Blogging. It’s wise for everyone in business to do it. Are you wondering how to blog? Keep reading.
With all the demands of running a business, small business owners tend to feel that they don’t have time to blog.
Well, as someone once told me, it’s not that we don’t have time; it’s that we let other tasks take priority.
Blogging can be as painful and as rewarding as gardening. Yes, gardening is hard work. You have to dig with your fingers into the recalcitrant dirt, get dirty, take risks with those rose thorns, and suffer the pain of bee sting.
But you can also enjoy fresh tomatoes for your salads, flowers for your vases, and the deep sense of appreciation that you created this marvelous symphony of colors and edibles.
Similarly, blogging will bring you the rewards of search engine optimization (SEO) and keeping your website fresh and dynamic so that Google will know it’s alive.
Also, according to CoSchedule, companies that publish sixteen or more blog posts a month get 4.5 times as many leads and 3.5 times as much traffic as those who publish zero to four blog posts a month.
If you haven’t blogged yet and are wondering how to get started, just follow my four-point strategy.
4-Point How to Blog Blueprint
Here are my best tips for creating blog posts that will light up your website and generate new traffic.
Step One: Write Your Content
If you’re looking for ideas for your blog you’ll find some help here:
- When you’re really stuck, use HubSpot’s blog topic generator. Type in a few words and Hubspot will give you several ideas.
- Read other blog posts. I’m not suggesting that you steal other blogger’s topics, however, I do suggest that you check out who’s writing what and how those posts fair in terms of social shares. Maybe you can take a contrary view or expand on that topic.
- Use BuzzSumo to see what’s popular.
- Have you read a post that you don’t agree with? Explain why. I did once and it was so popular that CreateSpace included my post in its newsletter for authors.
- Check out the types of comments other writers leave in blog posts you read. What questions do they ask? Then write a blog post that answers those questions.
- What questions or comments do your readers leave on your Facebook page? Answer those in a blog post.
- What questions do your readers ask in your blog comments?
- Subscribe to a lot of blogs and read them. Yes, this will help you to generate topics.
- Conduct a survey. I’ve done this and then used the survey responses as my editorial calendar.
- When all else fails, go for a walk. That tactic always helps me.
Step Two: Create Your Visuals
Once you write and upload your new post to your website, your next job is to create your visuals.
Here’s what I do. Using Canva, I take a shortcut by sizing the image of the top of my post using Twitter’s dimensions because those dimensions also work for Facebook.
Then I create a larger visual for Pinterest.
There are many types of visuals you can insert into your blog posts:
- Graphic illustrations
Visuals improve your SEO because they become another way to add your keyword to your post. It’s also a fact that color images improve the reading of your post and multiple images keep people reading.
Also, when you share your post on social media, your visual will automatically be picked up and shared along with your headline and link. Updates are social media attract more readers and shares increase when you include an image.
Face it: creating your visuals are as important as writing your blog post.
Step Three: Determine Your Best Headline
Headlines are critical. They have to deliver a punch, attract a reader’s attention, and pique curiosity in your social media followers.
You want a headline that rocks. But don’t start your new post by writing a headline. The best time to write a headline is after you’ve finished the entire post and figured out your keywords.
It’s also important to test your headline using an analyzer. There are various free tools on the internet to use but the one I like best also measures the emotional impact of your headline. Here’s the link for Advanced Marketing Institute’s headline analyzer.
Step Four: Promote Your New Posts with Social Media
I use a cool social share plugin called Social Warfare. On the text side of my blog, Social Warfare enables me to upload the images I want to use on social media, including Pinterest.
Here’s an example of what Social Warfare looks like when it’s in use on my website.
As you can see above, I also have the options to write my Pinterest description, social media description and exact tweet. So whenever someone shares my post using my social share icons, the images and messages I’ve prepared appeared automatically.
In addition to using Social Warfare, I use the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. This plugin allows me to set up Twitter cards. A Twitter card is the image that accompanies the tweet.
What is your strategy for incorporating regular blogging into your business?
Frances Caballo is a social media strategist and manager and the author of six books on social media. Click here to schedule an appointment with her. Writing a book can serve as the best possible business card you can possibly have and establish your authority in your field. Once you publish your book, learn to market it by visiting my other website, SocialMediaJustforWriters.com.