How & why to blog...
Why blog in the first place?
Its good to know how to blog but its even more important to know the benefits of blogging. Well firstly blogging is a form of content marketing and is probably one of the easiest and best ways for you to market your business and your industry knowledge. Blogging has many great advantages that contribute to stronger brand awareness and brand energy, these benefits are detailed below as follows.
When you hear the saying ‘Content is King’ believe it – never a truer word was spoken! Especially when it comes to content marketing. This is because your blog content helps Google find valuable information, so it can then display this in its search results, this helps to improve the optimisation of your website, which of cause generates more traffic for you.
2. Brand Positioning
The second advantage is… your blog content also helps to position your brand as a leader in your field. By providing valuable information and content for your customers, positions your business as a valuable resource of information. This information can be accessed any time and creates an invitation for the customer to get to know you or your brand better, and when done properly has the potential to build brand loyalty and brand recognition.
3. Customer Service
Your business would not be possible without your customers. When your providing valuable content for your customers you’re looking after them, your satisfying the customers need. Whether that be industry information, tips tricks, product or service requirements, this helps your customers. So if your current customers can’t pick up the phone and talk to you, you need to provide that information in another format, blogging is one of the best ways to do just that, this also allows the customer to get to know you.
For instance, say if I’m looking for a nutritionist and I find your website, and I go on there to browse and check out what your know, and how you provide it, all the while I’m qualifying you. I’m asking myself ‘hmmm what does this person know about nutrition, what’s their expertise, why should I choose them?’. The odds are if you can provide them with the right information they will be more inclined to want to choose your business, right?
So for potential customers, your blog is really important cause it allows them to glimpse and skim through information and get a feel for what your product or service is all about. This provides them with more confidence to do business with you or buy your products cause you’re helping them to make more informed decisions when your providing valuable information, which also helps build trust, reputation and brand loyalty.
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How to craft your blogs
Style of writing
A blog by its very nature needs to be easy to read, so make it conversational, you’re not writing a report and it’s not an investigative dry piece of writing. It’s a friendly piece of writing constructed as if you were having a conversation with your customer. But be careful because conversational does not mean ranting on with useless information.
You want the information to be succinct, sharp and to the point. You’re not writing a report however if you’re an accountant obviously the tone of your blog may have a more professional tone to it. Essentially you need to get cut through so your real aim is to make your piece of writing informative, inspirational, and even thought-provoking – providing expert industry information to your customers so you can keep them coming back for more.
What makes a blog article easy to read is its formatting. This is important because you don’t want it looking like a bunch of paragraphs, which (unless your reading a book) can be quite boring.
So to start with you will want to be using lots of space, to break it up. Section it out by using sub-headings, bullet points, break it up with images, quotes. Use bold or italic text to emphasise different ideas or points. You want to make it so that the reader can quickly skim through and get to the main points. You can even use call-to-action buttons to link to other areas of your site. Whatever you use it needs to keep the reader interested.
Internal and external linking is like a form of referencing and builds credibility. You can link to other blogs or pages on your website or you can use external linking and link to other websites, this helps to establish authority. Linking is a good strategy to use as it gives the reader more information. And tells them where you are sourcing the information from. Keeping in mind that when using external linking Google use the E-A-T formula this is one of many quality benchmark standards set by Google to ensure quality content is being delivered to their audience.
The E-A-T acronym is composed of these characteristics:
In short and without going into too much detail, it’s important to know that these quality standards affect your page ranking so it’s important to keep them in mind when writing your blog and to ensure that when you use linking to ensure that the site your linking to displays these characteristics as again this all forms part of your SEO.
How long is too long (or too short)
According to Hubspot the ideal blog post should be 2,100 to 2,500 words, this would be primarily for SEO purposes. However, if you’re writing as mentioned above to keep your customers up to date, you don’t need to drown them in a sea of information, it’s really what you think is appropriate for your customers. The standard length for a blog can be anywhere from 500 words to 2000 plus, it really depends on the message you want to convey. The main point is that you’re keeping it succinct and not trying to drag it out by useless wording, you definitely don’t want to do that cause again that can also work against you.
- Content is King – it helps your customers, your SEO and the positioning of your brand
- Make sure it’s conversational i.e. quick and easy to read
- Format by breaking up the text and using different formatting elements, to keep it interesting
- Make sure to follow the EAT formula for quality content to increase your optimisation
- Schedule in your calendar a time to write a blog per month or week to get into the rhythm of it
- And most of all have fun doing it!