Ready to start your blog, but unsure where to start or how to see results?
Blogging can be an incredibly valuable tool to increase your traffic and gain followers and customers who are interested in your business. But there is a little finesse that goes into planning and keeping up with one. Requiring dedication and consistency, a blog is more than just updates about your products or services. There is a reason behind it, and that will drive it.
A successful blog is focused not on your business but on your customer. Your mission is to be knowledgeable, be helpful, and to provide a resource for their problems. Blogs drive traffic from Google. Most people are going to Google with a specific question in mind because they have an issue that needs to be solved. Your goal is to solve issues relating to your company. This allows people to find your business and you to foster a relationship with them.
We’ve gathered our tips for beginning, planning, and executing a new blog that will help you drive more traffic and build relationships with potential customers.
Start with understanding your audience and determining your goals
Before you start writing, you need to do some initial work. First on the agenda is to determine who your target audience is. When you’re blogging, you are writing multiple articles that will be focused on a specific population segment and their problems. So, you need to determine who they are, what that issue is, what concerns they may have, and be able to talk to them in a language they understand. You are speaking directly to them. An engineer is going to speak differently and has different concerns than an elementary school teacher. Therefore, everything will revolve on this; the title, the words, the education level, etc.
You can begin to understand who your target audience is by creating what we call buyer personas. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your audience member. They really help you look at who they are and what their interests are.
You can use this free tool to get started: makemypersona.com. Once you have a start, you can expand on it and get more detailed. What are they reading, who are they following, and what are they interested in? How can you show them that you are in their world and you get them?
Your next homework is to decide what you’re looking to get out of this. What are your goals and what are you trying to accomplish by blogging? We know you’re not writing just to write! You’re investing time into the blog to see some sort of return. Maybe you are trying to attract or engage the right audience. These could be people who are searching for something. In that case, you want your content to be a solution to that. They’re asking a question, and you are providing an answer. This begins the process of know, like, and trust. The first blog they read is an introduction to your business.
Start planning, writing and scheduling
Once you understand your audience and have some goals set, it’s time to start planning out the blogs and their topics. Write for your audience’s needs. Your blog must be purposeful, educational, and helpful.
Keyword tools to help you come up with topics:
- Answer the Public
Plan out topics and blogs with these apps:
- Google Sheets
Once you have a list of topics, it’s time to start writing. The more you write in advance, the more you can schedule ahead of time. Keep organized with Trello, Coschedule, or a simple Google Sheet.
You’ve gone live! Now maximize your results
Just because you’ve published something, doesn’t mean you’re done! Now that you’ve gone live you need a clear distribution and acceleration plan.
The first thing you need to do in order to maximize results is to make sure the content is search engine optimized. You SEO will help bring in views from Google and other critical search engines. If you are publishing your blog on WordPress, we recommend using SEO Yoast. It allows you to set meta description, titles, and see how well your keyword is optimized. It lets you know how well you’ve done with a stoplight color key; red for needs more work before publishing, orange for alright, but could be better, and green for good to go! It will give you suggestions for improving your score to help you get to green.
Next, you need a plan to share it out on your social media channels. This will help increase views and drive traffic to the blog post. You aren’t limited to only sharing it once. Share it on different platforms multiple times. You can use different headlines, photos, and intros to see what will attract people more.
And, if the blog is a piece of evergreen content, you can add it into the rotation of posts, sharing it every couple of months. Once it’s been in rotation for six months or a year, you can look at your analytics and learn more about what is resonating with your audience and what’s getting viewed. If something is performing leaps and bounds over the rest, you know what to expand on and write more content on.
Lastly, consider using paid advertisements. There is a tremendous amount of content out there, and it can be hard to starting gaining traction. Today, there’s a balance between creating great content and amplifying it to make it happen. Ads can really be the key to achieving this. If you share something on Facebook, you can now put money behind it to target your demographic. This helps you get your blog out in front of the right people and start to make some noise. It doesn’t have to be a lot, even as little as $5 can help you get a small boost and a wider reach.
There you are! Our top tips for starting, maintaining, and growing a blog resource for your customers and customers-to-be. Did we leave anything out? Have follow-up questions? Leave a comment below!
We held a live stream on this topic! Check out our #TrainingTuesday video for more information.
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