Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketers. This week’s post is all about the importance of blogging the right way.
I’ve noticed a lot of people seem to have the Field of Dreams approach to blogging. They try to write their own blog posts, thinking something is better than nothing, but there are a few problems with that approach.
One of the things I keep coming back to on this blog (and with the small business owners I talk to) is the need to blog consistently above all else. I won’t say that quality doesn’t matter (it does), but making sure you post regularly is just as important as making sure your blog posts are the right length and contain relevant keywords. Not only does Google take it into account, but it matters to your audience who want to know when they can expect to hear from you next.
With everything that goes into running a small business, guess what tends to come last on the to-do list? Blogging. That means, no matter how good the intentions, most small business owners only post sporadically, and that’s not doing your SEO rankings any favors, nor does it make a good impression on visitors who do make it to your site.
Along with timing, consistency of tone and brand voice is equally important, but when creating content isn’t a priority, you’re most likely just going to write about whatever comes to mind. That’s not a strategy. That’s shooting in the dark and hoping you hit gold and you have put too much into your small business to leave the effects of content marketing up to chance.
A content strategy involves carefully researching your target audience, learning about their pain points, and creating content that addresses those pain points and explains how you can help. You also have to consider what has already been discussed to death in the industry and what gaps exist in the information so you can fill in those gaps and provide the answers your audience isn’t getting anywhere else.
I was recently asked what I do to optimize content for SEO and I had a hard time not going on and on and on about all the things I do. I realized afterwards I should have just mentioned this blog post and provided a link in a follow-up email, since it goes over everything I check my blog posts for before publishing them.
The problem with DIY blogging is that most small business owners are too busy to take the time to go through that list. Most of them are lucky if they come up with anything to publish.
Lost In The Noise
Because everyone has been told they need to be blogging, almost everyone is blogging. Some sporadically with no schedule or plan in place, while others are creating tons of valuable content and effectively growing their audience. While blogging about anything and finding an audience for it may have worked in the early 2000s, it’s just not enough anymore. If people are going to find your blog without having found you some other way, you need to make sure it shows up in searches. That means all your blog posts need to have relevant keywords (both short tail and long-tail keywords), the proper length, backlinks, subheads, etc. Without optimization, your voice is just one among many and it’s going to get lost in the crowd.
Most content marketers have a variety of tools we use to make sure our content is as SEO friendly as possible, but many small business owners and solopreneurs I’ve talked to don’t even know where to start when it comes to researching keywords or hashtags, much less how to make sure their headlines are optimized or even that their blog post topics are relevant. Unless you have the time to devote to researching all the tricks of the trade, as well as the tools available and how to use them, your blog is going to be just more white noise.
Even if you do decide to try out some of the tools, while there are some that are available for free, many of the best ones require a monthly subscription. In that case, you’d be better off saving yourself the time and putting that money to better use with a content marketer who already has those tools in her arsenal and uses them regularly. Depending on their rates and how much content you want, you could easily end up spending less per month to have them create content for you than you would on all those subscriptions.
Thanks for reading! If you like what you see here, you can sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page to make sure you never miss an update. No spam, I promise. If you’re ready to ditch the DIY and level up your content, let’s chat.