A company blog can sometimes be overlooked in favour of other marketing and content creation methods. Let’s face it, the idea of blogging at an individual and company level has now been around a long time and there’s been a convergence of blogs into newsrooms and other owned channels.
However, it’s important to understand the long-term reward in investing major effort into a blog. Here is a comprehensive guide detailing how you can boost your blog in 2020 and find new success.
Build foundations first
One of the very first goals we have when building our blog is creating content that caters to the audience we expect to attract. What are the natural questions we should answer? What do customers expect to learn from us? Are our brand values and tone of voice reflected in our content?
Though attracting wider audiences is important, it’s only possible if you first build a foundation of specific content. Only then will your blog captivate a core of readers and give you the chance to widen your scope, pushing beyond the base you’ve created. Here’s an example of how this process might look. Let’s say your company sells bread-makers online.
Your company blog would need to be built using articles related to all things bread machines: bread, different ingredients, different bread machines, the future outlook of breadmakers, etc. This would draw the right type of audience to your blog and offer helpful information to the readers. Once a loyal audience was attracted, you could target even more readers with blog pieces that are less directly about bread-makers: diverse food types, kitchen technology, international perspectives, etc.
Strengthen blog articles individually
Creating an interesting article is just as important as focusing on specific content. Often times blogs fail to attract positive attention because they don’t adhere to an effective outline. Though this takes a lot of practice and experience as a writer, it’s definitely possible to improve quickly with a few helpful hints. Here are some key ways to tighten up each article and improve the overall outlook of your blog.
1. Retain focus throughout
As you work through different sections of an article, it’s easy to lose focus of the main point or idea you’re trying to express. Each subtopic and section should all eventually work its way back to the main idea of the article. Here are some helpful details to remember in order to successfully pull this off. First, evaluate your subtopics within a broader perspective after creating them. Do they build toward the main focus? Next, check the content at the heart of each section. How well does it stay on topic with the main ideas you want to portray? Evaluate this and adjust accordingly.
2. Do your research
Before undertaking a topic, it’s best to do a good amount of detailed research. Even if you’re already very familiar with the subject, you might find some new and interesting perspectives. Take standard precautions when discovering new information. Be sure that a new idea or piece of data is verifiable in some way before putting it into your blog post. Consider also hyperlinking to this data source if it would further help your readers.
Furthermore, your research should extend further than details and information about the topic at hand. It should also involve finding out how others wrote about it, and where possible, how successful they were. It goes without saying that you don’t want to attempt to emulate an unsuccessful piece. Find the ones who do it well and see why they were so special.
3. Build an outline
Building an outline before digging into the heart of your post will give your piece a much better chance at being coherent and effective. It’s important to begin with the main parts of the piece. Jot down some ideas about what you’d like the main thrust of the post to entail. Select whichever makes the most sense and begin by creating a title that ties into it. If you’re struggling with subtopics, start by writing an introduction paragraph or even a closing paragraph. This sometimes helps get the juices flowing. Next, try writing some subtopics and see how well they flow together.
Also check to see how well they tie into the main idea and adjust them if necessary.
Evaluate your SEO
Certainly, writing a piece optimised for search engines is a process that takes place throughout drafting. However, there are a few extra tweaks you might be able to make to ensure your piece is best-suited to bring organic traffic to the company website. One thing to check is your title. The most important part of your title is that it’s catchy, creative and on-topic.
After that, you’ll want to check its length to see how it fits onto search engines – a good rule of thumb is to not exceed 60 characters. Also, it’s important that your title has particular keywords in it. Often overlooked, another thing you can do to boost the SEO of your piece is review the photographs used. Make sure the current pictures are professional and topical. Furthermore, make sure they’re titled correctly and have an accurate alt text.
Even though the alt text is only there for a select group of people, having the right description boosts overall SEO.
By investing team time in a planned schedule of well-researched, well-written content, your company blog can avoid being an afterthought and be recognised as one of your key channels for driving customer awareness and retention. Self-publishing quality content will not only command a loyal and growing audience, it will help raise your profile in search rankings and ensure you are synonymous with the keywords that matter.
Cory Schmidt, head of marketing at Canto