How to blog successfully - 23 key things to remember
Upon critiquing the website of a new Dental client I queried why their blog looked like their Facebook page. “That’s because it’s the same content” they said “we don’t know how to blog”.
There you see, you’re not alone despite what you may have thought! For all those getting to grips with this form of marketing the secret is to blog smart not hard and here's a nice little checklist of 23 things to make sure that happens!
- You need to align your business goals with the activity i.e. what do you want your blog to deliver?
- You need a clear vision of your target audience - what are their passions and their challenges. Remember WIIFM - what's in it for me? (In terms of your clients and potential clients)
- You should publish your blog on the same domain as your website - otherwise the improved SEO is not applied to your business website. Your blog should be bait for your website.
- Don't bang on about you, your products, your services and how great you are. This should be educational and thought provoking content so perhaps how to do's, what's new, best practices and so forth.
- You must post on a consistently regular basis.
- Don't confuse your readers by constantly going off topic and publishing things that are not central to your business - but do include things that give some insight to you as a person.
- Why not vary your content? Blogs do not only support the written word - think about video, audio, infographics, cartoons, etc.
- Your blog should not be a one way street. Think "telephone" not "megaphone".
- Don't forget to identify your keywords in terms of topic, titles and content.
- It's great if your blog looks pretty but it also has to drive people in terms of your business objectives - getting more people to find out more about your new product or service perhaps? Signing up for your free advisory handout maybe? Don't forget those all-important calls to action.
- Make sure your blog load time is not too slow, we are an impatient bunch these days.
- Please don't rush your post titles, in copywriting terms headlines are the most important part of the job. A good title will be the difference between a lot of visitors and very few.
- Back your headline up with a great image - it's an "attention economy" out there.
- You don't need to think up content all by yourself - ask trusted experts to provide a guest post; talk to your sales and marketing teams about whether they have any suggestions, take a lead from readers' comments, look at trending topics on Twitter and industry news.
- Your blog is the hub of your social media activity so use other social networks to drive people to your latest posts and don't forget to make it easy for readers to promote you by adding social media share buttons to your blog site.
- Don't forget to mention your blog off line - on your business cards, your marketing literature, within your e-mail signature etc.
- Follow other bloggers both in your sector and those who are blogging/social media experts. They will keep you up to speed with new plug ins, new ideas and things to avoid.
- Please please make sure you proof read your posts before you press "Publish".
- Why not get in touch with your followers proactively via an e-mail or e-newsletter? There's no point generating leads if you're going to do nothing with them...
- Respond to any comments quickly and fully and thank your contributors.
- Make it easy for your readers to navigate to popular posts and older valuable content. Do this by tagging and cross referencing your complementary posts in terms of links.
- Remember to analyse what's happening on your blog. Which posts worked and which didn't in terms of attracting visitors. Did a particular end sentence encourage comments? Are you getting sign ups for your newsletter or new customers?
- Don't expect overnight success - like all things marketing this requires sustained and focused effort. (sorry about that!)
Can you help me make it 24 things? I'd love to hear your ideas just get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org and if you are a Dentist, a Doctor or an entrepreneur struggling to keep up your blog posts I'd love to help.