In our recent blog about why blogging is great for SEO, we laid out the main reasons that businesses should invest in a blog, and the numbers don’t lie — marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts (source). So since you know you should have a blog (and an SEO blog strategy), in this post we’ll explore the basics for getting started.
As with anything in business, there is a lot of planning that goes into just one blog post. First, you’ve got to consider the amount of time that it will take to write a post and then determine whether you’ll outsource that (we’d love to help!) or do it yourself. It can take several hours to write, stylize, and schedule just one post, depending on skill level. You also need to determine the frequency in which you’d like to post a blog, which will likely depend on your budget (time or money wise). Once you’ve got those details ironed out, you can set up a content calendar that lays out your blog posts.
This is the fun part! Hopefully, you’ve got your top SEO keywords in front of you before you start any kind of creative strategy, since “SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. (source)” Along with your SEO keywords, you also need a crystal clear picture of your target audience. Beyond doing the typical demographic and interest profile of your buyers, you also need to practice a bit of empathy and sit in their shoes, think about their problems/interests/needs. What is it about your brand that is going to help them, interest them, inspire them, etc.? What would they care about if you were to write a blog? Would they want to share the content you’re thinking of creating? And don’t think about just the person who’s going to buy from you — also think about the people who influence your buyers (like investors!) and people who will simply support your business (likes and shares on social media). Remember — as entrepreneurs, we tend to forget that people aren’t inherently as passionate about our businesses as we are — and that’s where SEO and creative strategy are key! (Need help getting your target audience sorted? Here’s some good info.)
Write the Blog
Wheels in motion, once you know what you want to write about, it’s time to put pen to paper (or more likely fingers to keyboard) and get your ideas out into the world! In case you missed our SEO Blogging 101 post, an important part of writing a blog is first creating an outline. Here’s an excerpt: “Use this basic formula: engage, inform, convert. You want to capture your reader’s attention via the title and introduction paragraph. Then, provide value by giving them the information they’re looking for (and don’t forget to lace in those SEO keywords!) in the body of the blog. Finally, end each of your blog posts with a call to action in the conclusion. What’s the next step you want the customer to take? Is it as simple as signing up for your email list? Is it getting them to a sales page on your site? Always write the CTA in your outline so you know the end purpose of the blog as you write it.”
Analyze the Results
After you’ve published your blog, watch for how people respond to it, the views on it, the conversion on it, etc. Keep in mind that not all of your posts have the same intent — in SEO strategy, for example, the primary purpose for some of your blogs is simply ranking for a keyword. Other blogs you’ll write to attract inbound links, to establish thought leadership, to answer commonly asked questions about your business, etc. Knowing the purpose of your blog is not just mandatory for writing great copy, but it’s also necessary to set your expectations when you analyze how it performed. Use the results from your analysis to adjust strategy as needed, and keep producing those blogs!
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