Blogs are a great way to connect with existing clients, potential customers, possible referrers and general influencers. They help to demonstrate your expertise and authority and can drive people to you and your business in a focused, measurable way. Here, we give you some essential tips on how to manage website content – and get it in front of the right people.
Blog post essentials
Writing a good blog can be a time-consuming process. That’s why many businesses choose to outsource their content marketing management to a specialist blogger virtual assistant or marketing company that can help them to save time and money by producing great quality, relevant content.
If you decide to write for yourself, however, here are the essentials for a good blog post:
- At least 400 words – blogs can be any length, but in order to be able to include enough relevant and interesting content, 400 words is the minimum length to go for. Your blogs can be much longer than this – often longer content gets more readers and those readers stay the course – and you don’t have to stick to the same word count for every blog.
- Have a good headline – your blog needs to appeal to your target audience, so the headline and any subhead copy need to be powerful and relevant. This is also an essential place to put your target keywords.
- Relevant keywords – your blog needs to be found by people who are genuinely interested in what you offer, so it’s important to research what your target audience is searching for and use those keywords in your content. Don’t ‘stuff’ your blog with keywords though – search engines don’t like that. They are looking for readable, useful content that matches the search. Use your keywords sparingly, but in important places – your meta-tags, your headline, your image captions, your subheadings and in the first and last paragraphs of your text.
- Use short paragraphs and bullet points – when reading content on a screen, people skim-read. That means that you need to make your content as accessible as possible. Short paragraphs, sub-headings and bullet points are a good way to break up your text.
- Have a call to action – you always want your reader to do something at the end of your blog. It might be to comment or share, or to go to your website to buy, or to fill in a questionnaire or enquiry form. The longer you can keep your reader with you, the better it is.
Promoting your blog post
Once you have written your post, you need to make sure that people can see it. Most companies just put the post up on their website. That’s fine, but unless you’re telling people it’s there, no-one will read it. So you need to leverage all your channels of communication to get the word out. For most companies, this will include one or more of the following:
- Email marketing – good content promotion services always include email. That’s because it’s a direct link with someone who has already expressed an interest in what you do. So when you have a new piece of content, it makes sense to share it with existing or interested customers. Send an email with a summary of your blog and the reasons why they should read it, and then link directly to the blog page so your readers are going exactly where you want them to.
- Social media – you should always promote new content on your social media pages. Whatever channels you use, you will be reaching a wide number of people with a potential interest in your business. Social media marketing content creation styles vary from one platform to another, so the intro to your blog may be more laid-back and relaxed on Facebook than on LinkedIn, but the central point will be the same and you’ll direct people back to your website. Also look for relevant groups within your social media channels where it might be useful to share your content.
- Other blogs – this may sound counter-intuitive, but you can reach a whole new audience by guest-posting on someone else’s blog. Look for businesses or influencers who are aligned with you, and offer to write a post for them. This helps them to widen the scope of their own blog content and gives you access to new readers.
- Reciprocal and bookmarking sites – these are dedicated sites where you can share other people’s content and upload your own. There are general sites and business-specific sites, so you can choose what is best for your business and approach. This can take a little time, because it requires you to take part in the ‘community’ aspect of the site, by sharing, commenting and saving blogs that you like – but it’s a great way to find a new audience, and you’ll definitely learn what works and what doesn’t by looking at a wide range of other blogs. These sites include Triberr and Viral Content Bee, Reddit and Digg.
- Re-purposing – one piece of content can be used in many different ways. For example, a 1000 word blog post can be shortened to a snappier piece for a LinkedIn pulse article, or reduced to a pithy 20 words for a social post. You can use the central points to create an infographic, or make a video that covers the same subject. You could even record a podcast, or turn it into a smart presentation for a webinar.
If the thought of how to manage website content is still a bit daunting, why not call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above? We work with a range of businesses to plan, produce and promote relevant content that raises profiles and engages customers, and we’d be happy to chat about how we can help.