Blogs – what are they good for?
Okay, disclaimer, as a relatively new employee at a web design and digital marketing company the whole concept of blogging is pretty new to me. Having come from a more traditional manufacturing background it was not something that was even on my radar and our old website had been unloved for quite some time. I have now been asked to produce a blog on any topic I liked as long as it vaguely related to this industry, and I thought let’s start from the very beginning.
What is a blog?
After having done some research online and reading plenty of blogs about blogs (stay with me!) I found out that they were originally called weblogs. They were used to either keep a journal of what you were doing, share some information or get across your opinion on a subject. The first blog was written by Justin Hall in 1994 and the aim was to have a space to publish his writing online. Your blogs can be personal (creative writing, political, travelogues, etc.) or more focussed on your business (sector news, success stories, explainers, etc.).
What makes a good blog?
Give away your knowledge freely – People mainly read blogs for information, guidance, or inspiration. If you have a specialist knowledge, then share it with them. This is not about selling anything but to add to a pool of knowledge that people can give and take from. If you need to know how to change the battery in your car key fob and the local mechanic has kindly put a blog on about it, you will be grateful that they helped to solve your problem.
Position yourself as an expert in your field
If you are continually putting up useful information and content that is helpful and engaging, then you will build a reputation for offering sound advice and guidance. This will galvanise your position in your own sector as someone who knows what they are talking about.
Engage with the community
Make sure you are being part of something, if you can collaborate with local businesses or individuals, it will benefit you both. Getting a relevant story from a collaborator is great. You could also pose questions that relate to your local area. Keep up to date with what is happening either locally or in your particular sector and then you can inform and educate your audience.
Answer commonly asked questions
For example, if you are a heating engineer and someone has a problem with their boiler you could have blogs that explain the steps needed to fix or whether they will need to call out a professional. You can build a library of blogs based on different manufacturers. Adding images or even a little explainer videos would be fantastic. You could also give them your five best tips to stop the pipes freezing or how to plumb in a basic washing machine. Ultimately this will create trust in you as a business. Also, people love a list so think dos and don’ts, top ten reasons, top ten mistakes, etc.
Top 5 reasons blogging is good for you and your business
- It’s good for your SEO. Google likes active websites and refreshing your content regularly with quality blogs keeps yours active.
- Blogs that share information, answer questions and demystifies what you do positions you as an approachable expert in your field, it helps to build trust with potential clients.
- A well-used and regularly updated website adds layers of credibility to your business, it shows you care and if you care about your business, you are much more likely to care about giving your customers excellent service.
- Blogs can be a very useful addition to your content library across your social channels, giving you content to share and help to raise your profile.
- Blogging regularly also keeps you focussed on your business and sector. It means you are always looking at current trends, new developments, emerging technology, new legislation, etc.
Top 5 tips to make sure your blogs are hitting the mark
- Remember you are writing for an audience; this is especially true if you work in a technical sector. Make sure people can understand what you are saying, be informative but don’t blind people with jargon.
- If you decide to commit to blogging, then being consistent is key. If you can only blog twice a month, that’s fine, but make sure you stick to it, this helps to build trust.
- There’s no exact length for a good blog, but you need to write enough to able to SEO it. Aim for 500 words as a minimum, but don’t end up writing War & Peace! Blogs are designed to be short, informative articles.
- Adding images, charts, illustrations, all help to keep it interesting and get your point across.
- Asking questions can be a good way to generate conversation with your online community, and answering questions that people may frequently be asking Google is a great way to be found online.
So I have learnt a lot, you have to start somewhere, looking forward to writing my next one and honing my skills! Please let us know if you need any more help and advice.
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