In order to build a solid web presence on the web, you will need to utilize a blog (web-log). A blog is nothing more than a website where content is easily added to it – via pages. As part of the website design, ensure that a blog is included. Don’t be afraid of it. You can do it!
There are several reasons to do this:
- The search engines love blogs because they have constant new content being added to them (if you keep it up). This is one of the factors for improving search engine visibility – you do it right (keywords). It will help drive links back to you if it’s good & useful. A website that is old may not have fresh information to meet reader’s needs, and you lose in the social game as well. Nobody wants to see a sales pitch, and a stale site.
- Blogs make it easy to interact with those who visit the website. You can talk to others and they can talk to you. For example, perhaps you create a blog post about an upcoming sale or special event at the company. A potential customer may visit the site and inquire about the sale’s run dates. This allows you, or the company official, to interact with the potential user, easily grabbing that user’s business. (After you have shared – it’s a “giver’s gain” in the social media / blogging world.
- Blogs are also one of the best tools for Internet marketing because they are so easy to use. You do not have to have HTML experience or other types of website experience to use them. You can easily learn how to use a blog in a matter of minutes and be creating effect blog posts. You can check the 22 best WordPress Themes to get more ideas.
Your job will be to create those blog posts. A blog post is simply a short article or a few paragraphs. It incorporates information and useful knowledge but does more than serve as a backdrop for those who are using the site. In short, it works to both benefit customers who visit the website and search engines to pump more traffic to the website.
How do I get started with a Blog?
In this chapter, we will first describe the ways in which visitors will use a blog. And, we will provide you with tips and instructions on how to add this service to your master list of services that you provide to companies who decide to work with you.
How Will A Blog Be Used
Before you can start creating a blog, it is important to consider the many ways that readers of that blog will use it. This is important because the blog should serve an important purpose for the company or individual. It needs to add to the value of the company so that customers can benefit from it, and not just the company’s marketing process. Think “how can I help a visitor coming to my site”?
There are several key ways that a blog can work for a business in terms of potential new customers. As you create the articles or blog posts for the blog, you will want to keep these things in mind. By providing key information like this to the reader, you ensure that the has a reason to read the blog, which is its main purpose.
You should always try to get their email – by providing a free report, custom (private) posts and other ideas.
- Company Information: As mentioned earlier, a common way people learn about companies or products is via search engines. While a company website can provide this information, a blog should add to this. Specifically, the company’s name, location and what the company providers or offers should be included, but as part of the navigation. You want to be sure that the customer understands what the company can offer to them.
- Directions: As simple as it may sound, people often go to the web to find local businesses that are local to them that can provide them with the service they need. Your blog or website should include directions from major cities and thoroughfares to ensure that people have a good idea just how easily located the business is to them.
- Product Info: What does the company offer specifically? A plumber needs to list the services offered by the company. An attorney should list the types of cases the company covers. The reason for this is simple. If there is a sewer problem for a homeowner, he may not know if a plumber takes care of this service. He does not want to call to ask. He wants to see it in writing, on the website itself. Detail the types of services the company provides. Provide easy access.
- Give Tips: An attorney may not want to provide step-by-step processes for how to file a legal case since this would negate the need to contact the attorney. However, the attorney should provide some instructions on what can be done. Don’t be afraid to share, without giving away the “farm”. For example, a person may need help with a neighbor. Can he file a claim against his neighbor for damage done by a neighbor’s dog? By providing specific examples like this, it helps to show that the company is valuable and is providing a professional service. It helps to earn the respect of the customer. Building a bridge to earn their trust and setting up the authority/leadership is an important aspect of blogging.
- Service Data: The company’s blog should provide information about services, such as when service is provided, the range of service calls and similar information. It is important to offer as much information about the company’s service as possible to ensure that the customer is able to answer the question, “Can this company help me?” Don’t write self-promotional blogs, however. Make all this “other” information available via navigation, downloads, form inputs, etc.
- Purchases: In some situations, the company’s blog or website can sell products. A local auto parts store can expand their reach considerably by offering auto parts on the web. The decision to offer such services on the web is up to the company. It does require a different type of website, called an ecommerce site, which will allow the company to list products on the site and for individuals to add items to a shopping cart to buy them. It also allows the company to accept credit card payments. There are ways to set up a blog to handle e-commerce transactions as well.
Any other data that is important for the customer to know about should be presented on the blog in some way. However, it is also important for the person who does the blogging (which may be you) to offer information in a conversational style. Rather than a formal website, a blog should be informal, a place where the reader is able to easily communicate with the company or learn from it.
How to Write The Blog
Now that you know what information should be on the blog, what designs you’ll use and how it will be used by the reader, the next step is to get an understanding of how to create each of the blog posts. A blog post is nothing more than an article of about 300 words long (250-750). It should be set up with a benefit-driven title, keywords followed by several paragraphs.
You can use various types of blog platforms to structure the blog, such as WordPress or Blogger. These make the process of creating a blog post very easy. All you need to do is to type out the content you would like to create, copy, paste it into the platform, and then add a title to it. Make sure to add links as well. Don’t hog the links.
However, while this process is easy, you should do several things within each of the blog posts you write, for the company’s Internet marketing strategy’s success and for the reader’s benefit.
- Create content rich blog posts. In other words, ensure that every word counts and provides something valuable to the reader. The reader should learn something from each blog post. Ask questions.
- Be conversational. Ask opinions, start conversations with those who visit. Ask questions such as, “what do you do” and “what do you think” rather than yes and no questions. This way, people come back to the site to interact with others more frequently.
- Do use keywords in the blog posts. The first place to use them is in the title. Use them in the description of the article as well as within the blog posts itself.
- Focus on long tail keywords. This type of keyword is made up of more than three words. There is far less competition on the web for long tail keywords than there are for shorter. Also, keep in mind that you should be using keywords with a local focus. This is what will get people to the blog. Use the Google Keyword Research Tool.
- Ensure that you use the blog to communicate against a full range of keywords. This is the ideal place to use one or two keywords for each blog post so that you can target a larger variety of keywords. Your keyword research will lead you to the terms you should be using.
Ensure that every blog post you create is positive and upbeat.
It should be informational but can be newsworthy. Here are some topics to help you to get started.
- Talk about individual products or services that the marketplace offers, and where you fit in. (it’s not all about you!)
- Focus on topics in the news that somehow relate to the company or the company’s services.
- Talk about the company’s history and its foundation, fun facts, and how you’ve helped in your community, etc.
- Update readers about specials and deals as they are announced, and things you’ve found online (that can help).
- Write posts that communication opinions of the owner, but be careful not to alienate some readers of the blog.
Now that you have a good idea of what a blog is and what it can be used for, start writing some blog posts. If you are unsure what to write or how to structure such articles, check out some of the blogs on the web. Chances are good that you will have fun doing this. Try blogsearch.google.com and technorati.com
Most Internet marketers will handle this type of blog writing themselves. In another post, we will talk about how you can hire professionals to handle the writing and posting of blog posts, too. However, to get things started, you will need to get a few posts up for your client’s blog. You can use answer.yahoo.com to find out what people are asking about for your industry, including Google & Yahoo groups + forums all across the Inter-webs.
- Six@Six: Six Best Practices for Corporate Blogging (bulletproofblog.com)
- Three Problems that Make Me Leave Your Blog in Three Seconds (problogger.net)
- Make Your Blog Posts SEO-Friendly (fathomseo.com)
- 5 Blog Naming Basics (problogger.net)