Blogging can be a valuable method of marketing your business. They are an efficient tool for improving Search Engine Optimisation (SEO); they help to establish you as thought leaders in your field and are an excellent way to boost your other online marketing activity such as Twitter or LinkedIn. One of the main challenges once you’ve started your blog is how to keep the momentum going, ensuring regular, relevant, up to date content to engage your target audience? There’s many times when I’ve seen a blog post start with “Sorry I haven’t written for a while”, which even if it’s true is a bad opening line for any blog, it’s unlikely to score highly on SEO for the areas you want to promote and only serves to highlight your lack of activity rather than highlighting the areas you are hoping to draw attention to. In this blog post I hope to look at the various considerations to be aware of when starting a blog and tips to keep your blog up to date.
Do you need a blog?
This may sound like an obvious consideration; however it’s a question you definitely need to ask. Firstly do you have the resources to do a good job of it? A half-hearted approach could be more damaging than not having one at all. Your blog is not a tool for writing posts about how great you are either, when there are so many blogs and social media platforms offering opinions you need to ensure you will be adding something interesting and relevant to the conversation.
Set a Target
If you decide that a blog will add value to your business one of the first things you need to think about is how often should you blog and is that a realistic target for your business? Ideally you should be blogging on a weekly basis at a regular time so readers know when to look forward to your latest update.
In larger organisations you have the luxury of harnessing the individuals within your business to write pieces about their area of expertise.
Guest bloggers and industry experts
To overcome the limited resources available for writing blogs you can consider inviting guest bloggers to contribute to the site, this will widen your audience, demonstrate industry awareness and bring a fresh voice and perspective to the blog. Alternatively you may have decided that you can’t commit to writing a blog, in that case you could offer up your voice to other blogs, becoming a guest blogger with links back to your website.
Work on your blog any time inspiration hits (just don’t upload it until the right time)
I have written blog ideas while in pyjamas in bed, over lunch, in the middle of the night, while travelling and of course at my desk. I jot down ideas on my phone when I have a blog idea (even in the middle of the night!). It might not be the finished article but it does avoid that horrible feeling of staring at a blank page knowing I have to come up with something. Whenever something comes up that I think might make a good blog whether that be a news story or a conversation with a friend, I’ll note down a few bullet points which I can draw from later.
Share, Comment and Respond
When you have posted your blog post you need to ensure you are sharing it across relevant platforms and that your blog includes the relevant social media buttons to enable your readers to share it to their contacts. It’s a good way of distributing content without your readers needing to leave your website.
If you decide to allow comments to be added to your blog ensure you join in the conversation and respond to commenters. If they have taken the time to read and comment on your blog it’s polite to respond but it also demonstrates that you engage with your audience and listen to feedback.
Don’t only focus on your own blog. If you’re properly engaging and keeping up to date with what’s happening in the world you’ll be reading news, articles and blog posts connected to your industry. This will ensure your blog posts are relevant but will also give you the opportunity to add comments that might include links to your blog post or website. I recently commented on a very interesting article about the legal industry on Huddled. This led to them attending and then blogging about a seminar my client Japenic was providing to the Law Society.
Being an engaged part of the conversation will add weight to your voice as a thought leader within your field.