Blogging and creating fresh, new content on your website is more important now than it’s ever been for helping your website to rank for your industry-relevant keywords and overall SEO. However, blogging does more than that – it helps to showcase you as an expert and gives you some great content for social media. We’ll run down our top tips and tools to help you create your own blogs, become a better blogger and analyse the effectiveness of the blogs you create.
1. Can you upload a blog?
It might sound like an obvious one, but do you actually have the ability to upload a blog or a new piece of content on to your website?
If you don’t how to upload a blog or what to do, then you probably need to speak to your web developer (if you have one), or you can speak to me! Naturally, having the ability to actually upload a blog is the first step. If you have a WordPress website, you can add a blog in a few simple steps. This guide from Dummies gives you some easy simple steps you can follow. If you have a WordPress website, but those steps are a little confusing, just get in touch and I can help you.
2. Research topics using Answer The Public
One of the most common excuses I hear from business owners who don’t blog is that they don’t know what to write. Poor! Well, with a little bit of research you will find plenty of topics to blog about. A great tool to use is Answer The Public.
Answer The Public enables you to type a keyword in to a search bar and you’ll be presented with a whole host of questions that people – your target audience – are searching for on the internet. So you can answer the burning questions that people are asking about, and who knows – they might read your brilliant blog and decide to get in touch with you.
Another really useful keyword tool is Kparser. It is a free tool, with paid versions, that enables you to research keywords and variations of those keywords, to help you to phrase your blog titles. If you upgrade to the paid version you can see the number of searches each of those phrases gets. Or if you’re familiar with the Google Keyword Planner Tool, you can do something similar there.
3. Use lists to structure your content
If you’re unfamiliar with blog writing it can be a bit daunting when you first start out. A great way to structure your blogs is to create lists, using headings to separate content. That way you can keep your content short and concise. There are some great tips on using lists to engage with your target audience from Copyblogger – and the importance of emotive language if you’re trying to hook your reader.
4. Check you content for Plagiarism
Researching your content topic will give you some great insights in to what your competitors are blogging about, but be careful that you don’t fall foul of copyright infringement by copying what someone else is saying. A number of topics will have been written about heavily on the www and it might surprise you that even when creating content you think is original, it is actually very similar to something else out there. There are some very useful, free plagiarism checkers out there. Dupli Checker is a very useful tool.
5. Add visuals to make your blog more interesting
If you only stick with words it’s likely you’ll begin turning people off. Naturally, it depends on what your content topic is. Some blogs do not need the distraction of images because the copy is so compelling. For other blogs, images can help to make a point, separate the conversation and provide useful, illustrative examples of how someone can do something for themselves. If you’re looking for a great, free tool to help you create visuals for your blogs – and your website in general – I can recommend a tool called Canva. It’s very intuitive and helps non-designers to design things.
One of the challenges that many bloggers will have is finding useful, engaging photography that shares their story. If you don’t have your own stock photography to use, then perhaps consider using some generic stock photography. There are a few free stock sites out there. You can also Google images, but make sure you do not infringe copyright. A useful way of making sure you don’t infringe copyright when using Google images is to select the Advanced Search option and filter your search by image usage rights. That will give you a list of images you can use, even commercially, without infringing copyright. Just check on the quality of the images, as they are likely to be quite low resolution and not suitable for all purposes.
Filtering your image search by license is a useful way of avoiding copyright infringement.
For more great tips on the types of visuals you can use to create blog content, check out this awesome guide by Robert Katai.
6. Share your blog content and make it easy for others to share it
As you start blogging more and become more proficient at creating content, you’ll start turning your attention to the value you are getting from creating content and what impact it is having on the number of leads you generate. One the easiest and simplest ways to help your content reach further afield is to share your blog content on to your social media profiles. Host the blog on your website, share the blog on to your business Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles and use your personal profiles to share and retweet the posts on your business profiles. That strategy will help you to give your content an initial boost. If you are a member of Facebook or LinkedIn Groups that allow this type of content sharing then go for it. Additionally, you’ll want to give your readers the ability to share your content, too. Once you’ve got readers on to your blog, give those people an opportunity to share your blog through their own social networks. That will help spread the word about your great content.
If you use Mailchimp, or any other email program, to keep in touch with your customers, sending out your blog content is a great way to engage your audience and give them something valuable to read and digest.
7. Analyse how your blog is performing
Your blog is written, shared through social media and emailed out to your subscribers – the hard work is done. What is the reward? It’s going to take time and plenty more blogs to help you build a reputation. If you’re blogging about your business, your ultimate goal is to increase the number of people contacting you about your services or buying your product. You have to build trust and those 7+ points of contact in order to build a reputation. There may be some simple measures you can use to analyse your blog performance – the number of shares on social media or the number of website clicks through Google Analytics, but how about analysing how your blog is performing on a Google Search? There are plenty of paid tools out there that can help you to analyse how well your blog is performing on Google, and a few free tools as well. A really useful tool to help you analyse how your blog is performing is to use a tool called SERPSTAT which allows you to analyse your blog URL and will highlight which keywords your website is ranking for.
Blogging is a useful way of showcasing your expertise and can help to generate conversations with your target market. If you need help with blogging, we can help you to create content.
Author: Tom Jullings
I work with clients to improve the digital marketing experience they present to their customers – from web design and SEO to outreach marketing and social media.
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