bloggers, social media, and the competitors talking about?
While picking a topic, do keyword research. Key are the words and phrases that are typed in the search engine. They are words that people are trying to learn more about;
- What are the keywords used by your buyer persona?
- Which keywords are associated with your industry?
- Write about those topics to get found and start ranking higher in search results.
Pick one Topic to focus on, per Blog Post
Do not try to solve every problem in one swoop, this will make it clearer and easier for the searchers and the search engines. It will also ensure that the post gets more qualified traffic, as we the people clicking through are looking for that specific topic.
Make a list of Blog Topics that support a specific Conversation
Consider making a list of blog topics that support the e-book’s content.
Picking a Blog Topic
While picking a topic have you noticed that you read the content first before you commit before it catches your interest, the first thing that you see is a topic!
Start by creating a working Title
Start here to narrow your topic down and focus on one single angle. E.g., a topic like “choosing digital marketing” could give birth to multiple blog posts but a “working title” like ‘101 reasons for starting a career in Digital Marketing’ is specific to one single blog post.
Include a long tail keyword in the title. Be sure that the keyword fits as a description of what the page is all about. The title should help the readers and the search engines understand, what your blog post is all about?
- SET THE RIGHT EXPECTATIONS – What is the reader going to get out of it?
- MAKE VALUE OF THE POST CLEARER –
- SHORTEN THE TITLE – as Google only shows the first 50-60 characters in a search result. Avoid having an awesome Title get cut off
- FORMAT AND OPTIMIZE THE POST –
“Whitespace is your friend”- white space is that empty space on the page that allows the visitor to concentrate on the content and not the clutter. Don’t write paragraphs that are forming a huge size of texts, it would make your content look dense and hard to read. Space makes the post more easily digestible. Nothing so crammed together, though the post is long it does not feel overwhelming or hard to read.
You can also break up the blog post by using section headers, bullets, or numbered list to highlight your points. The section headers let the readers know what you are targeting. Use numbered list or bullets as a subheader below that to get some clarity. The post should be structured and could be easily understood.
Bold and clear text can also make readers quickly understand the key takeaway from the post. Elements in this text have a bolder font making it stand out, but most importantly your eye catches the line. Always focus on the wants and needs of the reader. This is the key takeaway from this section. So even if you have skimmed it you will still get that valuable nugget of information.
Images visually break up your text. Place an image at the top of every post to entice your visitors to read further. Your photos need not project what you are actually writing about, it could be loosely related to your content.
When crawlers crawl your blog they do not read every word. They just scan certain parts of your article to understand what you are writing about and how trustworthy the content is? For you to make sure that search engines understand what your content is all about, you need to optimize the post around the long tail keyword. Place it in the blog Title, the page Title, in the URL, post Title, in the image Alt Text and also should be used naturally in the body of the blog. Don’t be afraid to break the tail word into pieces and use it, instead of using it over and over again. You can also use synonyms, alternative phrases. The search engine is very smart. Include relevant internal and external links within the post. Link to other blog posts or your site pages when appropriate. It may sound counterproductive link to outside resources. Google webmasters encourage this as it shows that you have done your research. Don’t go overboard, link to one or two links per paragraph at the most.
Promoting offers on your Blog increase Lead Generation
As you increase more and more visitors to your blog eventually you increase more and more traffic. More traffic means more potential leads. Use your blog to strategically promote your current offers, if you want your inbound marketing efforts to pay off. The goal should be to attract someone and provide the content around the topic they are trying to learn more about be helpful and giving relevant information regarding the next step.
CTA (Call to action) is a button which promotes your offer, make sure that you include CTA in every post. Not having a CTA in a post is like having an opportunity missed to communicate with the visitor. If you don’t have a relevant CTA then encourage them to subscribe them to the blog. Make sure that the CTA does not disrupt the user experience. Yeah, the goal is to be helpful, not pushy!
You might want to insert a CTA after the first few paragraphs. In order to not look pushy try and include passive CTA through hyperlinked text. You have to rely on the passive post as the visitor will not always go through the entire post and converting. By not including a CTA, in the beginning, you might be losing out on a valuable conversion opportunity. Also, include a CTA at the end of the post this offer should be relevant to the content that the visitor has just read. The visitor is reading your blog post with a purpose so feed him more information to continue learning.
Promoting your Blog Post
- You have to leverage your website. You can use your blog sidebar to promote your recent or most popular post and add your blog to your primary website navigation.
- Link internally to your blog post promotion. If you have the blog post about related topics include a link within them for other posts.
- Share posts on social media. Promote them when you publish and include social sharing buttons on the top of the posts.
- But do not stop there the contents that you shared two months ago could be shared again as long as it is still relevant.
- Promote posts through emails. Send in blogs to your buyer personas, weekly/monthly blog digest to your buyer personas; send your buyer personas relevant content, include posts in newsletters and create a blog digest email for your subscribers.
Analyzing the performance of your Blog Post
You have to see how you are doing!!!
- Look at the number of views for each blog post: this is the best way to check which content is doing the best, what are most popular contents. This would give you an idea to decide on what to write next.
- Filter your most popular post by topic, author or channel for promotion: learn the topic that you should continue to write about. And determine the best way to promote your blog post
- Look at the number of clicks in the CTA at the end of the individual post: Are there any qualified leads, are there any that are performing better than the others??
Here’s a link for creating a successful blog through WordPress Platform in few easy steps; Set Up your Blog with WordPress
End of the day, it is important to write consistently and frequently. The more often you blog the more likely it is for you to get found. A new blog is an opportunity to attract new visitor as well as a continuation to your overall content savings account. The more often you post quality content, the more you will see your blog grow and influence your business.