I often get asked about blogging. Clients or other Freelancers read Chaos Killer and wonder if it’s something they should do themselves. But just because lots of people blog nowadays, should you be one of them?
The Benefits of Blogging:
- It’s a great way of sharing your knowledge and expertise
- It can drive traffic back to your website
- It can improve your SEO (search engine optimisation)
- You can build an online community
- It’s a way to promote offers
- It’s a great data capture tool
- You can link to other online profiles such as Twitter and LinkedIn
- It gives you/your company a personality and voice
Although there’s loads of benefits to blogging, your blog can also say things about you that aren’t as positive. If your blog is littered with spelling mistakes, the content isn’t very useful, it’s waffly or it;s just not well written then people are going to judge you on it.
A good blog should:
Have practical SEO titles – I used to write more obscure post titles but discovered that people find my articles if I just explain exactly what the post is about in the title. My two most popular posts are How to Become a Virtual Assistant, and The 5S Principles and both are read by people from all over the World every day because the titles are self-explanatory and are things someone would type into Google.
be easy to read – a blog post is best presented in small chunks. People have the attention span of a gnat so can find long sections of text hard going and become disinterested halfway through.
Contain useful content – if people find your articles useful they’ll come back for more. I read business blogs so I can learn new things therefore I assume people read my blog for the same reason.
Be updated regularly – this is quite a common problem (ahem!) so try to schedule writing your posts into your calendar as it’s easy to start seeing it as a chore. You might start off like a rocket but you don’t want to run out of steam. Keep a notebook or Word document with ideas for new posts and have a few articles written ahead if you can.
At first I wasn’t too sure what to say and who I was saying it to, but then I heard that you should write about things you wanted to know when you first started out. Using this advice I gradually found my own voice. Personally I’ve found that having a blog raises my profile and I can post videos or slideshows to explain my point more clearly.
It’s also worth mentioning that you shouldn’t assume that the information you’re imparting is obvious. It might be obvious to you, but people come from different industries and it may be completely new to them.
So if you’re thinking of starting a blog then my advice would be to make sure you have the time, write useful content, decide on who your blog is aimed at, what you’re going to write about and how often you’re going to be able to post. Then link it to your other online presences, promote it like mad, check your Google analytics to see what posts are popular then write more articles based on what people want.