If you want your blogs to work for you in 2019, there are a few things you're going to have to get right. Communicating with your target audience and your customers has never been so valuable and showcasing what your business does and how you go about supporting the people you work with every day is marketing gold, and blogging is the way it's done.
What I have noticed over time and in creating our own blogs is the real value we offer our readers and when you start to think about that you get a real sense of the enormity of what actually goes into your work every day.
Now, let's cut to the chase here, the main reason we're all blogging is to generate traffic to our website design. In the beginning, we don't have thousands of followers, but that's ok. Carry on creating great content, and your audience numbers will grow, trust me.
The crucial goal here is to add value, proper value that helps the people reading your blog to solve the real issues they're facing, so just focus on that in the beginning.
Let's break it down further and talk about how to start blogging.
Putting together a blog content strategy is extremely important. Considering the amount of time and effort that goes into writing blog posts, you want to make sure it works for you. To work for you, it has to reach your target audience, and it has to help the people taking the time to read it genuinely.
An excellent place to start is looking at your competition. Take the time to go through all their material, study their methods, their writing style, the kinds of pictures they use and the keywords they go after. Your aim then is to go to one step further by doing it better, much better.
By working to a written blog content strategy, you are on the path to success, you have an advantage, and that will pay dividends over time.
A strategy is going to save you hours because you are only going to be working on content you know is going to pay dividends, writing about topics your readers want to know more about and answering the kinds of questions people want answers to.
So, with your strategy, you should have these three questions in mind;
- what kind of content are people genuinely looking for?
- what is the purpose of creating this content?
- How does this content help in achieving the goals we've set for ourselves?
Setting your goals
The goals you set will come from the following questions you have to ask yourself. I'm creating my blog because I want
- To push traffic to the website
- To generate leads, increase prospects and sales
- To educate site visitors on the services the business offers
- To showcase the work, we do for our customers
- To further build on the brand
Once you have identified your reason for going ahead and creating your blog, you now have to take the time to think about what kind of content you want to talk about.
A few right questions you may wish to consider;
- Where does my target audience spend their time, what social media platforms do they like to use, are there forums or online groups they belong to
- Can you identify common issues, problems across a particular industries
- Which posts are more widely read and followed?
By identifying what your target audience is searching for, you'll be in a much better position to provide the answers for which they seek. If you can provide solutions via your blog and website, then the traffic will come, and in turn, your search rankings will soar.
while your initial thought was to start perhaps creating blogs around whatever came to mind, taking the time to develop a written blog content strategy will save you a lot of wasted time, and you'll taste success a lot sooner.
Before rushing straight off to create your first blog, you should look at what your competition has done in this space. You want to make sure that what you are going to create is going to hit the mark.
Having a quick look around you'll be able to see what keywords are being targeted in your niche. A tool we use for this kind of job is SEMrush, it's a mine of information on not only what your competition is doing but on how your content is performing in general.
This is important as you need to know you're going after the right keywords in the first place. We know that web design and web design Auckland both get over 3000 hits a month on Google search, so we make sure we get those specific keywords into our content.
SEMrush lets us see how our content is performing for those keywords and how we compare to the competition, making it an invaluable tool to have.
Long content works the best, you ideally want your blogs to be 1,800 words long. It's well documented that long content gets good results. Writing decent size blogs that go delve into the detail on how to solve problems will gain followers and followers that will appreciate your efforts and so will share your content with others.
Remember what we said earlier, it's essential to have a strategy. So start thinking about what you are going to write about. Plan, research and begin developing content marketing ideas. Having ideas for future blogs allows you plenty of time to do the research, ready for you to make a start on the allotted day.
A content calendar is going to be very helpful at this point. There are plenty of options out there. We've tried a number over the years but settled on the Hubspot platform. Not only does it give us a bird's eye view of our content but allows us to distribute our content via email marketing and social media. Making our lives a whole lot easier.
that's not to say you have to spend a fortune to get a content calendar in place, you could use Google calendar or Trello, both are great free options. Moving along, you've got your keywords in place, and you've filled out your calendar, so now all you have to do is sit down and write that blog.
To create a well-crafted piece of content, you will need to;
Make sure your article is easy to read, uses well-defined headers, subheaders and small paragraphs. Bullet points and quotes make it exciting and enjoyable to read.
High-quality images are a must. There are several free photo library sites on the net these days, a perfect one and one I like to use from time to time is Unsplash. Or simply take your own. Just about everybody has a smartphone these days, and the camera quality is impressive. So there no excuses for not having high-quality images on your posts.
Wordpress is the platform of choice for most serious and professional bloggers. We moved over to Wordpress a few years back, when we started to build our clients websites on the system.
It's straightforward to use, and the SEO tools within Wordpress make it easy to rank your blogs. We also like the fact that it's effortless to incorporate video files. Video is huge right now, and all social media platforms are screaming out for it.
We've found that the blogs that incorporate video do a lot better than those with just still images. We can tell from Google analytics that they have a lower bounce rate and get far more shares. People are visual, so it's time to get a handle on the visual side of your content marketing. Start incorporating video, it's the best advice I can give you.
Your blogs are the perfect tool for your search engine optimisation needs. By getting the right keywords into your well researched and freshly written content, it's going to get you that well deserved Google traffic.
Let's not forget, your competition is doing what you are doing too. They've also done their due diligence and have spent time creating content. Now, yours has to be better, and by better I mean better researched, better written and using great pictures and videos to help tell your story.
If you are not currently ranking well, take a good long look at the content on your website and your current blog pages. Could they use an update, could you possibly do better now, I'm thinking that you could.
With your keyword strategy in place and your content working for you, you'll notice your organic rankings will be moving up through Google search.
Get into the habit of writing two to three blogs a week, and your rankings will transform. We've' seen it here. We have over 19 keywords on the first page of Google, all driving traffic to our web design.
To get to this stage, we've identified what our prospects are looking for and where they are spending their time to learn more about the services we offer.
Remember though your content has to add value, you want to solve your reader's problems. By creating compelling and helpful content you're going to keep readers and followers, and they are going to return, time and time again.
Your competitors are going to try and do the same, so make sure your work is original, you want to make your work different. If your blog is authentic, people will read it. Being passionate about what you do, will allow the words to flow. It takes time, but it will come.
You’re not going to need a lot of gear to write your blogs, but you are going to need some equipment to help you capture videos and photos to help you tell your story.
I’ve put a list together below outlining the gear we use on a daily basis.
Camera Bag: https://amzn.to/2VtNzkL
DJI Osmo Pocket: https://amzn.to/2L87FNt
Osmo Mobile: https://amzn.to/2PwpCUG
Gimbal for DSLR Cameras: https://amzn.to/2WfGm5f
Main Vlog Camera: https://amzn.to/2L9s0SD
Main Camera: https://amzn.to/2VxWd1C
Aputure Portable Lights: https://amzn.to/2V0vJqi
Rode Video Mic: https://amzn.to/2GBViUx