14 Nov Why and How to Blog
Many of our clients ask us if they really need to invest the time and energy into blogging. Here’s the short answer: Yes, if you can keep it up consistently
Blogging communicates your expertise on topics important to your target audience. Each new post boosts your visibility to search engines and helps establish your company as an unbiased thought leader within its industry. Effective blog communication works as a long-term soft sell technique. Begin posting agnostic-themed articles, limiting biased submissions to no more than 10% of the total. Include posts which talk about subjects related (even loosely) to your products and industry.
Use the website as the closing tool, but develop leads through the blog. Develop an editorial calendar of such themes in order to organize execution. Seek out authoritative industry-related bloggers and develop active reciprocal relationships with each. The goal is to portray your company as an expert relative to its industry and not only your products. Then when you actually pitch to your blog audience, they will put greater weight in your “advice” to buy your product. Once you start the blog, keep going. It’s worse to start and stop, than to not start, as the former loses your company a good deal of credibility.
Plus, blogging is an absolutely critical component of helping you achieve inbound marketing success. According to HubSpot data:
- companies that blog attract 55% more site visitors
- 97% more inbound links
- 434% more indexed pages.
- companies that blog achieve 126% more lead growth than companies that don’t
Ok, so here’s a checklist of things to do when starting and planning your blogging activities.
- Create an RSS feed for you blog. RSS (Really Simply Syndication) is a standard way to deliver content to interested visitors after they leave your site. It is used with blogs, news feed and other information sources. RSS feeds have a significant advantage over email, since they are much less susceptible to spam and other web noise.
- Visit sites like Alltop, Google Blog Search and Technorati to find blogs in your industry and sign up to follow them. Most will have links to Twitter and Facebook as well. Start commenting on other blogs, without pitching or promoting your company. Simply add your perspective to the conversation, just like you’d do in a face-to-face social event. Make sure to add your name and link to your website and Twitter handle at the end of your comment.
- Subscribe to other industry blogs. Search on http://blogsearch.google.com for ideas, to subscribe and comment.
- Make sure your blog is hosted on a domain name you control. (eg http://grasshoppermarketing.com/blog or http://blog.grasshoppermarketing.com)
- At a minimum, post 2-6 articles per month. It’s better to write several short articles than one long article.
- Write specific types of posts such as data, info-graphics, how-to articles and lists usually perform very well. But you should test to see which types of articles a) attract more comments b) attract links c) get shared via social media and d) get the highest readership.
- Remember don’t promote your product or service. Focus on your buyer personas and lead profiles and write about their needs and interests. Educate your readers with your blog articles to passively position yourself as the expert.
- List ideas for your first 3 articles and then get writing!