For many the word ‘blog’ is old news and we all think we know what it is and when to use it. However, when we look at putting a blog on our business website, it needs to be with good reason and so more deeper exploration is needed.
This episode looks at what we mean by a blog as well as offering reasons why a blog could be beneficial for your business website. It also looks at topics you could write about in your blog and how that content can be used more than once. In fact a blog page may be the very thing you were looking for to make your business website shine even brighter and get you those new clients you’ve been waiting for.
INTRO: This is the Help! My Website Sucks podcast – your bitesize guide to web design. I’m Amy Gumbrell, a freelance WordPress web designer and when I’m not building udderly functional and beautiful websites, I love talking about them. In fact I’m on a mission to make websites next level easy and to make sure that your website doesn’t suck.
Today I’m talking about the blog page which adds a touch of magic to websites far and wide. It instantly brings it to life with fresh and ever-changing content. In fact if you don’t currently have a blog on your website or have perhaps wondered if it was worth it, this episode is especially for you. Scott and Charlene would be proud.
Firstly though let’s start with an interesting fact – the word blog was not actually a real word until just under 30 years ago. It’s two words smooshed together because when you create a blog you are essentially keeping a ‘log’ on the ‘web’ switch the words around to web log and then smooooosh you’ve got yourself blog. So what is it? Good question.
Fundamentally a blog is an online journal. It’s a place for individuals and businesses to write down their thoughts, opinions and anything else they so wish to share. According to the Earthweb website blog (the irony of finding out stats about blogs from a blog isn’t lost on me) there are currently over 600 million blogs on the internet as of July 2022 with 6 million blog posts published every single day! I mean when blogs began back in around ’94, it was seen to be a much more personal pursuit but now it looks like things have changed quite considerably. A blog is now more a marketing tool for businesses and when you get it right, you get more of your target audience buying in to your business. Disclaimer alert everyone – I’m not saying you are going to get rich writing a blog and that having one on your website will bring in all that money but it has been known.
So why have a blog on your business website?
1) Get visitors to your website. Your audience wants to know that you know your onions and your blog will prove you do in fact know your alliums from your brassicas. They really want to know how to solve their problem, and your blog could well be the answer. It will give them the advice and reassurance they were looking for when searching for the exact service or product that you and your business provides. For example I wrote a blog post on my website quite a while ago about my top 3 WordPress positives and shared the link to it within an online networking community. More than one of the members of that community clicked on the link and arrived at my website to read the post. The content I had created was attractive to those particular business owners and in that instance it resulted in one of the business owners referring me on to one of their friends about a website project which was a fantastic outcome. And all because it started with a blog.
2) SEO/ Search Engine Optimisation – Ever gone to a website and thought ooh this is a tad out of date – do you a) immediately buy a product from their website b) run for the hills? You’re probably going to choose option b and so will your potential customers. Google does not put websites high up in their rankings that are outdated and so a website that offers fresh and relevant content signals to those Google bots (other bots are available) that the website is alive and going to be useful to Google users. You probably won’t update your homepage or other parts of your website very often so adding a blog offers a practical way to add new content on a regular basis.
Another way a blog can improve your SEO is that by the very nature of a blog post i.e. longer form, it lends itself to people staying on your website longer as they stay to read the post. Google doesn’t actually say that they use the metric of how long a user stays on your website to decide how to rank your website but you can bet your bottom dollar, if people are viewing your content, it proves your website is relevant and therefore worth pushing up the rankings.
So you now know that having a blog is quite useful but what sort of things should you write about?
That is the million dollar question or million pound question if you so choose. If you type that exact question into Google, you are bombarded with other businesses and other blog writers with their blog posts that offer advice on what to write. It might be the top 10 ideas to blog about or best 100 ideas for your next blog. Have a browse through these and you’ll soon see lots of similar advice being given. Ultimately you can write what you like but I would highly recommend creating a plan, perhaps thinking about different topics you’d like to write about and when. For example you could write a monthly blog post with all the month’s business news from your industry. Or every other week you may decide to take a frequently asked question from your website and expand on it in more detail in a post. Perhaps you could write a response to something that has happened in the news that directly relates to your industry or business niche. If I was writing a response to something in the news, there might have been something about a new website platform taking the web design world by storm so I might want to write about it.
People want to know what you as an expert in that field thinks and you could add a new angle to the issue or event through your post.
My absolute favourite reason and the final reason that I’m going to talk about today for having a blog is that you are creating content that you can reuse again and again and again which is something called evergreen content. Of course not every topic will be relevant a few months and years down the line but most of it will be something you can share regularly or again. For example you can link to it from your social media accounts or you can share it on your podcast appearances. Or like me you could even direct people to your blog if you are part of an online community as people often ask question about the very topic you wrote a blog post about. What a lovely way to connect with people without being salesy without being pushy, you’re actually giving them something back, you’re giving them some value and they might learn something!
So should you or shouldn’t you have a blog? As our Graham once said, the decision is yours.
For many having a blog fits neatly into their business model and works for them and their business. For others they have zero inclination to have a blog and their businesses do absolutely fine. However, if you want a blog but feel you can’t commit to the writing and updating of it, it’s always best to find someone who can. I’m more than happy to point you in the direction of the lovely freelancer community I am so grateful to be a part of. I of course may be super biased but there are copywriters and blog writers and VAs and EAs and others out there who would be perfect to help you get your blog up and running – it may just be the very thing your current website and business has been waiting for?
OUTRO: If you’re hearing this message, you’ve reached the end of another Help! My Website Sucks podcast episode. Thank you so much for listening – I really appreciate it. If you need help with your website, get in touch at twocowsweb.co.uk and until next time bye bye for now!