As a business owner or MD, what’s the right answer? You might have heard a lot about blogging being great for your business development activities, but so far, you’ve not been convinced or you’re not sure where to start. Or you’re worried that you’ll start but won’t find the time to commit to doing it on a regular basis.
We blog a lot, not just on our own website. Trust us when we say we blog a lot. As content marketing specialists, blogging usually features in the content marketing strategies and plans we develop for clients. And, we find ourselves blogging about the key themes and topics for our customers.
Here’s our essential guide for the newcomer to blogging.
Know your audience
Before you start writing your blog, set out who you’re writing it for. Make it obvious which persona (target audience) you’re writing for. Your audience will engage if the content is relevant to them and it’s obvious it’s for them.
You don’t have to have headlines as witty or creative as the Huffposts or BuzzFeeds of the world, but you have to inspire and incite readers to read. But, as we mentioned, write for your audience and think about your keywords for SEO. They’re important.
schedule your posts for maximum impact i.e. when your audience is likely to read them. You need to also think about scheduling YOUR writing time. It’s no good writing one post and then not writing again for months. If you can write one post every two weeks, great. Schedule it. If it’s one a month. Fine. But, set yourself a schedule for writing and then posting to keep your audience engaged and interested in what you have to say.
Let's talk about size
Size isn’t everything. But in this case, it does matter. Best practice tells us that blog posts should be between 300-500 words and should be easy to read. Depending on your audience they should be visually engaging too. There’s nothing wrong with an image (or two) or a graphic if it helps get the point across. You can write longer posts, but only if that’s relevant for your audience.
It's not about you
As business owners we have a tendency to turn everything around to be about us and what we sell. Unfortunately, that won’t work. It’s not about you. It’s about the audience. Your blog is an opportunity to show expertise, give away some of your knowledge and practical tips, advice and suggestions. But, blatantly selling your wares? No. It won’t work.
Writing the blog is only part of what you need to do. You need to think about promoting it. Social media is great for promotion: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, etc., but what about your own newsletter (you haven’t got one? Want to talk?), your email footer, your website and so on? (You’ve already got a ‘subscribe to my blog link’, haven’t you? No? We should really talk).
While this is a short guide to blogging, there’s so much more we can talk about. We’ll come back to blogging as part of our content marketing posts.