We can probably all think of a handful of great blogs. Perhaps they haven’t won any awards or have a readership of many millions, but we read them and we love them. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what it is you love about that blog? Is it the author’s quirky style? Is it their beautiful branding? Is it their commitment to helping people understand a particular topic? Is it simply that you know the blogger has this awesome little button that makes it super-easy to print her recipes?
Good blogging is something of a fine art, but I don’t think it’s something that can really be defined. Blogging is such a personal endeavour that what makes one blog fantastic might not sit quite right with another.
There are, however, a number of small things you can do to improve any blog – little improvements and overall concepts, but they’re not just nice-to-haves. I believe everything on this list has an impact on how well-received my blog is and how successful each individual post is.
These are what I consider my non-negotiables for my own blog:
Each of your blog posts should have an enticing, but clear subject line that immediately tells the reader what the blog post is about. Don’t be vague about what the topic is. Their time is precious: let them know straight away whether it’s something they’ll be interested in.
The Right Keywords
If you want your blog to be found by folks surfing the web, you need to be mindful of what keywords you want to be discovered for. For example, if you wholesale camera equipment, it won’t do much good to come up in a search for natural parenting products. Use tools such as Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner to find low competition keywords that your target market is searching.
NOTE: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an art in itself. If you’re really struggling just to get your head around writing a blog post (never mind keywords!), just write with your ideal reader in mind. Speak to them as though they are in the room. You wouldn’t use totally unrelated words and phrases during a conversation about a product with a client, so don’t do it in your blog. If you’re educating about a product, use words and phrases that you know your reader will understand.
Your blog post should contain at least one shareable image that quickly tells potential readers what the blog post is about. You want people to be able to share your content without too much hassle, so providing them with an image that encapsulates the blog subject will give them just what they need to quickly share via Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ or email.
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Where possible, it’s best to stick to a set format for your blog posts. This helps readers to know what to expect from you, makes it easier for you to create new posts and adds an extra level of consistency to your branding. If you mix your posts up with a range of written, video and images, stick with a specific format for each type of those posts.
Blogging for business is a commitment. It isn’t something you should do just because you feel you have to, or because everyone else says you should, or because everyone else is doing it. You also shouldn’t blog weekly just because a competitor is. That’s not a good enough reason. You should blog weekly if you feel it is genuinely in the best interest of your business and brand to blog weekly.
Blogging has to be an intentional, considered choice for your business and your life.
If you’ve chosen the blogger’s journey, be consistent. Whether you write daily, weekly or monthly is up to you and should be decided after careful consideration and probably some trial and error. Create consistency for yourself and your audience. Commit to your blog, treat it as an important marketing activity and do it well.
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