Does the screenshot above cause you to break out into a cold sweat? For most people, the thought of starting a blog is daunting, but blogging for your business is one of the best ways to connect with your audience in a more personal and informative way.
Step 1: Where to start
- Know your audience
- Establish your goals
- Learn the basics of blogging
Try to understand that success won't happen overnight. It's important to realize that the "If you build it, they will come" mentality doesn't often apply to blogging without time and dedication on the back end.
Step 2: When to post
A good blog has a regular weekly posting schedule and a great blog posts two to three times per week with useful content that the reader can connect with, learn from, and want to share with others. This doesn't mean that you should post three times a week just for the sake of maintaining your editorial schedule. If you don't have anything useful to say, don't say anything at all! Or better yet, re-purpose existing content, share content from others, find popular news items that are relevant to your brand, or take some time to better research your audience and site statistics.
Step 3: How much to say
Most bloggers try to stick with a 300-400 word minimum for posts (unless you're a fashion blogger, photographer, or business blogger for a visually-friendly industry, in which case your posts will naturally be less content-driven and more photo-rich). Search engines typically prefer posts with 2,000+ words, but with recent changes in the Google landscape, content is king over lengthy posts written purely for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). That being said, there is no true "sweet spot" to blogging word counts. if you can get your point across concisely, do it. If you need 4,000 words to convey your thoughts, that's fine too.
Step 4: What to write
The average reader of online content has an attention span of 9 seconds. The best way to grab your audience's attention is first with the title of the article. Next, when you can, separate your content in visually eye-catching and scroll-worthy formats such as bulleted lists or numbered posts and by separating content areas with paragraphs, headings, and subheads. Include links to useful articles when appropriate and end with a call to action, inviting your readers to share their views or perform an action, thus opening up the door to two-way communication!
There is no "secret template" or "surefire strategy" to creating a great blog post, no matter what they might tell you in the latest Online Marketing e-newsletter you don't remember signing up for.