Josh Shardlow Team : Web Production Tags : Corporate Blogging Tips & Tricks User Experience Featured

Things to consider when starting a blog

Josh Shardlow Team : Web Production Tags : Corporate Blogging Tips & Tricks User Experience Featured

So you’re on the Wiliam blog having a read? Maybe you’ve come for some tips on web design, usability, search engine optimisation, or perhaps something a little weirder?

But why are you really here, reading someone else’s opinions? How long are you likely to hang around and why aren’t you getting your information elsewhere?

Maybe it’s because blogging has become so prevalent. Everyone seems to be doing it. What’s interesting is that blogging has evolved from parents posting pictures of their kids and ranting nerds into a space of commercially-driven thought leadership for businesses seeking to promote their services and gain a competitive market advantage.

It seems simple, you’ve probably already made up your mind and have an idea in your head about how awesome your first blog post is going to be. But before you hit the keyboard, take a minute to consider a few other factors that may determine if your blog will flounder and become an endless time thief with little R.O.I. or prosper and become a lean, mean, lead-generating machine.

Avoid a 'bolt-on' job

Many blogs stand alone and apart from the main website. Integrating a blog seamlessly into your website benefits usability, giving users the ability to navigate to other parts of your site when they’re ready to engage further with your business. Many users may actually find your site via a specific blog post after a keyword search on particular topic. Now they’re here, you’ve earned their interest, built some trust and convinced them you know what you’re talking about. Don’t lose them because they can’t find out how to place an enquiry or discover what services you offer.

Instead of deploying a separate bolt-on blogging solution, ensure that any navigation elements of your main site also appear as part of your blog, link back to products and services on your main site and promote what you do best.

Keep it consistent

You’ve spent hours working out your logo, colour palettes and deciding  whether a serif or sans serif font best represents your corporate identity. It’s a big deal and you’re understandably proud of how your business represents itself.  

Now it's time to carry that identity across to your blog. Purchasing an 'off-the-shelf' blogging platform may initially seem like a less exspensive approach to take but it will look cheaper, unintegrated with your main site and this perception may ultimately cost you more in lost leads compared to the relatively small investment you should have made in building a fully integrated custom platform to begin with. 

Don't get lost

You’ve invested in a well-integrated blogging platform, ensured that your corporate identity is reflected in the look and feel and again, you’re thinking about that first post which will start a tsunami of leads and elevate you to an industry thought leader listed on every blog roll on the internet.

You’re ready to talk but who’s listening? Probably no one at first . . .You need to be found.

The internet’s a big place but there are ways to structure your blog posts that will help you stand out and attract the right people to your site.

To start with, use clear headings for each of your posts.  Being cryptic might be clever but it’s ineffective when it comes to search and enticing people to click on a post they believe is relevant to their search term. For example - a company selling socks might write a great blog on the best socks for Summer. The writer is about to publish the post, still giggling at his own pun-styled heading - “Why it socks to sweat”. At the last second, just before hitting publish, he has second thoughts and realises that a more appropriate heading would probably be “10 of the best socks to prevent sweaty feet this Summer”. Much better.

Furthermore, relying on the post headline alone is not enough to make your blog stand out. You’ll also need to be specific with your subject matter.

You’re an expert in your field and unless it relates to your industry, writing about The Real Housewives of Melbourne is not going to get people to your site. There’s hundreds of news and content related sites already doing that story. Competing with them for traffic on that content is a waste of your time. Be specific, know your niche and stick with it. You’ll attract better quality leads from people who are genuinely interested in your widgets as opposed to someone stumbling into your site looking for the latest pre-fabricated scandal from a group of Reality TV stars.