Blogging can make your site easier to find, boost lead generation and improve client relations. But what if you don't know what to write about? How can you get started? This guide can help you build a bodacious blog that'll help you conquer the Web.
If you're not convinced a blog will be beneficial, think again. Here are some of the benefits of a blog.
- Boost SEO: Search engines love new content. It encourages them to crawl and index your site more often. Adding content related to your industry through your blog can also boost your site’s overall relevance for targeted search terms.
- Woo Prospective Customers: Blog articles can provide answers to common questions from potential customers, thereby building your company’s reputation as a trusted resource early on in the sales cycle.
- Build Brand Loyalty: By providing interesting and useful content for your current customers, your blog will also build brand loyalty from your current client base.
Now that you're convinced a blog can help you win new customers and conquer the Internet, here are some basics to help you get started.
- Post Length: Aim for 300-500 words. But don’t keep writing just to fulfill the word count—content that’s informative and engaging should be your primary objective. And likewise, if you really have something to say, don't stop just because you have reached 500 words.
- Be Creative: Posts that feature interesting graphics, charts, photos or videos are excellent for capturing attention and delivering information. Lists are also a great way to provide captivating content in an easily readable form. Blogs can be both informative and entertaining, so don’t be afraid to show some personality or use tasteful humor.
- Include Keywords: Include keywords related to your business in your blog entries, but keep readability in mind. A paragraph that repeats the same word over and over again does not make enjoyable reading, and it won’t boost your search engine rankings. A keyword should appear in your post no more than 2-3 times, and it is best to use synonyms, too.
- Link Love: Link to relevant pages on your site(s) from your posts when the opportunity naturally arises. For example, if you mention one of your locations in a post, link to its home page or another relevant page on the location domain. Be sure to link text in the post, as opposed to simply writing out the URL.
- Tag and Categorize your Post: Categorizing and tagging is a great way to enhance the optimization of your post and also helps your readers navigate their way to topics that interest them. Think of categories as high-level groupings and tags as more granular in nature. Each post should be assigned one category and a handful of tags.
- Share on Social Media: You’ve written the content, now it’s time to share! Post your blog article on whatever social media platforms your company is active—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others.
- Answer Primary Questions: Brainstorm the top 10 questions your prospective customers ask. Then write separate blog articles that address each in a thoughtful, informative way.
- Read: Set up a RSS feed or subscribe to blogs related to your industry. Read them regularly to find inspiration. And browse the question and answer site Quora on topics associated with your industry (self storage: moving; senior housing: aging, senior living; multi-family: apartment rentals). Build upon ideasyou come across or offer an alternative view to what was written.
- Interviews: Current customers are a great source of blog post inspiration. Look for opportunities to tell their stories in a way that will engage your audience.