Tips to Writing a Blog that People Will Actually Read
Drive more traffic to your website by writing a blog that provides value to new and existing customers. Many of the low-cost website building tools have built in blogging platforms. It couldn’t be easier!Now, you're probably asking, why bother? What will a blog do to drive more customers through the door? Well, you’re right to question a blog. They don’t directly drive revenue, and it can take some time to see results. However, it is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote a business online. In some industries, a valuable blog can position a company and the employees as experts in that field.
What could you write about?
Lack of creative juices/deciding what to write about is always the hardest part of blogging. Once it's determined what will be written about, it should be easy - after all, who knows the business better than the owner? Here are some ideas for generating blog topics:
- Provide 'how-tos' - expert tips from the experts in the business.
- Solve a problem - people often search online for the solution to a problem If blog posts can answer that problem, you look like a rockstar!
- Talk about a new product feature - but don’t sell it. Identify a problem and show how the product or service can be one of the solutions to resolve the problem.
- Introduce the employees - people always like to talk about themselves so why not ask each of the employees to answer 5 questions about themselves and feature each as a post with a quirky photo. Show their personalities! Video would work well here.
- Share relevant and valuable industry news - and also give a point of view. Write a post that stirs up some controversy or debate (without going too far) and it will likely get some traction online.
- Tell real stories - for example, things that have happened at the business over the years, either business or personal. The purpose is to entertain more than inform.
- Include video blog posts - this isn’t as difficult as it may seem and can be done quickly and easily from a smartphone. If you aren’t sure how to add it to the website, simply share on social media, or upload to YouTube and share the link.
- Take a peek at competitor sites - see what they blog about but use this for inspiration only, no copying!
Blog posts don’t have to be anything too crazy - just talk about the business, what happens there, expand on various elements and create posts from posts. This is a great example from a pool company that literally writes anything and everything about pools. Who knew there was so much to learn!
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- Choose a tone of voice - for example, is it going to be very professional, or more friendly and casual? Maintain that tone throughout the blog.
- Be consistent - once the blog is started, see it through! a blog, see it through! Brainstorm a list of topics, and schedule a slot of time each week or month to cover one topic off the list.
- Use keywords often - think about how a search is conducted online. Keywords are entered into the search bar for Google to try and match with relevant content. For the blog to be found online, it needs to have lots of keywords in it - terms that people are searching for. But don’t make it sound unnatural!
For example, a local business makes and sells handmade soap. To understand what people search for, a tool like Moz’s Keyword Explorer (https://moz.com/explorer) can be used to get ideas. Entering “handmade soap” into the search bar brings up more possibilities, some of which are listed below. These variations can then be sprinkled throughout the blog to increase the likelihood of showing up in a search for that term. Geographical modifiers such as cities/towns should also be incorporated into the keywords as the search volume won't be as high, but drives very high intent traffic.
Ensure both quality and quantity - posts of 500-600 words are going to have the most impact in the search engines. Use spell-check to ensure there are no obvious errors! Share on social media once posted - this will drive more traffic to the blog, If it’s a particularly good blog post consider boosting the post on Facebook to reach even more local customers! More about boosting Facebook posts is covered below.
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