I’ve read a lot of first-time blog posts written for the launch of new websites. Some have been good and some have been bad, but all have needed improvement. This Blogging For Beginners list covers the top things to focus on with your blog when you don’t quite know what you’re actually supposed to be doing.
The internet has an insatiable appetite for information. Billions of searches are conducted every single day looking for everything from how to bake an apple pie to why zebras have stripes.
Think about it: how many searches do you make online every day? Every week? How about in a year? It adds up to a lot.
For anyone who runs an online business, these searches represent a steady flow of potential customers who are looking for what you have to offer.
A blog is an easy, cost-effective method of being found by the exact people who most need, want, and are willing to pay for your services. But only if you have a good strategy in place first and create content that people actually want to read.
Blogging for Beginners: Top Three
These are the biggies you need to pay attention to when you’re blogging. They can be the difference between your blog being a hobby, and an actual marketing strategy for your business.
Know Your Keywords
Keywords are the search terms your ideal client is using to find answers to her questions. They’re the actual word(s) or phrase(s) she types into the Google search box.
Understanding what your ideal client is looking for online is Priority Number One as a blogger. Without it, you’ll end up creating posts that get no traffic, OR posts that get a lot of traffic that won’t buy your products and services.
When you know what your keywords are, you can easily create blog posts that will:
- Attract the right visitors to your site
- Position you as the expert in your niche
- Make it easy for your ideal client to find—and get to know—you and your services
Use Good SEO Practices
Aside from keywords, great bloggers know there are many techniques you can use to bring in more readers, including:
- Link out to authority sites from within your blog
- Link internally to other, related content on your own sites
- Use graphics and sub-headlines to break up long text passages
- Take the time to write compelling meta descriptions
- Create content that other sites will link to
Get the Word Out
What the heck good is spending all that time writing a blog post if you aren’t going to follow through and tell people about it!? Answer: none.
Each new blog post is an opportunity to be seen, and if you aren’t sharing it with the people in your network who’d want to read it, you’re basically wasting your time writing it in the first place.
Take the time to share your content socially, and encourage your readers to do the same. Share your post on your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and anywhere else your ideal client is likely to see it.
And email it to your list in your weekly newsletter!
Write for People
While it’s important to know and use SEO and keywords in your blog posts, it’s even more important that you write your content with people in mind over search engines.
Your blog should be engaging, informational, and even entertaining, but above all else it must be readable.
Have you ever read a post that felt stilted and wrong? Like it was all choppy, and every other word was the topic or title of the post…and in the end you learned nothing from it?
That’s called keyword stuffing. It’s when someone writes a post with their only intention being SEO rank.
Those posts won’t get you anywhere, because people don’t consider you an expert when they read them. They kinda leave thinking you’re a robot. Or a fourth grader with a dictionary.
Remember that episode of Friends where Joey used the thesaurus to change every word in his recommendation letter for the adoption agency? Keyword stuffing sounds like that. Don’t be like Joey.
Other Blogging for Beginners Tips
Content marketing—and blogging, by extension—is very much a numbers game. The more content you produce, the greater your results will be.
That means setting—and sticking to—a content production schedule is a must.
I know that might sound painful if you’re one of those ‘I just want to feel inspired’ people. And that’s not a dig…that was totally me when I started blogging. I completely failed at consistency for the first 3 years, and it didn’t get me anywhere.
But since becoming consistent with my blog (all parts of it: publishing, SEO, + marketing), my traffic has jumped 565%. That’s freakin huge.
For most small businesses, a weekly schedule is a good place to start in order to build a steady stream of traffic.
Keep Long-Term Goals in Mind
Blogging is not a fast business-growth strategy, but it is excellent for long-term sustainability.
Unless you have a large audience to start marketing your posts to immediately, you’re not going to get high traffic numbers right off the bat.
SEO especially is long-term. Any keyword you use can take between 3–12 months to start getting you traffic. It has to do with technical mumbo jumbo behind the scenes of search engines that you and I will never understand, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make SEO a priority.
I have posts from 4 years ago that still bring traffic to my website, because of its SEO. Those posts you write this month will continue to work for you many years from now, bringing in more and more traffic and potential clients.
Mix It Up
Not every post has to be a 3,000 word article (in fact, 3,000 words is a bit much unless you’re creating step-by-step tutorials or sharing really interesting stories). Include other types of content as well, such as:
- Curated content
- Short opinion pieces
The more varied and interesting the content you create is, the better results you’ll get from it.
Have Fun with It
Above all else, have some fun. Inject your personality into your blog. Not only will you more easily attract your ideal client but you’ll enjoy blogging a lot more if you use your authentic voice. And the more you enjoy it, the more likely you’ll remain consistent as well.