Fact is everyone is busy. You would love to take things off your plate. Why do things that don’t matter. One of the most common questions I get asked is ‘Does it matter if I blog or not?’ To put your mind at ease, in short it doesn’t matter if you blog or not. No one needs to blog. Whilst you now might be doing the happy dance, relieved you don't need to blog and you now have magically got all this time back in your day, I am going to give a caveat. What I will say is blogging can make a huge difference and impact to your business if you know how a blog can help and what types of blogs increase your opportunities to grow your business. It can even save you time and money. So who wouldn't want to save time and money?
Blogging gains visibility. Each time you publish a blog it is the opportunity to be seen. In saying this, if you know how to blog effectively, you will increase how many people can find your blog. Doing effective blogging will actually enable you to do less work. This is why I am so passionate about it.
It all starts with defining what a blog is.
A traditional blog is an abbreviation of ‘weblog’. It is literally a log of information on the web. It is often a discussion or informational website page published online consisting of often informal diary style entries. Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order so that the reader can see the most recent post first.
With 4.4 million new traditional blogs published each day, search engines need a way to rank content. They are constantly looking for innovative ways to show the most valuable content to people who are searching.
When you are working on the practice of enabling your content to be seen by as many of your ideal customers as possible, this is called search engine optimisation (SEO). Therefore, becoming a blogger (one who publishes blogs) and doing it effectively is one of the most cost efficient ways to grow your business. It is one of the most valuable skills you can learn.
What’s important to note is that blogs can be pieces of information published anywhere online. They are pieces of information published anywhere online. Twitter is known as a micro blogging platform. But the reality is that every Social Media Platform is a micro blogging platform. It’s just the mix of content (words, video, audio, pictures) that varies.
What's important to note is that increasingly as Social Media has become more prevalent and the competition for attention from potential customers has increased, Social Media platforms and Search Engine Platforms are wanting you to stay on their platforms more. You can work this to your advantage, but it all starts with understanding the fundamentals of what blogging is and why it matters.
So let’s go through the 5 key things you need to know about blogging:
Blogs enable people and bots to get to know you. This is an important fact that’s often missed. Blogs are written for people but are often ignored. Because well, they’re a bot. And if you say on repeat, ‘I’m not technical’ or ‘that’s too hard’ you’re missing the point. Bots are more important than people and this is why. Think of bots as connectors. They connect people searching for solutions to their problem with your content. If you don’t give bots your blog in a format they can easily find and discover what you want to be known for, they won’t show your blog to as many people searching. That means missed opportunities for your blog to be visible and in turn less opportunities for you and your content to be found.
What do you blog about?
Blogs are a log of information on topics. Information can be in words, photos, videos and audio formats. The topics are what you want to be known for.
Words is the most common blog format, with blogs being hosted on websites. These are considered most valuable as through keywords bots can identify what words are being highly searched and if your blog includes these words can match the words based on relevancy and increase your search engine ranking.
However, words alone are not as engaging as also using visual prompts such as photos, infographics and videos. A mix of all formats can increase people’s engagement with your content.
Topics are what you want to be known for. These consist of your product or service and how it is connected to the problem people are searching for.
Where do you blog?
Blogging is a practice that can be done on your own platform (website) or on platforms owned by others.
Your Own Website
Whilst it is great to have a blog on your own website because it will directly benefit your whole website visibility every time a new blog is published. It’s not the only place you can blog. Did you know blogs don’t exist only on websites.
What’s important to note is that blogs are snippets of information published anywhere online. Twitter is known as a micro blogging platform. But the reality is that every Social Media Platform is a micro blogging platform. It’s just the mix of content (words, video, audio, pictures) that varies.
How long is a blog?
Length is variable. The most important thing to focus on is being valuable to your audience that you want to connect with. Length without value reduces your opportunity to rank well and be found. In saying this if your competition is not blogging or not blogging well, then your chances of ranking well will increase. The reason to make the most of blogging well will help you long term to rank better regardless of competition.
Blogging on Social Media, the most powerful way to see what works is to test this out. Each platform has their own word limits and the interesting thing is that the platforms themselves are always testing out character and word limits in their posts.
Depending on where you blog can make a difference on how long your blog needs to be.
Blogging on your own website, long form content of 1,500 - 2,000+ words enables cut through and the opportunity to rank. Providing your content is what people are searching for.
What are people searching for?
There are free and paid tools that help you to discover what people are looking for.
3 Simple, free ways to find out what people are searching for are:
- Autocomplete - start typing in the search bar and see what autocomplete suggestions come up. These search terms are actually in order of what is most searched.
- People also search for. At the base of the search listings there are suggested search terms, these are based on popular related searches.
- Google trends - Google actually share their data via a free tool called Google Trends.
When do you blog?
Frequency is not as important as relevancy. Think of it in context of the more you blog the more opportunities people and bots have to find you online.
Blogging at a minimum of once a month focusing on quality is more important than blogging every day.
How is your blog found?
This is the burning question. The short answer is connection. The slightly longer answer is connection to other websites and pages via links. When you hear the words ‘World Wide Web’ this is a literal translation to how information is connected and found online.
Bots travel via links between websites and pages. This is how they index content that gets ranked.
There are 4 types of links:
Internal links - these are links in between pages on your own website.
Inbound links - these are links that come into your website from other websites.
Outbound links - these are links that link from your website to someone elses.
Reciprocal links - these links are when you link to someone who also links to your website.
Bonus: If you want your links to be found more readily with more information for bots to help with ranking, use anchor links. Anchor links are the practice of linking words rather saying ‘link here’ or ‘click this’ use actual words in a sentence to link. For example; you can learn more about Dotterised Services.
Building links between pages is one of the most powerful things you can do. But keep in mind that not all links are equal. Links become more effective if you focus on ones that are relevant to you, your business and are valuable for the reader. Think of it like 'Does this link help the reader and make me look good?' Links for the sake of it won't help, they could even hurt your ranking.
The most important things to remember when blogging and creating your content, be relevant and valuable for your reader and this will help search engines rank your content better.
The biggest outtake of all of this regarding blogging is, blogging is not static. Think of it as a living thing that will adapt to search and technology trends to stay relevant. The most important thing you can do is take time regularly to stay up to date and apply your learning to your marketing strategy.
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