Prior to making purchases, today buyers do research first, and most notably online via social media platforms. And yes, the statistics continue to reinforce this. How do businesses get found, be viewed as experts and then start the relationship going and building, so the sales come in? Blogging is a key way to accomplish this. Today, it needs to be more than just a “thing to do” on a list. A key thing? Don’t just write one blog and drop it. You need continuity, so when you start your blog, then continue to do it!
Where to Start – Identify Your Target Audience
The first thing to consider is why you want to write a blog in the first place. You also need to first identify your target audience – who will be reading your blog. In addition, you not only need to understand who your audience is but whether they are the right people (audience) that you want to reach.
It goes back to deciding on and mapping out your audience’s personas. The personas
Include the different types of people in your audience. You want to make sure that you can create the right content in your blogs that’s right for them.
Decide on Your Blog’s Persona
After working through your audience personas, you also need come up with a focus for your blog, as well as the persona you (or whoever writes your blog) has. You need to make sure you need to create a personality for your blog. Think of this as “the voice of the blog.” Are you going to be more casual and fun, insider tips, perhaps, or industry and product updates?
Content – Hitting the Right “Hot Buttons”
What are key topics that your readers (potential clients as well as existing ones) want to read about? Rule #1 – Don’t try and sell anything to them via a blog. That will immediately turn them off, exit, and never return!
Instead, think of key things your audience would like to read about, engage in and gain more information about. A few ideas to think about and leverage:
- Keep up with a latest trend
- An insider tip
- Update on a product or a brand
- A fun story angle related to a product
- A personal story angle that ties in with a product
- Something new and upcoming
Extra Tips and Insights
How long does the blog have to be and how often should you be posting a blog? One of the key things to remember is making sure your blog gets “found.” One of the key things search engines use is word count. 500 words or more seems to be the magic number right now to pull up in SEO. Another key thing to consider is using photos and images in your blog. Photos and images tend to attract a reader’s attention, and are a great way to make your blog visually appealing.
As far as using photos and images, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Don’t just download photos – you don’t want to get into legal problems by using a photo or image that is technically someone else’s. When using a photo from a company partner (that has given permission to use their photos) make sure you give them proper credit – i.e. “Photo courtesy of xxx”. As far as the size of photos to use, the largest image should be no bigger than 1200 x 1200 pixels. There are terrific programs available that are easy to use when it comes to resizing.
Think Keywords First!
Keywords are critical today and you want to make sure you use ones that fit your audience, as well as ones that are easily found. The headline to your blog is critical when it comes to search engines as well as humans. So do research first, and determine what keywords you want to use in your title headline first. Yes, the title comes first!
More Insider Thoughts
It’s important to avoid jargon, keep your language relatively informal, and make sure you include section headers. To stay on track, come up with an editorial calendar and build out your topics. If time challenged, could you occasionally use another contributor, another member of your team? Also with today’s world becoming even more mobile, make sure your blog design is mobile friendly. You’re engaging with your clients along with future ones, so take them through the journey through your ongoing blogs.