Blogging is a bit like going to the gym – we know we should be doing it, but somehow we’re always putting it off and resolving that we’ll start next week. Or we’ll give it a go for a week or two then get distracted by other things, telling ourselves that it wasn’t worth it anyway.
Of course, deep down we know this isn’t true. Blogging is a way to update content, encourage links, develop a brand identity, build credibility and engage with customers. However, just like getting the perfect six-pack, creating blog traffic and interaction takes time and effort. So how can you maximise the benefits of blogging without burning out?
1. Create incredible, yet relevant headlines
The importance of a strong headline cannot be over-emphasised because it’s the first thing readers see, and you know what they say about first impressions. It’s also important to remember that you’re blogging for current and potential customers so think about what headline resonates best with them and which one would motivate them to click through. Basic things like ‘top 5 tips for…’, ‘best ways to…’ or ‘how to…’ always work like a charm and your creative juices won’t need to go into overload thinking of them!
2. Take a holistic approach
While blogging about the intricacies of creating the perfect liquid eyeliner flick probably wouldn’t benefit your local mechanic’s blog, companies should nonetheless avoid only talking about their product or service offering. It’s important to think of what your readers are interested in broadly, how you can add value for them, and what you can do to solve their problems. Using your local mechanic shop as a case in point, the company could create a post that lists, for example, tips for choosing your first car (and who knows, once your reader buys this car there’s a good chance you’ll be front of mind for all their car maintenance needs!)
3. Make like a parrot and chat
Engaging in conversations is a great way to interact with your readers and potential customers. By becoming part of the comment conversation, your readers can see that you care about what they have to say and that you’re not just generating static, page-creating content. Being the social beings we are, a two-way conversation like this is not only easy, it’s natural, it’s fun and it reaps a range of benefits.
4. Social Media-fy your blog
A blog is all about sharing ideas, advice, inspiration or just plain old information, and although you’ve laid the foundation for sharing by creating unique and engaging content, you need to go that one step further and incorporate share tools like Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest so that your content can be passed along to more and more people. The more that people share, the more that your hard work gets promoted and all you did was install a few ‘like’, ‘tweet’, ‘+1’ and ‘pin’ buttons (plus the occasional call to action of course). Win much?
5. Keep it up
You probably already know that it’s not enough to just create a blog, upload some posts, and then leave it for a couple of months before creating new content. In fact, blogging often not only has SEO benefits, it ensures that your loyal readers stay with you because, just like the blissful knowledge that a Maccas cheeseburger tastes the same no matter where in the world you are, once you develop a following, readers will revel in the assurance that come Tuesday they will be able to read your quirky words and mind-boggling insights.
So what next? You might read these tips and think ‘derr, tell me something I don’t know’ but you’ll be surprised by the amount of people who choose to ignore them and go down the ‘blogging is too hard and time consuming’ path. Akin to the gym avoider, these people are bound to spend money on maintenance and exert some effort every now and again yet in the long-run, they’re destined to see an uninspiring lack of results. After reading this, I’m sure it won’t be you!