Updated 11 June 20
Blogging carries many useful benefits for your startup. It allows you to better connect with your audience, share your knowledge and answer questions. It keeps your website content fresh, encouraging people to stay around for longer and can help to establish you as a voice of authority within your industry.
But that’s not all, blogging is also important for your websites SEO (search engine optimisation). Having a blog that is updated regularly with high quality, relevant articles for your audience, contributes to the overall performance of your website. Helping you to rank higher on search engines like Google, and making it easier for customers to discover you! Don’t just take my word for it though, did you know that:
Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don't blog.
Businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than businesses that don't.
70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles rather than advertisements.
Now that you've seen the benefits of running a blog for your startup, you might be eager to get one started on your site or to improve your current blog. So, I want to share my 7 simple tips to make your blog a success...
1. Understand your target audience
Before your finger even touches the keyboard, it’s vital that you understand who your audience is, and what questions they want answering.
Start by asking yourself these three questions:
Instead of just guessing what your audience may need or want, you should first conduct industry research. This will help you find common topics that people are asking questions about. You want your blog to educate readers, if they find it useful and informative they are much more likely to share it and read your future blogs!
There are tons of free online tools and resources out there for you to use. Here are three of my favourites:
- Answerthepublic.com – a visual tool that lets you discover what people are asking about online and also related topics/queries.
- Ubersuggest – a useful SEO tool that specialises in generating new keyword ideas. It also suggests content ideas.
- Quora – a great resource to see a variety of questions that people are seeking an answer for. Type your keywords into the search box and get a list of people’s most pressing questions and concerns.
Now that you are armed with these new tools, researching should be a doddle!
2. Write Killer headlines
Put simply, If you don’t have a great headline, then there is a high chance that your blog won’t be clicked or read, let alone shared. Even if the content within is amazing, a lacklustre headline will harm your success. It’s like selling an amazing car, but with an awful paint job!
After you think you have got an awesome headline, It’s worth checking it with a headline analyser tool, like Sharethrough Headline Analyser. This free tool will give you an engagement and impression score out of 100 for your chosen title.
Pretty cool don’t you think!
3. Use a Relevant Feature Image
As Fred R. Barnard famously said:'A picture is worth a thousand words.'
The human brain processes images over 60,000 times faster than text, on top of that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. That’s why adding a strong feature image and any other supporting images (where relevant) in your blog can boost your readers’ engagement.
Or better still, take and use your own photo’s where possible!
4. Correctly use subheadings to structure the page
Formatting is very important for your blog post. You want your blog to read as effortlessly as possible.
There is nothing worse than reading a blog post that’s formatted poorly, consisting of one large wall of text.
Most of the time people skim through content before they actually commit to reading it. So by breaking up a post with subheadings, you are making it easier for readers to know what your blog’s about and what information they can gain from it.
5. Use bullet points, when it makes sense to
Since it’s well known that people like to skim before they read, you need to ensure that you bring their attention to your best information. Bullet lists are perfect for this because they’re very easy to skim through.
Here are some useful tips to keep in mind when writing bullet points (in bullet points ha-ha):
- Structure bullet points cleanly. Avoid a variety of fonts or margins.
- Keep your bullets concise. Three lines is a reasonable maximum length.
- Punctuate bullets consistently.
a. If all bullets are sentences, end each one with a
b. If all bullets are phrases or fragments, use no
- Avoid using transition words and phrases such as "secondly" or "another point." These slow down readers.
- Avoid bullet points when you want to build rapport. Bullets communicate efficiency rather than warmth.
6. SEO Optimisation
While it’s never best to write a blog for Google first and your audience second, I don’t recommend writing without having SEO at the back of your mind.
Over 3.5 billion Google searches are made every single day. So it is no surprise that Google organic search provides a large portion of the traffic for the majority of websites.
If you want to boost your SEO ranking (which I highly recommend you should), then you need to make sure to optimise your blog post towards key SEO factors that will contribute to your page rank.
Below are some easy SEO pointers that you should follow for your blog:
7. Add a Clear CTA (call-to-action)
And the last, but also the most important tip for your blog post is to add a clear call-to-action.
Whether it is to ask people to share your blog post, follow you on social media, purchase your product, or simply engage and leave a comment. Make sure you are clear about what you want them to do. For example;
“Let me know in the comments below if you learnt something new!”
A call-to-action must be simple, direct and stand out.
That about wraps us up, I hope you have found this blog (about blogging) valuable. Now get w̶r̶i̶t̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ researching!