“A blog is only as interesting as the interest shown in others.”
It's Marketing Monday, and I can't think of a better topic, because so many of you are missing the point! I've written a lot about ideas to help you strengthen your blog as well as your website, but it's so important the two work together. It's your strongest marketing tool, and it deserves a few more reminders.
Your website is about what you sell, your specialty and your services, while an excellent blog gives you an opportunity to share your heart. Your blog gives you a chance to be helpful to your readers and supportive of your community. Here's a batch of tips to consider in establishing a more effective blog.
Continuity in Design: Look for ways to make your blog reflect some of the branding elements of your website. The logo should be the same; stay with the same color theme and look for simple design elements that can be shared on both your website and blog.
Consistency: If you're not going to post at least twice a week, then hold off on your blog. You're working to build readerships, followers and feed the search engines with new material. Posting now and then just isn't going to get you the momentum you need. In fact, a client visiting your blog and seeing the newest post was a month ago, might even think you're no longer actively in business.
Length of Posts: You can find an "expert" to pick any number you want, but for the most part everybody seems to agree that 200-400 words are plenty. You can go longer if you're making a point, using bullets and it's easy to read. Also, remember to always include an image or illustration with every post.
Stay on Topic: The theme of your blog should be helpful to your target audience, but remember to stay relevant to your readers. You can go off topic now and then, but not until you've established your reputation and brand.
Build a Stash: Every post doesn't have to be written fresh each time or be related to something you did earlier in the week. With the underlying theme of everything you post should be about "being helpful" it leaves you a lot of room to write posts in advance. For example, under the umbrella of being helpful, publish tips for better picture-taking, locations in the area beautiful for photographs, a calendar of community events or announcements of fund-raisers you might be involved in and profile features of key people in the community, etc.
Don't Respond to Trolls: Sooner or later you'll get somebody who feels entitled to take shots at you, criticize what you wrote about or attack you for taking up space in the universe. The bottom line, is don't bother to get in the confrontation. Don't take the bait. Trolls hide behind the anonymity of their computer screens and say things they'd never say to your face...so, hold back the urge to play defense and don't engage them!
A great website and blog work together to build your reputation and a stronger brand. Be helpful and generous with your time and work to build loyalty with your readers. Most important of all, be patient and work to produce good solid organic content.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.