Blogging has been a form of digital media marketing for untold years — remember the phrase ‘Web 2.0’ in bright red letters on all the tech magazines? — and it remains resilient to this day as a way for you to express your more longform ideas. Blog posts are a fantastic medium for you to pass on your knowledge and write about topics that are close to your heart.
If you create a new blog post at least once per week, you’ll reap the benefits of increased web traffic, stronger engagement, higher sales conversion rates (if you’ve got a site that places ecommerce cleverly at the forefront), and consistent upticks in the tangibility of your community.
How blogging helps your business
First and foremost: credibility. If you can demonstrate a firm understanding of the subject you’re writing about in your field of interest, you’ll build up your authority as a voice on the matter. People don’t know TLMedia as the company with expertise in banana imports, because we don’t blog about banana imports. We blog about digital media and online marketing. And that’s what we’re known for. Simple!
Let’s say you’re a mechanic. If you frequently publish new blog posts about, for example, the best ways to care for a car (when to check your oil levels, how to tell if your car needs a service, how to check whether your car tyres are street legal, etc.) then you’ll solidify your credibility and forge trusting relationships with customers.
They’ll love you for offering your expert advice and helping them with something they had no clue about. And who do you think they’re gonna go to next time they need a new set of tyres? Yep, you.
Blogging regularly takes some serious dedication, but keep at it and you’ll form a community of people in your target demographic who know they can expect quality content from you. And they’ll be far more likely to use your products or services as a result.
Good ol’ search engine optimisation
SEO (search engine optimisation) is super important if you want your website to stand out amongst competitors. If you’re pumping out fresh and unique content on the regular, you’ll be handsomely rewarded by Google (and Bing and Yahoo — don’t laugh, this is serious).
Google (and Google’s ‘competitors’) constantly crawls the web for this kind of consistent content, because that’s their business: bringing the most useful stuff to users.
So what should you blog about?
There are loads of ways to create engaging blog posts that people will want to read. Write about what you know! I guarantee you that you’ll find it so much easier to write a blog if it’s based around a subject you’re passionate about. Think about the sorts of things you’d want to know if you were starting out in your business sector, or if you were a customer who was looking for a solution to a problem.
At TLMedia we use a few methods to help us come up with new topics. Google Trends and Answer The Public are two great places to get started. On Google Trends you can enter any topic and Google will present the top trends around that subject, as well as serving up other terms people are searching for that are similar to your request.
You’re able to define whether you want to see results in a specific area, and get an idea for the amount of requests for the search term. Here’s an example of the sort of results you’ll see if you were to use the term ‘dog care’:
As you can see, there are plenty of ideas for what people are searching around this topic. One that really stands out to me is ‘how to care for a dog in heat’. So if you’re a dog walker, for example, set about creating the most amazing blog post around this subject.
Include your expert tips and personal experiences, explanatory photos, and maybe even a short film shot on your phone. If it’s well-written and covers the topic well, searchers will find it and share it, and oftentimes interact with you after reading.
All of this attention will show Google that it’s beneficial content, and they’ll just keep serving it up in search terms, directing traffic your way and starting that sales cycle.
Ask The Public is a goldmine for content ideas. As their own ‘About’ page reads: “The autosuggest results provided by Google amd Bing are a goldmine of insight.”
Input a term, such as ‘blogging’, and the site will give you a range of terms surrounding that subject, including a visual diagram showing ‘who’s, ‘when’s, ‘why’s, ‘where’s, and much more.
It’ll show you what the search engines are using to aid the person’s search, and present you with a unique opportunity to create helpful blog titles and content based around what they might need.
Converting readers into customers
Once you’ve created a blog post that you’re proud of and posted it to your website, how can it help convert readers into customers? Above all, you need to ensure that your blog post is informative and beneficial in some way to the reader, but there’s also no reason why you shouldn’t be highlighting your own services or products which relate to the topic you’ve written about.
If a bike shop owner were to pen a blog post offering their expert advice on the benefits of washing down a street bike after a long ride, then you should also be showcasing your opinion on the best road bikes of the year, which, lo and behold, you stock in your bike shop! Let potential customers know that you can offer them something, and the reasons why they should be looking at said product or service.
Add your shop address, contact email, telephone numbers, and social media links to your blog post so that new customers can easily chose to follow you or get in touch when they’re ready to make a purchase.
If you’re consistently offering helpful content through your blog then it’s more than likely that your readers will grow to trust you and will be thinking about you when they need to make a purchase, or ask for your help when they need the service you’re offering.
It really is the key to good blogging, and it’s what will separate you from other competitors in your field. The more unique content you share, the more you will start to see an increase in web traffic, and in turn an increase in custom. The more you can write the better — we’d suggest around two or three times each week, and, as a minimum, at least once per week.
Keep your blogs accurate and informative and to a good length, so that they’ll engage the reader and inspire them to take action.