Blogging has become an essential part of any successful marketing and social media strategy. If you are already blogging, then congratulations on recognising the importance of this great marketing tool – the following article will help you to hone and refine your blogging skills. If you haven’t yet caught the blogging bug, then the same article will hopefully persuade you to get started.
Blogging is on the increase and, as high profile bloggers are becoming more influential to their readers, companies large and small are waking up to the power of the blog. So the message is clear, ignore blogging at your peril.
1. What exactly is a blog?
As there seems to be so much confusion around what constitutes a blog, I thought it would be helpful to clarify exactly what a blog is. Essentially it is a collection of fairly short articles in date order which are loosely connected to one or more specific themes. The main difference between a blog and a traditional article is that blogs tend to be more informal and express opinion over fact. The informal nature of blogging makes them interesting and engaging to the reader, a bit like a conversation should be. Blogging can be written pieces of content or video blogs.
2. What will blogging do for me/my business?
Blogging is about engaging with your audience. Done properly, it improves your credibility by demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in a chosen area. This means that people begin to trust and value your opinion on things. Ultimately people prefer to do business with people they know, like and trust and so, if your blog has successfully represented you, then you now have a captive audience.
3. What are the benefits of blogging?
Apart from the obvious benefits mentioned above, blogging is good for keeping people updated about your activities and your products and services. Remember that if you have managed to gain a captive audience you can now keep them informed. Be careful here though as blogging is not a way to sell things. The main difference being that blogging requires a much more subtle approach. If you ‘sell’ on your blog, don’t be surprised if no-one reads it.
4. How does blogging improve my SEO?
You have probably heard that Google and other search engines love blogs. Well, you heard right. The main reason why blogging improves your SEO is that it keeps your website fresh, current and interesting, which is really important from a SEO perspective. Keep in mind too that not all SEO is done by robots/computers and that there are actual human beings employed to evaluate sites for their interest, relevance and currency. The other reason why it helps with SEO is all that lovely search engine food, otherwise known as keywords, which are included in your blog posts.
5. Isn’t blogging really time consuming?
The great news about writing a blog is that it is less time consuming than say, writing an article, report or whitepaper. Obviously it’s got to read well, have accurate spelling and be grammatically correct but, due to the informal nature of blogging, it is easier and quicker to write.
Planning early on will save time later. The first thing to do is to establish why you’re writing your blog then pick a topic, theme or subject and write down your thoughts, opinions and observations. Let it flow and don’t edit too much at the early stage. A blog should be a set of loosely connected ideas informally written. It does not have to contain lots of relevant facts or answer important questions.
Like with so many other things, practice is key. Once you’ve had a go and found your ‘voice’, set the tone for your pieces and discovered the themes that you like writing about, you are well on your way. Happy blogging!