Blogging on a regular basis is a sure fire way to increase traffic to your website and generate new leads for your business. Here are my Do’s and Don’ts for writing posts that will convert visitors into customers.
The Difference Between Blogging and News
Blogging is evergreen content that’s going to be useful and valid for at least 12 months, whereas, news is disposable and has a short shelf life. Much like a newspaper, “news” about your business is dated after a day or so. News about your business is not a quality blog post and should therefore be categorized in a news or press release section of your website. News is usually short and should be shared via social media channels – it should not be posted on your company blog.
Examples of “news” topics:
- Holiday office hours
- Promotion of an event
- Hiring of a new staff member
Qualities Of A Great Blog Post
Unlike news, a good blog post is useful for a long time to come. Good blog posts educate, inform, and teach your target customer about your business, the services you provide, and the products you sell.
For example, if you’re an attorney who offers LLC formation services, a good blog post to support and promote that service would be “Why You Should Form An LLC (And Risks If You Don’t).” Another good idea would be a case study of an actual client you helped to form an LLC and how it saved them from a potential lawsuit.
I try to make sure all of my blog posts include the following qualities:
- Longer is better: 300-500 words in length at a minimum. Blog posts should be meaty and thoroughly explain your point, using examples. 100 words is not a blog post – it’s thin content and should be put on your Facebook page or sent in a newsletter. Longer content of 700-1,000 words or more usually ranks better, attracts more links, and is shared more often.
- Evergreen Content. Your blog posts should be relevant for a long time, at least 6-12 months. And whereas news becomes obsolete over time, blog posts don’t. Instead of deleting a blog post, you might consider updating it with more current information.
- Unique Content. No matter what you write about, it’s got to be unique. Don’t copy and paste someone else’s content – it usually won’t outrank the original content. It’s ok to copy an excerpt from another website if you’re commenting on it, but make sure what you write is 100% unique.
- Educate, Inform, and Teach. In this post, I’m showing you how to write a great blog post. I’m providing examples from work I’ve done, so you can be successful. When this post is done, not only will people find it searching in Google, but I’ll refer my clients to it, so they and their employees can become better writers. Give of yourself and be a teacher – that’s how you become known and separate yourself as an authority.
- Use Images, Videos, Links. A picture’s still worth a 1,000 words and a good video is worth even more. Use links throughout your blog post to cite examples and backup your claims.
- Speak To Your Potential Customer. Whenever I blog, I try to write as if I were speaking directly with you, as my customer. I aim for a friendly tone and try to consider the questions you might be thinking about as you read. My goal is to build trust with you, so that you’ll spend time on my site or perhaps call or email for additional advice. Of course, I’d love for you to become a client, but first you’ve got to trust the advice I’m sharing with you.
- Be Yourself. Lastly, mix in humor and write in a style that’s your own. You’ll connect and build relationships with the right people.
What To Blog About
I’ve saved the best for last! Now that you have a better understanding of what makes a great blog post, what should you write about?
Well, first, I’ll tell you what NOT to write about:
- List posts. “7 Qualities Of A Great Blog Post” is good for traffic, but it’s probably not going to convert visitors into customers. Blog posts featuring “lists” can be popular in social media, but they’re usually sought out by DIYers who won’t wind up being a paying customer.
- “How To” Posts. Think about it: If you Google, “How to form an LLC,” you’re probably looking to do it yourself. Don’t waste your time writing “How To” posts. I know this might seem contradictory to what I said above about “Educate, Inform, Teach” but the problem is that the INTENT of the Google searcher looking for “How To” information is usually to do it themselves. I’ve got “How To” posts on my site, but I do try to limit them – they usually don’t convert visitors into new clients.
Now, let’s cover what TO write about:
- FAQ. With every new client I take on, I tell them and their employees: As you’re going about your work day and interacting with customers, keep a running list of the big questions they ask you. Write them down – they are all potential topics for quality blog posts. I’m not talking about simple things you can answer with a sentence; if it’s a meaty question you can write 500 words about, it’s going to make a great blog post. You might even consider getting your staff together once a week or once a month and having everyone submit their topics. Then choose the best ones, write them up, and publish them to your site. Chances are, if one customer is asking you, others are asking to, and they are probably using Google to find the answer. Let them find you! Example: A common question I get from local businesses is how to rank better in cities you serve, so I made a video and wrote up a blog post to address it.
- Case Studies. Real case studies of how your product or service helped someone are excellent ways to build trust with new prospects with similar problems. Case studies that document work you’ve done or services you can provide are also nice proof that you are competent and experienced in your field. Example: After we completed the website for an insurance agent, I wrote it up, so other insurance agents could find it in Google.
If you need help or have questions about what to write about and how to generate more leads, give me a call at 503-890-6663 or fill out the contact form.