Adding a blog to your company’s website is an excellent way to improve your search engine optimization (SEO). When you publish compelling content on the web, more people are likely to find your website through keyword searches. Creating a blog is also a great way to establish brand credibility and engage with your target audience. By reading this guide, you can learn how to create an effective blog for your company.
What Is a Blog?
A blog is a website, or part of a website, that focuses on written content. It is made up of articles called blog posts. Back in the early days of the internet, people used blogs as public diaries, often writing about their lives. Now that content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) have become more prevalent, more brands are hopping on the blogging bandwagon — and for good reason. Within your blog, you can share content that directly pertains to your target audience, which can help you get more website traffic.
Many brands use blog posts to improve their SEO. That’s because when you write about topics your target audience is interested in, they may find your blog through a search engine, like Google. This is especially true if you properly format your blog posts with meta descriptions, title tags, keywords, and headers.
Brands also use blogs to establish trust and credibility. When you share research-based content on your website, users are more likely to trust what your brand has to say. The key to a successful blog is finding ways to answer your target audience’s more frequently asked questions. Of course, tools like Answer The Public can help you figure out exactly which questions they are asking.
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How to Create a Blog
When adding a blog to your brand’s website, realize that this will be an ongoing process. Your marketing team should continuously publish content that is going to draw more users in. If you’re ready to get started on blogging, follow these steps:
1. Name Your Blog
Our blog is simply called “CopyPress Blog,” making it easy for our users to find our blog posts. Some brands choose a more cheeky name to draw users in. When choosing your blog name, think about the tone of your brand. If you want to provide more straightforward, informative content, you could go with “Your Brand Name Blog.” If you want to create a more casual, fun tone, think about names your audience might enjoy.
For instance, many brands play off their own name and well-known branding for their blog name. Target’s corporate blog is called “A Bullseye View” after its iconic logo. Whole Foods played on its own name, calling its blog “Whole Story.” Keep in mind, your blog name doesn’t have to be permanent. If you currently have a blog name that feels outdated, think of ways you can connect a new name to your current branding efforts.
2. Decide What to Blog About
Give your blog some structure and meaning by deciding what topics are fair game to write about. Think about what kind of content your target audience might be interested in. Also, strategize whether this content could eventually lead to your brand making a conversion. For instance, if you sell kitchen products, you could make your blog about cooking tips and recipes. This way, people who enjoy cooking visit your website and may stumble across your relevant products.
3. Create Guidelines for Your Blog
Before diving into writing content, you need to create a style guide first. This document outlines the entire look and tone of your blog. You should base it off of your current brand’s standards, or use it as an opportunity to rethink your overall brand strategy. In your style guide, detail what your blog should look like. This includes formatting, such as what headers to use, when to bold items, how long paragraphs should be.
Along with how your blog looks, you want to also detail the tone. Are you going to use AP style? How does your brand feel about the Oxford comma? How will you spell words you commonly use? Which words or phrases does your brand prefer? Your style guide should clearly answer all of these questions.
4. Choose a Blogging Platform or Host
It’s best practice to have your blog live on your website. When starting a blog, you need to decide how you want to host it. Perhaps your current website provider has a blogging platform you can use. If not, do some research to find which blogging platforms can integrate with your website. You could also choose to start from scratch and find a website host that has blogging features.
5. Design Your New Blog
Unless you already have someone skilled in HTML/CSS, you may need to hire a website designer to do this part. Of course, there are website builders that make it easy to design your own blog without having advanced web design skills. When designing your blog, choose colors and fonts that match those of your brand. The general rule of thumb is to choose sans serif fonts for the web, although some brands decide to use serif fonts. The key is to make sure your blog is easy to read and that your words stand out from the background.
6. Start Writing Your Posts
Plan a blog schedule for your brand so your readers know when to expect new content. When writing your posts, follow your style guide closely. Make sure you have someone who can edit your posts for any formatting errors or grammar mistakes.
Creating your blog is just the beginning. When going through this process, take your time and think about what you want out of a blog. Remember, this is the perfect opportunity to engage with your target audience.
