It’s a very good question isn’t it?!
I’m an SEO Copywriter by trade (or, at least, I was, before I became the MD of GrowTraffic…now I’m the MD who tries to do some SEO Copywriting when they let me!), and so writing blogs is one of the things I like to do bestest of all.
In fact, if you just left me to my own devices, I’d sit here and write blogs all day long.
“But why?” I hear you cry! What’s the point of all this blogging? What purpose are you serving the universe? Why do it to yourself?
Well my young Padawan, I shall tell you.
What’s the point of a blog? A blog can serve a multitude of purposes; a blog can help you to advertise your products or services to your potential customers, it can demonstrate your knowledge about your area of expertise, it can help you build loyalty in your existing customer base, it can help you sell more, communicate better and engage more. And, what’s more, for the purposes of SEO (which is naturally what we care about), a blog can help you increase the traffic to your website.
In short, blogs are nothing but miraculous. It’s no wonder I love them so much!
So let’s unpack that a little bit.
What Is A Blog?
OK, we’re going back to basics, but it’s always best to start at the beginning, in my humble opinion.
What is a blog post? A blog post is simply a piece of content that is published on your website. Simples.
In theory yes, but in reality, a blog post could be a multitude of things.
For one thing, there’s no hard and fast definition of a blog (other than the one I’ve just given you), so a blog post could be anything from 300 to 30,000 words, give or take a few hundred words, and still be considered a blog post.
OK, anything shorter and you’ve got less of a blog post and more of a Tweet; anything more and you’ve written an e-book, but you get the picture. Essentially, there’s very little limit on how long – or short – your blog post should be.
That doesn’t mean to say that there isn’t an optimum length for a blog post (there is, it’s between 800 – 1500 words), but if you want to write a really in-depth blog post that takes you to 6000 words, you can and it’s still a blog.
The second thing is that – contrary to what you may have garnered from my explanation above – a blog post doesn’t even have to be comprised entirely of words. You need quite a few words in there; it is how humans communicate after all, plus it’s handy for the SEO (I’ll come back to this in a minute). However, it doesn’t need to be all words.
If you want a video in there, with the transcript typed up, that’s fine. If you want diagrams interspersed with text, that’s fine. If you want an infographic with a text explanation, that’s also fine. Basically, however you want to format your blog and whatever multimedia you want to include, that’s all OK. (Bear in mind though, if your blog is entirely a video, then what you have created there is a vlog, not a blog.)
Where Should I Publish My Blog Post?
OK, so my definition up there also states that a blog post is only a blog post when published on your website, but that’s technically a lie. In fact, there’s no law to say that your blog must be published on your website, it simply needs to be published on the internet.
If you don’t have a website, then you can publish it on your LinkedIn profile or, at a push, your Facebook page. Obviously, don’t forget that, if you are publishing straight to a social media platform, then you’re going to have to abide by the word/character limit for that platform (for e.g., I think LinkedIn has a character limit of 1900 on posts), but other than that it’s a perfectly cromulent way of publishing your longer form content.
Similarly, if you don’t have your own website specifically, then you could use a blogging platform such as Tumblr or Medium. Especially if you’re feeling nervous about the whole blogging malarkey, these platforms are a great way of dipping your toe into the blogging waters to see what it feels like, plus you can start getting your content out there into the world without having to set your own website up first.
However, remember that, on there, you are just a very small fish in a very big pond – there is no guarantee that people will like or even find what you write, plus any following or credibility you build up will not then transfer if you do decide to set up your own website later on.
If you want to get it right from the start, we highly recommend getting your own website and starting to blog on there. It will pay dividends for you much more in the long run.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Blog?
But what are those dividends? What can having a blog on your own website do for you?
Well, as I have already touched upon, there are multiple benefits of publishing a blog post – in fact, they’re practically miraculous. Here are my Top Ten Reasons for Writing A Blog:
- A blog helps you to reach new audiences. You want more people to know about your amazing products and services so, if you write a blog post all about them and publicise it on the internet, more potential customers will find you and will know about the wonderful things you do.
- A blog allows you to explain what you do better. Does everyone in the world fully understand what you do? Are you always getting asked the same questions by your customers? Then write a blog post about it and explain what you offer in more detail to your potential and existing customers.
