While many of us may see blogging as a personal diary to share our daily musings, it actually has a very effective purpose in the business world. When you first open shop, you are relying on word of mouth and promotions to reel customers in and retain them.
The larger your fan following (via blogs and social media outlets), the larger your website traffic will be. We want you to make sure that your blog posts not only garner a strong readership but translate into a very real and measurable return on investment.
Your business will reach new heights and succeed in today’s virtual marketplace if you follow these definitive tips of blogging below.
1. Inverted Pyramid Method
This is a tried and true method of efficient web creation and it means exactly what it sounds like. Put your conclusions and takeaways at the top of the page and go from there. That way, readers know what you’re trying to tell them without having to wait until the end.
2. Authoritative voice
When your business is brand new and you’re just starting to post on its behalf, it can be tempting to qualify what you write with words like “we’re not industry experts here, but…” or “this may not work for everyone, but…” because you’re afraid of false advertising.
But in reality, you need to “fake it to make it.”
Your blog posts should sound like they are coming from a knowledgeable, authoritative perspective. You want readers to believe in you and trust that you know what you are talking about. Any insecurity you feel will come across in the writing and fail to secure the faith of your readership .
3. Above the fold
In web design, “above the fold” refers to the content readers can see without having to scroll down for more info. When you are writing a post, you need to put your most important information in that top half of the page.
Why? Because you need to secure readers’ attention ASAP. If you are offering a huge discount on your products or have an event coming up, you need these time-sensitive topics to be front and center.
4. Be a story teller
Fact: Everyone loves a good story. It’s the reason we re-read our favorite books, refuse to miss our favorite shows, and keep a collection of our must-see movies close by. Business blogging doesn’t have to be as dry as it sounds.
Create a story around your product or your promotion so that readers will be more likely to stay on the page and follow your brand.
5. Use Google to increase visibility
By posting a link to your blog on Google Plus and updating it with all your posts thereafter, you are more likely to increase your visibility. Other ways to make Google happy and guarantee some prime real estate on search engine pages is by focusing on 1-2 long tail keywords and using responsive design.
Long tail keywords typically use between 3-5 words and are designed to draw in more specific traffic to your site. In layman’s terms, if you are a shop that sells nothing but vintage bowler hats for men, that set of words may not be as search heavy as “hats for men”, but those who do search the longer, more specific version will be exactly the type of customer you are looking for.
Responsive design simply means your website is easy to read and navigate on the phone, computer, iPad, etc.
6. Link Externally
When you write content, you should link a few key terms to other reputable websites in order for Google to regard you as a trusted source of info.
Make sure to pick websites that are sources of high quality information so that Google will regard your blog as a legitimate source of information. By referring to the New York Times or Business Insider, you are giving your blog more credence than if you skipped linking altogether, or chose websites that were poorly written and barely established on the internet.
As important as it is to link to high quality websites, it is equally important to link to relevant pages on your own website. This will establish your site as a source of useful information and gain Google’s trust, which will help with your ranking.
8. Write about things you’d want to read
Let’s face it: some business content may be relevant but it also may be a snooze fest. That’s because industry-related topics are interesting to those of us who are in that specific industry.
Think about your blog post from the reader’s perspective, not from the business owner’s.What would the every-man want to read? You want to lure people in and convert them into customers, not turn them off by using too much industry jargon.
9. Grammar/ Spell Check
You would think that this would go without saying, but every day there are blog posts published that are chock-full of grammar errors and spelling mistakes.
The fastest way to turn off a reader and lose their trust is by including a glaring mistake in your copy. It would be a shame to write an interesting piece and have nobody stay to read it because of something as simple as a misplaced letter or an improper tense usage.
10. Original Content
When brainstorming on blog topics, it can be useful to search the web looking at posts that others have published in your industry. But when it comes time to write your own, try to put a unique spin on the material so that you are not producing duplicate content. The more original, informative and useful your post, the more likely it is that you’ll gain a loyal following and keep Google happy.
11. Newsworthy Content
One of the best ways to increase traffic to your blog is by using newsworthy topics in your posts. If you can find a relevant news story that is currently trending, you can do your blog a lot of good by piggy-backing off that story and adding your own insight to it.
Stay on top of the latest news stories so you can cover them as soon as they break, improving the likelihood that your blog will be seen and read.
When it comes to boosting your website’s search result ranking, creating a reputation that Google can trust, and driving some serious traffic to your website, blogging will definitely help you achieve those goals. But like all worthwhile pursuits, effective blogging takes time and will not be an overnight miracle. The 11 tips above serve as a solid jump-off point, but you have to keep an eye out for Part Two, to get the inside scoop on how to set your blog, and your business, apart from the rest. Stay tuned!