Starting a Blog Tips
The best way to start a blog is by following expert advice. Use these tips to create an effective blog:
- Choose your niche. Think about what unique value your blog can provide. Write about topics that your team is knowledgeable about and make sense for your brand. Try to narrow down who you think would get the most out of your blog and tailor your content to them.
- Write consistently. Create a blog post schedule, and try to stick to it. Smaller companies try to post one to four times a week, while larger companies may choose to post multiple times a day. How often you post depends on what works for your company. Rather than pumping out content for the sake of it, it’s better to take the time to produce high-quality content.
- Always keep your audience in mind. Write your blogs directly to your target audience. When defining your target audience, consider their age, sex, location, occupation, interests, and other key demographics.
- Add your personal touch. Let your brand’s voice shine through. There’s no need to be stiff and generic. Instead, think of what is special about your brand and find ways to convey this in your writing.
- Get social media handles for your brand. At the bottom of your blog, add social media icons that link to all of your social media pages. When including a call-to-action in your blog, you could also try to persuade readers to follow you on social media.
- Share your blog posts on social media. Make your content work for you by sharing it in a variety of ways. For instance, you can link to your blog posts on your social media. If you send out a newsletter, link to your newest blog posts there too. This way, you’re getting more eyeballs on your website, which can help your company grow.
- Learn about SEO and brand awareness. By writing your blog posts with SEO in mind, you can rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs). This can lead to more brand awareness and get you more website visits. SEO is all about producing high-quality content. Learn all you can about how to do SEO and why it’s important.
- Create brand engagement. Adding a comment section can encourage readers to share their insights and feedback about your posts. It also shows them that your brand cares about their thoughts. Encourage people to comment by adding a call-to-action at the bottom of some of your posts. For instance, “So there you have it, five tips for dressing for success. What is your go-to piece for an interview? Share by commenting below!” is a great way to close your blog and encourage commenting.
- Ask readers what they want to learn about. Although searching for FAQs and keywords can help guide your content strategy, you could also go straight to the source. Ask your readers what kind of content they want to see from your brand. You could do this by asking on social media or sending out a survey to your email list.
- Include visuals. Add an image or video to all of your blog posts. Having more visual interest can draw people in and give them a better idea of what you’re writing about. For instance, creating an infographic for your blog post is a great way to share facts and figures.
Best Blogging Platforms
Picking the right blogging platform for your brand is one of the most important parts of starting a blog. Here are some of the best blogging platforms to choose from:
Wix is a user-friendly website builder and host. You can either host your website for free or pay a fee to be able to create your own domain name. Wix has many blogging tools, making it easy to add a blog webpage to your Wix website. You can build both your desktop and mobile versions of your website, making it easier for users to access it on any device. With its many templates to choose from, you can find the perfect one that embodies the style of your brand.
If your brand wants maximum flexibility, then you might want to go with WordPress. It is both a website builder and a blogging platform. Even if you don’t want to use WordPress to build your entire website, you can still build your blog on it and integrate it with your current website host. Many brands choose to host their website on Bluehost and build their blog through WordPress.
Squarespace is an excellent platform for brands that want to post image-rich content. It features gorgeous templates and plenty of integrations with top image websites, like Getty Images and Unsplash. This website builder has many other great blogging features like its capability to share your posts directly on all of your social media pages.
Similar to Wix, Weebly is another easy-to-use website builder that comes with blogging features. Using this platform, you can build a standalone blog or have it be a part of a larger website. We would recommend the latter so users can explore the rest of your website and maybe even make a purchase. Use its drag and drop feature to make your blog look exactly how you envisioned it.
5. Craft CMS
Brands that have more experienced web designers on their team may use Craft CMS for all of their blogging needs. This content management system gives you access to your website’s coding, making it possible to develop more complex templates. You can make your blog look and function as desire, so long as you have the coding experience to do so.
If you want to stay up to date with the latest digital marketing trends, then your brand needs to invest in content writing. By publishing quality blog posts on a regular basis, you can improve your brand’s SEO and get more website traffic.