Though social media and other digital advertising solutions have been growing more popular in recent years, it's important to remember that blogging is still a big deal for brands that want to capture the attention of their audiences. A blog can help you to showcase your industry authority, and deliver value to your customers without asking them to purchase your product first - which is key to building trust.
The more effective your blog is, the more you can keep people informed about the latest happenings in your industry, create new conversations among your audience, and establish yourself within your marketplace. With that in mind, here are some tips to make sure that you build a better blog from scratch.
1. Start with a Good Web Host
Ultimately, if you want to have a powerful online presence, you need to make sure that you have a web host available to keep your business website up and running at the right times. Choosing the right host not only helps to convey trustworthiness to your customers, but it can also reduce your risk of problems with site breakdowns and speed issues too.
The more problems your customers have reading your blog, the more likely they are to leave your company and go searching for the information they need elsewhere, that's why it's so important to choose the perfect hosting provider.
2. Choose the Right Blogging Platform
Once you know you have a host you can rely on, you'll need to choose a blogging platform. There are several great options out there, ranging from WordPress to Tumblr. If you know enough about coding, you can even consider building your own blog. Whatever platform you choose, it's important to make sure that you feel comfortable with your blog process. The good news is that many of the most popular options are free, or offer trials you can use to see whether they suit you.
3. Use Blog Categories
When users are visiting your blog through links from other sites, or search, it's important to make sure that they have access to clear navigation that keeps them on the site and stops them from bouncing if they don't see the information they want immediately. By adding categories your blog posts, you can introduce some clarity, and make it easier for customers to search for the information that's most relevant to their needs.
4. Consider Sharing Options
A blog can be a powerful way to improve the potential of your online presence, particularly when you get involved with social sharing. Buttons and pinnable widgets on your blog can allow your customers to share the posts you publish with people in their social network. This can make it easier for you to reach out to new audiences because your existing fans are doing the marketing on your behalf.
Remember, the easier it is to share, the more likely your customers are to do it. Simply adding a "tweet this quote" option might be enough in some cases.
5. Make Calls to Action Clearer
If you want your customers to do something for you in exchange for the entertaining and useful information you provide on your blog, then you'll need to include a call to action to let them know exactly what you want them to do. Unfortunately, while many companies remember to include these terms and phrases, few know how to make them as clear and compelling as possible.
Separating your call to action by making the wording bolder, or using a different colour in your text could be a great way to improve the actionability of your blog.
6. Don't Overdo It with Keywords
Although keywords are very important, there's no need to focus on trying to get them into every sentence in your blog post. In fact, though you think that this might help to improve your SEO, it's more likely to damage your ranking on Google. Ideally, you're better off thinking about keywords, but placing the quality and relevancy of your writing first in the hierarchy of things you need to consider before you hit "publish".
7. Remember the Power of Pictures
Today, visual content has become a powerful element in content marketing, on everything from social media channels to blogs. Think about how you can use images in your blog to break up large amounts of text and make it easier for customers to scan through the content on your pages. After all, most of the time, your readers won't be interested in everything they have to say. They want to be able to browse quickly through your content and pick out the pieces of information that are most appealing to their needs.
8. Make Sure Your Blog is Mobile Friendly
At this point, you'd think that most companies would consider mobile responsiveness to be a mandatory part of building a new blog or website. However, there are still some companies out there that forget to ensure that their content is just as easy to read on a mobile or tablet, as it is to consume on a desktop computer.
If your blog isn't mobile friendly, then you could be missing out on most of your customers, as a vast number of people prefer to browse the Internet from their smartphones today.
9. Keep Design Simple
When you're trying to create a blog that stands out from your competitors, it can be easy to get carried away with design trends. Though you want to be memorable, it's important not to go over the top. Keeping your design as simple as possible with no more than a handful of colours and fonts will make it easier for your customers to understand what you want to talk about, without being distracted by too many visual elements.
10. Plenty of Quality Content
Content is the core for all blogs. If you want your blog to be as effective as possible, then you need to make sure that you're publishing quality content that your target audience finds highly useful.
Find out what your customers want to read about most, then create blog pieces that respond to their most significant pain points and problems. This is the best way to establish yourself as an authority figure in your industry, and earn the trust of your target audience.