Did you know there are over 300 million blogs online today? With so many, it may be easy to wonder about the effectiveness of having a blog, along with how to get started, what platform to use, what to write, format and frequency. The following post aims to answer your burning blog questions.
Is having a blog an effective marketing tool?
Yes ... but ... only if your target audiences read blogs and your content suits the blog format.
Like any marketing tactic you choose (ie. social media, video marketing, email marketing, podcasting etc), the format has to resonate with your target audiences. You need to give your audiences valuable information, engage with them and build relationships via a medium that they use and like.
For example, there's no point running an Instagram campaign if your target audiences aren't on Instagram.
A blog will work if you have interesting information to share and if text (400 to 800 words per blog post) is the best way to convey your information.
Answer the following to confirm if writing a blog is right for you:
- Can you commit to writing a blog two to four times per month?
- Will your audience read and appreciate your content? Will it help them?
- Is there a better communication tool you can use? For example, is video a better method?
- Does your products / services / business lend itself to having a blog?
- Is a blog better aligned to your budget?
- Can you be generous with your content and truly add value to your target audiences? (Not a brochure rehash)
Benefits of blogging
- Low cost to produce
- Gives your business a voice
- Provides quality information to build relationships and support sales
- Generates a strong following
- Nurtures contacts into a lead funnel
Who has success with blogs?
Have a look at Darren Rowse's blog from www.problogger.com. Darren has grown a business from blogging and has lots of great tips for monetising your blog and making a career out of it.
Me! I have written my blog for almost 10 years (you're reading it now - thanks). It helps with my search engine ranking, getting found online, thought leadership and adding value to my contacts via my monthly newsletter.
How to get started
- Have a strategy - what do you want to achieve? Who do you want to write for? What do you want your audiences to do as a result of reading your blog?
- Choose your platform - your website might already have a blog tab ready to populate, or if not, you can either talk to your website suppliers to set one up for you or you can start a free blog on Wordpress. Just note, if you set up your blog on Wordpress it will sit separately from your website which may be what you want if you are a physio by day and want to run a wedding cake business by night. But if you want to integrate the two, get some technical help up front so your blog is part of your company website
- Schedule - post topics and dates in your diary. I find it helps to block out a morning every month for writing my blog and this way it has a greater chance of getting it done than if it is not scheduled in
- Promotion - don't forget to think about how you will promote your blog once you write it. You need to drive traffic to your content via social media, email, your email newsletter etc
What to write
All about them. All about value. Always.
Here are some thought starters:
- What are the common questions that people ask when they ring your organisation?
- What are the common conditions that you treat?
- What are the things that people need to know (that they don't) that would improve their lives?
- Who else do they want to hear from?
- What would interest and excite them?
Ways to generate content and avoid overwhelm
Here are some tips for generating your content each month:
- Ask your team members to each take a turn writing a blog on a particular topic
- Ask somebody that you refer clients to (mutual business relationship) to write a blog for you on a specific topic
- Interview a client or supplier on a chosen topic
- Reference some recently published material that will excite your audience
- Include embedded video
Format and frequency
Typically you want to post a blog one to four times per month depending on your organisation and how hungry your audience is when it comes to following your blog.
Here is an effective format to use:
- Headline - must be catchy and contain popular search terms
- Use attractive images that support the content
- Open with a fact or situation
- Provide bullet points to outline common issues
- Offer solutions or tips for improving the situation
- Reference where people can find more information
- Close with a call to action
Don't forget to break up your text along the way with headings and images to reduce reader "overwhelm" and to keep your readers engaged. Most people skim read so your images, headings and bullet points will help them digest your content on the run.
Want to find out even more tips about how you can take your blog to the next level? Join us for our upcoming, interactive webinar on "Blogging for Success in Health and Not for Profits".
- Blogging for Success in Health and Not for Profit
- 10:30am Tuesday 13 March 2018
- $29 ex GST includes recording
- Click here to book your place
Market Savvy specialises in health and not for profit marketing. Just sing out if you would like any further information on our services: megan[@]marketsavvy.com.au.