Blogging for marketing is not much different than blogging just for fun. In both cases you are branding yourself, even if you don’t know it. We want our clients to get a good return on investment for their social media efforts, but for this happen there are a few things that professional bloggers should keep in mind:
1) Include links. Including links to outside websites and other sources increases Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results. Including links also encourages other sites to link back to you, which further increases your SEO.
2) Put a face with your name. Good blogs contain the author’s photo. It adds to the personality of the blog, and helps readers identify with you and see you as a real person, not just a name on a page. Upload your picture to Gravatar and it will create an image that will appear along with your name when you post a blog or leave a comment on someone else’s. Your Gravatar will follow you from site to site, as long as the blog supports WordPress.
3) Break it up, please! Nobody wants to read one long, drawn-out paragraph. Short paragraphs, bulleted lists and subheadings make content more manageable for the audience to digest. I’m a huge fan of lists (can you tell?) and like to use them whenever possible. Not only are they easier on the reader, they simplify my job because I don’t have to worry about how to weave multiple ideas into a single paragraph.
4) Have a call to action. Every blog post should give your readers a specific action to take. It doesn’t have to be huge and obvious, like “buy me immediately” but can be something simple like “check out my website,” “fill out this form” or “call me now.” Knowing your message is key; your editorial board (even if it’s just you) should check every post to verify that it coincides with your positioning statement and main value proposition statements.
5) Use keywords, preferably in your title. It helps to have a keyword list to reference. Including relevant keywords in your title and subtitle helps increase Search Engine Optimization and improves your Google ranking. Make sure your keyword placements flow seamlessly with your content, though. They should read naturally and shouldn’t seem out of place.
6) Write valuable content. Know your audience. Visualize the customers you wish you could clone and talk to them. What do they want to know about? What kind of information is appealing to them? Avoid self-serving sales pitches and remember that your content should thoughtfully yet subtly steer your readers towards buying. However, finding that harmonious middle ground that lies between commercialism and useful to the reader can be tricky. Meticulous thought needs to be put into it. If you’re not sure you can tackle this task on your own, we can help. Our team of writers is adept in constructing social media content that will benefit your business without causing brand damage.
7) It’s simple. Syndicate! Syndication can help turn your blog into a personalized newspaper. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) also assures that your blog is full of fresh and timely content. If you want to learn more details, Shawn, one of the graphic designers at Checkerboard, wrote a great blog all about RSS and how it works.