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Who’s going to read my blog? Why would anyone read my blog? I post enough on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Do I even have time to blog? These are just a few of the many questions and considerations that took place in my head when deciding whether to implement a blog on my web site. If you can identify with any one of these questions, I understand.
In my experience, it’s not enough to get started, but you want to start right – with the best strategy possible.
Thoughts to Consider:
What is the purpose for my blog?
The key here is not just knowing what you are saying but also who you are talking to and why you are talking to that person or audience. This is important because if you lack focus when starting you will lack direction when moving; which means you will either hit and miss your target or both at any time.
Tip: If you are unsure of what your audience is expecting from you or what the value is that you offer…just ask! I always say, listen twice as much as you speak. Trust me, your audience will tell you.
Define your voice.
Because blogging is a part of social media it is important to make your content conversational. To achieve this, you must know what type of conversation you are engaging. Are you personal or professional? Are you inspirational or educational?
If you write personally, don’t be afraid to be transparent. Personal is what you define it to be. Focus on content that you are comfortable sharing.
Tip: If your voice is professional, remember to be personal – people connect with people. Also, it is awesome to educate but don’t forget to inspire.
Be visual. Pictures are worth 1,000 words!
Share your message with photos and videos. By using imagery, you can embed a push-pull strategy right within your content. No, this strategy does not just work for Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest, but it’s a great way to enhance your wording. Use imagery that will illustrate what you are sharing. Stock photos from Google™ are great or create your own by simply using your smartphone camera and editing apps.
Tip: I recommend Canva and Aviary by Adobe™ as great mobile applications for photo editing. In addition, one my favorite web-based editing sites is Pic Monkey. Also, use Pic Resize for quick photo resizing for those extra-large high-resolution photos that you struggle to load on your site.
Allow yourself space to elaborate.
Your blog is the place where you can offer something “deeper” than your other social media channels. You may express or illustrate a thought on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or even Facebook. However, with your blog you can express, illustrate and elaborate that thought. Give yourself time and space to be multi-dimensional.
Tip: Not everyone is skilled in conversational writing. Try speaking your entries using a recording device and then transcribe them. Yes, it may take more time and effort but the results will be rewarding. Also, don’t forget to edit! A resource such as Grammarly is excellent to use when writing and even has an app for Mac users which works right from your desktop. You can also install the app on Google Chrome.
Keep your blog alive!
Your blog should be a moving component to your brand or company. If your blog is included on your company or personal web site, you will want to make sure that it is consistently updated. No, you don’t have to blog every day or even every week. However, you want to make sure that your audience can see movement when visiting your web site. Having recognizable, updated content is a way to show that you are regularly engaged.
Tip: Never launch an empty blog! If you are just announcing your blog, make sure that people can view content when they visit for the first time.
Measure your movement by gauging the effectiveness of your engagement:
Give yourself time to see results and have a system of measurement for your engagement as well. Make sure you are using your other social media channels to pull traffic back to your blog. You can also use your blog to drive traffic to your other channels.
Google Analytics is one of the main tools that writers are using to measure their engagement. In addition, social media channels now have built in analytics as well. The use of all your analytics resources together will give you the best picture of your audience interaction. If you’re sharing blog marketing content on your other social media channels you will want to make sure you are including those engagement analytics in your measurement analysis.
Lastly, if you have the desire to grow and enhance your blog and are overwhelmed with the DIY approach, feel free to hire a consultant. Sometimes, just asking the right questions to get the right answers can give you the power start you need. Even if you consider yourself a blogging professional, there is nothing wrong with giving yourself an update from time to time!
Guest post for Charleston American Marketing Association