Blogging is an excellent networking tool to help promote your business in a social media setting. Blogs allow you to inform your network of new trends in the industry, recently completed projects, new products, and sharing educational information. When posting blogs, it is important to follow best practices to maximize the reach of your information.
Consistency is Key
Before you begin drafting posts, you will want to decide on a timeline. Ask yourself these questions:
- How often will I post?
- Which days of the week will I post?
- What time of day will I post?
It is important to devise a schedule in order to create consistency for your readers. This schedule will not only keep you focused on your blog, but readers will know when to expect new content. Expectations are exciting for readers and, with interesting blog posts, they will look forward to each new article.
From an SEO standpoint, search engines give higher preference to websites that regularly update content. To maintain relevancy in search engines, sticking to a schedule will give you better ROI.
Set Realistic Goals
When creating your blog schedule, you will want to ensure it is, in fact, a schedule you can appropriately adhere to. Do not feel as though you will need to post every single day when you first begin your blog. If this is unrealistic, you will wind up stressing yourself out and abandoning your blog, which can have an adverse effect on your strategy.
Start off slow. If you can only post twice per week, that’s okay! Just make sure that you choose two days and a time, for example, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3PM. As you begin to get into a routine and you find that you have more time to set aside to post more often, add in days one at a time until you find a schedule that is comfortable.
There is no hard and fast rule about how often you need to post. However, a recent HubSpot assessment of its customers showed "Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 - 4 monthly posts." Clearly, the more often you can post quality content the better.
Use a Calendar
Whether you utilize a large desk calendar, a personal planner, or your email client calendar: you will want to write down your plan for blogging to keep you on task. Given the example, if you opt to post a new article every Tuesday at 3PM, then the post needs to be ready before that time.
Blogging platforms like Wordpress and HubSpot offer the beneficial feature of scheduling. This allows you to enter your content and schedule the date and time that it will go live. This feature is a great way to keep your posts on time no matter what the situation.
You may have a timeline of when the post will go live, but you will still need to set aside time within your schedule to write your posts. Remember, while pre-written posts are a great idea, do not go overboard. You want to keep your information current, so try preparing posts no more than one month in advance. Search engines reward fresh content, so keep your blog fresh!
Be Active & Engaging
It is important to realize that your blog posts cannot thrive on their own. If your brand is active on social media (and it should be!) be sure to leverage those communities by posting links to your blog when you update. This will help increase traffic to your blog and website. Additionally, you’ll want to remain active on the posts themselves. Visitors may comment to participate in the discussion or to ask questions and you will want to be responsive. Participate in the discussions. Answer questions and stay engaged and aware.
Quality AND Quantity
It goes without saying that your blog posts should feature quality content that will keep your readers interested as well as informed. That being said, the more quality articles you post, the better your SEO benefits.
There are no limitations to how many posts you can make, as long as you are smart about your content. You will also want to keep your audience in mind. Do you have visitors with email subscriptions for new blog posts? If so, you want to ensure that you are not overloading their inboxes with new posts. Be sure to find a balance that will work best for both you and your readers.
Know Your Reader
Consumers live in a fast-paced world. They require information to be quick and easy-to-read. Your blog posts should not be too long or the reader will quickly lose interest. Your readers' time is just as valuable (and finite) as yours, so it's not likely they'll want to spend 20 minutes or more reading a blog post unless it is extremely valuable.
Keep readers engaged using images and bullet points to get your message across. Additionally, your everyday content does not always need to be a certain word count. If you want to share a quick, one paragraph message, that can still be valuable. You could even begin a discussion amongst your visitors by asking questions or presenting information. In the case of content, quality trumps quantity.
For the sake of your business, blogging is an excellent way to keep in touch in an in-depth format with your customers. Above all else, you need to keep your business and schedule in mind when it comes to blogging. You have to do what is best for you in order to have a successful blog. Maintain a schedule that works well for your business and keep your content fresh and engaging. You will maximize your SEO benefits through blogging and increase traffic to your website.