By Julie Cave.
Be careful of anyone who suggests you should be writing blogs – and better yet, that they’ll do it for you.
There are many operators who assume that writing blogs is an easy way to help your business, but without any real benefit to you. Why? Because writing blogs is not about just writing blogs.
Blogging for marketing purposes
Once upon a time, a blog was a collection of musings and thoughts, almost like a journal or a diary. But blogging for business is different. Writing blogs for marketing purposes has evolved into something much more sophisticated. Now, people who understand blogging in a commercial and marketing context spend hours poring over industry websites for each client, in order to keep up with trending thoughts and new developments in each one’s field. Each and every blog post must contribute in some way towards positioning a client as an expert in their field, as the go-to resource for valuable, insightful information on their industry, and so careful research is done to ensure that each client is always on the cutting edge. As you can see, this is far removed from simple blogging.
Simply writing blogs without thought to strategy is useless
Writing blogs is part of a larger content marketing strategy, and someone who is trying to sell you blog-writing on it’s own doesn’t understand this. For this reason, you are unlikely to see any real results from the money that you pay them.
Content marketing includes blog writing, perhaps as one of it’s most essential components, but thinks beyond writing blogs. An experienced content marketer will not just write blogs, but will create a solid strategy with the potential of reaching out to a huge audience, with the goal of obtaining traffic to your website and then converting those visitors into customers. Simply writing blogs without any thought to the overall strategy will not achieve this.
A solid content strategy incorporates blogs, and they must be well-written as a minimum. But they should also be supplemented by different formats: video, infographics, slides, memes, gifs, jokes, testimonials and stories. All of these tell a story about your business that your audience is coming to enjoy.
All your social media posts are a form of content. Similarly, all your hard-copy marketing materials – from business cards to flyers to promotional packs to paid ads – all form part of your content, too.
Simply writing blogs cannot possibly incorporate any of these aspects of marketing without considering your overall strategy.
Blogging is dying; but articles are growing
Blogging is really the short, personal thoughts of someone, to which there is no barrier to entry. Search engines are quite aware of this, and that’s why they’re moving away from low-quality, mass-produced blogs to high quality, well-researched, thoughtful articles. They’re no longer interested in rambling thoughts, but more interested in quality, journalistic writing.
Although many people think that short is better because everyone is time-poor and have low attention spans, the truth is that people still love to read articles. People especially love to read long-form (2000 words) articles. Big business has already realised this, and are publishing quality, long-form content.
Of course, to write a high quality, well-researched article, you have to be able to write – or the person you hire must be able to write, and understand what high-quality content should look like.
Writing blogs with SEO in mind
Writing blogs without an understanding of SEO (search engine optimization) is a waste of everyone’s time. Every piece of content should be written with SEO in mind. While you want to focus on high quality and engaging content, you should also put emphasis on ensuring that target words are being searched through in-depth keyword research. This keyword research allows you to identify what people are looking for to find your products or services and to lead them to your website. Chances are that somebody offering simple blog writing will not understand SEO or the keyword research that is utilised in your overall strategy.
Writing that connects with your audience
The truth is that anyone can write a blog. Some people can write well. But what you really want is a writer than can connect emotionally with an audience through storytelling. Emotional connection is what will make somebody get off their couch and take action. In storytelling, you need certain components that harmonize with one another in order to compel people to action.
For example, imagine you sell a product: lunch. You sell a variety of products that people can eat for lunch. You know quite well there is lots of competition for lunch. Why would they choose your lunch over somebody else’s? Products are nice – but they lack depth. In fact, many brands have gone to adding human personalities into their merchandise just to attract audiences. Either that or they always include people in the mix.
Now you’re not just selling lunch. You’re selling a place where people can come, sit down, read a magazine, and receive friendly service and conversation in a beautiful setting. Lunch has become about more than just a meal – it’s an experience with people.
Does your content on your website and social media accounts reflect this? Or are they still stuck on selling lunch?
If all you’re doing is writing blogs, you’re already behind
Your content strategy should include:
- Live video
- Tweets and Retweets
- Facebook posts – all social media posts, in fact – and shares
- Comments (left on other people’s content)
- Web copy (from your home page to your contact form)
- Landing pages
- Product images and information
Can you capably take care of the above? Do you have the time to do so? Perhaps now you can see that digital marketing is far more sophisticated than simply writing blogs.