Anyone who knows anything about the web will tell you that content is king. So you’ve started a blog on your company’s website, now what? Well, there are a lot of things you need to keep in mind in order to attract an audience and keep them there. Well, you’ve got this far haven’t you?
Firstly, what does your blog aim to do? Most likely:
- Attract a certain audience – Which is great, once you know who they are.
- Rank highly in Google and other search engines – Your goal may not be to grow your blog into a worldwide sensation on its own two feet, but its content will help rank your website as a whole.
- Be informative – If you’re providing a service or selling a particular product that lends itself to a lot of questions, give your users the information they’re looking for.
- Covert your reader into taking action – Whether it is buying a product, encourage them to take a free trial or sign up to a mailing list, your end goal is most likely to influence your audience to take action.
What should an individual blog post do?
While a blog post is supposed to help with these goals, it may not necessarily do all of them in one go. Often blogs are written for strong SEO purposes, utilising inbound and outbound links to help your site climb up the search engine ladder. Generally speaking, a good blog post will do at least two of these things.
For example, if I were searching online for which hair straighteners to buy (a very plausible search), I’d want to know what people thought of them. Will my hair be curly again in five minutes time? Will I burn my house down because the entire length of the tong feels like its on fire?
Inside a blog post in this case, there would be maybe two or three recommendations to help me narrow down my search. Mission accomplished. The writer has pulled me in with their knowledge and reviews, and I’m now being guided in the right direction: to take action.
To inform, entertain or to encourage sharing?
Your blog post can do many things. It may touch upon each of these, informing your audience on a topic they may already be aware of but need more information on, or even encourage them into buying something they didn’t know they needed. They might be looking round your website with a bunch of questions in their head that they are too afraid to ring and ask, or they may come across your blog and realise ‘wait, I never knew that…’
The latter encourages social sharing. Before you know it, your audience could be discussing your blog in a similar circle of readers. By offering readers something that is both different and unique, their interest is sparked into discussing the topic further. In creating content that is designed to be shared, referenced and linked to, you’ll be feeding search engines all the right things to raise your rank.
Knowing what your blog needs to do
Generating ideas becomes far easier when you’ve got a grip on what you’re trying to do. Who is your blog speaking to? What are you trying to get them to do? Share your content? Be informed? Be persuaded into buying something? These factors can cross over of course. But knuckling them down is important.
In terms of idea generation, you need to question what already exists in your field. Are there any poorly answered or unanswered questions? What is your audience searching for online? What are they wanting to know?
Implementing these factors into the perfect company blog
Before jumping straight in, make some notes. Answer questions such as:
What should it be called? Is ‘blog’ the right term? Journal? Or even news?
What is your main aim? To inform readers? To gain shares and encourage discussion? To answer questions?