Writing a blog is an important part of any Social Media strategy and in particular a content marketing strategy. Some ideas to get going with blogs…..

What is a blog?
A blog is a personal commentary, opinion or helpful piece of text.  Blogs can be a personalBlog diary but if you are writing a blog for business, you should always consider the ‘so what’.  How is your blog adding value to others?  A blog can be a great way of showing the personality of the business – the Marriott blog does exactly this – showing the life of the founder of the hotel business as he travels the world.

Why blog?
A great way of showing your credibility and knowledge by creating original content, a blog can reach out to a wider audience than your customers.  You can help your search engine optimisation by using keywords.  A blog will increase visitors to a website and ultimately add to your bottom line.

How do you start a blog?
You can start a blog for free at wordpress.com or Blogger or Tumblr.  Using the free versions of wordpress.com and Blogger are a great way to get started, but the visitor analytics tools are limited, you may get ads displayed on your blog and you are not in control – you could be closed down for no apparent reason.  Tumblr has a strong community of bloggers particularly amongst the younger age group.  Blogs on Tumblr tend to be shorter and more image based.  There is no ability to comment on Tumblr blogs, but your blog can be reposted.

Using one of these tools is a good way to get going with blogs, but I would always recommend that ultimately a business either buy a domain name if using wordpress.com or host the blog on the business website.  Buying the domain name is a good alternative if you don’t have a website.  If you host the blog on your website, you will be increasing visitors to your site and keep them on your site.  You will also benefit from the fact that search engines like websites that change frequently – updating your blog will be a change to the website.

When should I write a blog?
ClockIf you are going to start a blog, you should aim to update it regularly. Twice a week is ideal, but more realistically aim for once a week. This isn’t so hard if you write down a number of subjects you can blog about and set aside an hour a week at the same time, to write it.

What should I blog about?
The best way to come up with subject areas is to write down any questions that you are asked about your business, products or services by anybody you meet while networking, talking to customers, or answering the phone.

Include original, copyright free or paid images in your blog.  This will break up the text and make it easier to read.

Finally, make sure you think about keywords when you are writing the blog.  What words would somebody type into a search engine to find the article you are writing about? Include these words in the title of your blog as well as a couple of times in your content.

Time to get going with your blog
So time to get going.  It often is a case of jumping in there and getting started and making writing a blog part of your weekly life.  Let me know if you need any help deciding which blog software to use, setting your blog up or finding inspiration!

Over to you
So what is holding you back from writing a blog or what success have you found from your blog?  Do let me know.