I’m often asked about blogging – a topic that seems to create lots of pulled faces and fear! Often, folks are worried that they don’t do it, or that they do blog too infrequently. Many ask – is it really worth it?
So…I thought we would have a good chat about it!
Firstly, the purpose of sharing any content ‘out there’ on the internet, is to educate, inspire, share, instruct or for other communication. Content can include any media we put on the internet (& of course leaflets etc!).
If we share posts or stories on social media they are relatively short lived. Of course fans can scroll back over what you’ve shared previously by visiting your pages & profiles, but ultimately, Google isn’t likely to offer that kind of content as a result for a search.
However, if we create content that hangs around the internet a little longer, and that Google might index and find as a result of a search, then we’re onto something.
Examples of this type of content includes blogs, vlogs/videos & Pinterest posts. They effectively ‘hang around’ for much longer and are much more likely to be picked up by Google.
This means that we can harness this journey by providing valuable information that will be around for a lot longer and help internet users find our websites or destination spaces online.
Imagine….a user wants to find out how to bake a lemon cake. They search online and find your blog post about your Grandma’s favourite recipe. Your business might be a holiday accommodation or a cafe or maybe you’re a business coach who always brings along this cake to workshops. Either way, you are ‘attracting’ or ‘finding’ new audiences who may come across you because of something else. One of my clients has a hotel and they wrote a blog 4 years ago about how to spot red squirrels from their hotel. That blog is still one of the top results for finding red squirrels in that specific area of the UK and they get hotel bookings as a result. Another client runs a B&B and wrote a blog about the 5 best places to eat in their town. This blog post is the ONLY post of its kind about their town so is always top of searches. Again, the update it every year and get bookings as a result.
Here are some ideas and ways to make the most of blogging & vlogging:
Choose a way of sharing content that hangs around for a long time that suits your customer target market. Do they love to read blogs, do they love stunning images or are they fans of watching videos? This will help you decide if you're best to have a blog on your website, start up a Youtube channel or maybe share blogs that are mostly image based like on Pinterest.
Decide what topics or themes you could embrace that would attract your type of perfect customer. Think about what they love around your business. For example, if you run a cafe, your perfect customers may also love handmade, recipes or crafting - you might decide to share content around those things in your blog. Remember, this content needs to support your core values and purpose so that when users find your blogs posts/videos, they can easily connect with you & share your values.
Think about frequency. Despite common assumptions, you may only need to write or upload a blog/vlog once a month. This could be part of a series or seasons across the year for example. Think about your topics and pop the titles into your diary now to help you plan.
How can you share? Clearly, the world is unlikely to find your blog all in one go so you'll need to share it ( or choose a unique topic like the examples above!). An ideal way would be to include your blog link to your email marketing so that subscribers enjoy relevant and interesting content straight to their inbox. You can also share links on social media. Don't forget, you can share latest content but also previous content. If you shared a blog last year with 5 top tips for planting cabbages, then re sharing at the right time this year is great.
Optimise. So, you've worked hard to create this content, you now need to make sure Google can find it. If you have a website, I suggest that you have an integrated blog. This means that you blog benefits from the SEO of your overall site and you're likely to be able to optimise each post using functions like Yoast SEO. Make sure you've used popular search words in your blog or video title. Also add a meta description of the blog post too. This is the short description that tells Google about what it's all about. If you're using Pinterest for example, again make sure you're adding key words to make your content more 'findable'.
Other top tips. Blogs can be any length but recent data shows that between 2-2.5k words is ideal. However, using sub headings or lists is also really beneficial from an SEO point of view and for ease of reading for a user. Keep your content super specific. Rather than '10 ways to cook chicken' you might be better to write 5 blog posts about cooking chicken based on flavours or seasons in the year or that are all dairy free. This will make the blog much more likely to be found because each one is super specific.
Finally...have confidence. You don't need to be a 'writer' to be successful. You just need to find topics and media types that your perfect customers will enjoy. Persistence and consistency will be your friend.