Following on from last week’s piece on social media, I thought I’d continue sharing my ‘new kid on the block’ adventures of the world of inbound. This week I want to talk about something that a lot of us (myself included) have trouble with: blogging.
Something we’ve all been guilty of at some point is neglecting our precious blogs, case in point: The Bright Blog. This piece of the inbound puzzle is critical to your success online and unfortunately, it’s hard to consistently find time every week to dedicate to it. Sarah even wrote about this very topic last year.
Something that definitely motivates me to write more and more is getting results. And I’m probably not alone there. When you see how far-reaching your content is becoming, it motivates you to push harder and deliver content that sets you apart from all others. Content that establishes your business as a thought leader in your industry.
But how does one begin to create far-reaching and engaging content?
WELL. With this handy piece of blog post inception (a blog post about writing a blog post – Christopher Nolan’s Inception reference, anyone??), you’ll be well on your way!
Pick a topic and stick to it!
Rightly pointed out to me on my personal blog some time ago was how chaotic it appeared to be, with each post covering a number of seemingly random topics (which of course all made sense in my head, but not so much to the outside world).
But how does one pick a topic? What are your buyer personas talking about? What are your competitors talking about? What do you wish people knew about your industry? These are a few handy places to start.
Pick a working title
When you pick your title, make the value of the post clear. Not to toot my own horn but this post is a perfect example. From the title alone, you can tell this is an article about writing blog posts, and not about the upcoming season of Keeping up with the Kardashians. Picking a working title helps guide your search engine optimization (SEO) and will help make you more locatable in search engines; something that will help you create those far-reaching posts much quicker!
While this does sound like the name of a parallel dimension (or at least it did when I first heard it), whitespace is the name given to the empty space on your blog posts and website. A good blog post, much like this one (again, with the horn tooting, sorry guys!) will use subheadings, bullet lists and even images to break up information and make it more palatable.
Include both internal and external links in each post
There are a few reasons why this will help you:
- It shows you’ve done your research
- It drives traffic to previous, related articles of your own
- It allows search engines to identify you more easily as a reputable source on the information you provide
Forbes writer, Jason DeMers wrote this article on the distinction between a 'good' blog post and a 'almost perfect' blog post. Sharing Jason's article is a good blogging practice, but the content is also very relavent, so its win-win!
Use a call-to-action on each post to promote your current offers
Displaying a ‘subscribe to our blog’ button or something similar next to each post will direct your readership to becoming potential leads for your business, as will more specific calls-to-action at the bottom of specific articles linking to relevant additional information you might have available, like ebooks, comprehensive guides, and reports.
Promote your articles via social media and email
If you found this article via social media or email, chances are this step was already pretty obvious. But given how much time people spend online these days, whether or not you share your posts on these platforms can either make or break you.
Analyse your blog as a whole
Find which topics, authors channels of promotion are working best for your business. This, as they say, will be the proof in your metaphorical pudding. These are hard facts and figures that will guide what you post in the future. Though it isn’t necessarily a step in mastering the art of blog posting, blogging can be a trial and error process. So stick with it and be adaptable and in no time you’ll be on your way to making your mark in the industry.
There's no doubt, blogging is a slow burn, you are unlikely to see huge results overnight, but with a consistent effort, we can all use our blogs as a crucial weapon in the marketing arsenal.