Are you considering a blog for your company? Before you get started, here are the basics of blogging to help get you started.
As originally published on Forbes.com.
If you have been wondering whether your website should have a blog, the answer is probably yes. But before you put the proverbial pen to paper and start writing, make sure you understand the basics of blogging and why it may be important to have an active website blog.
Here are three reasons why my company recommends blogs to all of our clients.
- Thought Leadership And Authority
If you have been working in a specific field for a number of years, you likely have accumulated a breadth of knowledge and wisdom. What feels like just “stuff” you know is really your shareable expertise that can serve as learning material for others. Your insight may be helpful to those who are just starting in the same field, to clients or suppliers of products in your field, or to even writers and teachers in your field.
Creating a blog and sharing the information that you have learned will, over time, help place you in an authoritative position. Providing thought leadership on various topics within your field can not only help to provide awareness of your standing and expertise, but it also may lead to brand awareness for your company, brand or product. For example, just as Elon Musk has his own personal brand, he is also the face of Tesla and a thought leader on emerging technology.
- Drive Traffic To Your Website
Your blog should live on your website, but sharing your posts on your company and personal social media platforms, like LinkedIn and Facebook, can help to drive traffic to your blog and, hopefully, to other key areas of your website. While you can use your blog to direct readers to other parts of your website — which I’ll touch on in my next point — using social media to drive the initial referral traffic to your website is a key component of a successful blog.
Start with setting up a blogging schedule, whether that is weekly, every other week or monthly. Be sure to post your content consistently on the same day and at the same time to help with SEO, and then alert your social media followers with a post and a link to your blog. By doing this, you can train your followers to expect new content and direct them to your website.
By promoting a link to your blog on your social media pages, you are creating traffic to your website, which is one of a number of key components of SEO. But before you press the publish button, optimize your blog post for SEO as well. If you are not familiar with SEO, in a nutshell, it is a way of crafting your website and your blog posts to increase visibility on search engine results pages and thereby boost traffic and potential customers or clients.
After you determine the topic you plan to write about, find a keyword or phrase related to that topic that you can sprinkle throughout the post. This should be the word or phrase that you want to be found for when people search for that same topic on search engines like Google.
If you use a website platform like WordPress, adding the Yoast SEO plug-in, or other comparable plug-ins, will assist you with completing the optimization. Depending on your web platform, there are numerous SEO tools that can help. But if you prefer to not invest in even a free tool, just ensure that in addition to including the keyword or phrase in the text of your blog posts, your posts have an image that includes your keyword or phrase in the name before you upload it to your media library.
Also be sure that:
- The title of the blog post contains the keyword or phrase.
- The keyword or phrase appears as close to the beginning of the post as possible. Try to include it in the first paragraph before sprinkling it throughout the post.
Include in your posts links to other content on your website. For example, if you have previous blog posts, add links to a couple of them where it is relevant in the new post. However, you are not limited to just other blog posts when it comes to internal linking. You can link to your contact, about us and sales pages as well, where appropriate.
These are just a few of the basic SEO steps you should take when creating your blog. It may seem overwhelming, but writing your blog posts with SEO in mind will quickly become a habit and be beneficial for your brand, product and company.
So are you ready to get started? You do not need to be Kerouac or Hemingway to write a blog post for your website. Keep it simple, clear and concise so that readers will not only understand what they are reading but also take away valuable information. This will, in turn, help both your career and your company grow.