The new SEO mantra is: create awesome content that engages your users and makes them remember and trust your brand. If you think this sounds like a lot of work, you’re right.
So what if your business consists of just you and you have neither the knowledge nor the resources to create sophisticated/breath-taking/out of this world content?
Blogging is the (not always obvious) answer. Blogs are the easiest, yet one of the most powerful content marketing tools available. It doesn’t matter whether you are a painter, a hairstylist or a graphic designer.
Your day-to-day work tasks translate into valuable experiences, which can be easily put into writing and – the part that is most crucial from an SEO point of view – make for superb content.
So it is no surprise that in March of this year NM Incite revealed the number of blogs online that it was able to track had surpassed 181 million globally. That’s over 24 million more than a year earlier, and over 137 million more than in 2006:
Ok, so blogs are the way to go and I am not discovering anything new here. But how do you create a blog that actually makes sense and isn’t just content for content’s sake? It is essential to ask yourself some central questions before you start writing a blog. Answers to these will help you grow the right strategy and guide your writing style in the long run.
Simply Business has compiled these important questions and developed a microsite with links to resources that can help you answer them:
The first and crucial question for any new blogger is whether you are pursuing the correct goals. If you blog just because you want to sell more and all you do is blatantly advertise your services/products in your posts, this is likely to prove a waste of time. I worked with one business owner who had published over a hundred posts in just over a month – all about how cheap his products were. In every post he would compare his wholesale business to competition and highlight why his company was superior to all others. He could not understand why his online sales did not improve as a result.
The lesson here is that you should recognise that you are not writing for yourself, but for an intelligent audience. There is now so much content available online that you need to try to grab your visitors’ attention with a fresh perspective and unique insights. Do not be afraid to be opinionated – a blog is your personal voice and it should definitely have a little edge to it. If you sell yourself well, you will also sell your products/services.
Accordingly, be sure to decide on the writing style that works best for you (can you be funny, technical, casual…?) Do you know how to write headlines and lay out your blog properly? Do you want to use multimedia and many images? Ask yourself if you have enough ideas to maintain your blog for years to come; do you know how to keep your audience engaged every week?
To be the best you have to have learn from the best. Hence, go online and check out the websites of the most successful bloggers. Research their writing style, the topics they discuss and the audience responses they get. Learning from the best can never be a bad idea, as long as you keep away from copyright infringement.
Due to the way that Google are changing their algorithms, high quality blogging will only increase in importance in the coming years. For a business owner who wants to have a strong online presence, managing a blog is no longer an option – it is a necessity. Plus…if you absolutely hate writing, you can do something even better. Get a good quality camera, video editing software and a better haircut. Then, start vlogging!
About the author: Lucjan Zaborowski is a SEO Consultant for Simply Business. He works on online strategies for companies in the US, Poland and the UK and advises new start-ups on content engagement.