Why should I blog?
That's a good question, and there are a few different answers that can go along with it. You're probably thinking that you can just answer your customer's questions when they get in touch with you. But what if those potential customers find the answers they're looking for on your competitor's site? Not only have they found the information that they're looking for, but it's not likely they'll get in touch with you now.
Not only that but there are a few other things blogs can help with.
Boost your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Whether you want to be found for certain keywords on your site, or if you want to be seen as an authority in your industry, blogging can help you be found.
When you create good quality content, your readers are likely to share it with others who have come across a similar problem to them. This helps your business be seen by your target audience.
Drive traffic to your website
When your blogs answer questions that your potential customers have, not only will they find your blog during their research, but it's also likely that they'll reach out and purchase from you.
You've convinced me to start blogging, but I don't know how
While blogging can be quite involved, when you're in the swing of things, you'll be doing it without even thinking about it.
Set your goals
If you don't know what you want to achieve from your blog, then how will you know what content to put out, and how will you know whether your blog has achieved its aims?
If you're not sure what goals to set for your blog, we've created a shortlist that you can keep in mind, just remember not to use too many of them, otherwise you'll lose focus.
- Bring visitors to your blog
- Increase website traffic
- Increase leads and sales
- Improve brand recognition
- Get more media coverage
- Improve customer satisfaction
Decide how you're going to achieve your goals
The only way to find out whether your plans will work when it comes to achieving your goals is to carry out research. Are your audience going to be interested in what you have to say and how you're going to be saying it?
Based on the findings of your research, you can create customer profiles and buyer personas which you can use to provide the right content, at the right time, for the right customer.
What topics should I cover?
No matter what topics you talk about, there is one golden rule to remember when you're blogging: It's not about you, it's about your audience. It doesn't matter how much of a good writer you are, or about how smart you are, it's about what your reader wants to see from you.
You need to answer the questions your reader has so you can win their trust and convert them into a paying customer. Think about what topics your reader would like to see - would they like to learn more about your products? What would make their life easier? What would keep them entertained? When you've found the answers to these questions, you'll be on a good standing to start creating content. For exact topics, think about some of the following:
- Has Google Analytics found any trends on why visitors are coming to your website?
- Carry out keyword research to find out how people are talking about your products or services. For example, you might be talking about responsive websites, but your audience prefers to use the term mobile friendly web design.
- Look on social media for hashtags related to what you do, this will give you some insight into the conversation happening around you.
- Look at your competitor's blogs to see what they're writing about and try to do it better. If their audience isn't responding to it, create your own content that fills any gaps and answers the specific questions your audience wants to know about.
- Look at your customer support queries and give an in-depth answer to them.
Create a content calendar
For your blog to take off, you need to be regularly posting content that your audience is interested in. But how do you whether you've written about a topic before? Or whether your audience will approve of the topics you're planning to write?
You can solve this problem with a content calendar. Plan out your topics a month at a time, make sure you include a rough headline of what you're going to be writing about and the date you're going to publish it.
After you've published your post, keep an eye on the analytics for it to see whether your audience responded in a positive way. This can give an indication of whether you're writing about topics that your audience is interested in.
How often should I post?
How long is a piece of string? And just like the answer to that, there is no right or wrong answer. It depends on your audience's expectations of you, and the industry you're working in.
By monitoring the results of your blog, you can find a schedule that is and isn't working for your audience. It's just about fine-tuning what you need to be doing.
How can I monitor my results?
There are a few different ways to monitor how your blog is doing. Using a tool like Google Analytics, you can drill down into each of the pages (it comes under "Engagement" and then "Pages and screens"). But some of the key things to keep an eye on are:
- Average engagement time - this can tell you whether people are actually engaging with your content. The higher the time, the more engaged your audience.
- Engaged sessions - this is the number of sessions (that's a visit to your site) that has lasted at least 10 seconds, or has a conversion event, or has two or more views. So if a user visits your site 12 seconds, views at least 2 pages, or buys something, it's classed as engaged.
- Number of users - this tells you how many people have viewed your content after finding the link for it. Tracking this can be a good way of seeing how many people found your headline interesting enough to look further into it.
And that's all there is to it
This post has covered - why you should be blogging, what goals you should be setting, what you should write about, how often you should be writing about it and how to track how your blog is doing.
So, now you know everything there is to know, what's stopping you? Go out there and start blogging!