Today we welcome the first (of many) guest bloggers here at Daisy. Bringing you expert advice from across the world of marketing to help your business thrive online.

Today we welcome the lovely Jodie from Digital Citizens.

Most businesses know regular blog posts have become essential, not just to inspire and educate potential customers, but to increase SEO and deliver algorithm-friendly content for the likes of Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and so on.

Blogs can turn your website into a traffic magnet if you’ve got great content – but so many businesses struggle to take advantage of the benefits of regular blog posts.

The biggest blocks I’ve observed to consistent blog posting is a lack of time, writing ability and/or what to actually write about. It makes sense, because while I might be a professional blog writer, someone else’s speciality may be in accountancy, or electrical services, or fashion design.

Engaging a professional blog writer is the easiest solution for most organisations – but sometimes we have no option and we have to do it ourselves.

If this is your current situation and you can’t afford to outsource your marketing or copywriting, but you need help with your content strategy, below are my top tips to help you get writing your own blogs.

1. Find YOUR Voice

One of the reasons people dislike sales people is because their approach is usually so inauthentic. Being authentic is really important, if someone is taking the time to read your blog, make it worth their while.

Spend time finding your own voice – don’t copy other people’s styles. Define what you are about and stick with it. Your blog can be the beginning of a customer choosing to make a purchase or engage your services, so be authentic and you can’t go wrong.

2. Don’t Sell

It’s a hard one because of course you’re trying to sell something. At the same time, people are expecting you to provide good information in your blog, so deliver it to them. A hard sell can be done on your site, or with your remarketing, or when you close them in person.

Use your blog to slowly introduce reasons why someone should seek out your product or service, offer free advice, free downloads, content they want to share with others – something of value to your customer.

3. Solve A Problem

If you know your customer, you know their pain points. If you repair electrical appliances for a living, you know your market is mostly landlords who don’t want to spend a lot on repairs but also don’t want to spend a lot more on replacing the thing entirely. So give them some tips – and reinforce your solution. ‘If all else fails, Norwest Appliances offers fast service at reasonable prices – call us and we’ll let you know if we can help to save you the callout fee.’

4. Keep Going

Consistency is the key to blog success. Over on the @digital_citizens_nz Insta page, we’ve shared some good stats gleaned from being Google and Hubspot certified. One of these tells us websites with over 51 blog articles see a 77% increase in leads. (We’re just going to nerd out a little and say competing research says the magic number of blogs is 55, but we think 51 does the trick.) So what does this mean? If you’re serious about your blogs, you’ve got to get serious about your blogs. You need a lot, and you need a good long-term strategy behind them.

5. Guest Posts

A great way to get your name out there is to write guest posts for other websites where your content adds value and in turn, grows your audience by reaching someone else’s. Make sure you always include a Bio and website link back to you – MindBodyGreen does this really well. If someone isn’t keen on this idea and they’re not paying you for your content, you’d have to give some thought to whether it’s a genuine opportunity for you.

4. Stay Snappy

Short words. Short sentences. Short paragraphs.

This format is really popular on LinkedIn at the moment for some reason – also a place where a lot of blog content gets shared. You don’t want to write in Haiku but you do want to keep it pretty sharp and to the point, especially as more people read website copy on mobile than desktop these days.

7. Always Hope – Never Expect

Blogging takes a while to deliver. If you get hung up on the stats and set unrealistic expectations, you’ll be disappointed. Remember your blogs as a business are there for the reasons we listed above – not the vanity metrics of Likes or Comments.

Those things are nice but I’d prefer a phone call from someone interested in using our services over 100+ Likes any day.

8. Proofread and Edit

Proper grammar, punctuation and spelling are yes, unfortunately, key. You need to proofread before you hit send.

One suggestion is to write, spellcheck and edit, then walk away and come back to it 24 hours later and proofread and edit again with fresh eyes.

We hope this has helped. We know writing blogs is one of those things you know you should be doing but don’t actually do.

Just do it.

Even if you only write five before engaging a professional for you, that’s enough to get some base analytics back on how they worked and what they did.

It’s what we ask for when a client approaches us to write for them, and also, it helps you justify the cost when you’ve done them yourself but as suspected, you actually don’t want to do them.

Jodie Bennett

Jodie Bennett is a professional business blog writer and digital PR specialist. Her consultancy, Digital Citizens, delivers bespoke solutions to a small number of clients wanting to outsource their PR, Marketing and Social Media needs, and is based in Auckland, NZ. www.digitalcitizens.co.nz

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