It may be 2020, but blogging is as relevant as ever. In fact, it may be more relevant than ever. Blogging is actually a timeless activity because people are online to get content in the end. A blog must play a central role in your business activities, and it’s going to be the anchor to which all your social media accounts are connected.
The basic process, which has proven successful over and over again, has been to use a blog to post articles that are relevant to your business. Each post should focus on a specific, relevant keyword. This is going to help move your blog up with the search engines including Google and Bing. Second, you can use the blog to drive more traffic back and forth to your social media sites including Facebook and YouTube. All of your social media sites should drive traffic to your blog in turn. You are also going to use blog articles to get backlinks from a variety of sites.
Setting up a blog
The first thing that you should keep in mind when setting up a blog is that you should use your own domain name. Don’t use a blogging site like Blogger or WordPress.com. For one, having your own domain name helps keep things as professional as possible. A business that is using a free blog on Blogger doesn’t come across very well. Second, you don’t want to give some company control over your content. It happens all too often these days. Some company believes you’ve violated their terms of service for some obscure clause in their contract, and without warning, they shut down your account, ban you, and destroy all of your content. There is no telling when that can happen even if you are well behaved.
Why chance it? Pay the small amount to get a domain name so that you are the content and site owner so that nobody else can control it. If you already have a website, consider getting a new one for your blog.
The best way to blog is by using WordPress.org. We aren’t going to go into the details, that is a topic for a different treatment. WordPress is usually something that most hosting providers have ready for you to use. Once you’ve installed WordPress, the first thing that you’re going to want to do is choose a theme. While it comes with free themes that you can choose from, you are going to want to avoid those. The reason is that you can get free themes that have a cleaner appearance, are better for mobile, and that load faster. The last thing you are going to want with your blog is one that loads slowly. A good theme that you can get for free is schema. When you find schema online they are going to ask you to buy the paid version, but simply click the drop-down list that you see and select the free version.
It has a small link at the bottom right corner of your blog advertising that the blog uses the schema theme, but that is a small price to pay for a free theme that is going to help your blog look professional and load quickly. You are also going to want to install SEO tools that you can find. These will analyze your posts and make sure that you are following good SEO practices.
How to Post
The key to success in blogging is to post thorough and relevant content on a regular basis. You should try to post about three times per week. What you’re posting can be independent of your other social media activities, or it can occur in conjunction with them. One very effective technique to use is to post a YouTube video on some relevant topic, and then build a blog post around the video. That way, you can link from YouTube to your blog. Embedding your video in your blog post is going to link back from the blog to your YouTube channel. Not every post has to include a video. The important thing is to include a mixture of multimedia content which can include images and video. You can also include video from others if it is relevant. The most important thing with the blog is to get people interested enough that they come back to read more information later.
One of the things you’re going to want to set up on your blog is a group of categories. That way, every time you write a post, you can add it to a specific category. To use an example, let’s say that I had a dog training business. So, I could be posting on my blog about various topics related to dogs. Not everything would have to be about dog training specifically. So, you could have one category for dog training, a category for health, and a category for feeding the dog and exercising them. Categories help users find more relevant information about a specific topic. It’s the same process as creating a playlist on a YouTube channel.
Another thing it will do besides help users is it will help you by keeping users on your blog for longer time periods. The more engaged with your content users are, the more likely they are going to be paying customers.
One of the things that people often struggled with is what to write about. That is going to depend in some measure on what type of business you’re running. Let’s consider a couple of examples.
For the first example, I’m going to suppose that I have a Shopify store that sells men’s clothing. In that case, I could write a blog post about every single item in my catalog. A review of each product with a link back to the product page in the store so that people can immediately go and purchase can be a very effective online marketing method. So, just for an example, we could suppose that I am carrying a certain brand of tennis shoes in my store. I can write a blog post reviewing the shoes. As part of my set up on the blog, I could create a shoe category, where are all the shoes that I am carrying in the store would have their own review in a blog post.
From here, creating a YouTube video reviewing the shoes is a natural extension. Then in the description of the video, we could include a link directly to the product page in the store and also a link to the blog post. Now, once we’ve got that setup, we are ready to go. You can post an image of the shoes on Instagram. We can also take a link from the blog review and post that on the Facebook page. That way, we give our readers on Facebook a reason to go visit the blog. We could also run a short advertising campaign on Facebook to promote the post. This would help drive more likes for the Facebook page and also drive some extra traffic to the blog. Finally, we could either post the video on Twitter or post a tweet linking to the blog on Twitter. And in fact, we could do both, maybe spreading them out over a couple of days.
This type of posting and sharing can be used for any type of business. Let’s say that you were a veterinarian. The goal, in this case, might be to drive people in your local area to go to your clinic. But there are other possibilities; you might have a book that you’re selling about the health of cats and dogs. In any case, let’s look at how we could use our set up in order to get more people viewing our content.
The first step would be the same. You could write a blog post about a specific topic. Then, record a video about the same topic, and in the video, you might actually show people using a live animal to demonstrate whatever you are talking about such as spotting the symptoms of a specific condition. Then, you can post the video on YouTube, linking back to the blog post. Then, you can post a YouTube video and the blog post on your Facebook page. Maybe, this time, you run an ad on YouTube, which links back to the blog. On the blog post, you might have a signup form where people can get more information about your health guide for dogs and cats as an example.
