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“To blog, or not to blog”….what a silly question. But “how”?

Call it content creation, call it story-telling, call it plain old blogging – we call it ‘smart’. Why? Well, as we pointed out in a recent social media workshop at The Cape Craft and Design Institute, business-to-consumer companies that blog generate 88% more leads than those who don’t.

That’s… well again, that’s just ‘smart’. But what are the tricks to “blogging right”? How do you know if your blogging efforts are adding value? What posts do people like, and what ones lead to “insert your conversion metric here”? Here are three basic (but often forgotten) tips to ensure your blog is driving value (and that you’re able to see how):

 

Create real (and really good) content:

Too often, the blog is a neglected beast, and when business owners realize that nothing has been posted in a few months, they write out a quick, “spur of the moment” post, and up it goes. Not only does this practice add no real value to your blog, it can also damage your brand – a blog is a chance to converse with and attract consumers. If the content isn’t engaging, relevant and “attractive”, it can actually push people away (sort of like the guy that talks about boring, arcane trivia at the party). Note that not everything has to be original – if you see an article or piece of content on the internet that’s relevant to your brand and your target audience, share it (with attribution of course).

Analyse:

If you have analytics set up on your website (whether it’s a massive suite, or simple Google analytics), you can begin to test and see the value of an integrated blog. With very little effort, you can see if people are coming to your site via the blog, what posts in particular are generating traffic, what those people do once they’re on your site, how many are converting to sales or sign-ups and what sort of post is driving the greatest ROI. This step is absolutely fundamental – if you aren’t analysing, you’re essentially a very small person shouting into a very dark void, with a blindfold on and ears plugged at midnight on a moonless night. You just can’t tell if anything’s happening.

Engage:

Writing a blog post doesn’t necessarily mean it will be read. It could be a masterpiece, but if no one finds it, it’s worthless. So beyond writing the words, you need to get the word out. There are two easy (and free) ways to do this. The first is ensuring your blog content is shared via your social media profiles. Use hashtags (like salt; “liberally”) to go beyond your core audience and include images and video to attract attention. The second is to ensure that your posts show up when people are looking for your business, and that requires effective “keyword sprinkling”. Going back to point number one, you can’t create posts that are just combinations of keywords repeated endlessly (“buy red socks at the place where red socks are the reddest on the red sock lover’s earth”), but it’s just good sense to include words that you’d like to rank for when people type them into Google.

These are very, very basic first steps to enhance your blogging. If you’d like to go further, contact us, our leave a comment below with any questions you might have. And yes, rest assured that we’ll be analyzing how you got here, what you did after reading this post and more. Again – it’s just smart.

 

 

Ward