One of the most common things we’ve noticed when working on our Budget SEO Package client’s websites, is their reluctance to update the blog section of the site. This is unfortunate as when a blog is regularly updated with new content it can easily delivers as many visitors as the web pages it supports, and often the visitors are more engaged and eager to learn more about the products and services.
There are a number of reasons why people don’t regularly update the blog, mostly I think related to the time (or perceived time) available, but with a little planning it’s generally quite feasible to develop a schedule that will keep the blog updated with new content and allow you to do everything else you need to do.
So I thought it might be useful to outline some pointers on how this can be achieved and so I have separated it out into the 5 simple steps below.
Step 1: Develop a strategy to add content
This one needs you to set a little time aside and think about what you’re going to publish on the blog. There are a few questions to ask yourself and things to consider at the outset. Things like:
- What’s the aim of the blog, is it to inform people, educate them or sell to them? You need to work out what this out early on.
- Realistically just how much time will you have? Or to put this question another way, how much time can I extract from other activities to work on the blog? (chances are you’ll need to do this).
- Can I bring in stakeholders/third parties to help curate the content? If I do will this impact the business? This means thinking about outsourcing the content or some of the content to other people or organisations. This could be staff members, suppliers or producers, paid writers, unpaid writers with bio or even your customers. You’ll need to think through all the pros and cons of these approaches.
Step 2: Producing the blog content
Once you’ve worked through Step 1 above it’s time to consider Step 2, and that is the actual business of producing the content for the blog.
The big problem is creating new blog content takes a lot of time and effort and it can easily turn into one of those jobs that never gets done, so you need to try and make it as straightforward as possible.
In my experience the best way to do this is to first sketch out a few ideas that you can use as a starting point. This can be done in a word doc, the blogging editor or even a paper notebook. I mostly use a Google Doc as it saves as you go and can be opened from anywhere.
Doing this is valuable because it is a very quick way to create a framework and you can use this framework to put the post together in the shortest possible time. Now all you need to do is write up the post into its complete form all ready for publishing.
Step 3: Do the final edits and then Publish
This is really the easy bit, but in a way the most important.
Depending where you’ve done the initial crafting of the post it’s now time to drop it into your blog’s editor. Then do the final edits and changes as needed, add the headings, includes any images and finally add the meta tags.
Now you just need to read it through slowly to find any spelling or grammar errors. If there’s someone else that can read it through as well it’s never a bad idea as two pairs of eyes are always better than one in this situation.
Once you’re ready click the publish button and view the live page to see how it looks. Read through it again and check for any issues before moving on.
Step 4: Promote and market the blog post
People often publish the post and never consider there is much more they can do to promote it. Actually there is an awful lot of things you can do to get the message out there about the post.
First thing is to post and tweet about it on the social media sites. This should bring a few visitors to the page and can also help it get noticed by the search engines.
If you have an email list you post to make sure and let them know about the post. And finally don’t forget to tell everyone you can offline about the post and encourage them to read it.
Step 5: Think for the long term
For some reason people seem to think they only need to post updates when the blog is new and that that will be enough to keep the marketing going. Obviously this doesn’t work. Visitors soon get tired of the same content and will stop coming back.
The answer is you need to think for the long term and have regular updates of posting new content on the blog. How often? It depends on how much time you have, the need etc, but the main thing here is posting at regular times so once a week, once a month or every two months is much better than say publishing four posts and then leaving it for a year.