If you remember StarTrek (or maybe still watch it in secret) you’ll be familiar with the phrase ‘Captain’s Log, Stardate 28 June 2320’. Blog is short for ‘Web log’ – and were originally a sort of digital diary. But blogs have come a long way since they were launched as an online journal.
Here are some ideas on what to do with a blog and how it can help your business.
Although it was originally a journal, it transmogrified over time as people blogged their thoughts, opinions – and now pretty much anything goes!
These are some of the questions I’m often asked.
Why should I blog?
- Google likes blogs, so you’re adding material to feed the search engines
- They add quality content to your website and there’s a big difference between thinly disguised sales pages and a good article that shares your expertise
- It keeps website active so there is always something new for the search engines to come back for – so they come back more frequently to review your website
- It’s an opportunity to show off your expertise. People are more likely to buy from someone with proven expertise than an unknown quantity.
How often do I need to blog?
Ideally, I’d aim for a minimum of twice a month – but once a week is a good habit to get! I write in batches so I always have some material in hand and don’t get to the point of having no blog and no time.
How long do the posts have to be?
As long as it takes to say what you have to say! Blogs can be one paragraph or a couple of thousand words (or more). Think about your reader, what kind of attention span do they have? If you write good stuff they won’t mind if it’s a bit longer.
You could write some short blogs and some longer ones. If you hate writing or just find it tedious, you could create an infographic or a video and post that instead.
What should I write about?
- Share your expertise – with tips, hints, how-tos
- Post a testimonial you’ve received with a case study
- Share a PowerPoint presentation
- Make recommendations – website, books, articles, course, teleseminars
- Share your views on someone else’s article, news item, book, blog, etc.
- Review a book in your specialist area
- Profile a client (with their permission, of course)
- Announce a new service or product
- Promote a special offer
- Explain a concept or process
- Have a rant!
I have a system – I have a list of all the services I offer and write a blog about the first one on the list. Then I write the next blog about the second item on the list – and so on. When I get to the end of the list, I go back to the beginning!
This means you are always writing about what you know about and also educating your audience about the depth of your knowledge.
Optimising your blog
Once you’ve written your articles, it’s time to make them attractive so people read them. Here are my tips:
Write a headline that uses your key word or phrase for this blog.
Add keyword tags that are the words or phrases that people are searching for when they are looking for your product or service.
Always add a relevant image – it gives the blog life and energy. You can resource these online from any of the image libraries – either royalty-free or paid-for. NEVER use an image you are not 100% sure that you have permission to use – so don’t get tempted by Google images!
Rename any images you’re adding with your keywords in the file name and alt tags.
Post each blog under a category so that people can read all the blogs under a single category if they’re interested in that subject – and it also adds another level of keyword strength for the search engines.
Spread the word – post your blog link to all your social media platforms.
Check with Google alerts to see if your blog is showing up for your keyword/phrase.
If you have a WordPress site install Yoast this plug in gives you a form to complete that enhances the search engine optimisation.
If you’re not sure what people are searching for check out answerthepublic.com for ideas. Just put the keyword you think people will search for and you’ll get lots of other ideas.