Blogging is something many business owners know they should be doing, but often forget to get it done. Maybe it’s just low on your list of things to do, or perhaps you aren’t really sure why you should be blogging in the first place. With the incredible amount of information online, putting your voice out there can seem pointless or overwhelming.
The basic truth is that writing a regular blog can be one of the best things you can do for your business online. We’ll briefly offer a few reasons you should be writing a blog, and a few tips you can use to really utilize the Internet to gain a following, build your brand name, and convert readers.
The Benefits of a Blog
Blogging holds many potential benefits. You can drive traffic, build links, convert leads to clients, and do much more with a well-done blog. We’ll look at One Mind Dharma and how a push toward blogging in August 2017 has impacted search engine rankings, traffic, and business.
You can see that weekly traffic went from about 300 to over 5,000. This comes as a direct result of a blog-centric marketing push over these months. Although traffic is a great thing, what can a blog really do for you?
First, a blog can generate traffic. This is the first step in almost any marketing campaign online. You can’t drive engagement, convert leads, or capture emails without generating some traffic to your site. With strong blog posts and effective marketing, your blog can be one of the strongest methods of generating traffic. This can lead to an increase in brand awareness, trustworthiness, and perceived industry authority.
Great content will build substantial links to your site. Well-written content can build backlinks organically to your site, sometimes with much more efficiency than outreach campaigns. To the right, you can see One Mind Dharma’s rankings over the past few months for the term “Buddhist teachings.” Once in the lost pages of Google, it now is on the first page. This term has an estimated 2,300 searches a month according to the Keywords Explorer from trusted SEO tool Ahrefs.
When you publish strong pieces on your site, more people will come to your site. As more people come to your site, the chances of securing an organic backlink increases greatly. With good content and effective marketing, your blog posts can reach the right people and generate links to help your rankings without you having to make an “ask.”
A blog can be a wonderful place to capture leads. One Mind Dharma includes a call-to-action button to subscribe to new blog posts in every post. When people subscribe, they are also subscribing to the monthly newsletter. This form of email marketing is incredibly effective, and helps keep people engaged with the brand.
Creating Your Content
Recognizing the power of a blog, where do you start? First, it’s important to consider the goal of a piece of content. Some posts may be conversion-oriented, while others may serve to generate subscribers. Sometimes, you will need to write with the intention of simply keeping readers engaged and building brand authority. For more information on creating content, check out our post on 9 Proven Forms of Content You Should Be Creating.
Choosing a Topic
When you have an idea of what you hope to do, you can begin to consider topics for your post. There are many ways you can go about this. First, consider using keywords. You may want to target some of your posts at long-tail keywords, but keyword research can also help you understand what your users are looking for online.
By seeing what people are typing into search engines, you can understand what your users are looking for and offer it! You can use Google’s Keyword Planner tool, or a premium tool like SEMrush or Moz to look through search term data.
Next, you can look at what has been successful online. Many SEO tools offer content explorers, where you can see popular content on a specific subject. You can also scroll through your social media feeds to see what popular accounts are writing about. One of my favorite tools is Feedly. You can build a feed and follow topics related to your business to see what else is out there!
Finally, you can consider what your goal is of the post. A post aimed at capturing leads should have relevant call-to-actions, while a post generating links may be better off containing deeply useful information or tools. A great example of this second type is One Mind Dharma’s page Guided Meditation Scripts, which offers free scripts for guided meditations.
Enter your email and three keywords (or terms) below to see their monthly search volume!
Formatting Your Post
Before writing, come up with subheaders and points you would like to make. Come up with the outline of your post before you get to writing. Sometimes, when we begin writing, we lose track of our subject or main points, and a foundation can help us stay on track.
Next, don’t produce big, long, paragraphs. Keep them short, readable, and separated by topic/idea. In the same vein, try to use language that matches your post and readership. If you’re writing a post for beginners to a topic or as an introduction, don’t use big words or trade jargon. If you do, define or explain them.
Finally, place your call-to-actions well. If there’s a spot in the middle of your post where users may need help, include your email address or a contact button. Make space for these things as you’re writing, keeping them close in mind.
Consider adding different kinds of content to help keep your readers engaged. This may be an infographic, a podcast, a video, or something else. A change in content can give readers the opportunity to engage in a different way than reading, and help keep attention.
Take a look to the right at an infographic that went along with a post on One Mind Dharma’s blog about some benefits of meditation practice. The post covers research that has been done on meditation and mindfulness, and the associated infographic offers some of the information in a more palatable format.
You can also add videos, whether they are yours or somebody else’s. One Mind Dharma does this a lot, as can be seen on their page on concentrative meditation. Again, this multimedia content offers the reader a new way to interact, learn, or connect with your brand.
Bringing in the Readers
Once you’ve written a post, you don’t want it to just sit there. You want to get the readers to it, get the engagement going, and utilize your writing to get some traffic going! Here are a few things you can do.
Asking for Help
One thing you can do is ask for help. Maybe you have some friends, some industry professionals you know, or influencers with whom you’ve connected. Even if not, it doesn’t hurt to ask. We used a message with One Mind Dharma, messaging new followers on Twitter asking them to share the most recent post on the blog. The message generally looks something like this:
Hey There! I hope your day is going well. I just wanted to reach out and ask if you would consider sharing an interesting post we just published yesterday! It covers some of the benefits of meditation, with cited sources for each benefit listed. We also discuss the critiques of the research about mindfulness, and where there is room to grow. You can take a look at it at https://oneminddharma.com/benefits-of-meditation/?H90lH … and feel free to ask any questions. If there’s anything you have that we can help support or share, please let me know!
Note a few things here. First, we briefly explain the post we are sharing about, letting the person know why it may be useful to share. Next, we just go for the ask rather than wasting time. If you’re on Twitter, you know how annoying direct messages can be. Don’t waste time by BS’ing the other person. Finally, we offer to support the other person by sharing. Hold up your end of the bargain and build a relationship with the person!
We’ve been seeing a fair amount of shares on social media from doing this. You can see the screenshot of Twitter mentions above. These are users with decent followings, and we’re looking here at a few mentions of the post just within the last 24 hours. Below, you can see that this other post on One Mind Dharma has over 2,000 social shares and was published just at the beginning of October.
Sharing on Social Media
You also need to share about your post yourself on social media. Use the common social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. Create engaging images that drive traffic, and try a few different ones to see what actually works! Here’s an example of an image used for social media to drive traffic to a blog post.
When you do post to social media, don’t just leave it alone! Use a tool like Buffer to schedule out future posts, or even use their Power Post feature to schedule the post multiple times in the future. You don’t want to annoy people with this new post of yours, but make sure to share it a few times and keep it in the minds of your users!
You may also consider sharing it on places other than your own pages. Don’t overstep or get yourself banned, but try sharing your post in different Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, etc. You may also try sharing on sites like Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon, and other social bookmarking sites!
Another great way to drive traffic to your post is by utilizing internal linking. Link from other posts on your blog to your new post. You can see we posted an internal link above when we mentioned our post on creating content. This can help drive users from other pages on your site to your new page.
Internal linking is something that needs to be done with some care. You don’t want to overdo it. But when placed effectively, an internal link can do a few things. First, you will get traffic to other pages on your site and keep users engaging on your page. Second, internal links can help your SEO and rankings in search engines. This is an important thing to do, so make sure to include links in your posts to other pages on your site!
There are of course more ways to generate viewership, but we strongly recommend trying these methods to see where it gets you. You may investigate manual outreach to ask for links, requests to be included in newsletters and online papers, and paid promotions on social media.