I’m a relatively new addition to the Watermelon Web Works team, and when they asked me to create blogging content, I was a bit under prepared. I’d never published content for a high end development company before! But I realized it was time to put my expertise down on paper (so to speak), and translate the years of web design and development experience I’d acquired into a digestible form of discussion with the world at large. If I can deliver strong web content, surely I can write about it!
So by getting into this process, I realized I had better do a lot of research to make sure my WordPress blog posts are engaging, accessible, and informative, and they had better not be a rambling, incoherent mess. I needed to do some research. So I read over my favorite web development blogs, read blogs about the process of blogging, read blogs about topics I would eventually want to dive into myself, and along the way I tried to distill everything I was reading into a framework of sorts. I needed a typical outline to follow, an overarching theme to carry myself through the process. I didn’t want to get lost, and lose any readers in the process.
After doing some blog posts I decided to revisit this idea. How can I push myself to write even better content? What are the ingredients that make a good blog post a great blog post? What are the tricks, the techniques, that lead to truly valuable, engaging content for my readers? Additionally, how does great blog content really work to improve visitor engagement and foster better SEO health?
The Engagement Issue
Regular blog posting shows that you not only want your web site visitors to keep visiting your site, but you want to open a dialog each and every time they come back. Your site is relevant to your business, and by proxy, your blog content can prove this fact – you take the time to craft a compelling message to reveal your passion and your expertise in a vast sea of competitors and content. The following tips can assist you while you create this content, and turn your average visitor into a loyal reader.
Keep it Simple, and Keep it Specific
Your blog shouldn’t ramble on and on aimlessly. Pick a topic and stay the course. Include relevant sources to your topic of course, but make sure you’ve taken the time to distill any outside information into what it means to your business and your audience. They want to know your opinion, that’s what keeps them coming back to your blog. You’re the expert!
Keep it Short and Sweet
Blogging isn’t writing a term paper. It’s more like a news snippet. Your readers want the facts, and they want it crafted into bite sized chunks. You want to engage, but if you can’t keep it to the point, then you will inevitably lose some of your audience. Avoid the “wall of text” and stay on target, your readers will be all the happier for it.
Blogging isn’t a one way street. Consider opening up your posts to invite discussion in the form of a commenting system. If you’re loyal readers have the option to respond, they know you are listening, and in turn, they know you care about their personal relationship to your business. Of course, you will need to moderate discussion, which will take some time to adjust to if you currently aren’t that active with your users, but the benefits of engagement will outweigh the administrative efforts you may have to take on.
Tie-ins to Your Products
If you sell products, seminars, events, tickets, or everything in between, a blog post accompanying any new or discounted items shows that you’re listening to what your users want and you are giving it to them! It’s hard to be hands on with your audience through the web browser, so this is the equivalent of a sales pitch, without literally knocking on any doors.
Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words
Do not hesitate to create beautiful photos, infographics, or videos into your posts. Today’s visitors are accustomed to being treated to a wealth of visual stimuli – this should not be overlooked when you want to reach out with your latest post.
The SEO Question
The reasons why blogging helps your search engine presence might not be obvious at first glance, so let’s dive into the finer details of just why it matters to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and the like.
Regular Updates Translates as My Site is Current
New content is always desirable to search engines. Search engines want to show the most current information possible. Turns out, this is where blog posts really prove that you are serving up fresh content, and your rank and authority increases accordingly. Blogs also prove to search engines that your business is not only active, but that you are knowledgeable enough about your industry to deserve good rankings.
Your blogs should be filled with rich keyword content. It’s not necessarily a simple task to utilize choice keywords across your site – this is where your blog posts can pull some extra weight. Having a few blog posts with targeted keywords allows you to improve your ranking while simultaneously delivering new content. It’s a strategy that works on multiple levels.
Content Brings Traffic
This is a no-brainer: The more relevant, informative content you create, the more visitors you will attract, thus showing the search engines that you have an ever growing fan base. Your rank and authority will only improve with the increase in traffic.
Learning by Doing
I’ve only just begun my blogging efforts in earnest, and each time I draft a post, I learn something new, I recall something I’ve learned before, and I add to the ever growing fan base of my development team. I can personally attest to the transformative effect this has on me visualizing my career goals, and knowing this transformative effect ripples out through my professional projects and my colleagues proves its value on multiple levels. I’m fortunate to have a platform where I can share these techniques and tips to an ever growing audience, and I look forward to what my blogging future will bring. With any luck, it will be a holistic improvement of every aspect of my personal and professional career in an ever changing and challenging environment.
I hope my personal take on this subject helps you and your business understand what a valuable tool blogging can be for your business! I look forward to following the work that my clients bring to the blogging table. Cheers, and happy blogging!