Sometimes you have to do something repeatedly before you get it right. This is very true of blogging.
Last week, I delivered a blog training session through Cheshire Connect, an organisation that matches businesses with charities who are looking to fill gaps in skills and build expertise in their teams. When I met Diane Lomax from Cheshire Connect and heard about the good work they do, I felt compelled to sign up as a volunteer. One of the reasons I started my own business was to give something back to the community and some of the local charities they support are very close to my heart.
Four charities were represented at the training and the feedback was fantastic. One of the attendees was so inspired they drafted their first post and sent it to me for feedback that same afternoon!
Interested in learning more about blogging for your business or a training session? Contact me for a chat.
So what's best - website or LinkedIn?
Along with ‘How long should a blog be?’ whether to blog on a website or LinkedIn is the most common question people ask during blog training. The answer depends on how you want your blog to work for you. You must choose the option that’s right for your business and your audience – and this could be a combination of both platforms. Why not try out both platforms to help you to decide. Here are a few benefits of each:
Website blogging is great for SEO. Google loves fresh, new content and by regularly posting on your website, you’ll improve your chances of being found through organic search.
Posting on your own website builds your online presence and adds value and relevance to the products or services you provide.
People look for content that’s relevant and valuable on a website. You can provide this in a blog.
Writing long-form articles on LinkedIn will boost your personal profile and help you connect with the individuals you’d like to target with your business. It’s particularly effective in promoting business-to-business products and services.
Using hashtags on LinkedIn you can help people find your post more quickly. Posting in groups will help you to target people with specific interests with your content.
If you work for a large organisation and there are no opportunities to blog on your business website, LinkedIn offers a credible alternative. Make sure to seek approval from your organisation prior to publishing any content.
Posts on LinkedIn can also be found via Google so you can still drive organic traffic to your articles and build your profile this way.
A word of warning
Never post the same article on your website and on LinkedIn. Google actively discourages duplicate content and may penalise you for doing this. If you plan to share similar content on both platforms, write different versions of your post. Try changing your headline, and amend the body content according to your audience. You might be speaking to different people on LinkedIn than on your website.
Get into a consistent habit
A key word of advice I share in my training is around consistency. There’s no point starting a blog and building an audience if you get bored and go for months without posting anything. Your readers will also get bored and go somewhere else for their content fix.
Whether you decide to blog on your website, via LinkedIn, or both, creating a plan and sticking to it is probably the most important rule of blogging. Of course, there will always be work pressures that sometimes take priority, but don’t feel too guilty – just get back to your blog when you can. Flexibility is also important. You might have to juggle planned posts around to make way for a reactive post, e.g. if legislation changes or you want to comment on a story in the news. There’s nothing wrong with this. We all have to do it.
Work at it
As with any new skill, you have to work at blogging to become successful and begin to see the benefits to your business. I sometimes go to watch my relatives skiing on the indoor slope in Manchester and often think the repetitive action is a bit like blogging. There’s no direct route to the finish line and you might fall down occasionally on your way but as long as you pick yourself up and keep persevering, you’ll eventually enjoy it. It won’t be long before you’re blogging consistently and gaining great feedback.