Blogging How To

Create more opportunities with this Blogging How To

This is a Blogging How To.

But, before there’s a “How” of something, there should always be a Why.

It places the knowledge firmly in your mind and helps you decide whether this course of action, in this case blogging, is appropriate for your business.

Blogging has been around since the 1990’s and is a shortening of the term “weblog” i.e. a diary that is web based. Some say that this term actually hearkens back to the 1960’s Star Trek Intro where Captain James T Kirk would introduce the show with his now famous “Captain’s Log Stardate 41153.7. Our destination is planet Deneb IV……. ” and so on.

WebLog or Captains Log for Blogging

Blogging is no longer a simple record of events, although it can be. Blogs have evolved into something more useful in the marketing equation. They are a way of;

  • Keeping a website current and the traffic flowing in to your website.
    Much of your websites content such as products, history, about pages etc probably doesn’t change too regularly. Blogging is a way to keep your website current and contributes to your position on Google.
  • Identifying what interests your target customers
    If they don’t like, share or comment on what you’ve written then they’re probably not interested in what you are saying. It’s best to figure this out early on so you can refine how you connect and engage with your target audience and ultimately turn them into customers. This is a listening opportunity.
  • Showing off your expertise
    If you are positioning yourself or your business as an expert in a particular field then you’ve got to show it off. What better way than writing / blogging about it so people can read what you’ve written and gain an insight into the depth of knowledge you have on a particular topic.
  • Inviting Readers in to the Buying Process
    The expertise or knowledge that you share in your blogging allows readers to know more and can be an invitation to start a buying process with you. Think of that process as a funnel. The funnel is for both buyer and seller, each deciding whether they are a match or not. The potential buyer decides if you and / or your product is for them and you decide if they as a potential customer are a fit for you.  Sales and selling has evolved into more of a matching process than the historical badgering of people to buy the latest thing.

When you invite more people in to your funnel you create more opportunities for your business.

Think of your blogging content as an invitation to potential customers. Click To Tweet

 

And make it part of your marketing strategy.

 

Blogging Statistic

 

According to HubSpot, companies that blog generate 55% more website visitors than companies without blogs.  Surely that’s reason enough to start your blog and make it part of how you grow your business.

 

We’ve got the why. Now let’s focus on the blogging how to:

 

  1. Get in the Habit of Writing Every Day
    It’s the biggest obstacle for any business who wants to integrate blogging in to their marketing routine. This is about forming a consistent habit of writing regularly. The more you do, the better you’ll get. Start with setting a goal to write half an hour every day.
    You don't have to complete a full blog post every day. You simply have to write every day. Click To Tweet
    The process will help you train your brain into collating your thoughts into a coherent article that will help you promote your business.750 Words for BloggingConsider using a site such as 750 Words to help you with this process. Each month is broken down in days. A full 750 words gets you an “X” for that day, some words gets you a “/” for the day. And you get a score at the end of each month. These are small motivational tricks but they work and will help you develop the habit of writing regularly.
  2. Choose a topic you feel comfortable writing about.
    Successful blogging needs at least over 1,000 words per article. Can you write that much about the topic you are considering? Is it useful to your target customer? Usefulness has greater impact in marketing terms. It makes the blog worth sharing with others and drives traffic back to your website.  When potential customers reach your website there are many more marketing tools available to you.
  3. How many people are looking for information on this topic?
    Google it. How many results did you get? What did Google autosuggest when you were searching. Check out below the results I got when I searched for this article.Google Search for BloggingBlogging is a generic term so there’ll be high competition for that term. So I searched for something more specific and here are the results.Google Search Blogging How To
    Keyword research forms a critical part of successful blogging and we’ll do a separate blog post on that later and include items such as Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Trends . For now, just get started at this level. We’ll build on your expertise in this area later.
  4. When you’ve settled on your topic, craft a title that becomes the focus of the article.
    The keyword research helps you focus on which search term you are going to build your article around. If you’re stuck, use something like Answer the Public  to give you ideas. It takes the auto suggest functions of Google or Bing and adds a series of questions, terms or words which gives a much richer starting point for content ideas. Check out the results for my search on Blogging.Answer the Public - Blogging
    BuzzSumo is also a great resource for identifying topics people are searching for. It shows you the most shared articles using that keyword or search term.
  5. Every Blog Post has a Headline.
    With all the above in mind, now craft your headline. It’s the first thing people read before they decide if they’ll go any further. With that in mind, make sure your headline is clickworthy. There are several headline analysers out there, here’s two worthy of consideration and I use them in tandem:

