Blogs have evolved to become more than just an online diary. Companies now use blogs to gain visibility on search engines and educate existing customers or potential leads. After a blog post is written, content can even be repurposed for social media, email marketing and more. In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of blogging and some first-time mistakes to avoid.
Search Engine Visibility
You’ve probably heard people talk about “SEO” before. It is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. Google and other search engines have algorithms targeting keywords and other data to move a particular website up in their search results list. For example, if you own a plant shop, a blog article on Pothos care might include keywords such as:
- Pothos plant care
- Pothos care
- Watering pothos
- Pothos light requirements
Working with an SEO specialist to target the correct keywords for each post can help your business get to the top of the list (or close to it) when someone performs a search.
Educate and Update
Your web content can only hold so much information, but a blog allows you to give more in-depth explanations about specific topics for those looking to do a deep-dive. You can also provide updates to customers and prospects about new product or service releases. A blog shows that you are an expert and can offer customers knowledge above and beyond just selling them.
For example, your plant shop blog might include informational articles on the different types of plants that you sell. There could also be articles about specific types of plant care. For example, if you’ve received a new brand of fertilizer, you could update your customers on this new product while educating them on when to give their plants food.
Humans learn best through dialogue and storytelling. These are also ways to cultivate relationships. A blog lets you interact with customers, answer questions, and engage them. The more customers feel like they know your business, the more likely they will shop there.
In the past, you were really only able to engage your customers when they came into the store. Today, you can create those relationships online and even while you’re sleeping. Your blog is like a salesperson that is always working! When someone has a droopy peace lily at 10 pm, wouldn’t it be great if they turned to your blog for peace lily watering instructions?
You can create content for your website and other platforms with a popular blog post, like repurposing parts of the article for social media or an email campaign. A picture could be reposted to your Google My Business profile to give potential customers a better glimpse of your store. Also, linking relevant or recent blog posts on your social media accounts lets your followers repost and share your content. You can build a customer base online through fun, creative social media posts that eventually translate into sales.
Biggest First-Time Blogging Mistakes
Blogging is an art. It’s more than just slapping words on a page. You will need to follow certain guidelines for your post to rank high with Google, and there are best practices for creating engaging, read-able content that is share-worthy! Below are some of the biggest first-time blogging mistakes people make and how you can avoid them.
- Not defining an audience: If you’re looking to engage a group of people, you need to know whom you’re talking to. The tone of your blog and the word choices should appeal to your audience. For example, if you’re writing a blog post aimed at novice plant owners, using the scientific names of plants (e.g., Zamioculcas zamiifolia) instead of the common name (zz plant) wouldn’t be appropriate. A good blog knows who it is addressing.
- Posting sporadically: Fresh content is necessary to drive traffic to your site, keep people engaged, and stay on Google’s good side. A blog calendar helps you plan for what posts are coming up in the future. Generally speaking, you want to post at least once a month. Some companies choose to post more often (twice a month, once a week, etc.) but if you’re just starting out, one post a month is a good start for coming up with topics and writing the posts.
- Incorrect formatting: When writing a blog post, you want to keep the following formatting guidelines in mind.
- A post should be at least 600 words.
- Headings and subheadings include keywords
- Write in the active voice
- Include a call-to-action button
- Link to internal and external posts or websites
- Avoid long sentences
- Break up paragraphs with bulleted lists
- Add relevant images
As you can see, blogging can be a tremendous asset for driving qualified leads to your site and helping to educate your existing and potential customers.