272: Building a Blog Post that Provides Real Value
This week, I've got no guest, it's a solo cast. I'm going to be talking to you about building a blog that provides real value.
The Importance of having a blog?
I want to dive into the importance of writing a blog. I mean, what is a blog at the end of the day? What I want to share is that a blog is literally fuel for the search engine fire. It's giving you more content to share on social media, it's providing and proving your expertise. Studies have indicated that businesses that are actively blogging acquire more customers because they have a stronger brand presence online. It ultimately allows you to level the playing field and helps you to get to know your target audience and it helps your target audience to get to know you.
The Keystone Click Blog:
I look at our Google Analytics, I often will break it up into the different segments of the site and figure out what kind of elements of our site are driving the most traffic. Historically, there is a blog post that continues to show up as one of the top-visited pages on our website. Now, what's fascinating is that this post was written in 2014. So this blog post was written by one of my team members. It likely took her maybe about three hours, that's on average, what we budget per blog post, to do a little research and writes and then published it, and now today, it still drives traffic to our site.
What Should you Write About?
First and foremost, start with the top questions that are asked of you, from your customer base when you're in that discovery phase when you're getting to know someone from a networking standpoint, even established clients that you have. Anytime someone is asking you a question, just write it down. Do that exercise for a week and it will give you a ton of ideas for what to write about. The reason you want to do this is that oftentimes, questions are what is being entered into search engines, people often are searching a question to find an answer or solution. So if you're writing questions, or answering questions as a form of your blog content, is going to help elevate your opportunity to be found in the search engines.
It's no different than a podcast but you could do a written interview, like if you were interviewing someone for a written publication of sorts. The beauty of doing this is one it gives you a lot of content that you don't need to really polish up because you can simply transcribe the conversation. Also if you have a guest that you are interviewing or you're highlighting someone else's expertise, they're likely going to share that content with their audience, which extends the reach of your blog, on your site.
The 80-20 Rule:
80% of the content that you create should be considered evergreen content. What that means is, it is a value to your audience today and tomorrow, and it was valuable yesterday. So it has a longer shelf life. Referencing that blog post that I talked about when I opened up, it was written in 2014, it is still relevant content today, therefore it is still providing value, it is still bringing visitors to our website. So identifying information, that is your expertise that will work for a long time, as opposed to saying, "Hey, we've got a special going on that ends on Friday," that is considered time-sensitive content.
Leveraging your Team and Partners:
If it's more than just you or even if you have resources, partners that you work with, they all have different areas of expertise. Ask them what types of questions they're being asked, and understand their expertise a little bit. Maybe you take the approach of answering the questions that are being asked, but taking the interview approach and interviewing your team and partners to get the solid answers
Identify what your Core Offering is:
Identify what your core offering is, and then make a list of the eight types of questions that people could potentially ask related to that offering. So, for example, we offer website design services, website design, and development. So that would be my core offering that I'd put here and then I'm going to look at the who question. Who am I going to be working with? Who's my main point of contact? Who's actually designing the site? Who on my team needs to be involved in this project? Then you look at the what questions. What kind of features am I going to have on my website? What kind of training Am I going to get with my website? What kind of materials do you need from me? Then look at the why questions. Why should we use WordPress content management system? Why should we have our site on Squarespace? Why should I renew my domain name for 10 years? Next up are the when questions. When is my site can be done? When do you need me to learn to sign off on things? Then come the where questions. We'll look at how questions. How do I make edits to my sites? How do I know that the site is safe and secure? Next up are the which questions. Which image is going to be better? Which color palettes? Which fines should I be using? Which content management system should I have? Which hosting provider? Then the last question is a yes or no question. So you identify that core offering product service, whatever it is, you look at the eight questions types of questions, then you just kind of brainstorm and map out what types of questions that people ask related to this offering. Every one of those 8 questions could be made into a blog post.
5 Best Practices:
Easy to Read: When you're looking at a blog or an article, it needs to include visual components that are going to help relay your message and break up the heaviness of the text. Bulleted or numbered lists, images, larger fonts to break up segments, and embedded videos are all great ways to improve the readability of a blog.
Evaluate the Strength of your Title: What you want is to make sure that it's easy for the reader to know what it is that they are clicking on. You don't want to write the blog title to be “Read our Blog,” or anything along those lines. At the end of the day, people decide to click on something because it's connecting with them on an intellectual or emotional level. A great tool to determine the strength of your blog title is the Google Headline Analyzer which will analyze the emotional marketing value of the words that are used in your title, which will give a score to that strength related to the intellectual or emotional strength.
Target More Words: A best practice that we really strive for is a minimum of 800 words. You want to use words that are going to connect with your audience which means not using heavy industry jargon. Most importantly, you need to know what your audience is searching for and that's where understanding your keywords is going to be beneficial.
Optimize your Posts: Your keywords should live in your title, in the body content, in the URL, in the alt tags or meta description tags, and in any links that you have embedded in your site.
Be Consistent: You have to have a plan and consistently publish content in order to maximize that exposure and maintain the trust with your audience.
Have any questions about blogging? Reach out and I’d be happy to help!
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