6 Tips To Get Your Blog Working For You

By: Ian Bond - Mar  2017

Some of us are certainly old enough to remember the loveable frontman for Ronco, infomercial icon Ron Popeil. Remember him? The “set it and forget it” guy?

Often were the times during one of his TV spots that he would slap a well-seasoned chicken into one of his countertop roasters, look at the audience, throw up his hands, and lead the crowd in a raucous “set it and forget it”.

As fun as it is at times to take a stroll down memory lane, I’m not here to talk about a handy kitchen gadget. What I do want to talk about, however, is the misguided notion that once a website is in place, said site can simply be left to fend for itself.

Whether or not it’s the fault of Ron Popeil for putting the idea in our heads, we all love the prospect of being able to “set it and forget it”. And though this may be a distinct advantage in some areas of life, in the ever-changing world of site content search engine optimization (SEO), it’s not.

Of all the content containers on a website, adding and maintaining a blog that delivers accurate well-organized, relevant content is the easiest, most economical way to ensure fresh, rich content is on your site. And Google loves fresh, rich content — so will your readers.

But maybe the first question to be answered should be: why blog? Big picture answer: it’s good for business. According to this article found on HubSpot, B2B marketers that use a blog receive 67% more leads than those that don’t. According to the same article, if a blog is prioritized the likelihood of marketers achieving positive ROI is 13 times more likely.

Regardless of a company's size, a HIGH VALUE blog will increase web traffic, raise brand awareness, and help establish trustworthy brand authority.

HIGH VALUE = Relevant + Accurate + Well Organized

Here is a handful of potential pitfalls to consider when assessing your website’s blog, and 6 tips that will help to get it back on track if you find it coming off the rails:

Tip Number 1 — BE CENTRALIZED

Avoid publishing your blog offsite. In other words, integrate your blog into your business’ website. Publishing a blog — regardless of how fantastic it is — on a platform other than a subdomain or folder on your website is likely to move your ROI needle past zero and into the red.

By publishing a blog away from your business’ website, any SEO efforts that may have gone into your carefully crafted article are working to draw traffic to a domain that is not connected, in any significant way, to the heart of your business: your website. And sadly, this leaves your brand and all other centralized content out in the cold.

By using the CMS in your company’s website to house your blog in either a subdomain (http://blog.yourwebsite.com), or in a folder located in the main website (http://yourwebsite.com/blog) you can ensure that all SEO efforts are being properly used to bring traffic to the the place where the rest of your marketing strategies can be most effective.

Tip Number 2 — BE RELEVANT

Give your audience information that is relevant to their needs. Out of ideas? Questions are a great place to start. Comb through social media outlets popular in your industry and look for questions people are asking. Quora, and Twitter, for instance, can be massive sources of inspiration.

Combing through comments on your current blog is also a good place to look. Hopefully you are already engaging readers who are taking the time to comment. If not, here’s a good excuse to start.

Tip Number 3 — BE ACCURATE

When researching for this article, I looked at 25-30 sources solely dedicated to blogging. I read up on topics ranging from post frequency and length, to content SEO strategies. To some, sifting through 25-30 sources may seem excessive; but to me, it’s not. In my estimation, I owe anyone willing to take the time to read this article the most accurate information available.

Added bonus: research keeps you connected to your industry.

In my role at Four Star Designs I work in an industry that is constantly chasing moving targets — SEO, SERP, analytics, UX, and best practices in all — As such, I’m interested in what my peers have to say. Not only does research keep pressing issues in front of me, it gives me a great cross section of highly accurate information that helps me build a knowledge base of information that is worth passing on to to my readers.

With the exception of maybe U.S. Census Bureau data, citing 7 year old information isn’t going to do anyone any good. If you are going to invest the time into your blog, make the investment count — for both you, and your readers — by keeping it accurate.

Tip Number 4 — BE ORGANIZED

Don’t leave it up to visitors to Jenga their way through a pile of haphazardly placed posts. Take the time to categorize articles in a way that makes sense to your visitors. Like any other element of your website, the blog needs to lend itself to good user experience. Being that it can often be the first experience a visitor has with your company, don’t waste the opportunity to engage.

Relevant + Accurate + Well Organized = GOOD USER EXPERIENCE

Tip Number 5 — WRITE

As might be expected, looking at 25-30 different sources produced 25-30 different opinions on which of the various topics priority should be placed. However, the one concern in which all sources were in agreement was that a consistent stream of high quality blog content is essential.

Note the emphasis on consistent. Afterall, unless you have something to put into your blog, tips 1-4 are meaningless.

Tip Number 6 — BE REALISTIC

When boiled down, the question of post frequency is really reduced to two things. You may of course have some unique factors to consider, but to make things simple, we’ll keep it at two.

  1. YOUR GOALS - What is it that you are trying to accomplish through your blog? If you are managing a monetized blog that generates income based on getting traffic to advertising, then perhaps a high post frequency may serve you better. Ali Luke of Aliventures, however, explores the idea that maybe a modest 2 or 3 posts a week might be better for this purpose. Again, this is for you to decide.

If you are managing a business blog, however, the rules change. Hopefully, as marketing strategies are formed, increasing web traffic, raising brand awareness, and helping to establish trustworthy brand authority are at the top of your list of goals. Blog frequency should,realistically, be driven by these goals. It may be that 2 or 3 high-value articles per month would fit perfectly into your strategy.

2) SUSTAINABLE SCHEDULING -. As a competitive distance runner, there is nothing

that will ruin my race day quicker than burning out early. Months and months of training down the drain. Similarly, the cadence you pace your blog posting matters. Is the pace that you have lined out sustainable?

Producing high quality copy takes time. If, as a small business owner, you are writing for yourself, perhaps two articles a month may be the most prudent. Quantity should never override quality — and consistency is key. What is the frequency you can realistically sustain?

On the flip-side of that coin is over saturation. If you are a prolific writer and can churn out one good article after another doesn’t mean you should publish the second the last period is in place. Relying on audience response can help you determine the optimal publishing schedule. Too many can come across as spammy and cause subscribers to burn out.

If this sounds familiar, put your CMS to work scheduling your posts. Not sure how that works on your particular platform? Ask someone that does.

Not overly keen on writing? Consider getting help. We’ve already established the value that having a blog adds to your website. But if coming up with even the tiniest bit of content makes you sweat, it may be entirely worth your while to enlist the services of a good copywriter, or explore the idea of inviting guest bloggers from around your industry to post to your site.

At the end of the day a blog isn’t the magic lever that, when pulled, is going to single-handedly catapult your website’s traffic into the stratosphere. It is, however, an integral part of your company’s web presence and should be managed with the same care as any of the “more worthy” components that make things tick.

Hopefully I have inspired you with some good enough reasons to get away from the set it and forget mentality that we all fall prey to. But if not, here’s a link to Ron Popeil’s magic countertop roaster. And if for no other reason, please come back and post your favorite “set it and forget it” recipe in the comments.

 



Post a Comment
Captcha Image
Comments

Post has no comments.



Page

More Articles

Four Star Designs LLC provides marketing strategies to human service organizations. Customer Jouney Mapping is an important part of our process.
GET MY FREE CJM TEMPLATE

Captcha Image