Today’s post is a follow up from last week’s post when I talked about how important it is to add a blog to your business website. As I wrote the post, questions I felt my readers might have kept popping up in my mind and to keep last week’s post from turning into a three thousand word opus in which I would lose some of my readers; I opted to split the topic into two separate blog posts. It’s great to list the “whys” of blogging but without the “how’s”; I felt I was leaving you all with more questions than answers. Today I will attempt to answer those questions.
As we discussed in last week’s post, having a strong internet presence is essential to the growth and success of not just your internet business, but brick and mortar businesses as well. Blogging is an easy, low cost way of upping your internet presence and getting you the recognition your brand needs to grow.
What Do I Blog About?
While this part may seem like a no brainer, a lot of people struggle to come up with topics; particularly if your brand involves a product or service that only pertains to a select portion of the population.
Obviously you’ll want to blog about topics concerning your niche such as, new research involving your area of expertise, but you’ll need to branch out topic wise to connect with other readers. Other readers who will share your content on their own social media pages should always be in your sights as well.
Coming up with relevant topics to engage these “other readers” can be difficult but it isn’t impossible. Writing about strategies you use with your employees or vendors, helpful ways to connect with customers or how to lists are all useful and relevant topics which will help get your blog noticed.
What Format Should I Use?
In this day and age, with so many of us getting or news and information in small chunks on the internet, it’s very useful to post in small chunks. That stuff you learned in high school English? Keep the grammar and sentence structure but the rest you need to let go of in the blogging world.
Splitting up your paragraphs the way I’m doing now is very effective in retaining readers. We have now trained ourselves to scan more than read in depth. Every time you break up your paragraphs, you’re making it easier for your reader to stay interested in what you have to say.
Headings and subheadings are important! Having headings separate different positions in your posts making it easier for people to read and it helps with SEO. Create your subheadings and bold them. It catches the reader’s eye when they’re scanning your piece.
Graphics matter too! Break up your text with pictures. It relaxes the eye and makes your piece more engaging as do bulleted lists.
How Often Should I Post?
Consistently posting engaging content without overwhelming your readership can be difficult to balance. Posting often helps your business rise in search engine rankings but posting too often may cause some readers to lose interest.
A good rule of thumb is to strive for two posts a week. You want your readers excited to read your posts but you don’t want them to have to wait for too long for new content or they may lose interest in your blog.
The same can be said for posting too often. You want to post just enough to keep your readers wanting more. Twice a week, possibly a Monday and a Friday, works to keep a nice balance.
Some of you may be asking about word count right about now. Word count, while important for SEO, should be taken with a grain of salt, meaning … say what you need to say and no more. Try to keep it short and sweet while getting your message across. If a post is too long … you risk readers disengaging. If it’s too short … you miss out on SEO. At least 500 words should do the job for SEO.
What If I’m Short On Time, Or My Writing Skills Aren’t Up To Par?
The solutions to both of these problems go hand in hand. First, the more you write, the better your writing skills will get. So even if you feel your writing skills aren’t the greatest, you should still blog. There are a few things you can do to help you along while you strengthen these skills and free up your time.
If you don’t feel your writing is the greatest, enlist a friend who has a better grasp of it to edit your posts. There’s no shame in asking for help. If you need it, find someone you trust and ask. The worst they could do is say no.
Also, and this will help if you feel you simply don’t have the time to blog regularly; you can hire a freelance writer/professional blogger to help you out.
Many of these professionals are available to help you write quality blog posts, edit what you have or simply write the entire thing for you. You supply the topic (many will come up with topics for you) and they can supply the content. If you contract with a freelance writer, you’re guaranteed a regular posting schedule.
One caveat to hiring a writer online … many of these writers are not actually writers and do not even speak English. You will need to interview a candidate thoroughly, ask them questions, look at their writing samples, and ask them for a test sample with a topic you provide. Remember, you get what you pay for in a business like this so if their rate seems too good to be true … it’s because you’ll be getting sub-par content.
Hopefully you found this two part series helpful and I’d like to know how setting up your blog and delivering your content is going so please let me know in the comments section. Happy blogging!