Blogging is a wicked cool way to engage your customers, increase your online visibility, and ramp up your social media content game to boot. But how do you go about providing great content for your customers? Here are eight tips to keep in mind when starting a blog for your company.
1. BE CONSISTENT
There’s nothing worse than visiting a company’s blog only to discover the latest blog post is four years old and completely irrelevant. Set yourself a reasonable goal and stick to your schedule. (Posting once or twice a week is often adequate for beginners, though we’re always eager to help those looking to take their SEO strategy to the next level!) It’s more important to be regular and reliable than it is to overexert yourself and end up giving up.
2. USE AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR
It can be helpful to establish an editorial calendar to plan your blog posts ahead of time. Looking ahead for several months can help you plan for seasonal content, assign specific posts to different staff members, or slot in guest bloggers. Most blogging platforms allow you to pre-write and then schedule posts for later release. If you find yourself with some extra writing time and a flood of ideas, you can get ahead of the game and stockpile some posts to use down the road. Developing a list of blog topics to cover can really help when the opposite happens and you find yourself faced with a bad case of writer’s block.
3. BE GENUINELY HELPFUL
Your blog may be hosted by your business but there are few things lamer than post after post that’s nothing more than a thinly disguised sales pitch. Establish yourself as an expert in your field by providing real, useful information to your customers. Your efforts will be more than repaid by engaged, dedicated customers who keep coming back, share your content, and help promote your products because they truly appreciate you and your brand.
4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO INJECT YOUR PERSONALITY
Nobody wants to read cookie-cutter blog posts. Don’t be afraid to let your sense of humour or unique perspective on life shine through. Don’t forget that people buy from people. So, let your customers get to know you and your employees a little better by including day-in-the-life or behind-the-scenes posts or staff profiles. The most successful bloggers are those who are genuine and forge real connections with their readers.
5. ADD IMAGES
There’s no excuse these days to have poor quality images on your blog. With cell phone cameras being so good it’s easy to snap great photos you can use to illustrate whatever you are talking about on your blog. That said, take a little time to master the basics of composition and lighting. If you really can’t be bothered, delegate the task to a staff member who likes the challenge of taking a good photo or hire a photographer. Ask customers to provide photos of your products in action or explore free online sources of quality photos like Unsplash but whatever you do, don’t think you can get away with ignoring visuals.
6. BREAK YOUR TEXT INTO MANAGEABLE SECTIONS
If visitors are really interested in the subject, they will hang around and read long form content. That said, it’s hard on the eyes to read huge, long blocks of text, especially on a screen. Be kind to your readers and break your text up into short, easily digestible chunks. Start each section with a sub-heading that clearly relates to whatever you are about to write about. Not only does this make it easier to skim through a long blog post and pull out key information, it’s good for SEO.
7. PAY ATTENTION TO SEO!
Speaking of SEO, ignore search engine optimization and pay the consequences when your blog never shows up in the top page or two of search engine results. Languishing in obscurity is not on anyone’s list of reasons to start a blog. Use keywords strategically, but don’t be tempted to stuff your blog post full of search terms. Search engines are smart (and getting smarter by the day) and they don’t appreciate it if you try to fool them. One of the ways search engines are improving their results is by understanding how users search for information. If you think about the kinds of questions consumers may be asking, you can easily match your section headers to improve the chance of being found.
8. MAKE IT EASY FOR CUSTOMERS TO ENGAGE
Blogs can be a wonderful way to encourage visitors to engage with your content. It’s easy to add polls or solicit suggestions through comments. Smart integration with your other social media outlets offers lots of opportunities to spread your content far and wide. Make sure your Instagram and Pinterest accounts, Facebook page and LinkedIn profile all link to your blog. Make use of blogging aggregate platforms like Bloglovin to automatically repost your content. LinkedIn and Google+ are also good places to recycle content, but for best results plan to interact with your audiences on each platform.
CAN CONTENT CUCUMBER HELP YOU WRITE BLOG POSTS?
Yes, absolutely. It can be tough to find the time to blog consistently and, let’s face it, not all of us enjoy the process of writing. If you need a hand with generating informative new content on a consistent basis, Content Cucumber can help. With a team of top notch researchers and writers, we can take ‘write blog post’ off your to-do list and free you up to attend to other areas of your business. Get in touch and let’s talk!