Sometimes, you can be so passionate about your business/products/hobbies that it’s hard to convey that passion through Twitter’s limiting 140 characters or Facebook’s requirement for short and engaging posts.
“There must be a better way to get our information across?” I hear you cry! Well, the answer is simple: blogging! Blogging is a great way to get as much information across as you want without limits. Want to write a 3000-word article? Go ahead! Want to include lots of different photos, embedded videos and links? Well, then blogging is the platform for you. But how do you decide which blog to use? Each platform offers different features and user friendliness.
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world. It’s easy to use and customise, a great route to go down if you are just starting out in the blogging world. WordPress offers two different platforms within itself: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The .com sites are hosted on the WordPress server whilst the .org sites are hosted on an external server. WordPress is free to use but it costs to upgrade or get more features.
Blogger is a little bit more advanced, but only slightly. Again, it is easy to navigate, post and it has a lot of integrated features to coincide with your Google Apps. However, if you want to customise your blog, Blogger is very HTML focused, which can be very complicated for a beginner. If you are experienced with HTML then you can do some very creative things with customising a Blogger blog. Blogger is free to use.
Tumblr is a more relaxed route to take, with a little customisation, easy following options and its great ‘reblog’ feature, similar to a ReTweet. However, the real selling point here is the Tumblr community; if you are writing for a specific genre or fan community it can get you huge popularity points. As it has younger audiences and users, it would be wise to use Tumblr to blog about its top trends; Sci-Fi and comics/heroes, fashion and beauty, film and television and animals. Lots of animals. Tumblr is free to use.
So once you’ve decided on your platform, you need to get your blog out there. Here are 5 easy tips to start you off with your blogging strategy.
Your blog should reflect your chosen content and your audience interests. For example, if you are writing about a product aimed at teenage girls, you will perhaps use more of a pastel colour palette and some fun fonts, like Shiny Magics’s layouts. If writing an accounting blog targeted at professionals, you would more likely use a neutral layout and default fonts. Research your audience and meet their expectations.
2) Link to your websites and social media
If you have the ability or funds, it could be an idea to ingrate your blog with your website to build content and further boost your SEO (search engine optimisation). If you are happy to run a separate blog, however, then make sure you provide links to your products/business in your content and provide clear links in your layout to your website and other social media platforms.
3) Show and tell
Images are vital in blogging, especially if you are blogging about something very visual, for example, food. Pictures help to break up text and add visual interest, so try to show what your subject does/looks like in the best way possible. Take note from bloggers like The Londoner, who use rich images that make your audience want to reach out and grab the screen to try the subject.
4) Research your keywords
A keyword is something that is typed into a search engine to bring you the results that we see every day. The websites that appear at the very top of your search engines are the websites that have the very best keyword strategies. To get your blog or website to the top, you need to do some serious keyword research. Use Google Keyword Planner to find keywords that may apply to your blog content. As basic search terms, such as the word ‘eyeliner’, can be extremely broad, try using questions or exact searches as people are more likely to Google to get the direct answer, e.g. ‘how to apply eyeliner’, ‘UK eyeliner reviews’. From this, you can get an idea about which keywords will drive more traffic to your site, including them in the title and inserting them to appear naturally within your content.
5) Listening and asking questions
Keep an eye on what other content your readers may be looking at and keep relevant. To help with this, let your readers interact with you. Allow for comments and feedback and respond to them quickly. Show your readers that you are on the ball and interested in what they have to say on your subject matter, this will build loyalty to your blog/brand.