Sir Francis Bacon (pictured here, on one of his better hair days) was a man ahead of his time. In 1597, he coined the phrase "Knowledge is Power," when he was blogging, ummm, we mean writing his book, "Meditationes Sacrae and Human Philosophy." It was an insightful perspective because it's as true today, as it was in the 16th century.
Anyone in business should relate to Sir Francis, and that's especially true of those of us in marketing. Knowledge is power, because when people know you posses knowledge in your industry, knowledge that can help them, it instills confidence in you. Blogging is all about sharing your knowledge with customers and prospects. Because when someone sees you know your stuff, when those people need your stuff, they'll come calling.
Blogging shows knowledge, and you're an expert in your industry.
When you blog, you offer opinions and answer questions about why someone needs what you're offering. When you blog, as we do regularly, you're building a database of information accessible to your audience.
What can you do with that database? Three ways to get more mileage out of your blogging is:
- Link to your blogs in your proposals (like we've done throughout this blog). It gives more information about a given topic should your prospect be interested,
- Post teasers to you blogs on social media, and
- Tie your blogs to your e-newsletter, just as you use teasers in social media, you can do the same for your e-newsletters
Blogging helps with SEO.
The more you blog, the more you're updating your website. The more you update your website, the more search engines re-index it. The more it's re-indexed, the more relevant it is in search engines.
Writing blogs helps with your website's ranking, as long as you use the same keywords in your blog as your audience is using when searching for your product or service. Using keywords when blogging is a whole other topic, which, what a coincidence, we've also blogged about.
However, there's a right way and wrong way to blog. The right way to blog is:
- Make the content long enough to be beneficial to someone searching for an answer. No 100-word superficial overviews
- Incorporate the right keywords into the headlines and body copy (but no "overstuffing" of keywords!)
- Use the keywords in your Page Titles
- Use the keywords in your Meta Descriptions
- Use the keywords when naming your images, and
- Use the keywords in the Alt Text fields.
How long does it take? This study from Hubspot shows writing a blog can take between 1 and 4 hours, so plan on at least a couple of hours per blog.
And that's for a relatively short blog (500 words). While short-form blogging is making a comeback, some topics just require more words. This blog, for example, is 1,300 words.
Now that you know blogging is a good idea, how do you get ideas and find the time to do it?
1. have someone research keywords for you
The way to get someone to find your blog is to incorporate the same keywords a prospect uses to find your products or services. But you should never guess at what keywords people use. That is a sure way to waste time blogging.
Finding the right keywords is best done by someone who lives in the world of web design. They know what to look for. An example of bad guessing is:
- If a home builder used the word "homebuilder" (as one word) as their keyword, they'd be wasting their time, because people search for home builders using "home builder" as two words.
- The phrase "physical therapist" has 200 searches a month for it, while the phrase "physical therapy" has 1,000 searches a month.
- If an architect used the keyword "architecture company," that phrase has 10 searches a month in Columbus, while the word "architect" has 590 searches a month.
2. Know what to write about.
This is often the first hurdle to writing blogs. But once you determine "categories" to write about, you'd be surprised how quickly you can compose a list. Things like:
- Examples of how you'd helped a customer,
- A case study/success story something you did that turned out well,
- A hurdle you overcame for a client's benefit,
- Hot button issues in your industry
- Concerns client's have about purchasing and how you address them
- How your product or service solves a problem
And, two final tips:
- For a never ending source of inspiration, subscribe to blogs written by people smarter than you. You'll find their stories often initiate ideas for you.
- Remember don't write about you, but about what you DO that helps your clients.
3. Start small.
Like any marketing effort, it's best to be consistent, so don't expect to do too much right away. And it's tough to set 2 hours a week aside when you already have 100 other things to do. Start small by writing 1 blog a month. Maybe write your first 3 blogs before you post your first one, so you're already ahead of schedule right off the bat. You can find time if you think bloggng is important enough
- Cut down on TV. If you cut out just one TV show, that frees up an hour a week.
- Watching one less game each month. That gives you three hours to put into a blog that can be helpful to your marketing efforts for months, or years, to come.
- Have a "working lunch" and write over lunch. It might take a few lunch hours to finish your blog, but doing it in pieces is sometimes easier than finding 2 hours at once.
4. You don't have to be the only one writing the blogs
Share the work. If this is a new area for you, taking this on yourself is tough, so get help.
- If you have other sales folks, have them write a blog and you edit it.
- Maybe someone in your office, not in sales helped a client and they can write about it.
- Guest blogging. Maybe a supplier, or vendor, someone you work with can help. We have several other folks writing blogs for us in exchange for links back to their websites, like this article about Google Ads, or this one covering tips for running a website audit.
5. Have someone post the blogs for you
You should handle the writing and let someone else handle posting it to your site. In addition to taking something tedious off your plate, that person would also:
- Add the SEO to the blog, which includes adding the Page Titles and Meta Descriptions. Watch the first 40 seconds of this video to see how Google uses the Page Titles and Meta Descriptons that are added to every page of your website. This is critical, and if you don't know how to do it, you're not blogging the right way.
- Find and buy the images for you. A web design firm that has an account with a stock photo service can probably get them less expensively than you. Plus, they can think of less traditional images than you might consider using. Everyone has seen the traditional stock images, but there are always good options. See below for an example of an expected photo vs. one that offers a different, more interesting perspective. Better images also make the blogs more interesting. See below for an example.
- Name and prepare for web, the images used in the blog. Not only do photos have to be sized correctly, they have to be the right file size (ie: 75KB instead of 1 MB) to load fast. Load time is a ranking factor for Google.
What a regular stock photo looks like...
And what a more interesting graphic can be: