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How to make your blog shine

Suzanne Watts

A blog is an excellent way of generating a lot of interest in your business and providing a boost in the battle for search engine ratings. On the other hand, done badly it could end up being a waste of time and resource.

Still -  as they say 70% of success is in showing up - so get blogging with these simple tips! 

Plan your blog

Just as you would your business and marketing strategy. Have a goal in mind for example, to build your brand; to sell more; to communicate with your existing customers. Then try to focus your posts on the objective. Think about your audience – who are they and what do they want to know? 

Create interesting titles for your blog posts

Look for intrigue, news relevance and, of course, your key words.  Spend some time on your first paragraph too - ensure it contains the keywords and key phrases that are widely searched by your readers. Never use a misleading title - you will lose readers. 

Use good English

Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes. Use punctuation and capital letters correctly if you want to be taken seriously.

Reply to comments

It’s the polite thing to do.  If you don’t, you may lose readers who think you are not interested in them. Negative comments should be dealt with constructively, rather than hidden or ignored. Dealing with criticism on social media is an opportunity to engage directly with your customers.     

Keep posting at least once a week

Keep on topic – don’t cover a range of unrelated topics in a blog. You need to focus on a theme that is relevant to your business, so that visitors always know what to expect.

Link out

Once you’ve written your post, look for opportunities to link out to other websites and blogs. The writers may spot this and follow the link back to you. This is called a trackback and is a sign that other bloggers are connecting to what you say.

Promote your blog  to your customers

Link to it prominently or embed your latest post in your homepage. 

Use images

Images make the page look more interesting. Many bloggers use Google image search but images may be subject to copyright restrictions.  Strictly speaking, blogs that are maintained for commercial gain should not use any image for which they do not have copyright, license or permission. Non-commercial blogs may link to a picture that exists in cyberspace by capturing its URL, but if you do this make sure you credit the source. To generate images you can raid your company image files, take photos or subscribe to an image library (there are a number of royalty-free image source sites).  

Use news

Blog posts that relate to a recent announcement are more likely to appear in a key word searches on  trending topics. When starting to comment on a news piece ask, “Does this affect me or my target audience?“ and,  “What do I believe will be the implications of this?“

Be original – be you!

Don’t rely solely on comments about the news. Use your blog to put forward your original ideas, tips and thoughts on relevant topics. Avoid rehashing other people’s ideas if you want to sound fresh and inspired. Blogs that work best are written in a conversational style – as if talking to a friend.  It helps to have a picture of your face on the blog too.

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