Just Write Something
Do you have an issue with the term BLOG? Many people out there don’t even like saying it, much less doing it. It’s quite frankly an unattractive word. I don’t even use it on any of my own sites. I’ll refer to them as articles, news, or essays. The term blog is a truncation (that just means to shorten something) of the expression “web-log”. Luckily for us what it’s called isn’t as important as what it can do. It doesn’t matter what you call it. It’s really just the act of sharing information with text and maybe a few images.
“Over 409 million people view more than 21.0 billion pages each month.” –WordPress.com
Search engines read text. Blogs contain text. This is the number one reason to include some form of blogging on your company or personal website. People seek information with search engines and 73% of those searches take the user to a blog page that answers their question. Over 7 million “bloggers” were out there writing 86.4 blog posts every month as 2018 began, but the number of posts has been growing at a rate of at least 8% every month (those fancy numbers came from WordPress.com and Neislen Insights). Blogs have become ubiquitous and make up a large amount of internet traffic. WordPress.com also tells us that over 400 million users are viewing blogs every month. Blogs drive 23% of all web traffic. Companies that publish 16+ posts per month have on average 4.5x the amount of visitors through organic search than companies that don’t. Websites with over 20 blog posts are 82% more likely to rank in the top ten of an organic search than companies without blogs. According to blogging.org companies that blog receive a 126% increase in lead generation. Simply put, blog posts give people a reason to visit your site and a better chance for them to find it with a search engine. I promise I won’t throw anymore statistics at you.
Whenever I am developing a web platform for a client I will repeatedly tell them to give me copy. Get as much text together as possible. The majority of them never do, or at the very least it’s a very brief bio or a short about me page. The clients that do put together a couple of blog posts always end up with better search rankings and more traffic, just because they wrote something. With that said, It’s always better if you write something worth reading. Do some research (that doesn’t just mean go read some other blogs). Try and put a new spin on an old idea. Write about things that will attract users to your site. Write what you know. As a designer and artist I usually write about art and design (who would of thought that?). I want to attract clients that care about art and creativity, and that’s why you may notice how I keep using the word art. Keywords help the search engines know what you are writing about, but don’t overuse them in the manner I just did with art. This also applies to descriptions and alt tags on images. Blogs with images tend to get more viewers than those without. Everybody likes pictures.
- The Internet isn’t an English class- Have fun with this exciting new format. Have a conversation. Be entertaining or at the very least be interesting enough to keep your reader’s attention. You don’t need to be overly formal or stuffy. You can even do things like randomly have a heading followed by a bullet list of items related to your topic.
- Include relevant links- Search engines like links. I found one that will explain how that all works, I’ll just sneak it in right here. See how that works?
- Make your writing Scannable- The majority of people visiting a blog scan the page for the tidbit they are looking for. Don’t hide it from them, put it out there. Use heading, highlight things, make important words bold here and there. Be helpful.
- Use images to break up your content- I can’t overstate the importance of using images. People like images and they can help tell a story while adding some visual variety to text. They also can be tagged with keywords that can further attract search engine crawlers. Blogs with images get clicked more often than those without.
- Have a “Share” to social media button- Make it easy for a reader to advertise for you. One click convenience. I add this to the websites I build for clients, giving you yet another reason to hire me. You should also be posting your blogs on social media. The more places it is, the more likely it is to be seen,
- Have a clean layout- Go look at some blogs and get a feel for how yours should look. You want headings, good grammar, and paragraphs that don’t keep going for a whole page. Always remember that reader experience should always come first, and you want to look as professional as possible. Keep it neat!
The most important thing is to have fun with it. If you enjoy writing it, then your reader will enjoy reading it. Don’t overthink it to much, and don’t stress out about it, you can always edit later or write a better one once you have some practice. Pick a topic that your readers or customers will want to learn more about. Include keywords that users might use when looking for your website (but don’t overdo it, search engines can tell if you do). Find some images and include them. Link to other sites. Sharing your ideas with the world can be very satisfying while also helping your website get more clicks. Remember, if you don’t like the word blog, you can always call it a news feed or article. If all this advice doesn’t help and you still find yourself struggling to fill a page with words, there are always people like me out there willing to write some for you (for a reasonable fee, of course).