So, you realise that blogging is the current big thing in inbound marketing and can really kick start your SEO but the problem is, you simply don’t know what to blog about? Sound Familiar?
Blog + Content = SEO?
When it comes to blogging, or SEO, all too often, people get the message, but miss the point. That is, you can’t just set up a blog, and add random or weak content (drivel) and then scratch your head and wonder why your blog has not taken off.
All too often, the plan is just to copy content from other sites or to just add any old tat in the belief that somehow, just going through the motions is going to help. This is most certainly not the case and in some instances, going through the motions could actually damage your credibility with site visitors and impact your ability to rank in the search results – not good things!
Who are you writing for?
The first question to ask is who are you writing for? You have potential customers, they are out there, in their masses, trying to figure out just what the hell to do so… if you can figure out who you are writing for, what they need, and this is the kicker, how you can help them do it, then you are half the way there.
What do they want?
This is critical: when you know who you are targeting, the type of people, what is it that they want? Are they trying to solve a problem? What is the problem? Do they know the solution yet? Are you the solution? Can you help them realise that in a honestly helpful way?
For the sake of an example, lets say you sell running shoes. Your main site is clearly geared towards the obvious commercial keywords, brands etc for the SEO and PPC bloodbath but what content do you put on your blog? What we need to do at this point is look at the ‘who’ and decide what these people need? What information do they need to help them make better purchasing decisions?
How can you help?
I am toying with another marathon, yet I get some pretty painful shin splints, what are the best shoes for me? My running buddy gets tendonitis in his foot, what are the best shoes for him? What other strategies can we use to deal with these issues? What other problems do runners face? What are the top ten issues, problems, tips?
Once you have got someone’s attention then you have a bunch of options. You can ask them to follow you on social media so they can keep receiving more of this good free stuff. You can link through to various products or services that are relevant to someone reading that post in an effort to get them to buy. You could offer some form of discount or code to get them to come back. You could ask them to sign up to your email list and if you can offer something else valuable for free, going back to the marathon example above, maybe a marathon training planner, you will get more sign-ups and the ability to send other, targeted information to this potential customer to get them to come back to the site and slowly establish yourself as the expert you are and as a trusted, credible supplier for this person’s ultimate requirements.
If you can encourage sharing of your article, you get more visibility still and if you can create something truly valuable, people will link to it around the blogosphere which in turn pours more SEO rocket fuel into your site as a whole.
How not to do it!
Before we wrap this, a quick note on how not to do this. The big obvious one is the kind of junk content that all too often litters blogs and the web which is created with the sole purpose of building a link. This is a weak, tired strategy and will do you no good. Don’t copy content from other places, that is just lame and it will actually hurt your ability to rank and give off signals that will impact your site as a whole.
Do you want to build weak SEO circa 1999 doorway pages, tired random articles built purely just for an anchor text link OR useful, informative articles that people will share and link to which will help bring value and relevance to the whole site and get you in front of many more sets of eyes.
How to Blog
When someone starts to read your blog and truly learn from it, they start to trust you, so the recommendations you make, carry lots of weight. Your blog pages can also become a bonafide advertising platform for your business. Every page in your blog can show the latest offers, link to your store or some other entirely optional aspect that is getting your content and store in front of people who already value your opinion and trust you.
Ultimately, with PPC demanding more and more screen space in the search results and the prices of paying people to visit your site ever increasing, getting more traffic through search and through your content marketing is more important than ever.
So, what are you going to blog about today?