The term “blogging” often conjures mental images of bespectacled twenty something’s typing snarky blog posts as they sip espresso at their favourite coffee bar. While this is certainly one way to look at it, this image ignores the relevance and impact blogging can have on your businesses marketing efforts. Most of the top companies in the world use blogging as a means to interact with their audience and provide significant value.
Build a Relationship with your Audience
Businesses which fail to nurture relationships with their audience are often doomed to fail. And with an immensely powerful tool such as the internet, there’s no good reason not to start a blog. Whether your blog posts are thousands of words long or just a few paragraphs, your target audience can quickly digest useful information that can help elevate their business. It also provides a platform for you to be seen as an industry leader and someone influential.
Therefore, the honest approach is always the way to go. Spark ideas and ignite discussions. Provide answers and ask important questions. The intention here is to acknowledge the desire for communication and transparency.
How to Create Quality Content
Quite simply, write about subject and industry topics that your business deals in. So for example if you are selling a service in the travel industry you could write informative blog posts about destinations, useful tips & tricks and so on. The aim here is to give value, and create content which your readers feel empowered.
Good content should entertain, evoke emotion, or educate. Great content is capable of doing all three. That is to say, content should be enjoyable, cause the viewer to feel, or to be informed. How can we do that? By crafting solid content expresses your business’s expertise.
Visitors come to your site because of what you do and how you do it. Take it as a compliment that someone would take the time to want to read more, and live up to that expectation.
You need to put everything into your writing, post it to your business’s blog, and then here’s the most difficult part – expect nothing in return!
This isn’t to say that you should expect your blog to miss the mark, but rather that a piece of content should not be written with the sole hope of gaining a customer. It’s not that this cannot work, but it’s important to have good intentions. The priority should be to benefit the reader.
Allow them to walk away having learned something, whether a new technique, an alternate way of being successful in their field, a fresh spin on an old idea etc. Whatever it is, write with the mindset that the quality must be in line with that of your company, because your content will be available for the whole world to see.
Aim to create “evergreen” content, which is content that will be relevant years down the road. Of course current events will often invite discussion, but for the majority of articles, asking “will this be of value to someone 1, 2, 5, 10 years in the future?”
A fantastic thought to leave in the mind of the reader is “wow, if that is the value this business provides for free, I can only imagine what they provide for paying customers.”
By writing awesome blogs, you not only cement your already existing audience base; you also extend your business’s reach. For instance, if a web design company posts a helpful article sharing some of their own personal tips when it comes to the design process, it’s highly likely that an individual who is a fan of that company’s work would recommend it to a friend.
And that friend would share with another, and so on. Sharing is an organic process, one which is made even easier by social media.
Great content attracts Facebook “likes” and Twitter “retweets” and Google Plus “+1’s”. Like a small stone tossed into a pond, ripples emanate outwards into new circles of readers. This occurrence works wonders for your business and increases visibility. Suddenly your blog is attracting more and more readers.
Remember that while quality content matters most, frequency of blogging also plays a large factor in how your website ranks in search engines. Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and other powerhouse search engines love indexing blogs which are frequently updated. And let’s be honest: that handful of blogs you wrote a few years back aren’t doing much for your visibility. Had you kept in the habit, it’s likely that you would have amassed over a hundred blog posts and a decent online following.
There’s no end goal, no set point where it’s a good time to stop blogging. Of course there will often be spells where your business is inundated with work (leaving little time for writing blogs), but do make a point to publish new content whenever possible. Find yourself with a few free hours this month? Write an extra blog or two and keep them on the back burner, just in case. Should work become overly busy, rest assured that you’ll have a blog article, all ready to be published.
What are your own personal tips and tricks for creating valuable content?