Hey there and welcome back.
So this month we’ve been talking about the anatomy of a website. We started first with the header and footer and then moved on to the homepage and the about and contact pages. Today we’re going to continue that by talking about blogging.
A blog isn’t required for every website, as you’ll see later on. But if you blog correctly, it can be a key part in your content marketing to drive people to your website. So let’s break down what all goes into a website’s blog.
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Now let’s get started.
What is blogging on a website?
So what exactly is blogging and why does it matter for a website?
Well, in the early days of the internet, a blog was shorthand for web log, and it’s where people just sort of logged their basic thoughts about things they did or thought about or any of that, and some of them might have been connected.
In today’s world with businesses, a blog can be a very powerful content marketing tool with a collection of posts that talk about things related to your business or your industry.
And one of the best parts is that there’s really no one right way to blog. Sure there are guidelines as you’ll see later on, but there’s no real small box you have to fit in.
You can write long or short posts for your readers to go through. I’ve seen research that goes both ways in the long vs. short articles debate, so just find whatever works best for you and your business and your target audience.
Plus, it’s a place where people can go to get an inside perspective on how you do your business. Or you could answer a frequently asked question to help people learn more about a topic in your industry.
The best thing about a blog is that there’s a lot that you can do with it.
I do want to note before we move on that a blog needs to be focused on your business and the industry that you work in. This isn’t a place for your travel adventures (unless you run a travel website) or your personal venting sessions. Keep that on social media (or even just off the internet altogether). Just want to make sure that we’re clear on that.
Why is blogging so important?
So now why is blogging so important to your website and business?
Well, blogging is a key part of content marketing. A well-crafted blog can help you build trust with someone who might decide to buy from you or become your client.
If you write good content that helps your readers, you can build trust and authority to get them to either work with you or buy from you. People will read through your content and hopefully they will figure out that you’re the right person to help them.
Plus, they might even share that content with others on social media, and that brings in more people who might do the same for you. And those extra links can help you with your search results rankings, and that brings even more people in. And even if they don’t buy right away, they might keep coming back and eventually they’ll become a client or customer.
Now on the flip side, if you don’t have the time or energy or maybe the knowledge to create a blog right now, don’t worry; you don’t have to. Not having a blog is better than having a bad blog. There are a number of good websites out there really that don’t have a blog. You probably want to sit down and see if you can do it right before you decide to add a blog.
But at the end of the day, creating a well-crafted blog is really playing the long game to growing your customer and client base. But it does take a lot of work.
Elements of a website blog
Now that we know what a blog is and why it’s so important, let’s take some time to walk through the different elements of a blog. And some of these elements might be a little bit more off page than others, just to give you a sense of what it takes to really run an effective blog.
The first element we need to talk about is keyword research. I’ve talked about keyword research at length in an earlier video which you can see in a link in the description below. But here’s the short-ish version of it. Essentially, it’s the process of looking up what your target audience is searching for so that you can create content that targets those keywords. You can use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or Moz to find those keywords. This is a massive topic, so I highly encourage you to learn more about it. I’ve even left resources I’ve used down in the description below.
Next let’s talk about the blog listing page. This is the main blog page where your latest set of posts are listed out. And at the bottom of the page is usually some sort of pagination so that you can navigate through your posts easily. This doesn’t have to be super fancy or anything. A simple list of posts that includes a title, excerpt, post thumbnail and link to the post can work just fine.
Next up in your blog you’re going to have categories and tags. And this is how you can sort your posts into different buckets. Categories are going to be your main buckets. For example, on my website I have Small Business, Web Design, Ecommerce and WordPress among other categories. Tags are a bit less important, but can be a bit more detailed, like tagging a post with WordPress 5.9 or something like that.
Moving onto your single post page, you might want to have a related posts section towards the end of the post so that people can read more of your content on the website, which keeps them on the website. And the internal linking that it can provide can help your SEO as well.
Also, comments are something you can have on your single post page. Comments can be a double edged sword. On the one hand, they allow your readers to interact with you and your readers. They can ask questions or make their own suggestions and turn the blog post into a really good discussion. But on the other hand it does open the door to spam comments and harmful comments which can hurt the blog post. I recommend making sure you have comment moderation in place for each comment that comes through.
Next, you can also have post navigation at the bottom of your posts pages as well. These can be the next oldest and next newest posts in your blog. They serve a very similar purpose to the related posts I talked about a second ago. And they can help people stay on your website longer and help with internal linking.
