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How to Start a Successful Blog

Having a blog is one of the most important pieces of your social media and online marketing strategy. A blog allows you to show current and future customers what you and your company are all about, and you can do so with a more relaxed and casual approach. While corporate websites are generally more formal and technical from a content standpoint, a blog allows you to express thoughts and share ideas on a wide variety of topics. A blog should be considered and included in the web design when developing your site.

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Why Should You Have A Blog?

One of the most important reasons to have a blog is to establish a reputation and credibility. A reputation for being an industry expert, knowledgeable and providing factual, relevant information. If you can establish this online reputation, you’ll earn the favour of the search engines and rank higher in search results.

Did you know that about 75% of clicks come from the first page of Google results? This graph shows the importance of being on that first page, most notably in the top position. According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 80,000 queries per second. That’s a lot of opportunities for you to position yourself in those rankings!

The more blog posts you write, the more content you will have available to share and that means more opportunities to appear in searches. When someone searches for something and your blog pops up in the results, there’s a high probability they will visit your website. If you’re strategic about what they see when they’re there, those visits could turn into leads which eventually turn into customers. Do you see where we’re going with this? Do you see how a blog can be a powerful tool?

Establish Your Strategy

While it can be a creative outlet to hammer out your thoughts on a particular topic and post to the blog, there needs to be some strategy behind it. Consider what people are searching for and capitalize on some keywords after doing a bit of research. Discover what terms are being searched the most and which ones relate to your business or industry. Use those words naturally throughout your article. We suggest, if possible, to include these keywords in the title, headings, sub-headings, first sentence, last paragraph and any anchor text (hyperlinked to other articles on your site). A word of warning: don’t stuff your article so full of keywords that it becomes difficult to read. Your readers will find this irritating and you will actually be penalized by Google. Keywords will help your ranking if you just include them naturally.

Consider what you would like your reader to do once they find you. Are you directing them to a related product on your website? Inviting them to complete a form to receive a free eBook? To fully leverage a blog, take some time to get strategic and consider ways you can optimize exposure for your company and turn visitors into customers! Discuss these ideas with your web development team so they can be best implemented.

Spread The Word

Once you’ve developed a plan for your blog and you have some quality content, you’ll want people to read it. A great way to share these posts is through your social channels. Hopefully, you have already established a base of loyal fans/customers/clients on these platforms, and sharing your latest post is a great way to increase traffic while offering up useful and valuable information. You can also ask people to subscribe and send these posts out in the form of a newsletter or eblast. By completing a subscribe form, they are giving you permission to contact them and you’re adhering to Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).

Tips For A Great Blog

What makes for a great blog? The best blogs focus on one specific topic or genre and are written by people that are passionate about the subject. Readers are drawn to a blog because they too are passionate about the topic. It’s hard to build dedicated followers if you are posting random musings covering a million different subjects (unless you’re completely hilarious in the process). The bonus to picking a topic that you really care about is the actual writing will flow naturally.

Readers love to feel a personal connection with the bloggers they follow. Be sure to inject some personality and authenticity in your posts. The best blogs have lots of interaction. Ask questions and encourage dialogue in the comments section. And, when someone leaves a comment on your posts, be sure to respond. Sharing your thoughts and communicating with people that share your life’s passion is one of the most rewarding reasons for having a blog. And you can generally learn a few things along the way too.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Blogs that use beautiful photography or illustrations are far more engaging than simple text. For example, reading about an amazing lasagna dish is great, but seeing the preparation and the final gooey delicious product makes the experience even better. And, seeing the blogger/chef in the kitchen making the lasagna builds an even stronger connection. Including imagery or video on your blog not only engages your audience, but improves your Google ranking. According to LinkedIn, a video will raise your conversion rate, on average, by 80% and is 1200% more likely to be shared on social media. Food for thought.

From a technical standpoint, be sure to put some time and energy into your web design and build a blog that has a pleasing layout and is easy to navigate for your visitors. An intuitive search function, easy to scroll through previous posts and simple social sharing and commenting abilities are a must. With today’s use of mobile devices, be sure your web development team uses responsive design for your blog to maximize user experience.

You’ll want to ensure your content is engaging for your readers. Entice the reader with insights of the entire article so they will read through to the conclusion. If they simply skim the first paragraph and leave, their visit will not rank by Google. The best way to guarantee an engaged reader is to provide well-written and informative posts. The old adage “quality versus quantity” certainly rings true. Keeping the content fresh is important. Who wants to visit a blog only to find the last post was from two years ago? If you love to write, that’s easy. But, for many of our clients, they don’t have the time or inclination to author their own blog. That’s where we can help. In addition to designing and launching some pretty cool blogs for clients like Outside The Cage, Checkers Cleaning Supply, California Closets, Harrison Pensa Personal Injury Law and atWork, we also provide creative copywriting services for many of our clients.

When we work with a new client, we always make it a top priority to get to know their business inside and out. Not only their business and industry, we also spend time getting to know the people and the corporate culture. When we do this, we are able to write for them and interact with their fan base in their own unique voice, focusing on their priorities and messaging. In a way, we become a member of their team. We have always fancied ourselves as a marketing department that can be hired to manage and develop a company’s brand and image. We’re there when you need us, and just as important – we can step back when you don’t.

We have our own ZOO Media Group blog and have witnessed firsthand the great results that are possible. It allows us to share insightful tips about marketing, branding, web design and things like trends in design and technology. This information is not only useful to our clients, but it also helps establish our own credibility with current and prospective clients. Our blog also attracts traffic to our website, providing better search ranking, more leads and more clients.

A blog is a wonderful way to strengthen and grow a brand’s reach. To learn more about our web development and blog content writing services, contact ZOO Media Group today!

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