One of the most challenging aspects of writing a blog is getting people to actually read what you post. Of course, a high level of quality is essential for a blog to acquire a following, but even if someone appreciates what you’re posting, it can be difficult to be sure that you’re letting them know when you’ve posted something new.
The problem is that, quite often, bloggers will continue to generate content for those few who keep up with the blog without actively pursuing new readership. For a business blog especially, this is a huge missed opportunity. If you’re generating quality content, especially if it involves valuable instructions or advice, chances are someone will want to share that advice with someone else… and suddenly you have a large thriving readership!
But it all starts with getting people to read what you post.
As an avid follower of several blogs myself, here are a few of the ways I appreciate blogs keeping in touch (and yes, some of these are going to be pretty basic, please bear with me):
- Include links to any and all social media your blog is associated with. This means that, if you haven’t already, you’re going to have to join a few of those social media outlets (facebook and twitter at least). It’s a simply a necessity now-a-days to crafting your online presence.
- Post about your new posts (how redundant, I know) on those social media sites. This allows your followers to see a link to your new post where they already go regularly. This makes for effortless reading on their part, which makes for more readership on your part. (Just try to post a few things besides blog post announcements; you don’t want to seem too inactive.) Also, if people comment on your post posts, their friends (who may not even know your awesome blog exists) can see those links and perhaps they’ll check it out, too! Yay for expanding audiences!
- Find a way to enable a subscription option on your blog. I’m sure there’s something out there for every blog tool which will at least allow users to subscribe via email. Most of these simply send out your post in the email. How easy is that? However, you will probably encounter some readers who, for whatever reason, don’t like getting their blog updates in emails. Perhaps they subscribe to too many blogs, or maybe you post on your blog too often for it to be convenient. Chances are, these people have found a way to subscribe to your blog via some collective program such as:
- Google Reader (my personal favorite). While you can add any website or blog to this feed by typing in the URL in the right spot, there’s no reason you can’t make it a bit easier on them by adding a handy little button that can do it for them. Google even supplies it themselves: http://www.google.com/webmasters/add.html.
The trick to gathering a large readership is to make following your blog as effortless as possible. Let’s face it, most people are too busy, forgetful, or just plain lazy to keep up with your blog unless you let them know there’s something new. By proclaiming the existence of a new post far and wide and doing everything but clicking the link for them, you’re bound to increase your readership and generate more interest surrounding your blog. (Just don’t forget about the whole quality posts thing)
Writing content for your own website is one of the most under rated activities in website design and development. Most people spend hours working on the perfect design and getting it laid out properly. They spend hours finding the perfect hosting environment, the right domain name, and the perfect logo. Then, when it comes to writing the website content, they either don’t put any effort into it, or they simply put up their contact information and an under construction message. Below are some hints/methods to writing website content. The most important thing to remember is when using ProFusion Products you can always edit your content hourly, daily, weekly, etc. Using our content management system you are your own web master and control your own content. Thus you can put up your rough draft of the content today, then come back and edit it again a week later.
Website Content Requirements
Content is valuable for search engines only if it is also valuable for the end user. We consider a page to have valuable content when it meets three criteria. The content must be unique, related to the website, and finally overall volume of text. Without all three, your content will not be as important to search engines or your end user.
- Unique Content – This means you typed it specifically for this website. This is not a copy and paste of someone else’s work. Quoting a couple lines of someone else’s content is fine, as long as proper credit is given. However, even then you want to only do this when required, not just to fill space.
- Related to the Website – This seems very logical, but not everyone follows it. If your website sells posters, you could write on how posters are created, where the art work comes from, or most commonly on the individual posters themselves. You would not want to write about car reviews, just because a poster you sell has that car in it. While the two are related, they are not necessarily in the same relevance or use. The question you should ask yourself before writing content is “If I was telling a friend about my business, would I provide them this information.” If it is of value to a friend then it will be valuable for your clients and the search engines.
- Text Volume – Volume is important, we want to make sure each page is at minimum 500 words, but 750-1000 words is better. Some topics even require 5000+ word pages to cover all aspects. Often large topics could be divided into several smaller pages, but if you write on a large topic for a single page ensure it is clearly organized. However, volume created by just writing endless thoughts in an effort to reach the word total is not good either. I would much rather have a clear concise 600 word page, than a rambling 1200 word page.
Web Content Writing Suggestions
When I am facing the task of writing content for a website, I typically make a list of everything I eventually want to have on the website. Once i have that list I perform keyword research to find the best topics/words people are searching for. I can then compare the two, and create an order of importance for my writing that will allow me the most bang for buck/time spent. Another way to approach writing content is to think of a friend that wants to use your service/business. For example, if you owned a resort or vacation property in Hawaii, you would want to consider all the topics someone would be interested in when they go to the island. If that person was going to the island and the only information they would have when arrive is what is currently on your website, and 5 additional essays you had given them to read on the way to the island. Whatever information you would include in those 5 essays would be the most important content you should write first for the website.
Specifics Topic Examples
When you think about your website content, do not just assume people only want the facts related to your business. Often your business is in a niche market that you could write more information about. People often refer to these as white papers, well white papers can also be website content. If we use the previous example of a property owner in Hawaii. They could write a review of all the beaches on the island, both the tourist hot spots and the locals hidden gems. Perhaps they could use a rating scale that orders the beaches from 1-5 stars. They could include address, and directions to that location, along with a few comments and a photo. This type of page may not directly correlate to more business, but it may. The important thing is both the customers that use the property and others would find that page valuable. Once a page like that is built, I would expect people from all over the globe to link to that page as an authority on Hawaii Beaches. That single page could be one of the most valuable for your entire website for building traffic and interest. Summary Try to be creative and think about your industry as a whole, not just your specific business/website needs. The more you think outside the box the more value your clients and the search engines will find in the website