Episode#25: How to Blog the Right Way

| by Christina McQuilkin

In this week’s Diving into Digital podcast, we’re teaching you how to blog the right way! In this day and age, there are probably more blogs in existence than you could ever have the time to read, and there is a reason for that! They can work wonders for your marketing strategy…if they’re created the right way. So, how will you know when and how to properly write blog posts? We’re here to tell you!

Check Out The Episode Below!

Top 3 things you’ll learn in today’s episode….

  1. The perks of using a blog to reach your customers, because it can do so much more for your business than just make you look good!
  2. How to know if and when it’s time to launch your brand’s blog, because the truth is, not every industry reaps the greatest rewards from blogging. Find out how to know if it’s right for your company, if you can sustain enough ideas to make an engaging blog, and how to begin brainstorming some killer topics.
  3. Actionable tips to get you started—think different hosting formats, must-have elements for your blog, and ways to begin bringing ideal viewers right to your site.

Timestamps to Help You Along:

[1:04] The beginner’s guide to blogging, including 4 key benefits it offers to businesses.
[2:46] Important questions to ask when deciding if blogging is a worthwhile addition to your marketing efforts.
[5:12] The first major decision you’ll have to make regarding blogging platforms, and the pros and cons of each.
[6:46] How to start driving traffic to your blog, and converting that traffic into real, paying customers.

Transcript

Read The Transcript

Episode 25. How to Blog the Right Way

Hey everyone!

Christina here from Disrupt Ordinary! Thank you so much for tuning in today. Now if you have been listening for a while, you probably noticed that we actually haven’t posted a podcast in a few weeks. And that is because we changed up our internal strategy a bit. We changed our podcast hosting platform, we updated our shownotes format, and we redesigned our whole blog layout. Now we are really really excited about all of these new changes because they mean that it can be an even better experience for you, our listeners.

Throughout this process, we have definitely learned and expanded even more on our knowledge of the best practices in terms of blogging and podcasting. So today, I want to share some of those key takeaways with you guys and tell you how to do blogging right!

So let’s jump right in, shall we?

So what is blogging. and when is it the right move for your business?

Well, blogging is when you write content based on a certain topic and you post that content on your website. So let’s talk some benefits of blogging.

  1. Allows you to give potential customers a more in-depth look into your business, your industry, and all of the topics that they may be curious about. Because, while you can try your best to explain everything on your “About” or “Services” pages on your site, your customer wants to know about a lot more than just YOUR company. They want to know about the topics they care about in general, and they want you to provide them with value.
  2. With proper SEO strategies applied to your blog, blogging can drive a great amount of traffic to your website through search engines, like Google.
  3. With a proper “Subscribe to our blog!” lead capture form on the page, a blog makes a great way to build email lists, generate leads, and ultimately drive sales.
  4. Having a blog opens up the opportunity for guest blogging, which is when you have person of interest submit a blog to you, which you then host on your website. In some cases, this is essentially free content for your site, and in all cases, it increases your brand recognition by appealing to the audience and reach of your guest.

And yes, that all must sound very powerful and profitable, but blogging is not worth it for everyone. So how do you know if blogging is worth it for you? Well, there’s certain industries and products that will benefit from these features, but won’t necessarily get the most out of them.

So let’s take a good example first. Let’s say a lawyer. So law is, to put it bluntly, EXTREMELY COMPLICATED. People are constantly seeking to learn more about their rights, their specific legal situations, court processes, and so on and so forth. So if a lawyer were to write a blog titled, “If an apple falls from my neighbor’s tree into my yard, who owns the apple?” Well, there’s a good chance that they might have a great answer, and people will shuffle onto their site in packs to read all about the answer to this age-old question.

They would get some additional traffic, they would give more value to customers, and, also, anyone who reads the blog might find that lawyer to be a real trustworthy expert, which makes for another great reason to purchase that lawyer’s services. In this case, I would say that a lawyer would definitely benefit from having an active blog.

But now, let’s consider another example: a restaurant. Your options, as far as what to write about on a restaurant blog, can be significantly more limited, and they can stray a bit off-topic if you’re not careful. I mean, if Olive Garden had a blog, how many blogs could they possibly write? What would they talk about?  All the different pastas? And if not that, then maybe they could write something about the best places to eat in [Your Town]. It would be interesting, but chances are they would just be advertising for their competitors.

