Sunday, 11 November 2012

Writing a Blog - How to Guide

1. What is a Blog?

A blog is a journal or website which is available on the internet and contains links to other websites. The person who creates the blog is the 'blogger', when you update a blog you are 'blogging'. Individual blogs are called 'blog posts' or 'blog entries'. As a general rule, blogs are regularly updated. For the purpose of SEO, the more regularly updated the better.
2. Blog Title
Not only should your blog title be attention grabbing, it must be something which people will search for on Google. Therefore, don't make it too general, but neither should it be so specific that nobody will search for it.
For example, a wedding photographer offering tips on taking wedding photos should not call the blog 'Taking wedding photos' as this will be lost amongst the many thousands of other posts on this subject. Instead, perhaps, the photographer could choose titles like 'How to take wedding photos in the rain', or, 'How to take wedding photos in low light situations.' How to, or top tip guides will generally create lots of interest in the blogging world.

Try not to make the title too long. Google will only display the first 70 characters in its search results, so try to keep it short, sweet and attention grabbing.
3. How long should a blog post be?
Whilst there is no hard and fast rule as to blog length, it is generally accepted that 200-500 is the minimum acceptable length. Ideally, a blog should be between 500 to 1000 words. This will allow a level of detail which gives the reader an adequate amount of information, but does not overload them.
Of course, if you develop a blog following, you can write shorter or longer blogs as you know there is already an audience for them.
This is not to say that every one of your blogs must be at least 500 words. First and foremost, a blog should be written with the reader in mind, not the search engine. So, if you want to add a short blog which you know will be appreciated by your target audience, write it!
The length of a blog will of course vary depending on the content. Just bear in mind that for SEO purposes, there needs to be enough written content to optimise, as well as some images wherever possible.
At the end of the day, blogs are personal to you and your business, so, whilst we would suggest blogs of a certain length, it is of course entirely up to you. What is important and we cannot stress this enough, is that blogs are written regularly. This really is the key to blogging success.

4. How often should I update my blog?
In an ideal world, we would recommend writing at least one blog per week in order to retain audience interest and impact your search engine ranking. The more blogs you write, the more search engines such as Google will recognise your site. It also increases the chances of your audience sharing its content.
Once you start building up a following, you can finish a blog by notifying your readers of the date you will submit your next blog, which will encourage readers back to your site on a regular basis.
We do appreciate that writing a blog a week is not always achievable. You will need to establish a realistic work schedule which works for you.
A good idea is to get your employees involved. Ask them to contribute one blog a month if possible. This way, you will get varied blogs from a variety of perspectives. It also gives your team the chance to keep updated on latest industry developments and trends.

5. Blog content
Whilst blogs are a personal representation of you and your company, here are some tips on content which may increase the popularity and readership.
Think of a relevant keyword for your blog. A word or phrase which best describes the content of your blog should be used in the title, and repeated throughout the blog, including, importantly, in the first paragraph. Bear in mind however, that if the word is repeated too often, the blog will look over optimised. There are no strict rules about how many times your keyword should appear in your blog, although as a guideline, if you repeat the keyword every 100 words that would give you a 'keyword density' of 1%. Generally, a keyword density of between 1-5% is acceptable. Anything over 7% would appear to be too keyword rich and over optimised.
When writing your blog, beware of your target audience and write with them in mind. If, for example, you own a fancy dress shop, it stands to reason your blogs would have a fun theme. If you own an accountancy company, your blogs are more likely to be factual and informative. Always try to make your blogs relevant to your business. It is perfectly acceptable to write about your personal opinions, in fact, this is actively encouraged as this will make it stand out from the rest and will help you to establish a following.
As previously explained, informative blogs such as 'how to' or 'top tips' guides are always popular. Try to break down the content into number or bullet points to create an easy to read, more aesthetically pleasing piece. Readers prefer bite sized pieces of information over and above long paragraphs of text. Images are also beneficial in a blog. Anything to keep the reader's attention.
6. Linking in blogs
Whilst writing your blog, bear in mind relevant websites you can link to. You can also link to pages from your own website. For example, if you are an estate agent and you are writing a blog on buying a holiday home, perhaps provide a link to your holiday homes page on your site. You could then provide an external link to a relevant site. For example, perhaps linking to a site which offers holiday home mortgage advice. The possibilities are endless.
7. Spell Check and Proof Read
Obvious we know, but double check any blogs before submitting. It may potentially be the first time a reader has heard of your company, so creating a good impression is vital.
The best place to add the blog would be to the blog page on your site. It is after all, valuable content so why would you want it anywhere other than your site. If however, you don't have a website or you would rather set up a separate blogger account, you can do so, perhaps using the WordPress Blog Account or a Google Blogger Account, which you can then link back to your site. There are various blogging sites out there, so just make sure its relevant and respected before adding, but, as we always say, content is King, so your website should benefit from a blogs content over and above any other website.
If you need further help with writing blogs, call our helpful team on 01903 250454 for blogging, Search Engine Optimisation and more digital marketing services.
For further information on how blogs help with SEO, or for more Search Engine Optimisation help, contact us on our FREE SEO audit page,


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