    • The Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer from the Advanced Marketing Institute.
      This is really useful in that it can analyse your headline for a specific industry and rate you against it. Aim to get between 30 and 40% of a score here.AMI Headline Analyser for Blogging
    • Headline Analyser from CoSchedule
      This one also looks at the different types of language used in the headline. There’s a slightly different feel to this analyser and I like that it aims to help you increase that score and allows you to compare the different scores as you tweak. Aim to get over 70 here.CoSchedule Headline Analyser for Blogging
  6. Now Write Your Article.
    This takes practice. It’s best to write it in simple language and ensure there’s a flow to the article. Don’t meander too much. Stay on topic. It’s why we settle on the topic right from the very beginning. Think of the headline as a promise you make to the reader that you must deliver on. Refer back to the headline as you progress and make sure you keep your promise. Make sure there’s a start, middle and end to your article.
  7. Keep the Eye Engaged
    Blogging is more than writing an interesting article that is searched for. It’s about ensuring that your reader stays long enough to read all or most of your article. Accept that people are easily distracted. It’s the nature of our world. So in order to keep them reading keep their eyes engaged:

    • Use Headlines (preferably H2 Tags)
      It reminds the reader what they are reading about and guides them throughout the article. Making Headlines H2 Tags is good for google too.
    • Break things up with Bullet Pointed Lists
      Again this helps keep the eye focused.
    • Add Images that Communicate the Message
      Use Canva to create custom images for your post. This allows you to add ensure your images remain on brand and are recognisable as being from you and you can add text to communicate even more.  We’ve done a “How To” article on Canva here if you’d like to learn more.Canva Screengrab for BloggingIf you need to source images to make your custom images even stronger try these image sources:

  8. Close with a Bio
    The distance from the top of a 2,000 word article and the bottom is long. Remind them at the end who wrote this piece that they are learning so much from. Whether you’re building expertise or brand awareness of a product always remind them where they found the answers they were looking for.
  9. Use an SEO Plug In on your Website
    One of the most commonly used website and / or blogging platforms is WordPress. Make sure you’ve got an SEO plugin so you tick all the SEO boxes for your article. I use and recommend Yoast which is designed for WordPress – it’s easy to use and teaches you as you go.  Here’s the analysis of this page. You can see Yoast advises you at each point what you need to change to make your blog better. The objective is to get an overall green score for each blog post. Even with these orange flags the overall score is green so I’m happy for the blog to go live at this point.Yoast SEO PlugIn for Blogging
    Yoast checks for each of the following:

    • Unique Focus Keyword (this is what we picked at the start)
    • Page Title
    • URL
    • SEO Title
    • Meta Description
    • Keyword Density
    • Fleisch Reading Score
  10. Add Sharing Buttons
    If the reader likes it, you want them to share it. So give them the tools to do that. Warfare Sharing Buttons  or Social Media Feather are two great ones.
  11. Add Click to Tweet Buttons
    If there are some self contained statements that you feel are shareable add a click to tweet button to them and entice your reader to share them as they read.Remember your reader often needs to fill their social media calendars too. Help them do it. Click To TweetYou are helping them here and building your own Social Proof. Here are two well know plugins you can use

  12. Now Release Your Post across all your Social Media
    You can choose to release it uniquely in each of your chosen social media channels but I like to automate when and where I can. I find Coschedule a great tool for releasing blogs over time.Coschedule Screengrab for BloggingI also love that it integrates with Buffer so that the blog release simply integrates with your existing schedule. We’ll discuss more on Buffer later.

So now you have the why and the bogging how to.

Start today and create more opportunities for your business. Remember

Companies that blog generate 55% more website visitors than companies without blogs. Click To Tweet

 

Marketing Strategist, Speaker & Founder at How Great Marketing Works |

I love to work with businesses, both large and small to help them create sustainable business dreams... Brand and Strategy are at the heart of everything I do and that gets rolled out digitally and across any channel where your customer lives.

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