Our organization has been kicking around the idea of starting a blog for a couple of years, but we have “blogophobia.” We know there are benefits to blogging, but we’re paralyzed by not knowing where to begin and fear of failure. Do you have any advice to help us get unstuck?
You’re absolutely right that blogging has benefits. A little bit of effort put toward blogging on a consistent basis can pay off big time:
- Blogging improves SEO: Adding a blog to your site can improve search engine results by 434%. That’s right—434%! Few other marketing efforts can claim that dramatic of an impact on search. Blogs deliver exactly what search engines love and reward—current, useful content.
- Blogging helps to generate leads: B2B marketers that use blogs get 67% more leads than those that do not. Leads lead to more business—and who doesn’t want that?
- Blogging pays off in ROI: Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts. Your blog works for you, 24/7, to make your business more findable online—without advertising or a sales team.
At LMD, we’ve ramped up our blogging efforts over the last year or so and can attest to blogging’s impact on our brand and business. We looked at year-over-year analytics for lmdagency.com and compared April 2017–April 2018 vs. April 2018–April 2019 (when we kicked our blogging efforts into high gear). The proof is in the data:
- New users increased by 57%.
- The number of sessions increased by 53%.
- Traffic from organic search increased by 45%.
- Direct traffic increased by 50%.
- Referred traffic increased by 136%.
- Social traffic increased by 99%.
- Traffic from email increased by 131%.
Clearly, there’s plenty of evidence to support the benefits of blogging. Now you just need to get over your fear of taking the first step. Blogging doesn’t have to be scary—or a huge investment of time. Here are five tips for getting started and staying on track:
- Be yourself.
Blog posts should sound like a conversation between friends. Avoid SAT words, jargon, and an overly formal tone. Let your unique voice shine through so your audience can relate to you as a person—not a marketer.
- Be brief.
At LMD, we try to keep our blog posts around 500-800 words—which translates to about a three-minute read, long enough to cover a topic and hold the reader’s interest. To quote content guru Joe Pulizzi, use the “miniskirt” principle: “It has to be short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject.”
- Be consistent and persistent.
Don’t post every week for two months and then abandon your blog for a year. A simple editorial calendar that details who (the authors), what (the topics), and when (the deadlines) can help you stay focused. Also—stick with it. Results won’t come overnight (remember it took a year for LMD to see a trend in our analytics). Rand Fishkin, the CEO of MOZ, said it best:
“Plan to invest in blogging for a long time before you see a return. The web is a big, noisy place and unless you’re willing to invest more over a greater period of time than others, you’ll find success nearly impossible. If you’re seeking short-term ROI, or a quick path to recognition, blogging is the wrong path. But if you can stick it out for years without results and constantly learn, iterate, and improve, you can achieve something remarkable.”
- Be creative.
Blogs don’t have to be just words. You can use videos, photos, infographics, or even link to content on external sites. You’ll still need to write some narrative to add context, but your blog should be a mix of different types of posts. Mixing it up will keep your audience engaged—and improve SEO, as search engines favor a variety of content types.
- Be aware of your audience.
When you sit down to write, ask yourself, who am I writing for? What keeps my customers up at night? If you’re not sure, just ask them. Find out what they care about, and use those ideas as blog topics.
Ready to get started on your own blog? Contact us if you need help with content strategy or implementing a blog on your current website.