Is Blogging Worth It?
At Outsource Your Marketing we work with a number of professional bloggers, all with decades of diverse experience. I put to them the question: “Is blogging worth it?”, and here’s some of the replies they sent me.
“Blogging really pays off. It keeps people coming back to your site, and it shows you care.”
“Without content, the internet’s nothing. Good quality blogging builds your brand and generates leads.”
“So long as you you’re prepared to play the long game, blogging will significantly increase traffic to your site.”
What Goals Does Blogging Achieve?
Some people will say that blogs just don’t achieve results. But before writing them off, it’s important to think about what goals are being set, and within what time frame. The blog is a distinct form of content marketing that is perfect for achieving specific goals. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:
- A startup has sunk much of its investment into set-up costs and needs to make a big splash in order to attract customers. Blogging isn’t the solution here. Much better to run a pay-per-click campaign to promote your product vigorously.
- An established business has just launched a new website, and is looking to grow their client base, using engagement as a key strategy. Perfect scenario for blogging. The blogger has time to establish the blog, find out what its audience enjoys, and build the company brand.
5 Golden Rules For Successful Blogging
So, blogging looks good for your business, but how can you be sure that 6 months down the line you won’t be looking at an expensive mistake? Here’s 5 rules that our bloggers tell me are key to ensuring the success of marketing blogs.
How Do I Choose the Keywords to Use?
Suppose you’re writing content for your new website. You want online searchers to know the range of things you do. So choose up to 5 keywords that are popular, used by your competitors, and accurately describe your offering.
Then create 2-3 long tail keywords that show how you’re different from your competitors. It might be that you make free deliveries, or your stock is larger, or that you’re located in a different area. So “flowers delivered” becomes “flowers delivered free in South Kensington”. The added detail is easier to rank for in Google because – whilst there’s thousands of florists, there are less that offer free delivery in that particular area.
1. SEO Enriched Copy
However wonderful your prose, your blogs need to include carefully researched keywords if they are going to get found, and read. Google uses keywords to match web copy with search terms. This isn’t about ‘stuffing’ your blog with one or two phrases. It’s about ensuring that relevant keywords are included in order to guide readers to your content.
2. Promote Your Blog
After a while you’ll get a group of loyal followers for your blog, and they will tell others about it. This can take 6-12 months, however. In the meantime your blog needs ongoing promotion in order to get itself seen. If you have social media pages, let your followers know it’s available. Get employees to post links – blogs need to be owned and passionately promoted to succeed.
3. Keep Your Blogging Regular
This is so difficult – but a regular blogging spot pays dividends. There’s two reasons why this is the case. First, Google rewards websites that regularly refresh their content with higher ranking. Second, followers who are used to checking in each week for your latest blog will lose faith if it loses regularity.
4. Blogs Need to Have Value
There was a time when blogs were used to amplify business advertising. These days are long gone and now blogs fulfil a range of functions for the reader:
- Opinion pieces from the CEO
- ‘How To’ guides
- Knowledge sharing
- Employee stories
- Case studies
- News items
5. Decide on the Right Length
There’s no ‘perfect’ length for a blog, but they tend to divide into 500 words and 1,000 + word counts. A 500 word blog is perfect for a regular spot offering tips, updates and employee intros. An opinion piece, or case study would normally be longer. Currently, blogs between 2,000-3,000 words are very popular, because they promise detailed research, a sustained argument, and sector knowledge.
About Outsource Your Marketing
Outsource Your Marketing is a UK-based network of marketing professionals offering a range of outsourced services to business. We’ll do the big stuff – like creating and carrying out your marketing strategy for you. But we’ll also write regular blogs for your business, provide SEO enriched content for your website, and help with your content marketing strategy.