That's not my job: 10 Ways to Get into a Blogging Mindset and Stay There
A business owner remarked to me recently, "Blogging? That's not my job!".
Back in the mid 90s when the Internet began to surface as a viable business tool, the rules for search were being written at a frantic pace; Google was some two-bit company that few had heard of; search engine giants Yahoo! and Alta Vista were king, and Netscape was the cool kid on the block. Getting your web site found in search engines was as simple as dropping in a few keywords and adhering to a handful of simple SEO rules.
The search engine landscape is a very different beast to the one we fell in love with back in the 90s. Yahoo! is no longer "The" kid on the block, and Google is now a household name that sits comfortably beside common vernacular (when was the last time someone said to you, "Yahoo! me"?). Dropping a few keywords somewhere into your web site code is not going to achieve much, and your web site is now competing in a sea of competition that's estimated to be tens of billions of web pages. Okay, I know that you're web site isn't in direct competition to all those pages but I do reckon you're "up against it" regardless of what you're selling.
Okay, vague history lesson over; the fact of the matter is this: to be indexed by Google and returned in the upper echelons of Google's search results, your web pages and the quality content within them, need to evolve. Web pages can not remain static. This little revelation is a tall order for most, and frankly most business operators don't have the time nor inclination to be rewriting their web pages every few weeks just to get the attention of the search engine lads down at Silicon Valley.
So this is where blogging comes in…
The team who work on Google's search algorithms do quite an amazing job. Their search algorithm updates this year alone will be remembered as some of the most poignant in recent years. What Google is trying to deliver is a system where you and I can gain regular access to high quality information by leaving the "rubbish" behind. One problem, however, is that sometimes the good stuff gets flushed out with the bath water. So a relatively simple way to reduce that possibility (i.e. to keep your otherwise informative web pages from slipping down the search results ladder) is to make your web site more visible; a way of saying to Google, "Hey! We're still here and we're still really relevant!".
Welcome to your new job task: Blog writer
If you're the business owner who touts, "Blogging: that's not my job!", here's 10 tasks to get you started (quick tip: #1 and #3 are your focus).
1. Make a short list of topics that you're passionate about; stuff you know and understand so well that you could talk ears off
2. Install a blog page on your own web site, not a 3rd party blogging web site. You want the neon sign above your own front door, not a rear entrance.
3. Every blog must start somewhere so just write. Stay on topic - but just write! Over time you'll get better at writing in a free-flowing, natural way. Also, it's not War and Peace. Keep it simple to start with until you gain your writing chops.
4. Remember that Twitter thing you heard about? Sign up and create an account. Then make a point of learning how to "Tweet" because the next step in your business blogging journey is "Tweeting" links to your blogs.
5. Subscribe to blogging sites such as copyblogger.com and fuelyourblogging.com and learn how the big guys do it. In time, your own blogging will become second nature. Perhaps the biggest challenge is finding new topics to write about. If you have an online store filled with wonderful widgets, then you'll never run out of things to write about, right?
6. Broadcast your blogs to your customer base, don't hide them away deep inside your web site. Create a high profile banner for your Home page that links to your blog page.
7. Blogs are not vehicles for telling your customers that you're closed this Sunday. That's not blogging. Nor is telling customers that your French clothing range is now available in red. By all means, tell customers this stuff but make it fun, make it compelling and turn it into a ripping story. You're blogging to attract an audience so give them something they'll love to read and want to come back to each week for more!
8. Remember, your passion for your products and services, and your business, must shine through your blogs - that's the main point and the reason why you choose topics that you're passionate about.
9. Don't be afraid of mixing it up occasionally too. If you want to tell the world how mad you are about your footy team getting flogged over the weekend, do it. The SEO benefits will follow, but stick to topics relevant to your business (a mix of 90% on topic/10% off, is what you should aim for).
10. Google indexing is caffeinated, which means your blog post could be indexed within hours - that's right, hours! Monitor your blog stats via Analytics.
Make that short list of topics you love, get writing and remember that your web site SEO depends on it - which is why blogging really is your job.
Don't Miss Anything
Get email updates when the next blog is posted.
Everything you need for online success