Presenting the final part in our ‘Blogging For Business’ series….
The planning process is over; now to put it to good use. You may think you’ve made it to the easier part of the process – think again! A lot of thought should go in to posting content onto your blog so we’ve broken it down to make it a little simpler to follow.
Design & Layout
Content is, of course, most important. However, no one will want to read your blog if it’s poorly presented. The appearance of a blog should be considered before posting anything. Colour is a powerful tool and can be added to blogs in form of images, backgrounds and other elements both to break up text & to highlight specific content by using high contrast colours.
Image is everything
Images are vital but you must choose the right ones, the aim is to source that perfect image that tells the story for you. It’s great to utilise your own images, and we highly recommend having some corporate photography done so that you have a bank of high-quality unique images that you can use, not only do these look better, they stand out over the vast amount of stock images that are (in our humble opinion) massively over-used. If you must look to stock images as a solution we suggest visiting a reputable website such as Shutterstock to purchase them from, please do not be tempted by using FREE stock images.
COPYRIGHT IMAGES SHOULD NOT BE USED
Request permission to use images if you are unsure of copyright. The best way to do this is by emailing details of how you plan to use the image. This should include how you intend to adapt or redesign it and how the image will fit into other content/context should you wish to use the image in a publication. You MUST state the number of duplicates of the image and how you propose to attribute the work.
Images should be accompanied by ‘alternative text’ (alt tag or text) this is so your blog can still be read as intended by those using screen reading software to see the image; helping blind and visually impaired visitors to hear what the post is about. It will also support your page ranking… but this isn’t about SEO.
Websites such as Hubspot check how blogs appear on a mobile – people are more likely to stay on your site if it is mobile friendly.
On to publishing…
All posts need a compelling headline to entice readers. It should grab attention and explain what the post is about whilst ensuring it does not promise something that won’t be delivered in the content. Optimise your blog by including your keyword in the blog title.
Once you’ve written your content, split it up into short paragraphs, bullet points, subheadings and headings so it is easier for readers to understand. The font you use can also influence a reader’s opinion of you, readability is key. Remain professional. Include a call to action to encourage readers to comment and or act on the information they have absorbed.
Blogging for business? Make sure you have an idea of return on investment, if you are blogging yourself you should still consider your time as an investment. Measure the success of your efforts by monitoring page views and comments. You can even be really flashy and set up conversions on your site with Google Analytics to measure these. Register your blog with Google and blog directories to get the word out. Reply to your readers’ comments, and comment on other blogs; they may just return the favour.
Take advantage of social media
There is no use to a blog if no one reads it. Use all platforms of social media to get the word out. Using relevant hashtags will more likely attract readers if it is something they enjoy or relate to. For example, if you are a company selling beauty products, hashtagging words such as ‘beauty’ ‘makeup’ etc. will help drive traffic to your blog.
Create a Facebook page where you can specifically post your blog links. A Twitter feed can also be linked to your Twitter account and blog. Mention and link to people across your blogs and social media profiles.
Making money is not the reason to start a blog – spreading the word, securing your position as an industry expert and ultimately assisting your target audience should all be motivating factors.
Who do you think you are talking to?
Customers: It is much easier to sell to customers who have already bought from you, as they know what to expect. However, blogging is also a great way to attract new custom. Inspire your existing customers to leave comments and reviews.
Influencers: An influencer is someone with a large network of engaged followers: if they promote you, it could increase your following.
Competitors: These are the people you’re up against, you don’t need to follow them, but keeping a close eye on what they’re up to won’t do any harm.
Brand Ambassadors: The voice of reason. These people are positive influencers who always mention or promote the brand when possible.
Suppliers: Sharing suppliers’ content on your profile creates a better partnership between you, resulting in possible mates’ rates…
Regulators: Get your copy checked and approved by regulators before publishing, as typos and incorrect punctuation could cause damage to your reputation.
Associates: These are usually business partners. Share their content, they may return the favour.
It can be hard creative writing for a business. so these writing tips should help you be more focused and productive! There is no right or wrong way to write. Every writer takes a different approach.
Over time your business evolves. You refine who your audience is, what you offer and your brand voice. Google and other search engines also change. Their algorithms change in line with what they believe people want to see online and their search behaviours. It is down to this that it is essential that you periodically review or remove outdated content.