If only online marketing was merely a matter of listing products and services, slapping a few pretty pictures on the page and viola your website was done and dusted until the next overhaul in 10-years’ time. Unfortunately though, the reality is that if you don’t put regular effort into your site you might as well not have spent money on it in the first place. To rank on Google (or other search engines) you need to feed the machine regularly with new and interesting content - in other words you need to commit to blogging weekly.
On one hand, these days most people do their research online before committing to buying a product or service. This is particularly true for more expensive or investment items, such as computers or cars. If you aren’t online those potential customers are going to pass you by.
On the other, you need to ensure that your website is visible to the search engines and ranks accordingly. Search engines work by trawling for specific information and building an index that provides users with a ranked list of websites it deems relevant to a particular search. The more fresh pieces of information (ie blogs) you have on your site that match regular search terms the more likely you are to rank.
How to face your fears and blog anyway.
The thought of blogging can strike fear in the hearts of even the bravest business owner. “I don’t have anything to write,” is a standard response to calls for blogging. But that’s where you’re wrong, with the passion you already have for your business and the following blogging advice, you’ll be blogstar in no time.
The first piece of blogging advice you need to take to heart is to understand the audience you’re going to be writing for. When you get to know your potential customers, and identify with them as real people. You will then be able to take your readers on a journey by understanding their needs and crafting content to answer questions which they may have.
Ask your existing customers what they want to read.
Social media is a great place to canvas for opinions from your existing client base. Ask them what they would like to read about and use their frequently asked questions to tailor in-depth responses. When you begin writing, take a clear angle and make sure each paragraph supports your message.
Build a loyal community around your business.
Offer content that is specific to your readers. If you are a Johannesburg based health shop and restaurant, for example, think about the people in your city, what are they interested in and what do they like to do? Blogging advice 101 is to tailor ideas that will appeal specifically to your audience, such as eco-friendly events in the city, where to find the cheapest yoga classes, healthy recipes or whatever is relevant to your business. Consider creating campaigns that are relevant to certain events or times of year. For example healthy Christmas recipes around the festive season and detox advice in January.
Whatever you do, stay true to your own voice. You can follow the best blogging advice from here to Timbuktu, but without an authentic voice you’re not going to get very far. Blogs tend to be relaxed in comparison to other newsworthy pieces of content and it’s true to say people generally follow people rather than just a site. With that said, if you are working for a high-level corporate the tone will more than likely need to remain formal to fit your brand.
Choose a start-up marketing package to simplify your life.
Blogging advice is all for naught if you don’t have a high quality SEO optimised website that is compatible with mobile devices. Sage Online Tools offer customisable websites with e-commerce store capabilities and a blogging platform.
It also offers comprehensive start-up marketing packages that will ensure that all your blogging reaches the correct target audience through the addition of things such as keyword optimisation, Adwords campaigns and the addition of landing pages with calls to action that will help you to capture the contact details of potential customers for your database.
Feel free to try our free website and e-store trial to see how everything fits together.