10 Tips How to Start a Successful Blog
Having a successful blog is one of the most important pieces of your social media and online marketing strategy. It allows you to show current and future customers what you and your company are all about, and you can do so with a more relaxed and casual approach. While corporate websites are generally more formal and technical from a content standpoint, a blog allows you to express thoughts and share ideas on a wide variety of topics. A regularly updated blog should be considered and included in the web design when developing your site.
Lets’ start by defining what a blog is.
What is a Blog?
The definition of a blog is a regularly updated website or a pages on a website that features articles written in a conversational style and includes pictures and or videos. Another way to describe a blog is an online diary where people and now businesses share stories and helpful articles information on the web.
Why Should You Have A Blog?
One of the most important reasons to have an area on your site to share content is to establish a reputation and credibility. A reputation for being an industry expert, knowledgeable and providing factual, relevant information. If you can establish this online reputation, you’ll earn the favour of the search engines and rank higher in search results.
Did you know that about 75% of clicks come from the first page of Google results? This graph shows the importance of being on that first page, most notably in the top position. According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 99,000 queries per second. That’s a lot of opportunities for you to position yourself in those rankings!
The more articles you write, the more content you will have available to share and that means more opportunities to appear in searches. When someone searches for something and your blog article pops up in the results, there’s a high probability they will visit your website. If you’re strategic about what they see when they’re there, those visits could turn into leads which eventually turn into customers. Do you see where we’re going with this? Do you see how a blog can be a powerful tool?
Here are some tips to get your blog off the ground and gain great success so you can grow your business.
First, Your Site Needs a Blogging Platform
You can choose to build a new blog on platforms like WordPress or Blogger but ideally, the blog should be integrated onto your existing company website for it to help with search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is about having great engaging content such as helpful articles that will your audience will read and share it with their friends and family.
Establish Your Strategy
While it can be a creative outlet to hammer out your thoughts on a particular topic and post to the blog, there needs to be some strategy behind it. Consider what people are searching for and capitalize on some keywords after doing a bit of research. Discover what terms are being searched the most and which ones relate to your business or industry. Use those words naturally throughout your article. We suggest, if possible, to include these keywords in the title, headings, sub-headings, first sentence, last paragraph and any anchor text (hyperlinked to other articles on your site).
A word of warning: don’t stuff your article so full of keywords that it becomes difficult to read. Your readers will find this irritating and you will actually be penalized by Google. Keywords will help your ranking if you just include them naturally.
Consider what you would like your reader to do once they find you. Are you directing them to a related product on your website? Inviting them to complete a form to receive a free eBook? To fully leverage a blog, take some time to get strategic and consider ways you can optimize exposure for your company and turn visitors into customers! Discuss these ideas with your web development team so they can be best implemented.
Write on Topics You are Passionate About
What makes for a great blog article? The best articles focus on one specific topic or genre and are written by people that are passionate about the subject. Readers are drawn to a blog because they too are passionate about the topic. It’s hard to build dedicated followers if you are posting random musings covering a million different subjects (unless you’re completely hilarious in the process). The bonus to picking a topic that you really care about is the actual writing will flow naturally.
Readers love to feel a personal connection with the bloggers they follow. Be sure to inject some personality and authenticity in your posts. The best online articles have lots of readers and interactions. Ask questions and encourage dialogue in the comments section. And, when someone leaves a comment on your posts, be sure to respond. Sharing your thoughts and communicating with people that share your life’s passion is one of the most rewarding reasons for having a blog. And you can generally learn a few things along the way too.
Add Great Images to Your Blog
A picture is worth a thousand words. Articles that use beautiful photography or illustrations are far more engaging than simple text. For example, reading about an amazing lasagna dish is great, but seeing the preparation and the final gooey delicious product makes the experience even better. And, seeing the blogger/chef in the kitchen making the lasagna builds an even stronger connection.
Including imagery or video in your articles not only engages your audience, but can also improve your Google ranking. According to LinkedIn, a video will raise your conversion rate, on average, by 80% and is 1200% more likely to be shared on social media. Food for thought.
Design a Beautiful Blog Landing and Article Page
From a technical and design standpoint, be sure to put some time and energy into your web design and build a blog that has a pleasing layout and is easy to navigate for your visitors. Avoid adding unnecessary features. Consider including an intuitive search function, easy to scroll through previous posts and simple social sharing and commenting abilities are a must. With today’s use of mobile devices, be sure your web development team uses responsive design for your online articles to maximize user experience. Avoid clutter.
Engage Your Audience
You’ll want to ensure your content is engaging for your readers. Entice the reader with insights of the entire article so they will read through to the conclusion. If they simply skim the first paragraph and leave, their visit will not rank by Google. The best way to guarantee an engaged reader is to provide well-written and informative posts. The old adage “quality versus quantity” certainly rings true. Always write so the article is broken into digestible chunks with headings for each. This makes the article a more enjoyable read, no one wants to read a long essay.
Always Proofread and Spell Check Your Articles
Make sure to always check your spelling and proofread your articles and maybe even get a friend to review the article before you publish it live on your blog. Your credibility depends on it!
Encourage Interaction with Your Reader
When writing your blog articles try to find ways to get your readers to interact with you and add comments. Ask for feedback or ask questions in your write-ups and when you get comments make sure to always respond. Be friendly and have fun. If by chance you get a negative comment, don’t let that scare you, you can politely respond or delete it.
Stay Current and Blog Regularly
Keeping the content fresh is important. Who wants to visit a blog only to find the last post was from two years ago? If you love to write, that’s easy. But, for many of our clients, they don’t have the time or inclination to author their own blog. That’s where we can help.
Spread The Word
Once you’ve developed a plan for your blog and you have some quality content, you’ll want people to read it. A great way to share these posts is through your social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Stories, Pinterest or LinkedIn. Hopefully, you have already established a base of loyal fans/customers/clients on these platforms, and sharing your latest post is a great way to increase traffic while offering up useful and valuable information.
You can also ask people to subscribe and send these posts out in the form of a newsletter or eblast. By completing a subscribe form, they are giving you permission to contact them and you’re adhering to Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).
Review your Google Analytics
Monitor your blog visits by regularly checking your Google Analytics to see how people are finding you. Are people reading your articles, or are they quickly bouncing off the page? If no one is reading your blog article, it might be time to review it, update the content, images, add punchier headings and once this is done, share it on social media to get more readers.
Don’t be Afraid To Ask for Help
Don’t have a blog on your company website and don’t know where to start? We can help. Not only can we build a beautiful custom website using WordPress but we can also provide your company with our creative writing services too. Not every business has employees that are passionate about writing. Consider outsourcing your article writing to a freelance writer or an agency such as ZOO!
When we work with a new client, we always make it a top priority to get to know their business inside and out. Not only their business and industry, we also spend time getting to know the people and the corporate culture. When we do this, we are able to write for them and interact with their fan base in their own unique voice, focusing on their priorities and messaging. In a way, we become a member of their team. We have always fancied ourselves as a marketing department that can be hired to manage and develop a company’s brand image and website. We’re there when you need us, and just as important – we can step back when you don’t.
We have our own ZOO Media Group blog and have witnessed firsthand the great results that are possible. It allows us to share insightful tips about marketing, branding, web design and things like trends in design and technology. This information is not only useful to our clients, but it also helps establish our own credibility with current and prospective clients throughout North America and in our hometown London, Ontario. Our blog also attracts traffic to our website, providing better search ranking, more leads and more clients.
Blogging is a wonderful way to strengthen and grow a brand’s reach. To learn more about our web development and content writing services, contact ZOO Media Group today!