The Ultimate Guide to Blogging
Blogging, a concept that once used to represent an outlet for individuals to document their lives online has now transformed into an indispensable part of marketing.
If your business doesn’t have a blog, chances are there is a huge scope of improvement in your marketing efforts. Blog marketing is the process of using blogs to reach and inform your target audience. So, what is a blog?
Hubspot defines a blog as “posts that allow you and your business to publish insights, thoughts, and stories on your website about any topic. They can help you boost traffic, brand awareness, credibility, conversions, and revenue.”
Blogging is as simple – and as complex – as that.
Now that we know what it means, here is an ultimate guide to improving your blogging game:
Step 1: Determine the ‘why’ you’re blogging
According to SEMrush even though your blog is a large part of your content marketing strategy, its main purpose isn’t sales – and we can’t agree more!
While you create your blog, it is important to remember that your blog is a space to show your customer that you care and want to add value to their lives. Therefore, it is crucial to publish information that will establish your brand as a credible thought leader in the field.
Blogging has other advantages too.
The Balance Small Business outlines a few other pros – it is inexpensive to start and maintain, easy to use, generates website traffic, improves SEO, engages your target audience and creates more avenues to generate revenue.
Step 2: Know your audience
While the purpose of your blog may be to establish your company as a thought leader and to elevate the brand’s image, it is just as important (if not more important) to cater to your audience’s interests.
Remember, your audience is interested in the services you offer, but it’s your job to convince them that your business is the right fit for them. So, if you start pitching your business straight away, you’re sure to lose your audience.
Therefore, it is important that you are producing something that adds value to your target audience’s lives, introduces them to new ideas and hooks them to find out more. For example, if you’re a marketing firm, there are a billion other firms out there. Your audience will look to your blog to understand what you’re doing that’s new and interesting in the field. So, you may want to talk about marketing tips, strategies and tools that may help your customer, rather than the specific services that you offer.
So how do you know what your customer wants? Create profiles on your target audience!
It’s all about breaking down your target audience by demographics, needs, financial capacity and a host of other metrics to really understand how they think, what their needs are and then understanding how to meet that need.
Step 3: Engage your audience
With a wealth of information available at our fingertips, it’s no secret that people’s attention spans are getting shorter. Therefore, it becomes very important to engage your target audience.
A catchy heading is absolutely essential to capture your audience’s attention.
This should be short, snappy and attractive. This can usually take the form of “How to” or “What is” or “10 ways to…” posts.
It’s best to use the listicle format so your content looks well-organized and delivers what it promises by establishing clear topics and sub-topics.
Next, you need to have a great intro.
The first few sentences of your blog can make or break your blog. It makes the difference between generating a lead and losing a customer. HubSpot recommends that you “tell a story, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.”
The rest of your post can be written in any format you desire, as long as you keep your objective in mind throughout the process. This could include infographics, photos, videos, and other creative forms of expression.
Step 4: Develop a content marketing plan
Social Media Examiner recommends mapping out your marketing calendar. The idea is to create hooks around content that you develop.
This means organizing your content to come out at an appropriate time – this can include public holidays, and other important dates, as well as dates specific to your product or service such as events, conferences and tradeshows you attend or any other marketing activation that you engage in.
Step 5: Be heard
Once all the hard work of producing a brilliant blog is done, you want to share the news!
The first step is ensuring that your content is search engine optimized. This means ensuring that relevant keywords are incorporated seamlessly into the article, as well as ensuring that your blog is optimized for mobile phones. Scott Chow offers other neat hacks to SEO such as header tags, permalinks and categorization.
Other methods of marketing your blog can include simple word-of-mouth, sharing your blog across your social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, creating an EDM campaign, engaging with other bloggers and even including calls to action on your blog to engage more actively with your target audience.
And most importantly, have fun with it!
Your blog is your space to get your creative juices flowing and create something new and interesting to share – enjoy the process!