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Blogging – how, why, planning, etc

Editors Note: Expert content needs an expert content writer and Yorkshire Powerhouse is pleased to publish this business advice article on Website Strategy and Internet Marketing, kindly written by a real expert in his field – Sam Hollis from Sam Hollis Web Design – Risk Free, Pay-as-you-go websites.

Please consider contacting Sam with any website design and build projects you may have in mind – just click on the advert links above or below – and please mention Yorkshire Powerhouse if you do make contact.

Blogging, when done well, is a very powerful tool. In the long run, it gains so much for your business. In the short term, you will need to put in some effort to enable your blog to be found.

Blogging essentials

  • Consistency is vital. People want something regular to read every week or month. Get a consistent blog up and running. Make time to write it, or pay someone else to do it. But be consistent.
  • Get the reader engaged by informing and entertaining them. Not always easy, some topics are more entertaining than others.
  • Use the blog to show that you’re a reliable and knowledgeable authority in your field.
  • Think about what the readers want. That means you need to know and have identified your target audience.
  • Think about a blogging platform. As a business, the best place to blog is on your website.

Plan, plan, plan

Planning is vital.

Plan your blogging in advance. When are you going to blog (you’ll need to put time aside)? What are you going to blog about?

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Plan your audience, plan what you want to say, plan the structure and layout. This ensures that your blog will send the right messages to the right people and work effectively as a promotional tool.

Ideas to help your blogging journey

If you’re ever lacking inspiration, there are loads of places to get it from:

  • What questions do you keep answering for leads and client?
  • What do you have to keep explaining to people?
  • What changes to rules, grants or guidance are coming up in your industry?
  • What is your target audience interested in?
  • What are your competitors talking about?
  • Your personal experiences

All of these areas should give you some ideas of what to write about. A big sheet of paper a clear head and some sharpies are always a good way to get started thinking about ideas.

Your blog style

If you run an online shop selling joke items, your blog is probably going to be pretty light-hearted.  If you are a financial advisor or solicitor it may be quite formal. Match styles to your audience. Generally, keep it as simple as possible with a bit of formality and professionalism.

A good all-round approach is to stick to the kind of language you would use in a client presentation. That keeps things on the straight-and-narrow but allows for a little tailoring.

I would always recommend avoiding jargon. Even in the most technical of businesses, this is a turn-off for a reader who is giving their time to read your material. If it confuses them, it will make you sound pretentious and condescending. If you really must throw around a few technical terms, and always explain them before you start using them.

This brings us back around to the importance of keeping things simple. Aim to suit a young reading age and you can speak to most of your readership. You can use the Hemmginway app (http://www.hemingwayapp.com/) to test for the reading age of your blog. Aim for Y7 or below. A good writer or a passionate enthusiast will sound just as good in simple terms as in complex ones.

Getting your blog found

Social media and blogs offer a great symbiosis. You can use your social media account to promote your blog. Your blog in turn gives you content to talk about in your social media posts. You can, from your social media, link to specific sections of the blog for a particular social media post.

Email works well with blogs. Emails are a great way to send your blogs out to people. In turn blog content is a great way to fill your email with valuable content for your readers.

Blogging will help your website get found on Google searches. This will itself feed traffic to your blog. This is a long term aim though and other strategies are needed to drive visitors to your blog.

Google ads can be used to drive visitors to your blog. If you are time-poor and cash-rich this could be a good way to go.

A visitor has read my blog, what next?

You need a call to action or two at the end of the blog. This needs to direct the visitor to do something. There are two basic options. One is your main call to action of your website eg ‘buy now’ or ‘call me’ etc. The other option is to direct visitors to another part of your website (that part of the website should then have the ‘buy now’ or ‘call me’ final call to action).

You can direct visitors from your blog to the main part of your website. Or, from the main part of your website to the blog. But don’t do both. Don’t send your visitors in circles direct them to an endpoint, your final call to actions.

The important things about blogging

  • Commit to it, turn up and blog
  • Have a call to action at the end of every blog
  • Provide value

We fully endorse blogging as a positive marketing activity but you must approach it with a plan in mind or your resolve and determination will be tested – blogging is too easy to give up on!

Thoughts on marketing your website from Yorkshire Powerhouse

You’ve read our guide on Blogging – have you any questions?

Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know:

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