Blogging is a really easy way to start spreading your special message online. A good blog will education, entertain and encourage your website's visitors while generating more traffic and therefore more potential customers. Over the next month we will be publishing a series of posts on techniques for successfully managing your blog and hopefully break down some of the ‘black magic’ out there associated with blogs and search engine optimization.
First, blogging should be fun and easy. If it wasn’t, why would so many people have their own personal blogs? You company should already have the interface setup and you are just expected to write content, manage comments, and generally build marketing pull for the company. Initially, this can seem like an overwhelm prospect, but it should be.
To simplify blogging, we have broke it down into five sections; Content, Connections, Comments, Creativity and Commitment. Each of these 5 C’s are equally important to the success of your blog, though they each require different amounts of effort during the maturation process. Over the next few weeks we will thoroughly explain each section, why it is important and some simple ways to succeed.
“Content is King!” This is the battlecry of many digital marketing agencies and is commonly as a simplification of search engine optimization strategies. However, all content is not created equally. Why do some company blogs take off while others drag by the wayside?
We spent the last year investigating the differences in content and found all blog posts could be segmented into one of six types; Public Relations, Sales, Editorial, Education, Technical and Stories. The first two types (Public Relations and Sales) are not productive to any blog, and we suspect they can actually be detrimental to small businesses. Story blogs also generally do not fit well with a small business profile, which leaves Editorial, Education and Technical. Our research found that regularly cycling through these types of blogs can generate real, sustained viewership to any blog.
There are also a few technical considerations to blog content. To have a real impact on search engines, you posts need to be at least a thousand (1000) words long and have decent keyword density. The word count is not a hard minimum, rather is a good target to generate a diversity of words while still being able to maintain a good keyword density. The keyword density is how many times and varieties of a particular keyword or key concept are mentioned in the post.
Connections are all the methods for distributing the blog posts on other platforms, primarily social media. Posting links to your blog posts on social media highlights the topics you are discussing and encourages others to read and share your posts.
Another issue to consider is your sources of traffic. A large number of visitors from Facebook is different than Google. Some connections generate more traffic than other connections, and analyzing where your traffic originates helps determine how to allocate your publicity efforts and where to spend time in building more connections.
The top search engines have a set of tools for webmasters to view and manage their website's profile. An important feature of these tools are the search keyword analysis tool, where you can when your website appears on various search terms.
Feedback is essential in determining the subject of new content. Comments provide an instant, albeit subjective, to what your visitors are thinking. Their often naive questions or statements can indicate areas for explanation that you, as an expert in your field, over look as being obvious.
Encouraging users to comment can be hard for smaller, independent blogs. There are a variety of tricks, from allowing anonymous comments to integrating your blog with major social media platforms. Anything which minimizes spam while reducing a hurdle for your visitors to engage is worth investigating and using if appropriate.
Once you start getting comments, you will start getting spam comments. Most spam are comments whose only purpose is to hawk the spammers products. Most of the times these comments are obvious, though there is a growing trend of using legit sound generic comments to get a link back to their website. The website associated with the comment is often telling if the comment is just link spam.
Your blog must demonstrate the company’s inner passion without saying a single word. The color scheme, the imagery, the navigation options and the general ease must resonate with your target viewership without them having to read anything.
Our blog, for example, is simple and to the point. We don’t have a hundred little things in the sidebar to distract you; rather we focus on the content. Our content can be complex at times, and we would rather you focus on understanding the topics than reading one paragraph and getting distracted by a flashing gif image.
Creativity should impact your content in your choice of subjects as well as your perspective on those subjects.
Creating a blog and posting a bunch of content over a short period of time then ignoring the blog for a few months is common. It is easy to put creating blog posts on the back-burner when other things seem more pressing.
Commitment applies to two parts of the blogging process. First, it means placing a priority in regularly interacting with visitors through posting new content and responding to comments. Content can often be created in batches when you have available time then set to post automatically in the future. Responding to comments thought requires action within a short period of time of their comment.
The second portion of commitment is to your subject matter. A blog posting about dessert recipes should not deviate to a political topic, no matter the importance of said political topic. Your visitors are coming for recipes, not rants, so feed them recipes.
Conclusion could be thought of as the sixth C, but is just a good practice of writing. When you are writing blog posts think about who you want reading your posts and what encourages them to trust you. Blogging is about creating trust in others that you are an expert and someone they want to work with.
Over the next month or so of Fridays, we will dig deeper into each of these concepts and hopefully provide you with clear examples of what you should be doing and not doing.