Blogging is a wonderful accelerator for just about any online business and needs to be a critical element of your Social Media Marketing Strategy. Our take on a Blogging Strategy for Business:
1) Use WordPress as your Technology Platform; it’s free, has a tremendous amount of Plug Ins that extend its functionality, huge pool of talented developers who can customize for you, large number of Themes that can be purchased to offset customization costs. Don’t utilize a third party hosting site - dilutes your brand and will cost your web site valuable traffic.
2) You want to use a structured format, with 2-3 sentence paragraphs and Headers that are bolded; also, use bullet points to break up the eye strain for your visitor/reader. And, make a modest “call to action” at the conclusion of each Blog Post; i.e. “sign up for my Newsletter here…..”
3) Make sure you understand Search Engine Best Practices for a Blog; when you write a post look up your topic in Google’s Free Keyword tool (linked below) and build your Blog post around this (or these) Keywords(s) - a Blog without traffic won’t do you much good. Note our usage of: Blogging Strategy for Business!
You don’t need to artificially work in the keywords - try to incorporate them naturally in the word flow. Also, to make your Keywords more easily recognizable by Google you can Bold, Italicize or Underline them - will help elevate your SEO efforts.
4) Incorporate images as part of your Blog posts - it makes the Blog stand out more, breaks up the text flow for the reader and Google also “likes” Blogs with image content. And, make sure you Keyword optimize your Image Title and Description.
5) Invite Guest Bloggers to make posts on your Blog - this will lighten your writing load and should give you some cross promotion capability by guest blogging on their blogs (hopefully you will stimulate reciprocity).
6) Make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your site - you can carefully monitor the traffic your Blog is generating via running a simple report and the install for analytics just requires a few snippets of Java Script via your site.
7) Make sure you have a good number of Blog Ping Services installed for optimizing your Blogging Strategy for Business - WordPress does automatically “ping out” your Blog to other sites but we’ve seen a dramatic increase in traffic using an enhanced list.
8) As you Blog more frequently you should see your web site getting “indexed” (found and cached) more frequently by Google - this is one of the hidden benefits of Blogging. Google and other search engines “see” that your web site is being updated frequently, which they put a premium on and your overall traffic should rise as a result.
9) Link out to other sites as you Blog - this may sound counter intuitive but Google and Yahoo rank sites better that show outbound links in them and your readers will find this beneficial too.
10) Cross promote your Blog via your LinkedIn account by always Tweeting out your Blog posts with Keywords in your Tweet that match your Title - this should generate more traffic via Twitter via Real Time Search and also you are cross promoting your blog with the 2nd largest Search Engine in the world handling 19B searches per month now (Twitter).
11) If you are using YouTube as part of your Social Media Strategy by all means embed a YouTube video with your Blog and as others have pointed out you might want to use the YouTube video as front end to drive traffic to a specific blog post with a one minute video. A Flip camera is an excellent tool for doing low cost/high value YouTube Videos; film, edit and upload easily to YouTube.
12) Get your toe in the water with a Blogging Strategy for Business - it takes time to really get the hang of it and if you really press yourself on a content strategy (“five Blogs a week”) you are better off just doing a couple of Blog posts a week until you get the hang of it.
That’s our twelve steps for a Blogging Strategy for Business - please visit our Blogging Services page if you need more information and contact us if you want to outsource your Blog Development - our rates are reasonable and terms are flexible.