By Rachel Peck
Many organizations still think blogging isn’t relevant or achievable for their business model, however that’s simply not true. Not only will a blog position you as a subject expert in your field, it’s an easy way to improve your search engine ranking and boost website visits. Blogs also provide useful evergreen content for your social media channels. With this in mind, we’re here to help the planning process. Below are our five tips for starting a blog:
Design your blog strategy
Once you’ve decided to embark on your blogging journey, the next step is to design a blog strategy. Don’t feel too overwhelmed by the “strategy” part of this step, as it simply offers an easy way to critically think about your blog topics. If you’re a B2B company, sync up blog posts with your product or service launches or use existing white papers and turn them into posts. You can use this time to research your audience, find your niche and tailor your content to them.
Create a blog calendar
One of the biggest mistakes a new blogger can make is to post infrequently and with outdated content. Consistency is key when it comes to maintaining your blog. Not only do you want to keep your content fresh and current with trends, but you’ll need to cultivate a readership. We highly suggest starting and maintaining a blog calendar to help keep you organized. This is easier than it sounds and can be accomplished quickly by using a simple spreadsheet.
Optimize, optimize, optimize
You’re likely familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), in general website terms, but you also want to make sure you’re optimizing each blog. Start with identifying a few long-tail keywords to incorporate at least twice throughout your blog post. However, you should avoid stuffing your blog with excess keywords – your SEO will be penalized for it. Other easy ways to optimize your content are to make sure every image has alternative text, is mobile friendly, and to link internally to other website pages or blogs. Additionally, you should be filling out the meta description for every blog you publish.
Offer readers the ability to “take the next step”
A blog should be viewed as a way to reach your audience, potential customers or clients, but it also functions as a path to your website. With that in mind, optimizing your blog with internal links to other blog posts, or relevant content on other pages of your website, is a good practice. Not only will it offer readers the option to dig deeper and learn more about your business, but it will encourage them to stay active on your website.
Don’t forget to promote your blogs on social media
Relying solely on readers finding your content through a simple search is a mistake. Make the most out of your content by posting it to your chosen social media channels. If finding time to post consistently to social media is an issue, consider a third-party posting software platform, such as Hootsuite, which can also help implement the second step, planning a blog calendar, and allow you to schedule out posts in advance. Don’t be afraid to utilize the many tools available to marketing and PR professionals.
When starting to develop your blog, it’s important to do your research. This will help you with the five step process we laid out. Once you’ve identified your audience, outlined a strategy and started a calendar, the only thing left to do is write – and that’s when the fun starts!