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The Joy of Blogging

What is a Blog?

Blogs first appeared in the late 1990’s as personal online journals where individuals could publish their thoughts and ideas to a global audience, but they quickly evolved into a valuable, low cost, marketing channel for businesses of all sizes.

Blogs can be stand-alone or integrated as part of a business website.  Most web building platforms including WordPress have blogging capabilities built-in.

How long have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging for more than ten years now.  It started as a standalone personal blog about communication and presentation skills and then but I integrated it into by business website a couple of years after starting.   You can find my blog here.

Why do you blog?

Share my ideas and opinions

I started blogging with the intention of sharing my observations and learnings about interpersonal communication.  I wanted to pass on my knowledge and engage with other people who were interested in this subject.

Drive traffic to my website

As time went on, my blog became popular I started to see that it could be used to bring more traffic to my business website.

My blog has been a fabulous source of traffic to my site and has helped boost my overall search engine rankings. Every blog post counts as fresh content on my site, and Google favours sites that are continually being updated with high quality content.

Nowadays with the popularity of social media platforms like Facebook, and Twitter, the reach of your blog can be greatly enhanced.   Sharing snippets from your blog posts with a link back to your blog will drive even more traffic to your site.

Generate Leads

Of course, getting visitors to your website is only the first step in converting them into paying customers.  One of the things that works well is to use your blog to build up an email list of people who have an interest in what you do. I discovered that, by opening a free Mail Chimp account and adding a signup box to my most popular blog post, I could create a steady stream of new subscribers!  With this list, I could then create email marketing campaigns to drip feed information and offers to these prospects.  If you share quality content, you automatically earn the right to put a little promotional piece at the end of your posts.

Where do you get your ideas?

Some people say that you should have a strategy for your blog and start by doing lots of keyword research to identify relevant subjects that your audience are searching for online. Once you have a list of topics, you can then write about them.

I tend to be more spontaneous I prefer to write about things that I see and hear or questions that I am asked.  For example, I recently saw a reasonably senior presenter turn off more than 100 people in less than five minutes!   I just had to write a blog post about what he had done and how it could have been avoided.

How often should I blog?

We are all different, so there’s no point in telling you how often you should post.   Some people do it daily, some weekly, some monthly and some more intermittently.  Clearly, the more content you post, the greater the potential benefits but I think the best thing is to start with a realistic target and then see how you go.  The most important thing is that you keep going. I tend to blog once or twice a month.

Top Tip – Keep a list of topics, in a notebook or electronic list. Whenever I get an idea, I just jot it down and then write about them when you have a spare slot of time.  I use an App called Google Keep on my phone for this purpose.

What’s the ideal length of a blog post?

When I started blogging most posts were short and sweet – around 250-350 words. Today, the research suggests that the ideal length for maximum SEO benefit is around 2500 words! Don’t let this put you off.  Start small and see how you get on. One of my most read blog posts is under 300 words.

Should I blog?

Hopefully, by now you’ll have a better understanding of how and why I blog, but I wouldn’t dare to tell you what to do.  I enjoy blogging, especially when I get comments and questions from my readers so I would probably continue to do it whether it delivered any tangible business benefits or not. But, the fact is it, works for me and my business.  I believe that everyone in Business Builders could if they wanted to, have a blog. But it must be your choice.

P.S. If you need any help or inspiration to get started, I’d be delighted to help.

Gavin Meikle

See Gavin’s profile in the Business Builders Directory

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