Blogging on your website is a great way to engage with your customers, however many people I meet are afraid to write one. Why?
The white screen of death staring back at you and an inability to type that first paragraph
A lack of inspiration
A lack of confidence - you're not an expert writer after all
It's just not top of your To-do list
Help is at hand... Here are three reasons why you should start a business blog today, and some tips on how to approach the dreaded task.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
We've all heard about it but what does it actually mean?
In simple terms it's getting your website to the top of the search engine results. Blogging is an efficient way of doing this because you can include your keyword search terms within your blog. For example, I'm a copywriter, proofreader and editor based in Warrington, Cheshire. I can also help people to create a unique CV. Bingo! The words in bold are my keywords and should help Google to find this page when people search for them. Yes, I admit this is a rather crude example, but it just goes to show how easy and beneficial it is to do.
Search engines like Google adore websites that publish fresh content on a regular basis. If your website hasn't been updated for ages and is full of stale and out of date content, you're unlikely to appear on results page one. A blog, even just once a month, will give Google the content it desires and a recent date on your article will demonstrate to the reader that your content is current, and therefore trustworthy.
I am by no means an expert in SEO, and I'm sure any experts out there will tell you there are a number of other changes you can make to your site to enhance SEO. But from personal experience I know that blogging can make a real difference.
Be seen as an expert in your field
Writing a blog can help establish you as an expert in your field and build confidence in your products and services. It’s an opportunity to share knowledge, educate your reader and teach them a thing or two they didn’t know. Blogging not only gives your business a voice but can enhance your credibility too.
Generate content for your social media feeds
Blogging is a great way to generate content for your social media feeds and should be built into your strategy. You can get a lot of mileage from your blog content, particularly if you structure it into bite-sized content such as a top ten or five ways to… Each one of your snippets of information can then be turned into a post for whichever social media outlet you choose.
OK, I'm convinced - where do I start?
1. Don’t think about the title first, leave it until the very end. That way, you won't get stuck staring at the white screen of death for hours on end. The title should come easily once you've written your blog. If it doesn’t then ask someone to read it for you and make some suggestions.
2. Don't set yourself a word count, let your writing come to a natural end. Trying to write more than you’re comfortable with or limit yourself to just a few paragraphs will make your writing look forced and your reader will be turned off.
3. Write three or four bullet points to start with, key points you want to get across in your blog. Think of them as coat hangers on which you're going to hang the detailed information (or clothes if you’re a shopaholic like me!). Then start to flesh each point out, one step at a time.
If you're still struggling or blogging really isn’t for you then enlist the help of a professional copywriter. They will help you to establish the right tone of voice for your blog, get to know you, your business and how you want to be seen by your customers and then draft the copy on your behalf. You can either provide a subject and key messages to your copywriter or they will suggest some topics and produce the content from scratch.
Whichever way you choose to start blogging, the most important thing is to DO IT NOW!