5 Top Tips For A Successful Blog
Blogs (originally ‘Web logs’) started in the early 1990’s. These online diaries were exclusive to those who understood code. In 2003, the creation of WordPress and other blogging platforms meant that accessibility to simple blogging templates exploded. It didn’t take long before businesses saw the potential of turning these personal online entries into a commercial marketing strategy.
As a video production company, we use blogs for several reasons; from improving SEO to building brand awareness. Blogging is the perfect way to engage with your target audience through interesting and useful content.
Here’s our Five Top Tips to improve your blog:
1. It’s all in the detail
With video and image rapidly dominating the marketing scene, you need to make your blog easily accessible and viewer friendly. Your URL needs to be short and catchy. With sites such as WordPress, it’s worth paying a little extra to shorten the URL. Remember, your blog is a part of your brand, so if it’s going to make you look more professional and be taken more seriously- do it. Make sure your blog is integrated into your company’s website, instead of a separate entity. You’re more likely to attract attention to your website if it’s on the same tab and easily accessible.
What you see is what you get
Today’s generation Z (born between 1995 and 2000’s) is said to have an attention span of 8 seconds. Disclaimer: that’s not very long. With content being relentlessly churned out, you can’t afford to be slack on aesthetics. Strong design is imperative. If your blog page isn’t eye-catching and relevant, your audience aren’t going to engage. Say you’re the marketing for an accounting firm, it is *actually* possible to remain professional but still have an edge (we don’t want to see another image of a briefcase!) Be unique and stand out.
2. Know your audience.
As with all marketing strategies, understanding who you’re targeting is crucial. If you’re struggling to come up with content ideas, have a look at what your competitors are writing about and what trends they’re getting on board with. If you’re not stalking your competitors in 2018, you should be.
Having a written down, concrete marketing strategy is an effective way of understanding your audience. Asking yourself; Who are my audience? What do they want to read? How can I capture their attention? Thinking about these answers and coming up with a marketing persona is an ideal way of realising how you can make your blog unique from competitors and choosing the right tone of voice.
3. Always have a plan.
Marketing strategies sometimes seem a bit… boring and pointless. But trust me, if you’ve not set out a monthly agenda of how many blogs you’re doing- you’re not going to do them. Think about the marketing calendar and national celebrations, these always tie in nicely with a relevant blog. Plus, keeping on trend will seriously boost reach and shareability.
Be realistic. Good content takes time and effort. With blogs taking anywhere between 1 hour and 8 hours, it’s a full-time job to hire someone to solely write blogs.
Neil Patel said:
“When I started blogging seven years ago, it used to take me four to five hours to write a post. Since then, not only have I figured out how to write 1,000-2,000-word blog posts in under two hours, but I’ve also figured out how to improve the quality of my posts.” Source
The point is, with or without practice, good content requires time. Certainly, churning out average content regularly will bring some traffic to your website but if you want to be making a serious impact and start seeing the real numbers, your content needs to be worthwhile. With 94% of people who share posts do so because they think it might be helpful to others, make sure your content is not only worth reading, but worth sharing. So plan ahead, and factor in how much time you realistically can afford to be blogging- even if it's once a week, it's better than nothing.
4. Start the fire.
Good content floating around online, without a strong marketing strategy, will simply be buried. You must put effort and time into making your content be seen. Use all your social media platforms to spread the message, get influencers involved to share the content. If you start the fire and your content is worth reading, more and more people will share it. But if you’re not putting the effort in to get it out there- why should people put in the effort to read it?
5. Give and you will receive.
Well, sometimes. These days, the algorithms of Facebook and Instagram are changing constantly. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to have your content seen and with Mark Zuckerberg threating to ‘fix Facebook’, your competitors are all fighting for a good spot on social feeds. Paid advertising boosts your posts. Facebook have created a simple structure for boosting posts and seeing the results, whether paid or organic. You don’t need a big budget to use advertising, especially if you’ve done your research. Begin with a £10 budget and see how far you can get your blogs seen, if you’re targeting the correct audience you more likely to have shares, and it’s more likely to be seen, which is more traffic to your website and ultimately more brand awareness, if not more direct sales.
Words: Colette Kellgren-Parker
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