I recently held a one-day training course on Blogging for Beginners and from that I have devised JSB’s top 10 blogging tips for beginners. I’m sure you may have your own, so please feel free to suggest them.
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I love blogging and those individuals and/or companies that blog experience higher traffic and engagement. A 2014 Hubspot survey showed that marketers who have prioritised blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy positive return on investment. It’s also great for putting a face to your brand, so why not give it a try? My preferred blog platform is WordPress but there are others out there you might want to check out such as Blogger or Tumblr.
#1 Blog What You Know
So you know stuff? Great! Stick to what you know is always a good rule, and especially good when it comes to blogging. Why would you blog about stuff you don’t know? So I blog about digital marketing, social media marketing, online PR, digital trends and all things social! It’s what I do and I love to share my knowledge. What do you know and what are you passionate about? Here’s a video featuring my address at a digital conference, Digi Day West, in Fermanagh recently.
#2 Give your blog a name
Blogs should be recognisable by their name. Although in some cases a blog might be the same name as your website domain. For example, my website is www.digitaltraining.ie but my blog is JSBDigital. I just think it give it more personality and shows that it’s me, JSB, who’s behind it. Don’t forget to give it a custom URL. What’s the address of your blog? This is called a URL – so www.digitaltraining.ie/JSBdigital is my blog URL. You will see I have a registered domain www.digitaltraining.ie and have created a dedicated place on my website for my blog – hence the forward slash /JSBdigital. You can buy your domain .ie/.com etc but you need to register it and check to see if the URL you want is available.
#3 Finish with a call to action
Let’s face it, you are blogging to build an online community, to position yourself as a thought-leader, to drive sales prospects and to build your online profile. So don’t miss a golden opportunity to ask your readers to do something for you. At the end of your blog post add in a ‘call to action’ – you will notice mine at the end of this post.
#4 Think SEO, think Google
Google is king of the Internet and if you want your blog to be found then it should be Google-friendly. SEO simply means Search Engine Optimisation and this is how search engines, such as Google, will rank your website and of course the web pages within that website. Blogs are a great way to improve your website or blogs’ SEO.
#5 Blog frequently
Commit yourself to blogging at least once a week. Remember you can always ‘bulk-blog’ so write a few blog posts and schedule them to publish some date in the future. Hubspot have undertaken some research on this very question and the results make for interesting reading! So how often will you blog?
#6 Promote your blog posts on social media
Getting people to read and share you blog posts is going to be one of your biggest challenges after you’ve finally got your words online. Using social media to promote your posts is a great way to generate interest and find readers but also subscribers to your blog. Share on your Facebook Page, Twitter account or LinkenIn profile. Is it good enough to be submitted as a guest blog post on another blog?
#7 Include interactive and rich content
Words on a page (or in the case of a blog, online) takes effort and interest to read. To keep you readers engaged, add rich content. This includes, images, photos, infographics, videos, interactive magazines or audio files. According to Internet marketing expert Jeff Bullas, articles with images get 94% more total views than articles without images. Don’t forget to re-size images for the web so that the file size doesn’t slow down your blog or website load speed.
Here’s a great short video from Digital Splash Media on the superiority effect of images in online marketing.
#8 Research blog topics
Don’t know what to blog about? You need to think about what your target audience want to read. What questions do they have that you can answer? There are a number of ways you can undertake research. Simply, you can ask your audience? I often use Twitter or Facebook for research. I’d ask a question such as: ‘what’s your biggest blogging challenge?’
I also use Google AdWords Keyword Planner which gives you comprehensive information about what people are searching for on Google. But for beginners here’s a simple strategy to start out. The screenshots below show a Google search for the term ‘Blogging Tips.’ Scroll to the bottom of page one of this search on Google and they show you related search terms. These are the phrases that people have been typing into Google that relate to your search. If you include some of these terms within the body of your blog content you will start to attract more organic traffic based on these keywords.
#9 Show off your knowledge
Education marketing is a really good digital marketing strategy. Add value to your readers lives by giving them free information which showcases your knowledge. This will also help you position yourself in your industry. My blog was recently named one of Ireland’s top marketing blogs by US-based website Search Engine Journal and it has greatly increased by blog traffic, digital footprint and authority in the area of digital marketing.
#10 Embed social media posts
I get lots of interaction and engagement on social media and frequently some very nice comments. They prove to be invaluable testimonials and so I use them that way and I embed them in blog posts. Here’s a lovely message I got on Twitter recently after a speaking gig.
— Complete-Weddings (@CompleteWed) May 13, 2015
Here’s what my learners thought of my blogging course!
If you want to attend one of my blogging courses or would like to hire me for your business or group just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.