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Does Your Business Need a Blog?

May 26th, 2015

Latest statistics show that yes, bloggers are trusted more than celebrity endorsements. People are now more influenced by the opinion of a blogger when it comes to learning about products and making a purchase.

One way to build your business as well as providing expertise to your clients is by writing a blog.  But what’s actually involved in writing a blog?  What software program is available? How often should you write, what should you write about, and what should you not write about?

WordPress – One Well Known Software Program

One well known program used for blogging is WordPress.  What’s nice about WordPress? You can first write your blog text via a word document, and then once logging into WordPress (with your account name and password) can put the word document text in it, along with saving it as you go. Also you can insert photos, preview everything and then save it. And when you’re ready, you can then officially “publish” it.

Reach out to who handles your website, of course and they might provide suggestions. Another key thing – it’s good to have your blog tied in with your website.

Writing – How Long and What Else?

So how long does a blog have to be? Should photos be included as well as any other content formats?   Today the rule of thumb for content length is usually at least 500 words in a blog to be found online.  Anything 500 words is just too short. Also, with the “world going visual,” it’s even more critical today to include some photos and images because those tend to draw in a reader’s interest.  As far as the size of photos to use? The largest image should be no bigger than 1200 x 1200 pixels.  There are programs available to resize larger photos, and those are definitely worth looking into.

So where should you start?

First Determine – Who should be Reading Your Blog?

Blogs are not a “one size fits all” content. Instead, you need to ask yourself who your target audience is. Key questions to ask yourself:

  • Who are they? – How old are they, where do they work, how long have they been in their roles, how do they make decisions?
  • What do they do? – What motivates them, what are their aspirations?
  • What do they want? – What type of content are they attracted to or read about now? What do they spend money on?
  • How do they see themselves? – How do they compare themselves to colleagues at work or even friends? Do they like ongoing learning – areas of personal interest, purchases, or work?
  • How do they spend their day to day and evenings? – What do they read and share? How do they learn about new things? What do they tend to love as well as not like?

Next – Create a “Personal-Driven Keyword List”

Yes keywords are critical and you want to make sure you use ones that fit your audience, but also need to make sure you don’t overuse general keywords.  A quick one is “Instagram.”  It’s too general and widely searched.  Add more to the keyword so it’s not too overly general. Focus on keyword phrases as well.

After that – Identify the Blog Post Types Your Audience Likes

The best way is to test out different blog post types while writing. Do you readers like inspirational quotes and stories?  Do they like industry examples, or perhaps some insider tips?   Or do they like a timely, news related piece? What about adding a You Tube Video, besides photos?

Create a Personality for the blog

It’s no secret that people tend to gravitate towards brands and products that they can relate to. It’s also important to make sure that your blog has a persona. And if the blogger is the company owner, than the personality of that owner should come out.  Is that person a bit more casual in their approach or more formal?  Once again, if that person is a bit too formal, it might be good to rethink that angle. Some companies often have their employees write different blogs as well.

Maintain a Publishing Calendar

In addition to coming up with topics to blog about, part of your publishing calendar needs to also address some other key things.   When will your readers be accessing your blog?  In the evening, or first thing in the morning? How frequently? Once you’ve determined the frequency of your blog posts – your audience and the post type?  Then build this into a publishing calendar.

Converting visitors into leads and potential clients

One of the goals of blogging is converting visitors (your readers) into leads and potential clients. This won’t occur if the blog simply tries to “push deals down their throats.” Once again this is where finding out their likes, what they like to know and learn about is even more critical.  It’s important to build the trust first and then the sales will tend to come.  People tend to read blogs for a reason and stats readily show that. U.S. blog readers tap into blogs to find out about new trends, ideas, and new products as well as help when trying to make a purchasing decision.

KEYWORDS!

Make sure you research and determine keywords to use in your blog title headline. PERIOD.  Your headline is critical when it comes to search engines as well as humans. So make sure your headline is enticing, and contains words and ideas that your readers are looking for. Avoid “click-bait.”   Remember, humans are reading your blogs

Other Insider Tips

A few other key things to remember when writing and publishing a blog:

  • Use relevant words, keep your language relatively informal, and avoid jargon
  • Use shorter paragraphs
  • Make sure you properly cite images – make sure you have the right to use images and then give proper credit. If you buy stock imagery, those are license free.
  • Include section headers
  • Include Share Buttons
  • Make sure your blog design is mobile friendly!
  • Before publishing your blog post, use the “Preview” feature at the top to review everything. You can also use the “Save Draft” button to save your blog draft in case you want to go back to it. Then when ready, click the “Publish” button.

Writing a blog is another marketing opportunity to use when promoting the products or services you provide, and with social media viewed as one of the most promising vehicles to use today?   Consider writing a blog!