Where it began.
I loved to write as a child. I would write short stories and poems right into my very early twenties. I did it purely because I enjoyed it, which helped me express myself. Not many people got to read those early stories, but that wasn’t the point at all. I just needed an outlet, and for me, it was writing. I had this very romantic notation of growing up and being a novelist with hundreds of thousands of people across the globe reading my stories.
Life kicked in, though, and I grew up and started to take things a little more seriously, which unfortunately meant that I left writing behind me. I put the pen down, and it was well over a decade before I picked it up again, and the journey to where I am today began. In 2018 I responded to a call for women to write a chapter for a book all about the struggles they had been through, how they had coped, and how they had come through the other side. The idea was to be able to inspire and bring hope to others. I decided to apply to take part and was surprised when I was accepted. That was the start of everything. That was it, my love of writing was remembered and rekindled, and I haven’t looked back since.
I have now published eight books; some of them I have contributed a single chapter, some I have written myself entirely, and others I have bought groups of women together to share their stories.
But how does this link into blogging and my top tips for writing a compelling blog? I know you want me to get to the point and share the good stuff with you, but I felt it was vital for me to set the stage and show you a little where I came from.
My blogging journey.
I decided that I could share my journey and support others by writing a blog, so in 2019, I started doing that. Many of those early blogs are now nowhere to be seen as I’ve completely changed my focus and my website, but the important thing is that I learn the hard way what not to do. Here I’m going to share some of my tips to avoid the same pitfalls that I went through, first though a few facts to help you see why blogging is still incredibly relevant and can help you get your business noticed.
According to Worldometer, approximately 5 million new blogs are released every day (on WordPress alone). That is a staggering number, and while it might feel like you are up against much competition, it also shows you that blogging is still worth investing in. A survey conducted by hubspot.com showed that 56% of the participants had made purchases based on reading blogs – that is an incredible number and should help you see the value in blogging. Having an effective blog on your website is an invaluable tool for increasing your search rankings on platforms like Google, which ultimately means you become visible to your potential clients. Still, you have to have a good SEO strategy.
Getting it right.
Length – When I first started writing blogs, I was told to keep it short and sweet and aim for no more than 500 words as people don’t have time to read in-depth articles. The truth is that for your blog to be detailed, to contain data, to answer a question, you need to write much more than that. Always aim for at least 800 words but preferably over 1000.
Keywords and keyword phrases – These are things that people type into a search engine when they want to find information. That means that every blog you write should have a specific keyword and keyword phrase focus. It would help if you weaved these into your writing, they should appear more than once, but they should be in the natural flow of your text and not feel forced or out of context.
Images – Having a blog that contains images helps to break up the text and make it look more intriguing, don’t go overboard though, a couple of images is more than enough. Ensure that you optimise the file format and file size as you don’t want them to affect the speed of your website adversely. Always give images an ALT Text. This allows the picture to be described out loud by a screen reader that could be used by someone who is visually impaired.
Market your blog – It’s one thing to write your blog and upload it onto your website, but you need to remember to tell people that it exists and why they should go over and read it. This can be as simple as sharing it across your social media platforms.
Internal and external links – An internal link sends your reader to another part of your website, and you could be directing them to another blog, a way to contact you, or a link to purchase your product, that all depends on the kind of business that you run and the context of your blog. An external link will take someone away from your site; this could link to facts and figures that you have shared from other reliable sources or could be to a site like Amazon, where products can be purchased. Both are important to include where relevant. An internal link will keep people of your website for longer periods, and good quality external links will show search engines that you are doing your due diligence and that your content has authority.
So, now that you understand a few of the basics and some do’s and don’ts, it is time for you to head off, pick your first topic, and get writing your blog. If you’re stuck on how to find the time to fit it in, then you can check out a previous post of mine here for some tips, and if after that you still feel like you don’t have the time or the desire to write, but you know a blog would be great for your business then contact me to talk about how I could write your blogs for you.