You can also do things the other way around. For example, it’s very effective to start with the YouTube video. The YouTube video can then form the basis of all of your sites. Once you’ve made the video, you can work on an article around it. Of course, you would embed the video in the article. Then you can post either the article for the video on your Facebook page. The video can then be the basis for a tweet on Twitter. You could also use the video to create an advertisement on YouTube or Facebook. The ideas presented here are just to give you an introduction to the ways that we can integrate all of our platforms together.
No matter what type of business you are marketing, keywords are always essential to promoting the business. Keywords are also going to play an important role when it comes to building a successful blog. If you will recall when we discussed YouTube in other posts, we mentioned that it would be possible to create videos that address a topic that could be described by a specific long-tail keyword. This procedure is a natural fit to also creating a blog post that is connected to your YouTube video. So, you can do your research for both platforms at the same time, and then make sure that they are both connected to each other.
Google provides a free tool called the keyword planner. When you use this tool, you put in keyword phrases that you’re interested in. It will then give you the level of traffic on average for each keyword phrase. However, it doesn’t stop there. Google will also provide you with an extensive listing of related keywords. Depending on what you are researching, it can be quite an extensive list. You’re going to find a large number of words and phrases on the list that are suitable for generating articles and video topics. In many circumstances, it generates hundreds or even thousands of words and phrases. So, you may find that you never run out of ideas.
The process used here is to pick a keyword that is going to be the focal point of an article you’re going to create on your blog. The keyword should be used in a natural fashion in the title of your article. You will also want to use the same keyword 2 to 3 times inside the article. It should be used as a level 2 header in the article at least once. If the keyword is actually a phrase, you should use the phrase exactly as generated by Google. The only exception to this rule is it if it does not contain proper grammar, and so, it would sound unnatural if used as written. In that case, insert the appropriate words to turn it into something that sounds reasonable.
Otherwise, if the phrase sounds natural by itself, then use it as a written part of your title and a couple of times inside the article. It’s also good to use the same keyword on the other social media platforms. So you’ll use the keyword in a YouTube video by including it in the title and in a tag. You can also use it on your Facebook page when linking back to the blog or when posting the YouTube video on your Facebook page.
As your blog develops, you’re going to be getting traffic from a wide variety of sources. Some of the traffic is going to be generated by your own activities. However, as the content on your blog grows, you’re going to be getting a lot of random web traffic. You want to take advantage of this to help grow your presence on social media. In other words, just like we are going to be doing on Facebook and other platforms, you want to get your fans and users doing all the work for you. For that to happen, you need to make it easy for them. WordPress will give you the capability to have sharing buttons on all your blog posts. So, you want to make sure that there is the capacity to share a blog post on all the major platforms.
At the very least, make sure that users are able to click a button to share your blog post on Facebook or Twitter. This is part of the snowball effect that utilizes the power of social media. It will help grow your presence across all the platforms, and the best thing for you is that it’s going to be completely free of charge. Random people are going to stumble on your blog, and if they like the content, they’re going to share it on their Facebook pages without you having to spend a cent or put any other additional effort in.
Using Guerilla Marketing
Depending on how much effort you want to put in as far as time, you can use what they used to call guerilla marketing to help promote your blog. This is going to involve trying to get some backlinks to the blog and raise awareness of the type of content that you’re writing about. Let me say that it’s important to issue a warning. You never want to spam people, so make sure that it’s always relevant to include a link to an article on your blog before posting it. Also, you don’t want to always be posting your links on different websites or social media platforms. So, you want to take the time in order to simply post good information that people can use.
But, let’s look at how you might use a link back to your blog to generate traffic. In the first place, you can look to question and answer sites. This is a natural fit because we are assuming that you have already written some relevant content that is going to be useful for other people. So you can go on websites or platforms that people are using in order to answer their questions in a relevant fashion. Then you can refer them back to your blog article, suggesting that they can get more detailed information from the article.
This might sound like a lot of work, but remember that time is money. So, you can either put in a few minutes a day doing this type of relationship building, or you can choose to spend money to generate traffic. Of course, a lot of people will do some combination of both. You can also use the same method on social media platforms. On Facebook, you should join some Facebook groups that are relevant to the niche that your business is centered upon. Then make sure that you put some time in participating in the group offering valuable information. When you are doing this type of marketing, you don’t want to come across as someone who is only promoting themselves. Establish yourself as a valuable member of the community first. Then, you can post in the group when it’s relevant and include links back to your blog or to your YouTube channel as the case may be. In addition, you can include a link to your blog in tweets that you are posting in response to two other tweets on Twitter. But only do this if it’s directly relevant.
Blogging is one of the oldest forms of engagement on the Internet. However, it’s as relevant as ever, and as I tried to emphasize, it forms the anchor about which all the social media marketing activity that you engage in is tied together. So, for the best success in promoting your business, make sure that you include a blog as part of your plan.
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