Sep 10, 2013 • Jessica Jones
We’ve already mentioned blogging in several of our posts about inbound marketing. We’ve discussed how beneficial it can be to post to your social media, such as Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter, but what should you be posting on your blog in the first place? And how often?
Frequency of posts is going to be different for each business. If you’re a bustling retail store with frequent sales and specials to promote, and regular pictures of new merchandise to show off, then you might have no trouble posting multiple times a week. If your business’s offerings don’t change regularly, however, it may be more challenging to know what to post about.
Be realistic about your goals when it comes to frequency. Don’t make a goal to post every week if you know that it’s going to be too much of a strain on your time, or if you’re going to have trouble coming up with new ideas that frequently. If once a month is going to be more realistic for you there’s nothing wrong with that. Just make sure not to let updating your blog get pushed to the back burner. Having a blog that hasn’t been updated for six months looks worse than not having a blog at all. If blogging just isn’t something that you’re going to be able to do regularly then be realistic about that and direct your efforts to other forms of inbound marketing.
Of course, you can always consider the option of hiring a copywriter. Many copywriters and SEOs offer packages for regular blog entries. If you want your website to have fresh content regularly but you don’t have the time or inclination to write it yourself, outsourcing may be the way to go.
If you do choose to hire a copywriter they may be able to provide topic suggestions and you can work together to choose a direction for your blog. If you decide to do your own blogging, however, what should you write about? Where do you start?
There are many questions that you can ask yourself as you gather ideas. What interests your customers? What aspect of your business/industry might they like to know more about? If you are a doctor, they might come to your site looking for health tips. If you are a nonprofit organization they may come to your site to learn more details about what you do and what you’ve accomplished lately. If you’re not sure what your customers might like to read about, ask some of them! Talk to them and find out what kinds of information and updates would make them want to visit your blog regularly.
Your customers may be interested in seeing a more personal side of your business - details of your day-to-day business that may seem mundane to you just might be interesting to people who’ve never worked in your industry. Don’t be afraid to talk about what you do, take your customers “behind the scenes,” tell funny stories, let your personality show! If you have employees who are interested in blogging then encourage them to submit posts too - you don’t just have to limit your blog to a single author, and having more than one contributing voice will help keep it fresh.
Along with asking your customers what they’d like to know, ask yourself what you wish they knew. What information about your business or industry do you think would be beneficial for everyone to know? Are there tips, tricks and hints that you’ve learned in your line of work that you try to share with everyone?
As you come up with ideas it’s always a good idea to write them down! Keep a list, whether on your computer, smartphone or just a sticky note, where you can easily jot down any topic ideas, then you can refer back to your list when it’s actually time to sit down and write a post.
Another consideration is SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Simply blogging regularly is going to give your Search Engine Optimization a natural boost over time - the fresh content for search engines to crawl and the links generated by sharing your blog posts across social media will be beneficial no matter what you’re posting about. If, however, there are certain keywords that you’d like to concentrate on in particular, your blog is a good way to do that.
For example, if you own a sporting goods shop and you want to improve your SEO ranking for the keyword “running shoes,” make sure to post regularly about running shoes! Talk about the variety you carry, any specials you’re running, but also make informative, useful posts about the topic in general. Post about the benefits of different varieties of running shoes, how to best care for your running shoes, etc. Make sure to use the keywords you want to boost in the title of your posts as well as in the content - don’t go overboard, no one wants to read the same phrase repeated over and over and over, but if you’re writing a post about running shoes it shouldn’t be hard to fit those words into your post multiple times without it seeming forced!
Another benefit is the potential for other websites to mention and link to your blog post for a variety of reasons. That’s why great blog articles, and powerful website content in general, are sometimes referred to as “Link Juice”! While these are more natural and a little outside of your direct control, the possibility for this type of organic sharing, distribution and backlinking to your blog posts can really add to your overall SEO strategy.
Remember, though, that consistency is key. Even if you’re not working on a particular SEO strategy, just having an active blog is going to be beneficial, both as a way to reach new customers and to keep your current customers engaged.