When the blog was born, it was a means to an end for the techies of the 1990’s to accommodate their need for speed to gather interesting information under one roof.
There are over 152 million blogs out there and the number is growing so why bother adding another to this burgeoning arena?
What are the benefits & what is the point of a blog?
In the pre-www. world, if you wanted to research a subject you went to the library, read books, papers, magazines, listened to the radio, watched the TV, interviewed people; in short you had to cover at least 5 different avenues of approach before you had a respectable amount of information. Now most people just flip open their lap top and bingo! they have all the information they could possibly need.
That is why you need a blog!
Your blog and/or website must be the place someone goes if they want to find out about your product or service and when they land on your page, you want to keep them there for as long as possible.
Imagine your page is a strip of Vapona Fly Paper and the reader is the unsuspecting fly!
You don’t need technical genius, just an internet connection, email address & couple of hours a week.
Essentials to your blog:
- Specialist knowledge – talk on subject you know
- Regular posts
- Consistent style & content
Essentials to your post:
- Interesting subject matter
- Intriguing title
- Word count: between 250-1000 words
- Cut out the waffle – quality NOT quantity
- Fewer interesting posts are better than loads of tedious ones
How do I look?
Use appealing layout:
- Use “quotes” & ‘citations’
- Headings/sub-headings/indent/bullet points
- Photos/images (check for royalty fees)
- Your brand/image: make the blog & post identifiable
- Add links to the post & tell the company/organisation you have added their link so they will hopefully reciprocate and put a link to you from their site http://www.sophiawriting4u.co.uk/service.php?&dx=1&ob=3&rpn=services&id=6
- Make the blog interactive so a reader can leave a comment but make sure you can approve comments before they appear!
- Use personal experience, humour, drama & emotion occasionally – it reminds the reader you are human and will help them ‘connect’ with you.
Call to Action
- Ask the reader to do something: you are looking for interaction = more sales.
- Run limited period special offers or publish money saving coupons the reader can print.
- Invite a ‘guest post’ that will help expand your audience further.
When you have finished – you haven’t
You must edit your work – don’t publish the first draft
READ IT OUT LOUD
- Look for grammar/spelling/typos
- Think about sentence structure
- Readability – is it easy to read/digest
- Use key words & phrases for SEO: plenty of words that relate to your business but keep them in the context of the post
- If using WordPress add categories and tag words.
- Use Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc) to spread the word
- Invite customers to subscribe to updates (beware the unsolicited email)
- Decide whether blog is going to be static or interactive (with comment box)
- Keep a list of possible topics
- Put date in your diary for next post and stick to it
- At the end of your post, give taster of what next post will cover
Do’s & Don’ts
- Don’t lift long sentences & paragraphs from someone else’s post or places like Wikipedia, at best readers will get bored and at worse you will be sued for copyright.
- Do quote professionals in your field where relevant, if you can interview someone or even just get them to answer one question, a direct quote from a specialist in your area of expertise is worth it!
- Don’t reel off reams of information – you will lose the reader by the 3rd sentence.
- Do give bite-size gems that pack a punch.
- Do write regularly, at least once a month but preferably every 2 weeks.
- Do make offers occasionally e.g. discount vouchers or seasonal deals.
- Do respond to reader comments within reasonable amount of time.
- Don’t make post too long, between 250 – 1,000 words.
- Don’t waffle – make a point, justify & explain but cut out excess words.
- Don’t rely too heavily on spellcheck.
Make your post and therefore your blog:
COMPELLING CAPTIVATING CONSISTENT