Blogging is a terrific way for business owners to promote their product or service. It helps build relationships with the customer while the entrepreneur is busy running their business. One of the biggest benefits of blogging is that once you have posts up, people keep coming back to check what’s new. Having a blog allows the business owner to educate the customer about why their product or service is the one to choose. With the ever increasing costs of marketing, blogging is even more attractive because it’s free.
Even I didn’t realize how powerful blogging was until a potential client, whom I had never met, quoted phrases in my blogs, back to me. I was shocked. This person never became a client, however he recommended two other people who did. The power of blogging is very real.
Not only is blogging a pillar of a Social Media strategy, it’s the foundation for traditional media strategies as well. Those in traditional media rely on posts to assess a potential source’s credibility. The first question that reporters, writers and producers ask is if the person blogs. Many business owners have garnered hundreds of thousands in free publicity by appearing on TV, radio and in newspapers.
So, if blogging is so important, why don’t more business owners blog? I think the answer is very easy… They don’t know how. If you are wondering how to blog or if you are blogging and want to blog more effectively, keep reading.
Here’s How to Blog
The best way to learn how to blog is to check out other people’s blogs. This will give you a chance to see how people are communicating. I invite you to visit my blog www.successwithsaltar.com/blog to see the points below in use. Doing so should make it easier to understand the information that I have included here.
The first thing to know is that blogs should be around 500 words. The reason for this is that web crawlers go out searching for valuable content and will not access content fewer than 400 words as valid. I know of bloggers who don’t follow this and are hugely successful. If you want to see one that does it his way, check out Seth Godin’s Typepad at sethgodin.typepad.com .
Pick a topic that is relevant to your audience and stick to it. Keep your posts tight and to the point. You can add examples, guidelines, resources, references, and whatever else you need to tell the story, but keep it on topic.
Headings should be used to introduce the paragraphs. You can make them bold, a different color or a different font depending on your taste and the application you are using. I think your blog should be an extension of your brand. If it is fun and playful, so should your blog.
Small & Focused
Keep it easy to read by breaking the body text into smaller paragraphs. Each paragraph should be short, concise and easy to grasp. Imagine busy, busy people consuming your information.
You’ll want to keep people on your blog for as long as possible, for ranking purposes. One of the ways to do this is to use back links that point the reader to additional pertinent posts that you have written. Make sure to have the links open in another window so they don’t actually leave the post. Usually it’s good to limit back linking to three or four links per post.
Invite the reader to share, comment, call or email. Always end the post with a call to action. Tell them exactly what you want them to do.
In your post use only one form of exclamation. If you’re bolding some words, don’t italicize, underline, AND highlight. When people use all these together it distracts from the writing and the message.
The title is repeated three times in a 500 word blog. Once in the first paragraph, then in the middle and finally in the end of the blog is good. If the blog goes longer, you’ll add it again. The reason is that crawlers need to see that you are on topic throughout the post.
I usually don’t finalize my title until I am finished writing. The title should make people want to read your post. Often people say that the title is the most important part of the post. I’ve heard of people writing a hundred titles before coming up with just the right one. It’s recommended that you continuously be on the lookout for great titles. Being aware of titles will help when you sit down to write your posts.
There are many proven structures that make titling the posts easier. The following are just a few:
- How to
- The Secrets of
- 1-3-5-7-9 (Using any number is always a winner)
- Question (Asking a question draws the reader in)
- Did You Know
- Little Known Facts
It’s a good idea to keep titles under 70 characters in length, especially if you are on Twitter. The title should reflect a long-tail keyword phrase that the company is trying to rank for on Google.
Adding a photo, charts and graphs help attract readers. It also dresses up the text and communicates your message more effectively. Pictures are sized at approximately 150 X 150 Thumbnail size. Most of the time the picture is added to the upper left of the post, depending on your application. I either use my own photos or use stock photos. I’m a stickler for copyright issues, so I buy the photos I use in my posts. I use Fotolia but any royalty free stock photos will be fine.
Before You Post
Reread for spelling, appropriate word choices and punctuation. Make sure you have incorporated your branding words in the text of the post. Check to be sure all your back links are working. It’s a good idea to add a link to your contact page so people can get in touch with you.
Invite friends, family and associates to read, share and comment on your blog, this helps your site’s SEO ranking and will position your site higher on Google. This is no time to be shy, promote your post on all your Social Media and attach your blog to your email signature. Including it in your signature will ensure that every email you send is promoting your blog post.
Comment on your own blog and ask others to do so as well. Frequently, there are groups of bloggers who work together reading and commenting on each other’s work. If you don’t know of a group who does this, you could start one.
If at all possible, incorporate video into your posts. A website with video is 51 times more likely to hit the front page of Google. Using video is not only more engaging; it’s also a key factor in SEO ranking.
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