So, you want to write a blog? It might be a standalone blog, or a blog attached to a website that promotes your business. How are you going to write it – and what’s it going to be about? And how are you going to get people to notice it?
Here are a few tips to get you started…
1. Think about who your target audience is
If this is a company blog on a company site, you will be writing mainly for your prospective customers – so think about what are they are interested in and what they would like to read. If you’re in the same business this shouldn’t be too hard!
2. Run out of ideas?
Coming up with something useful to write on a blog can be tricky. Keep an eye out for news articles that you could comment on, or relevant research that might be of interest. Any industry newspapers/magazines and websites can be valuable sources of ideas. Twitter can also provide some interesting inspiration.
3. How much to write?
A blog does not have to be that long – on the web, surfers read and run, if they want an in-depth feature they’ll probably look to a newspaper or magazine. You might have a 400-word post one day, but the next week, an inspiring photo with an accompanying paragraph. The important thing is to post new, interesting content – not to compose a lengthy essay.
4. A picture’s worth a 1,000 words
Much as it galls me to say it, because words are my business, but sometimes, a picture can say it all. Why not take your own photo and then comment on why you took it, and what it means to you or your business.
Don’t get too bogged down in worrying about key words, but if you’ve already set up your website I’m assuming you already know the kind of searches your target audience will do – children’s clothes, company cars, or whatever. Do use them wisely! Nothing is worse than reading a blog and then coming across a phrase that has patently been inserted to fulfil keyword requirements!
You can check titles and descriptions for your pages using this useful tool – it shows you how your page will appear on a Google search. http://www.seomofo.com/snippet-optimizer.html
6. Think about your writing style
The good thing is that a blog can be pretty informal. Imagine you are chatting to a friend or business contact and write in that style.
7. Update often
Only you can decide how much time you have to devote to your blog – once a week is probably a good standard to aim for. You don’t want to oversaturate your audience, but nor do you want them to forget you. You may need to set aside a set time each week to ensure you get it done – and if it’s a business blog maybe you could share the task with someone else to take the pressure off.
8. Share, share and share again!
There’s no point putting all this effort into your writing if no one is going to see it. Share it via Facebook and Twitter – you can also set up an email newsletter to share it with a business mailing list.
9. Get your name out there
Comment on other related blogs, chat on relevant forums, ensuring your blog link is included at all times!
10. Let other people comment on your blog
This allows you to start a dialogue with your readers, which will encourage them to come back again and again. If you allow users to comment on your blog, ensure you keep an eye on comments so you can remove or unauthorise any that you don’t want.
Naomi MacKay is a freelance journalist and editor who runs the website www.itsaboything.net for parents of boys aged 4-11. She also writes blogs for a number of clients and can help with other business writing including social media, website content and improving SEO. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.