A High Brow Introduction
Blogging (from the Latin Web Log) is an integral part of Web 2.0 – the development of the web from a controlled medium to “an architecture of participation” where people become not only consumers of content but generators of it.
A Bit of Common Sense
Blogging isn’t only for ultra web savvy technocrats – it’s a useful tool in the marketing armoury of all small businesses. Learn how to use it, commit to using it, and you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Why Get Involved?
Blogging achieves a few useful things that should matter to you:
- You get to demonstrate to your visitors and customers that you’re an expert in your field
- You’ll make your website “sticky” and increase the amount of time visitors spend on your website – increasing your chances of a sales or enquiry
- You’ll help your site be more visible to search engines
- You’ll increase the chances of creating 2 way conversations with your customers and engage them with your brand or business
Be That Golden Rule
All of these are good things but we have to get a few basics right before we send you off into the Blogosphere. Stick to a few rules and you should do OK:
Pick a voice and stick to it
Work out in advance the tone you’re going to take in your Blog. Are you going to be conversational and chatty? Are you going to knowledgeable and informative? Make sure your tone is relevant to your brand or business – if you’re an accountant using text speak will not go down well with the business community.
Building an audience for your Blog will take time, so don’t give up at the first hurdle. Make an Editorial plan and stick to it. Try and produce articles that are relevant to events and deadlines. If you’re an Accountant cluster relevant articles around HMRC deadlines, if you’re an Event Planner base articles on Holidays and Occasions, if you’re a Taxidermist…you get the idea.
Make it SEO friendly
Blogging will help your search rankings if you make sure your content is optimized. In English that means you need to use your top keywords in your article. Don’t shoe horn them in for the sake of it, you’ll just look silly, but keep it in mind when writing.
Write for the Web
People read differently on the web. They don’t read, they integrate content to get to what they need. They look for key words and like bullet points and titles so keep it punchy, keep it short, and make life easy for the reader.
Remember Your Audience
Keep the content relevant to who’s going to be reading it. Accepted wisdom is that you should write for an educated 12 year old. I’ll be honest – I feel patronising even writing that but just me mindful of your audience. Which of these statements work better?
Web 2.0 and Social Media, where deployed in a joined up and strategic manner can be axiomatic in a successful online marketing strategy.
Using Social Media well can increase your profile and boost sales!
You get my point.
Writing the Thing
Make life easy for yourself and keep to a process when writing. Finding the time will be difficult but if you get into effectives habits life will be a lot easier for you.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Plan your article before you start writing. Sketch out some sections and titles that keep up the rhythm and tempo of an article and lead logically to the conclusion you want people to reach.
Plough On Through
Once you’ve started writing, don’t stop until you get to the end of the article. You can edit it later.
Edit the Hell out of it
When you’re editing keep in mind that you have to keep it short and punchy. Ruthlessly get rid of anything that isn’t vital to your core message. Your readers will thank you for it.
There Endeth The Lesson
So that’s it, I send you forth to Blog your little hearts out. Blogging will work but you have to make a plan, be mindful that you won’t get success overnight and keep it at it.
One last point – just having a Blog does not mean that people will read it so get the word out. Mention it in your Direct Marketing, E-Mail Outs, PR, on the phone and in conversation with your customers. Shout about it and you’ll start to get some love. And just so you know, that whole Latin thing at the start was me making a funny. I know, aren't I priceless?