Blogging is paramount to a successful marketing plan. No matter what size your business is, if you’re not blogging, you’re missing out on a wealth of leads and, not to mention, the ability to really ramp up your search result ranking.
When it comes to blogging, most people fall into one of three categories:
Category 1: The blog master
You understand the value of it and whether you love it or not, you do it and you do it diligently.
Category 2: The Blog dodger
You get it. You know it’s valuable and you’ve dabbled in it, but you also have a list of excuses a mile long of why you can’t possibly consistently blog. I hear you.
Category 3: The Blog Noob.
You’ve got an idea of what it is (maybe?) but ugh, where do you even start?
Category 1, gold star for you. Category 2, stay posted, we will have a new blog titled ‘The Artful Blog Dodger’ out very soon. Category 3’s this post is for you so read on!
We’ve put together this guide to provide you with a simple step by step guide that will bump you up to category 1 in no time.
What is a Blog?
A Blog (short for “web-log”) have been around since the dawn of the internet. Blogs used to be mostly personal and really didn’t have an awful lot to do with marketing or ranking but oh how things have changed. Today, blogs are heavily used as a form of online marketing for brands and businesses as a way to spruik products, gain traffic and show expertise in their field. Not to mention, it helps (a lot) to rank a website since content is king.
There are quite a few types of blogs. Below are a couple of the common ones… in fact I’m betting you’ve probably read through a couple of these forms of blogs before…
- Instructional blog (like the one you’re currently reading)
- List based blog (think blogs with titles similar to ‘6 Easy Ways to Eat a Hot Chip’)
- Curated Collection (an example, ’10 Must Visit Hot Chip Shops for 2018’)
- Personal Blog (Think ‘My 30-day experience consuming only hot chips’)
You get the idea.
For our Bigfoot creative clients, we assume you already have your (awesome) website up and running. If this is not the case, you will need to set up your blog domain and sign up with a content management system (CMS). We recommend AITS for setting up your domain (if you are located in Australia) or TekNet if you are located in the UK.
For your CMS platform, you are definitely going to want to go with WordPress. It’s universally loved and is very easy to work with. If you require training on how to use WordPress, give our office a call and we would be happy to work with you on this.
Customising Your Blog Theme
For Bigfoot Creative clients, we will happily do this for you. Call our office to discuss the process. If you already have a website with us and blogging is included in your package, this is likely already done or can be done very quickly.
For everyone else, jump on over to ThemeForest and chose your theme. Be careful to chose something that will reflect your brand or business.
Be sure to include your logo on the site and an ‘about’ page.
Select your Blog Topic & Titles
Before you settle in to start your first post, brainstorm a few topics so that you have a few ready to go on hand. Not only will this be useful for future blogs, but it is an opportunity to get those creative juices flowing.
This is also the time that you will need to decide what type of blog format you would like to use. This may depend on what industry you are in.
Let’s use a service-based business as an example and come up with some blog topics using the ‘hot chip’ examples above. Say you are in the business of optometry; some ideas may be:
- 10 On Trend Frames for 2018
- How to Choose the Perfect Frame for Your Face Shape
- Studies Show X% of People are Wearing Glasses With the Wrong Lense Prescription!
- 5 Tips for Choosing your Child’s Glasses
- Computer Giving you a Headache? Digital Eye Strain and How to Prevent It
From here, you will need to do a little research and tweak and adjust your title so that it is attractive to your potential customers. Take the time to look at the leaders in your field and what they are doing so that you have an idea of what works.
As you write your blog content, the title may change depending on what the final product is. That is completely ok.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Unless you are one of those people who naturally have the gift of the gab, this is the trickiest part. Here you will need to have clearly define structure to your blog. It will need keywords, image(s), intro, body content and a summary. What is a keyword? Good question read on:
Keywords: To put it simply, keywords are the words and phrases that internet searchers use to find your product/ service. Think of last time you searched for something on Google. for me, it was “custom pink computer case” (nerd alert). So, if I am a company and I sell custom computer cases, I want to make sure I have content on a page (in this case it would be a product) somewhere on my website that is using “custom pink computer case”. From there, in my content on my website, I would want to continue using those keywords throughout the page content, in the post title, headings and body content.
Learning how to use keywords correctly is its own discipline. Take time to a little research on what keywords will work best for your post based on what searchers you want to attract. Check out this article by True North Social for a really great rundown on all things keyword research.
Introduction: When writing an Introduction, make it sharp and snappy. This is the opportunity to keep readers on your page. It is also the perfect chance to show your readers a more personal side to you. Telling an anecdote, story, fact or statistic is a great place to start.
Body Content: Always ensure to structure your content in a way that is easy to read. By this I mean short sentences, proper grammar, headings throughout. Try to keep a minimum of 300 words per blog post and remember, quality over quantity.
Summary: Be sure to add in a call to action. If there is opportunity to link to another page (such as the contact page) be sure to add it in using a hyperlink.
Now your blog post is done, time to upload it to your website! Now, this process deserves another blog post unto itself. Although not complicated, there are quite a few steps involved. Read this article by WPWordpress.com for full instructions on uploading a blog post to WordPress.
There you have it. Blogging in a nutshell. Although this seems like a lot of information to take in, I urge you just to take it step by step. Do some extra research and watch some YouTube tutorials on the process while you are getting the hang of it. I assure you, after your first few blog posts, it will become a very simple process and in no time, you will start seeing the benefits.