So, this is not to say that if you have a restaurant you will definitely not benefit from a blog, but there are some industries out there that tend to do better than others when it comes to blogging.

So if you’re limited on resources, consider each of the benefits I mentioned and apply them to your business. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Is there a lot of interesting topics to cover in your industry?
  • Will you be able to focus on your SEO tactics to capture online traffic?
  • Do you have a decent amount of time to wait to generate traffic since SEO strategies normally take a few months or more to start working?
  • And finally, will you be able to commit yourself to it and keep up with it all?

These are all things to consider.

Now if you have made the decision that blogging is for you, let;s talk about how to get started.

Getting set up with blogging can be extremely easy, but you will have to make one decision when you start: am I going to blog on a blogging platform like Tumblr or Blogger, or am I going to create my own custom blog on a website platform like WordPress?

Because, if you choose a platform like Tumblr or Blogger you’re going to have a much simpler setup: register an account, choose a name, and start blogging. The platform will handle the basics of how your blog lays out, so no web development is necessary.

However, the disadvantages of choosing the simple solution become apparent when you compare it to a more custom solution, such as a WordPress blog.

The advantages of a custom blog hosted on your own website are massive. You have increased control to decide the look and feel of your blog and you’re offered more functionality. In addition to that, it is listed on YOUR website, meaning any readers on your blog are only one or two clicks away from discovering more about your company or getting in contact with you. Now aside from that, you have control over your pages so that you can connect important analytics systems and start understanding metrics about your visitors.

So, two main options when it comes to your platform: simple & quick with a platform such as Tumblr, or a slightly more complicated, but significantly more powerful solution with something custom, like a WordPress blog.

Now if you do choose a WordPress blog and you want to focus on driving people to your site to see it, ask yourself, how are you going to get them there?

Well, there are really two ways, organic traffic or paid traffic.

So let’s talk paid for a second first.

If you want to get people to your blogs quickly and you have a bit of a budget, paid advertising is probably the best strategy for you.

You can use things like Facebook Ads or Google Ads to promote your blogs and get them in front of your ideal audience. Now, just so you understand it a bit better, with these strategies, you are paying for the platform (whether it is Google or Facebook or another social site) to put your information in front of viewers and the more people you want to reach, the more that the platforms are going to charge you. However, if set up properly, you can start to see more viewers on your content in less than a day.

So, if you would like to learn more about paid advertising, I would highly recommend that you check out our podcast episode 6 where we go over the basics of Facebook advertising.

Now if you are interested in a longer and more long-term solution, let’s discuss driving traffic to your site organically.

So basically, organic strategies are those strategies where you are not paying anyone to get your content in front of others. They require more time and more work but obviously less money.

So, in order for your content to show up when people are searching for it, you have to make sure that your posts are optimized in a certain way.

So let’s talk some steps for this.

  • Step #1: do keyword research. Understand exactly what your target audience is searching for.
  • Step #2: Create content based around these keywords and be sure to directly include these keywords within the content. So, if you sell shoes at a shop in Keywest, Florida, and you know your audience is searching for things like “Best sandals in Keywest, Florida,” maybe you’d write a blog about “The 5 trendiest sandal ideas taking over Keywest, FL.”
  • Now Step #3, import those keywords properly into the WordPress backend of the post. Now to do this, I would highly recommend downloading the yoast plugin on WordPress, as this will make this significantly easier for you.

Now once you publish the blog, get it out there to as many people as possible. You don’t want to just sit on it and hope that something happens right away. Promote it through social media, send it out to your email lists, and even submit it as a guest blog to other platforms.

Alright, so that is the basics of blogging, and when done correctly, blogging can prove to be a super powerful solution for your business, so I hope you give it a try! If you have any questions on how to get started with it, we’d love to answer them in the comments below!

Thanks so much, and have a great day!

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Host: Christina McQuilkin

Christina McQuilkin is an expert brand strategist, consultant, and the founder of Disrupt Ordinary Marketing. Obsessed with all things digital, Christina helps small business owners to craft content and strategies that focus less on "the sale" and more on the unparalleled value that we can bring into the lives of others.