One of the most difficult parts of blogging is actually getting started. You might ask yourself, “What do I have to say about anything?”, “Is it really that important?”, “Who will actually read what I have to write?”. The answers to these questions can never be revealed – if you never start blogging.
We’ve all heard about the benefits of generating fresh content that search engines love, link-worthy posts that get shared across the web, and brand interaction that can only happen in the blogosphere, but what about the difficulty of coming up with and writing good posts? To help, here are some tips to make sure that your first foray into blogging is successful.
1. Getting Post Ideas
Take a different perspective or provide better information than other blogs in your industry. Think about what topics a reader would find interesting, useful, or relevant about your industry. Do not make your blog a sales pitch. Write about topics that can help your readers, industry news, or ways to use your product. Use the opportunity you have to connect with your readers by showing you know what you’re talking about when it comes to your industry.
Don’t risk your reputation by posting controversial, personal, or hostile blogs – unless that’s part of your brand. The blog may be one of the first interactions a customer has with you. Make the interaction count by establishing trust and credibility thorough engaging, interesting, or useful content.
2. Length and Style
150-250 words is best, as most internet readers tend to skim. If your industry requires you to be more in depth, you can go beyond 250 words. You can also stretch a complicated topic across several posts, rather than stuffing it all into one entry.
Most blog posts tend to be conversational and informal in tone, although certain industries may need to be more technical or informational. Just remember to give your posts personality. Think of your blog as a “lobby” for your brand. It has to feel welcoming and approachable, while still being able to convey all of the useful information visitors need.
You can use traditional paragraphs, quotations, bullet points, lists, images, video, and other formats to organize your information in a way that make it easy and accessible for your readers. Be creative!
4. Write Solid Headlines
The headline is one of the most important pieces of a blog post. Just like your storefront attracts a customer in to shop, a good headline will keep your visitors reading. When writing headlines, remember not to shout or market at readers. Instead, give them something short, sweet, and engaging. Entice them in. Use active voice.
5. Using Links Responsibly
Do not use more than a few links in a blog post, otherwise your post will appear like spam. Instead, link when necessary and relevant to what you’re talking about. Try not to use the phrase “click here”as the anchor text when linking. Use keywords that are relevant to your brand as the anchor text instead. It’s more understandable and can help with search rankings.
6. Use Images
Images can make your post more attractive while breaking up all of that text to make it easier to read. Try to include images that compliment what you’re talking about in your post. Also, don’t forget to use the image alt tag to provide search engines with information on what the image contains.
7. Be Consistent
Daily updates are ideal but anything less than weekly risks losing readers. Establish a posting schedule so that you keep the fresh content coming. The worst thing that you could do is to start blogging and then go missing. It becomes embarrassing when a reader comes to your blog only to find that the last update is months old. If the company doesn’t care enough to update the blog regularly, what does that say about how it values its customers?
8. Proofread, Edit, Proofread Again
There’s nothing worse than reading a blog post riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. It’s frustrating for the reader and it looks unprofessional. Take time to proofread, edit, and proofread again.
9. Respond to Feedback
Blogs are an excellent customer service tool as they create a more informal environment for customers to voice their thoughts or concerns. Be sure to take the time to respond and interact accordingly.
10. Be Committed
Finally, be committed to your blog. Make the effort to update regularly, develop good content, and be a thought leader in your industry. Practice writing. Read more. Comment and interact on other blogs in your industry. By being committed to making your blog successful, you’re already taking the first step towards having a blog that helps your brand, and ultimately, your business.