If you have a website with a blog facility, you should be maximising it as much as you can by writing regular, quality blogs. Blogging is really important for three key reasons:
- It is a great way for you to demonstrate to your customers that you are an expert in your field by writing about aspects of the industry or educating your client base on something they don’t know.
- It allows you to add lots of pages to your site with relevant content without having to have any additional design, development or structural work.
- Having new pages added frequently with content that have keywords appropriate to what people are searching for online will really help with Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO.
When it actually comes down to writing the blogs however, many people find it difficult to think of topics to write about and then actually set aside time to do them.
Decide when you’re going to blog
The first thing to do is think about how often you are going to blog and build it into your schedule or diary. The key thing is to be realistic about this and commit to a frequency that you can achieve. Rather than saying you’ll write two blogs a week and then struggle to deliver them, start with a blog every fortnight and see how you get on – you can always dial the frequency up or down depending on how you get on. The most important thing though is to make sure that you stick to it when you’ve agreed on your timings otherwise you could be perceived as unreliable.
Create a Content Calendar
It can be very difficult to sit down and instantly start writing a blog. You may know your industry inside out but being pressured to write something others will find interesting can often hold you back. Instead, create a content calendar and update it every three months with your blog topics, so you can refer to it and then instantly start writing. When creating a content calendar drop it on a simple spreadsheet with the following headings:
- Title of blog
- General theme of the blog
- Key things that you should add into the blog – this is where you would add in notes on the specific things that you will be writing about as you might forget two months after you note the subject down!
- Useful links you might want to refer to
- Date you will write the blog
- Images or ideas of imagery you want to add
By doing this, you will likely spend 4-5 hours every quarter getting the content identified, but it will save a considerable amount of time moving forward because the things you are blogging about are already identified so you can just start writing.
Assign people to help
If you are a sole trader or a one person business the blogging process will fall to you (unless you outsource it), however, if you work as part of a larger team it is much easier to create the content calendar with your team and then assigns different people to help you write the blogs. This might just be a sensible division of labour to help you to get the blogs written and uploaded, or it might be because you have specialists in your business that are best placed to write about certain things. Always try to find the right balance between technical information and a light-hearted way of communicating or perhaps have someone centrally who edits the blogs so they all have a similar tone and level of detail.
Think about seasonality or special events
When you create your content calendar, also think about the time of year and what might be relevant to your target audience at those specific times of the year. This is important as it always has to be relevant to your customers, or it just won’t connect with them. Don’t just think about seasons, consider other events too:
- Sporting events
- Current affairs in the news
- Religious holidays
- Political events
- Events from different countries – Eg Independence day in the USA or Australia day in Oz
Use images and videos where you can
Using images and videos are important on a blog because:
- they can instantly help to engage people visually and therefore increase the chances of people reading it
- it enables you to ‘show’ something to help explain what you’re saying, such as a graph for statistics, a technical drawing for a product or a flow chart for a process – it might just be something simple though like a picture to bring context
- it can help with SEO (search engine optimisation)
If you are not blogging then you might not be maximising how effective your website is. If you consider your own online behaviour many of the searches for information that you make result in Google delivering a result which is a blog. This can drive more traffic to your website, introduce new customers interested in what you do to your business and deliver the ability to add lots of content to your site without any structural modifications.
Approach blogging like a core marketing activity, but one which you can do yourselves with no additional external cost to your business. It can also empower your staff to demonstrate their own capabilities which is great for development and morale.
If you need some help with blogging, get in touch with the My New Venture team.