Blogging has become a massive part of our digital lives. Some people actually read a blog once a day; some read multiple blogs daily. (I know! Who are these people?)
Whether we’re hunting down a DIY hack or reading up on celebrity gossip, much of the information we take in comes from bloggers around the world. Some of this information is reliable, and some of it, not so much.
However, it can be good that businesses, depending on the niche, establish a reputable, credible blog for themselves somewhere along the line. If you’re wondering what a blog is, it’s a space on your website where you can share information and details about your business, what your business is all about, and specific topics that are relevant to your target market.
Many companies venture into blogging because they want to offer a bit of insight and transparency in their brands. It’s a fantastic idea to connect with current and potential clients, but are there any drawbacks?
The Pros and Cons of Blogging (Because You Were Going to Create a List, So We Thought We’d Help)
Ah, the good old pros and cons list. Human beings love to make these before taking on any adventure, ranging from weekly pottery classes to whether we should start a blog for our websites. The pros and cons of blogging are incredibly straightforward, and from this list, you’ll likely be able to decide right away if blogging is for your business.
- Show your readers your experience.
- Establish yourself as an expert.
- Can drive traffic to your website.
- Establish a connection with your audience.
- Low-cost investment.
- Can fuel interest in your website.
- Creates more keyword-rich content for your website which is good for SEO.
- It’s a fantastic way to establish your brand.
- Blogs make for excellent sharing material on social networks and social media channels.
- Your posts also make excellent material for email blasts to your customers.
- There is a time commitment.
- For some, writing is worse than calculus homework. You may need someone else to do it whether that’s someone in-house or you hire someone (yes, outhouse).
- To keep topics fresh and relevant to your business, you have to stay up to date on trends in your industry.
- Not all businesses have an excellent subject for blogging, and you may be forced to get very creative (I’m looking at you garage door companies. They go up! They go down. Yawn.)
- Sometimes, the cost of keeping a blog up and running isn’t worth the uptick in traffic, though this is rarely the case.
When it comes down to it, blogging is a personal decision that you should base on what you need to put into it to get a fantastic investment return. If you like to write, the personal satisfaction may be enough all on its own!
What to Blog About
Clearly, this depends heavily on your niche, but there are plenty of topics to write about in every business industry today! From pet grooming to technology, there is always going to be blog content that you want to communicate to your potential customers, whether it be a new tool or technique you’re using or a product or service you want to review or plug.
You can blog about literally anything, as long as it retains relevance to your business and the keywords target your audience. You likely know the questions your customers ask most frequently and what they’d like to know about you and your operations. Please make a list of topics, and blog about them!
To get you started, we’ll toss out a few rabbit holes to go down:
- Company Success Stories– write about your wins. It’s like a testimonial but from your perspective and can build trust.
- Company Failures– It may sound risky but writing about failures and what your organization has learned can also win trust. People are looking for transparency, not perfection.
- Top 5 Questions Your Customers Ask You– You probably get asked a lot of questions about what you do. Taking the top few questions and putting them into a blog post gives your potential customer a place to find what he or she needs before contacting you.
- The Top 5 Questions Your Customers SHOULD Ask You (But Forget To)- Along with the questions you get asked all the time, there are hidden aspects to what you do that people should probably ask about but may not know to. People love secrets too. You can always share the secrets of your industry.
- Trends Related To Your Services– Our main services are web design, SEO, Paid Search, and other aspects of digital marketing. With SEO alone, Google changes the search algorithm more than 1,000 times a year, so if we wrote about that every time (we promise, we won’t because it’s too boring even to us!), that’d keep us busy with blog posts all year long.
- Reviews: People are always looking up reviews. Take the time to honestly compare one thing with another in your industry. It’s a great way to get someone to your site that has an interest in what you do.
How Often Should I Blog?
Here’s the question we get whenever we start talking about blogging. The answer is there is no right answer. It depends on you.
Sure, it’s best to come up with a schedule for your blogging. That way, your audience can get used to a routine. Some people blog once a month, but they put in a few thousand words while others may write less than that but blog weekly.
We blog every week because A) We’re writers, so it’s what we’re doing anyway and B) The more you blog, the more you’re adding content to your site that Google loves.
How Long Should My Blog Posts Be?
This question always reminds us of English Composition homework where we’d hit that word count tool in Word way too much.
The answer really depends on your goals for blogging. If you’re trying to get more visibility on Google, you really do need to write 2000 words or more. We know. We see the panic in your eyes. That’s a lot of words to come up with, and frankly, there are a lot of us out there that don’t have that many words in an entire day much less one blog post. We get it.
So, our feedback is that you should write until you’re finished covering the topic. Always write for your reader rather than the search engines, so focus on that more than the number of words. You’ll be fine if you follow that rule.
How to Come Up With Blog Ideas in an Hour or Less
We understand that there are a few business owners out there who would rather be waterboarded than write a blog post. For you, blogging probably isn’t the best thing to invest your time in, but we do have a process that can save you time.
First, decide how often you’re going to blog- weekly? Twice a month? Monthly? You can also decide that after you have ideas, so don’t panic.
Next, have a brainstorming session. Set a timer for 30 minutes and see how many topics you can come up with in that time. No idea is too stupid. (Ok, that’s never true, but go with it) Take the ideas above as a starting point.
Once the timer is done, jot down your best ideas and decide where you’re going to put them in your schedule.
Once you have your ideas, take the first one and outline it like you used to do in high school. Put 3-5 salient points about the topic down. Then add 1-2 points under each of those. Once you have that, it’s time to actually put words in sentences.
After you have all the major and minor points together, it’s really all about organization and connecting all the thoughts together.
Avoid Common Blogging Mistakes with Make It Loud
There are many mistakes that beginners make regarding blogging. Most people struggle with boring titles which will affect your click-through rate (of course your site could be ugly. Find out how to tell if your website is “good”), and yes, there are some people that should stick to math and leave the writing to the professionals (or those that claim to be).
Working with a digital marketing agency like Make It Loud will ensure that you’re blogging correctly and efficiently.
Make It Loud is dedicated to keeping our clients on track and out of the time-wasting trap that can come from managing a company blog. We’ll keep your blog fresh, exciting, and on topic. Call us today to get started!