How to Develop a Blog
The third step in Building a Profitable Website is Blog Development. First, you defined your unique value proposition, and then you optimized your landing pages. Now it’s time to throw out the nets and reel in the fish. This article goes into great detail on How to Develop a Blog that reaches untapped markets.
To do it right is an investment of time and effort, but the rewards are worth it.
What is a Blog and Why Do I Need One?
A blog is not a daily diary where you spend a few moments sharing your thoughts and ideas with your audience. That is why you have social media. No, a blog is where you publish in-depth content that informs your readers about your industry.
You develop a blog to accomplish two primary purposes.
- Establish yourself as an authority in your field.
- Find previously unknown leads through long-tail keywords.
As a bonus, when you develop a blog, you increase your Google rank, but I will address that later.
Develop a Blog to Establish Credibility
Personally, I don’t want to hire a contractor to pour my new driveway if he can’t talk intelligently about concrete. In fact, I don’t want to hire any professional that knows less than I do about their own industry.
Blog posts should go in-depth about a topic related to your field and demonstrate your expertise. It shouldn’t be a sales page. That is what your landing pages are designed to do. Instead, think of your articles as a resource library for your clients.
To illustrate what I mean, let’s look at my blog posts. This post is my third article in this series on How to Build a Profitable Website. Each one goes into what I consider the basics of SEO and content marketing. To me, it is fundamental knowledge. However, to a layperson, all of this is new and probably confusing.
I haven’t given away any trade secrets. In fact, everything I explain is found in multiple places across the web. The difference is that I took the time to condense it, and I can speak from experience as to whether or not it works.
Break Down Your Content
Another thing you need to do is break down your information into its simplest form without talking down to your reader. They are intelligent, just not versed in your subject. In the bulk of my content, I try to avoid complicated explanations. Nobody reading this “beginner article” wants to hear about Structured Data Markup, but they do want more than “a blog helps you connect with people.”
Use your blog to explore different topics related to your business and your products. Don’t be afraid to go off on a rabbit trail. As long as you can make a logical connection back to one of your landing pages, then go for it. The more topics you write about, the more likely it is that your blog will accomplish its second purpose.
Find Niche Markets with Blog Posts
If you read my article on Landing Page Optimization, you will remember that I talked about keywords. Blog posts naturally incorporate longer keyword phrases. They also create word associations that are not normal. Suppose you raise rabbits. Right away you are thinking, “pets.” I need to market to people wanting a pet rabbit.
What about gardeners? Worm Farmers? Spinners? Weavers? Cooks? Nursing Homes? Preschools? Photographers?
Normally, Google would never associate someone searching for fish bait with pet rabbits. I promise you that it takes a special person to put those two together. The best way to recycle rabbit droppings is to place a tub of earthworms and dirt under the cage. The worms do their thing and generate a lot of excellent garden soil. The worms multiply, and there is a market for them.
A blog post can explain all of that in detail. Then, when someone searches for worms they just might find your article and decide they need to buy a rabbit. I’m pretty sure fishermen were not high on your list of primary targets. Blogs help you ferret out these untapped client pools.
All you have to do is write about what you know. Make sure the information is organized and accurate. Include statistics, facts, and sources where it is appropriate. Pick a keyword for each article that is specific to that content, BUT you need to make sure you tie it back to your website with hyperlinks and related phrases.
What is a Hyperlink?
A hyperlink is nothing more than a clickable link to another part of your website or an outside source. Links help your readers navigate your site and find more information on the specific topics they are most interested in reading. Do not link to a competing website. Outside links should be to data repositories or globally recognized sources of information (such as Google’s blog).
How to Develop a Blog that Increases Rank
I’ve detailed what a blog is and what it should accomplish. However, you might remember that I alluded to the fact that a good blog can increase your rank in Google. Last year, Google changed its algorithm to look for websites with relevant, in-depth content. Think about it. Google is in the business of search results. If I am looking for pet sitters and they return babysitters, I’m going to be a bit peeved and probably head over to Bing.
The more content that you have on your site, the easier it is for Google to figure out what you offer. That makes you relevant and a “good match” for their clients. Therefore, you will move up in rank.
There are a few rules you have to follow to make your blog work for you.
- Never plagiarize! Your website will disappear into a void from which there is no return. You can paraphrase, summarize, and quote. Cite your sources, and everything will be fine. Just don’t take credit for another person’s content.
- Link your articles together in a logical way. The associations must make sense.
- Optimize your blog posts the same way you would a landing page. Use the Yoast Plugin to fix any SEO problems before publishing.
- Write good meta descriptions. They don’t help with ranking, but they help drive traffic.
How to Develop a Blog on a WordPress Site – Step by Step
- You need a blog page where summaries of all your blog posts will show. Create a page called “blog” or some other title and leave the content blank. Publish it.
- In Your Dashboard, go to Appearance – Themes – Customize – Static Front Page and select your “Blog” page for posts.
- Add a new post using the “posts” option in the WP dashboard.
- Type your content directly into the visual editor or cut and paste your text from another program. If you cut and paste, do so in the “Text” tab so that you don’t accidentally bring a bunch of odd formatting code with it. Move back to the visual editor and add headings, formatting, images, and links.
- Once you have it the way you want and Yoast says your SEO is good, then you publish.
Additional Tips for Writing a Good Blog Post
- Make sure you add a featured image to your posts. This image is what shows when people share your article or you promote it on social media.
- Run your content through Grammarly. They offer a free account and are the best grammar editor out there.
- Make sure someone other than yourself proofreads your work.
- When writing on the web, try to use 1st and 2nd person (I and you). However, lean more towards “you.” Talk directly to the reader.
- Keep sentences short (under 20 words) and use action verbs.
- Avoid adverbs like very, really, or generally.
- Avoid long lists within a paragraph. Instead, use bullet points.
- Use the Hemingway App to determine reading level. Try to get as close to 6th grade as you can.
Learn More About How to Develop a Blog
There are lots of companies out there that offer to help with blog development. What you want is one that can write the SEO content and then make it a part of your overall marketing strategy. KDGS Works, in Overland Park KS, helps local businesses improve their SEO through content development. Call and receive a Free Website Analysis and Consultation.
For more information on SEO content strategies or how online and offline channels can work together, get a copy of our newsletter.