To have a successful online business it is paramount to blog. Blogging is a keystone to the success of your marketing. But, it’s important that you learn how to start a blog and write blog posts. Knowing this will help ensure that each article supports your business.
Part of having higher search engine rankings and elevated search engine optimization is providing new and innovative information on your blog. Without a blog, your SEO will most likely decline, and you will have no new content to promote on social media. You will also have no clout to gain favor with leads and customers, and you’ll have fewer pages to have valuable calls-to-action that generates inbound leads.
So the question has to be asked: Why is blogging put at the bottom of the marketing actionable items list? Why is creating consistent, valuable content not a non-negotiable?
While we understand writing is not everyone’s cup of tea. It is an invaluable asset to be leveraged for SEO, generating leads and increased ROI. Here are some tips to write a blog post.
Understand Your Audience
You can write great articles and blog posts, but if it does not reach your intended audience the point of writing is mute. Therefore, prior to starting to write your first blog post you need to know who your target audience is. You should some of the following questions:
● What do you want them to know?
● What will resonate with them?
● What can I teach them?
● What do they want to know about that I am an expert in?
This is where creating your customer avatar will come in handy. Consider what you know about your customer avatar and their interests while you are coming up with a topic for your blog posts.
Create Your Blog Domain
Once you have your marketing plan in place to create your blog, you will need somewhere to host it. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.
Sign Up with a Content Management System
A CMS will help you create a website domain. The website domain will be where you actually publish your blog. The platform you sign up for can manage domains – where you create your website; and subdomains – where you create web pages that connect to your existing website.
A few options are:
Register a Domain or Subdomain with a Website Host
When you have your own blog domain it will look like www.yourblogname.com. The name between the dots is entirely up to you. As long as this domain name does not yet exist on the internet, it can be yours.
If you are wanting to create a subdomain for your blog it might appear like blog.yourcompanyname.com. In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own section on yourcompanyname.com.
Most website hosting services charge very little when hosting an original domain. Our top recommended website hosting sites are:
Customize Your Blog’s Theme
Creating a blog theme is the next step. The appearance of your blog needs to reflect the theme of the content and the business it is promoting.
If you are writing about gardening, you might want to have green in the heading, or flowers. Green is associated with growing and planting.
If you already have a website and are writing your first blog post for that website, it is important that your blog is consistent with this existing website. You want it to match the website in both appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:
● Logo. This is your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content.
● “About” page. You should already have an “About” section describing yourself or your business. However, the blog’s “About” section will be an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support your company’s goals.
Identify Your First Blog Post’s Topic
Prior to writing anything you need to pick a topic for your first blog post. You should be creating a content marketing strategy plan and writing out what you will be blogging about for several weeks or months, as well as how frequently you will be posting.
Your first post can be on a very general topic. For example, you might want to write about fall gardening. As you dig deeper into the research, you can expand the topic to discuss “types of plants that thrive during the fall and winter”.
You do not have to write a “how-to” article at first either, you can write about anything that inspires you and is focused on your targeted audience. There are a few types of posts that you can write:
● List-based Post: 5 actionable types for your fall garden
● Curated Collection Post: 15 plants that grow best in the fall.
● SlideShare Presentation: 5 best ways to have a thriving fall garden
● News post: Studies suggest planting this to help with garden pests.
Organize Your Content In An Outline
As you write a captivating introduction paragraph you will need to keep that momentum going. Especially if your content is more technical, you don’t want to overwhelm the reader with the amount of information.
The trick is to organize the information so the reader is not intimidated by the length or amount of content. You can organize the content in multiple forms:
Write Your First Blog Post
This is an important step – write the actual content. You can use a content template to help ensure you are focused on the subject matter as you start writing. It is easier to write when you have a game plan and a path to take. However, even the best writers get stuck. Here are a few helpful websites to get you unstuck:
● Power Thesaurus: Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a ton of alternative word choices from a community of writers.
● ZenPen: If you’re having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” that’s designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.
● Cliché Finder: Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.
And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are full of valuable writing advice:
● The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well [Free Ebook]
● How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content That Converts
● How to Write With Clarity: 9 Tips for Simplifying Your Message
● The Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to Anyone
● Your Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More Interesting
● The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog in 2019
Edit & Proofread Your Post & Formatting
Once you are down writing you must continue with the editing process. You ask someone who is extremely grammar-conscious to assist with editing and proofreading your posts. Our favorite free tool is Grammarly.
No one likes a post that is all words, or one that is “ugly.” Adding pictures, infographics, or graphics will help with making your blog more appealing, but it is also the formatting and organization of the post itself. You should create a blog with the user experience design in mind.
In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you will notice that header and subheaders are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently. You will use title tags and heading tags to help divide up your text and have it formatted.
Having a properly formatted blog post is going to have a better user experience, UX, and is one of the factors that Google ranks you on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). Not only helping with Google ranking, maintaining this consistency will make your content look more professional, and makes it easier on the eyes.
Tags are specific keywords that describe a post. They allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post, you should be thoughtful with the tags you utilize. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose between 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog.
Insert Call To Actions
At the end of every blog post, you should have a call to action that indicates what you want the reader to do next. This can be subscribing to your blog, downloading an ebook, registering for a webinar or event, reading a related article, or something specific to your goals. You should think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer, but you should be looking at how the action is beneficial to the reader.
Optimize For On-Page SEO
After you have completed writing, you should go back and optimize your post for search. This will be on point with Google trends and new Google Algorithms.
This includes doing some keyword research and ensuring you have the optimum keywords in your blog. This includes both short keywords and long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are important as they can help with SEO and rankings on SERP.
Using keywords is important, however, you should not obsess about keywords and overstuff them. Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting without impacting the reader experience then you need to do it.
Here’s what you can and should look for:
Meta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on search engines results pages. They provide searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking on it. They are ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.”
Page Title and Headers
Most blogging software uses the post title as the page title, which is the most important on-page SEO. Don’t over-complicate your title by trying to fit keywords that don’t naturally belong. Try to keep your headlines short — ideally, under 65 characters. This way they do not get truncated in search engine results.
ALT tags are used to describe the image or what the image is representing. One of the main purposes to use ALT attributes is for the benefit of the visually impaired. Visually impaired users generally use screen readers when browsing.
Mobile devices are now accounting for almost 2 out of 3 minutes spent online. Having a website that is responsive or designed for mobile has become crucial. Optimizing your site for mobile will score your website some SEO points.
Starting a blog is invaluable to your business, but it does take time to ensure you do it correctly. Following the guide above will assist you in creating the must-see blog. However, we understand that sometimes you do not have the time to create an amazing post or manage a blog. Blue Water Marketing is here to assist. We have a team of experts that are able to help make your goals a reality.
Contact us today to see how we can help you grow your business through blogging.