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Content: what is a blog?

What is a blog?

Shorthand for “weblog,” a blog is an online journal, discussion or informational website consisting of brief text entries, or posts. They are usually displayed in reverse chronilogical order, with the most recent appearing at the top of the page.

Unlike articles, blogs offer a point of view on a particular subject or issue. They are frequently refreshed and provide an opportunity to build community by encouraging ongoing discussion in the comments section at the end of the blog. It is this interactivity that distinguishes them from static web content, and makes them a powerful marketing tool.

Main benefit: engaing your audience in conversation

Four things to remember about blogs

  • Encourage comments, both good and bad.
  • Think authenticity over perfection. You don’t have to win prizes for writing, you just have to engage your audience.
  • Be reader-centric; focus on how you will impact the reader.
  • Blog regularly or risk losing readers.

Qustions to ask before you start blogging

  1. What is the ultimate goal of your blog? How will it make a difference?
  2. Can you commit to writing at least two blogs per week?
  3. Who is your primary reader?
  4. What do you want to tell them?
  5. What are their pain points, their informational needs?
  6. Do you hang out where your customers are online?
  7. Do you leave comments that contribute to the online conversation?
  8. Do you know what keywords your customers look for?
  9. Do you follow these keyword with tools like Google Alerts?
  10. How will you market the blog?
  11. How will you integrate your blog into your overall marketing strategy?

Top tips when blogging.

1. Tackle your readers pain points

This is where you should always begin. Ask yourself what keeps your customers up at night, providing solutions to their problems and fresh perspectives.

2. Think about your call to action.

Consider what action you want your readers to take after reading the blog. Do you want them to download a white paper, sign up to your newsletters, leave a comment, join you on Twitter. Because many of your readers won’t ever come back, try to entice them with additional, valuable content, or to sign up to your newsletter.

3. Grab attention with your headline

The purpose of the title is to get people to read your blog, so it is essential you give it a good deal of thought. Being controversial or adding numbers to your posts are good ways to encourage engagement. Again, write the title with your customers’ problem in mind, and remember to include important keywords.

4. Think about the future

Is there a way you could write a series of blogs that you could then turn into an article or e-book? Planning up front will save you time and energy, and will help you create a much better content package for your audience.

5. Keep is short and sweet

Online attention spans are narrowing, which means blogs are best short and to the point. They should still be instructional or opinionated, but rambling on about an issue is a surefire way to lose your audience’s attention. Edit, edit, edit and learn how to write concise copy.

– Short paragraphs

– Short sentences

– Use bullet points

– Remove unnecessary words

6. Write guest blogs

Write a list of the most influential blogs in your industry and offer to write guest blogs for the owners. This is a great way to develop your online presence and reputation, although you will need a fairly good reputation to start with, so work you way up to this.

7. Measure your metrics

Use an analytics programme like Google Analytics to identify what makes your readers tick. Once you have identified the purpose of your blog, the data you gather should help you measure your degree of success or failure. Statistics will also help you to identify what kind of subjects interest your audience, and may surprise you.

8. Outsource.

According to Content Marketing Institute, more than half of all businesses outsource at least one content marketing activity. If you’re not a great writer, or don’t have time to blog at least once a week, help is available, and someone else may be able to push your inbound marketing to another level.

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