New, Internet-enabled technologies are challenging the way businesses buy professional services. While the personal referral will always be important, new forces are eating away at its dominance. Many firms find the transition from traditional to online marketing painful at first. But once they’ve made the commitment, marketers discover that online marketing is flexible and relatively inexpensive.
One of the key staples of Digital Marketing is the humble web-log or ‘blog’.
There’s 3 main steps you need to go through in order to set up a blog. If you follow this guide, you’ll have your own blog set up in a short period of time.
Step 1 – Choose your preferred blogging platform
Choosing where you want to build a blog is pretty much the first thing you have to do. I’m going to take a leap and assume you’ve heard of WordPress, and this is the platform I advocate. It’s by far one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world, with countless plugins and add-ons and almost infinite ways to design and layout your blog. It’s better than other platforms including Blogger and Tumblr for the following reasons:
- Super easy set-up.
- Tons of free themes and layouts
- There’s a massive support forum in case you get stuck (you won’t, but it’s nice to have it there if you need it).
- Your blog will be insanely fast and it’ll also look Functionality and form – perfect!
- People can interact with you easily. Your content can be shared, commented on, and so on.
Step 2 – Develop your blogging strategy
Some tips and hints to develop your blogging strategy are outlined below:
- Write about what you know – When writing, keep in mind that you’re clients are expecting to see your expertise. Now, clients sometimes don’t know the full extent of your service offering, because it’s not always a priority for them. Therefore, blogging is a really engaging way to show off your expertise.
- Blog frequently, at last once per week. The readership won’t come overnight, you need to consistently post to gain consistent readers. Blogging frequently shows that your dedicated and does wonders for SEO, as we’ll explain in the next few slides.
- Of course, you’ll want to use eBulletins and social media tools to promote the content, otherwise who will know that you’ve posted your blog.
- Keep it relevant to your audience – This is pretty self-explanatory
- Show your personality and interests in your content – If it’s too dry, it won’t get read.
- Don’t give up, continue to post. You need consistent posting to gain readers, it’s not just the story of “build it and they will come”, but if you don’t build it, they certainly won’t come.
Step 3 – Start your own blog
You need to decide what content you want to present in your blog and how often you will publish content.
Key blogging considerations
- Position – home page vs blog page
- Content – “Dry technical” vs “soft informative”
- Tone – Aspirational vs Disturbance
- Keywords – Develop a list of 5-10 keywords you want to include in blog content
Do you want comments on your blog? Keep it to no longer than 275 words – Keep in mind short blogs rarely get shared widely on social media sites. They are also bad for SEO
Do you want more social media shares? Write posts between 600 and 1,250 words – Pretty good for SEO and for generating discussion
Do you want more traffic from Google? Write longer, heavily researched posts 2,500 words long – Better for existing readers
Start blogging as soon as you can afford the time and people it takes to do it on a regular basis (at least once a week). Be aware that this is a long-term initiative. It can take 6 months to a year before you see results.
Are you overwhelmed with blogs, clicks and tweets?
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one!
In our upcoming 4 part program ‘Create new leads and business through digital marketing strategies’ we’ll cut through all the jargon and outline what your firm should be doing to start generating business through digital marketing activities.
Dale Crosby and Ben Jacobson
Training Beyond Accounting