Finally, we have calls to action. I talked about this more when we discussed homepages, so make sure to go back to that video to learn more about them. But make sure you have some sort of action for someone to take when they get done reading your post. It could be to sign up for your newsletter or maybe just a link to a service page to learn more about what you do and eventually become a lead. That way every blog post you write has a purpose for the website and business.
What makes for a good blog?
So now that we know a little bit more about blogs and websites, what does it take to create a good blog that’s going to help your website and ultimately your business?
Well first off, make sure that you have focused content. Again, don’t use it as a personal blog for your travels and what not. Keep it focused on your business and your industry. If you do keyword research to figure out what your prospective customers and clients are searching for, you really should have no trouble keeping the blog focused.
Next, make sure that the content is actually helping your readers out. This could be anything from answering a question a lot of people seem to be having or you could just be walking through a service you offer and showing how and why you do things. This can help build credibility and authority with your readers and ultimately pay off down the road.
Also, a clear call to action for each post is a really good idea. Think about it. You’ve come to a post that you really enjoyed and you want to know what you need to do next. But the page simply ends and there’s nothing to do. Honestly, you might just leave the website.
Give the reader something to do after they read the post. Again, it could be just as simple as offering up some related posts so that they read more of your blog and stay on your website. Or it could be a place to sign up for a newsletter, if you have one. Or it could be a link to a landing page for a service that you offer where they can learn more about what you do and hopefully become a potential lead.
And finally, overall just make sure that your blog is full of content that your prospective customers and clients are going to want to read and that the content there is helpful and informative. If you do that, you’ll set yourself up for success.
What makes for a bad blog?
On the other hand, what makes for a bag blog on your website?
Well first off, a blog that isn’t focused on your business or industry is a bad blog. This isn’t a place to post your vacation photos or thoughts. That’s what Facebook and social media are for. Instead, keep things focused. Otherwise you will lose credibility.
Next, repeated bad grammar and spelling issues will erode your credibility as well. Take some time to go through your post before you publish it and proofread it for grammar mistakes, spelling mistakes and other typos that you don’t want other people to see.
Also, content that just isn’t good is bad content. If you don’t take the time to think through your post or do research for your post or to sort of craft the perfect blog post, you’re not creating high quality content that’s going to get clicked on and shared across the web.
In that same vein, a bad blog has content that doesn’t help the reader. If your content leaves a reader hanging with other questions or maybe they have more questions than when they started the post and there’s no place where they can learn more or it doesn’t help the reader with the problem that they have, that’s not content that people are going like, share with others and continue to click on.
And finally, a bad blog doesn’t have an action or call to action that you want the reader to take after they’re done reading the post. The goal of a blog for your business on your website is to either get people to stick around your website longer and hopefully eventually become a customer or client. If your blog doesn’t have related posts so that they can read more posts on your website or have a newsletter sign up so that they eventually keep coming back to your website or anything like that, then it’s a bad blog and it’s not serving its purpose.
How can this apply to your website?
So at the end of the day, what can you take from what you’ve learned here today and apply it to your website?
Well first off, if you don’t have a blog right now you might want to consider adding one to your website. Now again, you don’t have to have a blog section on your website, especially if you don’t have the bandwidth for it. Only do it if you can do it right. But maybe take some time to sit down and see if you can devote the time and energy to create a well-crafted blog.
If you are blogging or you do decide to blog, make sure that you’re doing keyword research so that you can keep the blog focused. You need to figure out what you need to be writing about and what keywords you need to be targeting so that you can drive traffic to your website. Otherwise, what exactly is the point of blogging anyway?
Also, make sure you’re blogging about things in your industry. If you don’t have posts that are focused on that or you maybe have some vacation photo posts, then you might want to take them down and redirect those URLs to the homepage. Again, keyword research will help keep on track.
And finally, just make sure that you’re creating high quality content that’s going to help your readers. If you can create a good portfolio of these types of posts, you can build trust and authority with your readers, and they will be more likely to buy from you or work with you in the future. Blogging is playing the long game, and if you can play your cards just right, it can really pay off for you in the future.
So that’s it for today. What questions do you have about blogging on your website? Have you tried it before? What were your results? Be sure to leave all of those down in the comments section below.
If you’re in the market for a new or first website for your business, I would love to help you get started and create a website to get your business online relatively quickly and for a price that should fit your budget. Check out the link in the description for more information and to sign up for a free one-hour consultation.
Next time we’ll be going over the ecommerce pages that you might have on your website if you sell products online.
To see that video and other videos on web design, ecommerce, WordPress, digital marketing and other website-related topics, be sure to hit the subscribe button and to ring the bell for notifications.
But until next time, I wish you and your business the best of luck.