I’ve worked with a number of clients over the last few months who have wanted to get into blogging. Blogs are a great idea for most businesses – as a business owner they give you the opportunity to reveal more about who you are and what makes your product or service special.
If you are still fairly new to blogging, here are 7 top tips to get you going or help you improve your blogging technique.
1. Get a blog that’s integrated into your website
Having a blog that’s integrated into your main website provides fresh content for your site which is good for Google and your SEO. It is also an easy way to get potential customers to visit your website and encourage them to venture outside the Blog section to other important pages that sell your product or service. If you can’t run to the cost involved in adding a blog to your website, then the alternative is to begin a free blog on something like blogger.com. If you do this, then be sure to include links to your main website in your blog posts.
2. The who, the what and the why
Before you begin putting fingers to keyboard, make sure you’ve asked yourself the critical questions: Who is it you are writing for? What is it you want your blog to do? To connect with others? To share knowledge? And why do you want to start a blog? To raise awareness of a particular issue? To demonstrate expertise in something? Write your answers down somewhere and read back over them as your blog develops to check you are still on track with your goals.
3. Make it easy to read
Research shows that people scan web pages rather than giving them a thorough read, and this should impact the way you write your blogs. Make your main points clear, and be quick to explain why the post is relevant and worth reading. Readers spend an average of 1.5 minutes on a blog, so it’s important to hold their attention. Be concise and to the point to make your blogs quick and easy reads – between 250 and 800 words is a good guideline. For longer blogs (like this one!) use sub-headings, bullet points and images to help maintain the reader’s focus.
4. Invite two-way interaction
The best blogs actively encourage a dialogue between the blog writer and the readers. Ask for feedback, invite people to leave comments or let you know their opinions regarding the topic being discussed. It’s understandable to perhaps feel hesitant about inviting this sort of feedback, for fear of losing control or having your authority compromised. However, including other people’s opinions or experiences often makes for a more enriching blog. It’s also helpful to remember that you are always in control of what gets published on your blog. If you are worried then check your blog settings to ensure that any comments made by readers require prior moderation by yourself before being published on the site.
5. Use images
The blogs with the highest engagement levels almost always include images along with the text. As someone quickly scans through your web page they will process images much faster than text. Experiment with being creative with the images – how about using images that include some text, or even embedding a short video that is related to your blog post?
6. Get social (and sociable!)
There’s little point in writing a blog if nobody can find it. Use social media to get your blog out there, and cross-promote your blogs and your tweets to gain more followers. There are also free online tools out there that allow you to automatically publish your blog posts to your Facebook or Twitter accounts, giving you one less job to do when promoting your blog. Also, don’t overlook the face-to-face opportunities to promote your blog, such as when doing presentations or chatting at networking events.
7. Keep it up!
It can take a while for a blog to gain momentum, so if you’ve not yet established the readership you desire then don’t give up. It’s important to keep blogging regularly – this might mean once a month, once a week, or even once a day depending on your blogging aims and strategy. If you find yourself on a roll with writing, you can always write several posts in one go and then use the scheduling tool on your blog to automatically publish your posts over a period of time.
Over to you
Are you a regular blogger? I’d love to hear about your experience of blogging – please comment below to share your thoughts or to add your own blogging tips or tricks to the list.