Thinking of writing a blog this year? Not sure how to start a blog, or what you should blog about?
Blogging has been around since the early nineties when people wrote online diaries and journals, since then it has exploded and according to WordPress stats over 409 million people view more than 17.6 billion blog pages each month. With these figures swirling around, it is not surprising many businesses want to learn how to blog, however, standing out in ‘blog land’ can be a challenge, but not impossible. The fundamental secret is two-fold – find your audience and create great, relevant content, simple right? Not so.
For some people blogging comes annoyingly easy, but for the majority (including me) it can be quite challenging. Trying to be interesting, current and relevant all at the same time can make the toughest person cry, but with the increased role of content marketing for building communities and connecting with your audience, it’s starting to feature in a majority of businesses.
So, if a blog is starting to form a core component of your content marketing & social media strategy, here’s 11 simple tips to help you get started and keep you going:
- Have a clear purpose for your blog. Is it about small business, marketing, accounting, fashion or surfing?
- Decide upon and understand your target audience, it will help you keep your language and tone consistent and understand why they are reading a blog in the first place.
- Understand the key trends & topics happening around your blogs purpose. Dealing with current and relevant issues will build relevancy with your target audience.
- Stick to what you know and blog with knowledge – it will save you time, you will find it easier and your audience will enjoy your content more.
- Identify a key message or “take-out” for each blog post. This is the one thing you want your reader to take away with them once they have finished reading your post.
- Identify relevant keywords for your blog post. These keywords should complement your key message and will help rank your content for SEO. There are some great tools out there to help you with this, including Google Adwords keyword planner and keyword.io.
- Write for your audience first, search engines second. However aim to repeat your keyword a number of times throughout your blog content. Definitely include it in the blog title if you can.
- Blog length is audience and topic dependant, but aim to keep your posts under 1000 words. If you go beyond this look at how you can split the blog into two or more parts. Look at creating a blog series.
- Always proofread your work. Don’t rely on spell check to pick up grammar and spelling errors – there, their and they’re anyone? They are all spelled correctly but if used in the wrong context, spell check won’t pick it up and your blog will look unprofessional.
- The first 150 characters of your post are really important, and is a way to get a reader’s attention (after your heading and image), be sure to make it interesting and make sure it sells the rest of the post so your audience will keep reading.
- Publish your blog widely and share it across multiple social media platforms and, importantly, your website. The purpose of publishing across social media is to increase awareness of your blog, increase your audience and importantly, drive the audience back to your website where you can build a deeper relationship.
Starting a blog can be an overwhelming thought and keeping one going can be difficult and time consuming, but follow these simple rules and you will be blogging with purpose in no time.
Do you have any other tips on how to blog with purpose?