When I’m approached by business owners who want to start a blog or rewrite their blog content along with increasing their social media presence, I usually think to myself, “Hmmm. How committed are they to developing and maintaining a blog? Are they ready for the commitment that social media requires?” When it comes to blogs, most business owners, especially small business owners, subscribe to the “If you build it, they will come” thinking. Unfortunately, it takes more ‘thinking’ your way to millions of blog readers, likes, and followers. It takes time, dedication, perseverance, and trust.
Before I begin writing a blog, rewriting blog posts, or handling social media management, I ask a lot of questions. This is a good way for me to assess if the ‘potential’ client understands the amount of work that goes into building and maintaining a blog and social media pages. Here are my questions:
- Do you have a blog? If yes, how many blog posts do you have? If no, how many blog posts would you like?
- What blogging platform do you use or prefer?
- What is your goal for the blog?
- Do you have keywords/phrases? If yes, what are they? If no, is this something you’d like me to research?
- Do you have an SEO system in place? If so, who’s the company and what have they done for you? What analysis has been done thus far? If no, are you looking to hire an SEO company? What do you want them to handle?
- Do you have social media accounts? If yes, what are they? If no, which ones would you like to use?
- What is the goal of social media? More likes? More followers? More leads? More conversions? Both? All of the above?
- How patient are you when it comes to growing the blog and social media sites?
Sometimes clients, especially small business owners, become overwhelmed because they don’t realize the commitment involved with having a blog and social media websites.
Fact: Did you know that most social media managers spend 30 or more hours per week on social media? It’s important to stay connected with current fans and followers in addition to gaining new ones.
How to Use a Blog and Social Media to Drive Traffic and Build a Web Presence
Take advantage of WordPress plugins like Yoast. I’ve been testing out the plugin for a few weeks, and I’m enjoying it. The plugin forces you to write better headlines, preferably SEO, along with body content. The plugin analyzes the content to ensure the following:
- The focus keyword/phrase was used.
- A picture with an alt tag was used.
- The keyword density is on target.
- The page content is at least 300 words.
- The URL contains the keyword.
- The meta description includes the primary keyword/phrase.
- The primary keyword/phrase is in the beginning of the page title.
These and other metrics have helped me hone my SEO writing skills. When it comes to SEO, there’s always more to learn.
Use email lists. If you’re not sending out a monthly newsletter, you may want to consider it. If you have a newsletter, include an ‘excerpt’ from a blog post and link back to your company’s website. This is a good start to driving and building web traffic.
Link building. Many companies pay for link building; however, if you’re not linking to your current customers’ blogs, you’re missing out on traffic and strengthening your relationship with them.
Tip: Link to relevant blogs within your industry and become active on them. Leave comments on blog posts and forums. Show that you’re an authority in the industry that shouldn’t be ignored.
Advertise your blog. Marketing materials such as business cards, postcards, and brochures should contain your blog’s URL in addition to contact information. You could also include it on your email signature, purchase orders, invoices, receipts, at the end of a Power Point presentation, etc. to gain more visibility.
Twitter. Not only could you tweet your blog post, you could ‘retweet’ your followers. This is a great way to build a following. Tweet during ‘peak hours’ for your business which could be in the late morning or afternoon. This is something you’d want to test.
Facebook. There are 845 million Facebook users. If you’re not using Facebook or using it properly, you’re missing out an opportunity to market your business. Consider having a Facebook like/lead page that will knock the socks off of visitors and entice them to visit your website and read your blog.
LinkedIn. If you’re not taking advantage of LinkedIn, do so now. It’s a social media site for professionals and you can connect with others within your industry. Be helpful by answering questions in the ‘Answers’ section. Show off your expertise.
- Social Media Convergence – Blogging and Social Utilities (itmashable.com)
- 10 Social Media Tips for Bloggers (mashable.com)