10 Tips for Writing Content for Your Company Blog
If you want to position your blog as a leader in your local community, find new customers and build brand awareness, it is vital that you have an online presence. A blog can help with your SERP because you will hit on target keywords and demographics naturally in your content. You’ll also rank better with search engines as algorithms today look at how fresh your content is and how often you’re adding content.
Hubspot’s 2012 Inbound Marketing Report found that 57 percent of businesses who have a blog acquire new customers from that blog. In addition, a study by Technorati found that 31.1 percent of online browsers indicated that reading a knowledgeable blog influenced their decision about whether or not to buy.
That’s all fine and well, but if you are an HVAC technician or in any industry really, it doesn’t necessarily mean you know what to write for a blog, how to write it, how to research keywords or what to include. There are many elements that go into creating not just placeholders for your blog but quality content that will benefit your small business.
Your first task in creating viable content is to choose topics readers want to know more about.
- What questions do your customers ask most often? If you’ve received three calls this week asking how often a system should be serviced, then this is a good topic to write about.
- What topics apply to your local area specifically? For example, if you live in an area with a high pollen count, allergy topics may become quite important.
- Keep a list of topics as you go through your day so you never run out of ideas.
Google’s algorithm, the way they measure where your site ranks on a search page (SERP), has changed and continues to change. While keywords are not as vital as they used to be, you still need to research them, include a few that work well for your topic and site and include them in the natural flow of your writing.
- Use Google Keywords to research a term, such as “reduce energy bills.” When you plug in your term, whatever it is, Keywords will give you a list of short and longtail keywords that people are looking for.
- Think about what people would search for if they were looking for info on that particular topic.
Length is a tricky thing when it comes to blog posts.
- Too short and you risk Google thinking you’re a content mill or not covering the topic in depth enough to satisfy your readers’ questions.
- Too long and the reader might get distracted and leave your site before signing up for your newsletter.
- The perfect length is one that covers the topic thoroughly but doesn’t just have a bunch of fluff.
You’ve probably visited one of those sites before that lumps together a bunch of different keywords but the paragraph is incoherent. To ensure you’re producing quality content:
- Make sure you are using complete sentences and proper grammar. If you aren’t sure, then hire an editor to help you out.
- Read your work out loud to make sure it “sounds” right.
- Take the time to seek out reliable sources and add expert opinions no one else has.
Check Out Your Competition
Take the time to research what your competition is publishing. If you’re writing an article about the best wineries in your area and your competitor is also writing a wine blog:
- See if they’ve published a similar article.
- Ask if you can look at it from a different angle.
- What elements can you add that they missed?
Include a Big, Beautiful Image
According to Jeff Bullas, Internet marketer, articles that contain images get about 94 percent more views than those that do not.
- Choose high quality images that will grab the reader’s interest.
- Make sure you have permission to use the image. Sites like Deposit Photo allow you to purchase license rights. You can also use many Creative Commons images if you attribute them properly.
- Make the image large enough to balance the page.
Edit and Then Edit Again
It’s important that your work be easy to read. Today’s busy web browser has a few minutes between meetings to digest your article.
- Make sure your article is skimmable. Use subheadings and bullet points, such as you’ll find in this article.
- Run the article through a paper rater or MS Word’s readability checker to make sure you are writing at about a 6th to 8th grade level. Any higher and you risk losing some readers.
- Edit your work, set it aside, and then edit again with fresh eyes to catch errors.
Schedule Posts Ahead
One of the best things about WordPress and most blogging platforms is that you can schedule posts to show up when you want them to.
- Study your site traffic patterns. Schedule posts to go live just before peak traffic times.
- Write posts at least a week or two out. If you get busy and can’t publish to your blog, you’ll still be covered.
- Planning ahead also allows you to schedule social media posts through services like HootSuite.
Share on Social Media Automatically
As mentioned above, you can set up a schedule for posting on social media through sites like HootSuite. However, there are also some other things you can do to schedule shares automatically.
- Install a plugin such as 1-Click Retweet/Share/Like. This plugin will integrate with your Facebook and Twitter accounts so that when a post is published it will also be shared on your social media.
- IFTTT stands for If This Then That. You can set up “recipes” that will tell IFTTT commands such as if you publish a post on your blog, you also share that post on say Pinterest or to your email list.
Finally, it’s important to remain consistent. You don’t have to publish every day, but your readers should know when to expect a new article from you.
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