- A blog helps to establish you as the industry expert. Who is the leading expert in your field of expertise? Why isn’t it you? If you can write a blog post that, essentially, shows off, then people will quickly learn that you know your onions and will turn to you for help and advice instead of your competitors.
- A blog helps you to build trust. It’s the big watch word in 2019, but trust between you and your customers is crucial. If you can write a blog that offers your years of expertise, then people will learn to trust you and your advice, and hence will come to you when they require what you offer.
- A blog allows you to talk to your customers. A blog is a conversation between you and your customers, so use it to speak directly to them in a way that you can’t do at any other time or in any other place. Share your wisdom with them and make them feel engaged and included in your business.
- A blog enables you to express yourself. If you’re passionate about what you do, then share it with people and tell them why. Writing a blog can be a cathartic process and can help you communicate your love for what you do to those around you. Your enthusiasm will be infectious.
- A blog helps you to build your professional network. A blog is not just handy for letting you show off and get more customers. If you write a well respected blog post, then other influencers in your industry will sit up and take notice of you and your reputation will grow, earning respect for your business.
- A blog will help you to improve your skills. Writing a blog can help you to improve your English skills, including your grammar and spelling, but it can also help you to think more logically about what you do, so you can explore subjects in a much more rational way and become a better writer and thinker.
- A blog will help you to improve your knowledge. OK, so you might not be an expert yet in every single aspect of your field or sector, but if you have to research and then write a blog each week on different topics, you will quickly see that your knowledge will expand, for the benefit of you and your business.
- A blog can help you to improve the SEO of your website. And that leads me neatly into the next section of my blog post. You see, I don’t just throw this stuff together!
How Does A Blog Help SEO?
If you’re a regular to our blog, then you should already know the reasons that blogging is so fundamental to SEO. However, for those of you who are new, I’ll summarise.
A few years ago, the search engine algorithms made changes that resulted in SEO Copywriting becoming much more fundamental to a well optimised website. Basically, the search engines decided that what they wanted to present the searcher with was a website that answered all of their questions – all the questions that they might ever have about the thing they’d just searched for, even if they hadn’t asked them yet.
Hence, the search engines were looking for websites with lots of content on them, content that both asked and – more importantly – answered questions. Hence content marketing, and the content bubble, were born.
As a result, if you want your website to be returned in the search results, then you need to be asking and answering questions. Lots of questions. And the best way of doing that, is by writing a blog post.
Like this one. Can you see how I’ve structured it; lots of questions followed by lots of answers. It’s easy peasy. So now, every time someone asks one of these questions into a search engine, the GrowTraffic website has an answer and will hopefully be the website that’s returned top.
And, of course, it simultaneously demonstrates my expertise in this subject. The more I write about it, the more Google will realise that this is what I do and that I’m an expert in it, so the more they’re likely to rate my website and my opinion, and thus recommend it to others. Which is precisely what search results are; a recommendation.
Moreover, if you’re regularly publishing content to your website, then you’re demonstrating to the search engine algorithms that your website is regularly updated. The last thing they want is to give searchers an out-of-date website, so if you’re constantly working on it and updating and refreshing your content, you’ve got much more chance of getting ranked in the SERPs (search engines results pages).
Finally, publishing content to your blog then gives you plenty of stuff to publish on social media, which then links straight back to the website. As this is one of the key Acquisition Channels (check your Google Analytics, it’s there!), then the more you can pull in visitors from social media to your website, the better it will do. So get writing and then promote your blog posts on every social media channel you can, then watch the visitors flow in.
How Do I Start Writing A Blog?
The hardest bit about writing a blog is getting started; once you’ve done that, you’ll fly.
GrowTraffic are experts in SEO Copywriting, so we’ve been helping businesses to blog as a means of growing the traffic to their website for over a decade now.
A good place to start for further advice would be our website itself, because we have so many handy resources on here, which will help anyone wishing to start writing a blog for themselves.
On the other hand, if you’d like to have a chat with one of the team, either to get some advice or to enquire about our blog writing services, then please just get in touch. You can drop us a phone call on 0161 706 0012 or email [email protected].