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When the internet was still a relatively new invention, some tech-savvy users began keeping web logs. Over time, these became known simply as blogs. Many blogs are run by individuals, and they can express feelings, thoughts, experiences or hopes. Often, blogs are educational, informing readers about something the author knows well. Today, many businesses run blogs as an effective marketing and SEO tool. Learn more about what blogs are as well as how to write a blog below.

Blog or Website? What’s the Difference

It is important to understand the difference between a blog and a website. Virtually every modern business has a website of some kind, but not all businesses have a blog. If you’re not sure about the difference, think about a major international corporation that you’re familiar with. If you type their company name into Google, you’ll probably bring up the company’s website. You’ll see the homepage, and you might even see a variety of product pages. There may be a few graphics, and there is probably a menu of some sort to help you navigate the website.

Often, that navigational menu will have a separate tab for a blog. Clicking on this tab keeps you on the company’s website, but it takes you specifically to their blog. That blog will generally be divided into posts, each of which has a publishing date. While a website homepage might be relatively static, a blog changes frequently, with the newest posts finding their way to the top of the blog page.

Blogs can also be personal. Many individuals maintain blogs detailing their exercise routine, their passion for a sport or their love of fashion. The majority of blogs online today are personal blogs.

Blogs are Regularly Updated

One of the key attributes of a blog is that it should be updated on a regular basis. It is considered perfectly normal if the homepage of a website remains the same for a year or two. In fact, that can sometimes be advantageous thanks to the value of instant recognition. For a blog, however, not being updated means that the author is no longer active or engaged in the topic.

Blogs are typically arranged in chronological order. The newest posts are at the top, but users can scroll through the content to get to older posts. If you want to create a blog, make sure you are committed to writing regular blog posts. A blog with just one or two posts doesn’t convey a mastery of the topic. Sticking to a blogging schedule is a great way to stay relevant and encourage readers to come back to your blog again and again.

Updating Blogs

Blogs Typically Encourage Engagement

A blog is designed to foster a relationship between the author and the reader. Often, a blog encourages engagement. One way to achieve this kind of relationship is by adding in a section for comments. The readers of the blog can respond to each post with their personal response to the content. Ideally, the author would also respond to those comments, creating an ongoing dialogue.

Many blogs actively encourage comments by asking a question at the bottom of each post. This is kind of like a call to action, but the action is to offer a response. Having a specific question is an invitation to readers, allowing them to feel like they are a part of the conversation. This is quite different from a static website, where the reader is an outsider looking in.

Engaging Blogs
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Who Should Have a Blog?

Just about anyone can have a blog. Most blogs you find on the internet today have a low readership, often just a few friends and family members who follow along to learn more about their loved one. Many writers maintain their own blogs as a way to showcase their writing ability, and many bloggers create blogs in order to raise awareness about a topic they love.

However, not all blogs are passion projects. Some blogs are designed specifically to bring in a source of income. Between affiliate advertising and sponsored posts, blogs can be a great way to increase revenue. Businesses large and small also maintain blogs as a way to increase brand awareness and be seen by a bigger audience. Blogs can be a vital marketing tool, and they don’t have to be written by employees. If writing blogs isn’t your area of expertise, a blog writing service can come in handy.

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How to Ensure Success by Creating a Blog

By some estimates, there are more than 30 million bloggers in the United States alone. A huge percentage of those blogs are private and used for personal expression or to reach a very small group of friends. Other blogs are businesses in and of themselves. Blogs can become standalone small businesses that bring in money to their authors. Some blogs are maintained by businesses as a means of marketing. If you’re ready to create a blog yourself, explore some of the many ways that blogs are used.

Communicate With Your Audience on a Regular Basis

Perhaps the biggest reason to have a blog is so that you can communicate with your audience. What you choose to communicate, and how you choose to communicate that information, ultimately depends on your business. If you are a political organization, then you can update readers on polls and the opinions and viewpoints of various candidates. If you’re a fashion blogger, then you can recap a recent fashion show you attended.

A blog is also an excellent way to keep your audience up to date on new developments within your organization. If you’re about to release a new product, you can get them excited about it a few days or weeks before it is available. If you’re planning a major event, you can get the word out ahead of time. Whatever it is that you would like your audience to know, the blog can help communicate. The key is to make the blog entertaining or educational enough that your ideal audience will be interested and want to read through your content.

Showcase Your Expertise in a Niche Area

Blogs are also used to showcase your experience, expertise or knowledge in a particular area. If you have a business that sells vintage furniture, then you’re probably familiar with how to sand wood furniture and how to reupholster old chairs. Your blog could be a way to share that information with the public.

Sharing your knowledge doesn’t mean that every reader will become your competition. After all, reading about how to refinish a vintage chair doesn’t mean that you’ll set right out to start your own furniture business. People are naturally curious, and many people are eager to learn more about new subjects. By giving out information freely, you’re putting yourself and your business into a position of authority. When a reader is ready to buy their own vintage furniture one day in the future, they will remember that you are the expert. They might turn to you and your website for guidance, and they could easily become long-term customers.

Showcasing niche blog expertise

Attract New Leads Using SEO Optimized Blog Content

If you’re interested in how to write a blog for marketing purposes, then you might already be familiar with SEO. Through SEO, or search engine optimization, you can use your blog as part of your inbound marketing strategy.

SEO involves optimizing your content so that it is more likely to appear in search engine results pages. This might mean using keywords in the text and in the metadata so that your content is easier to find and classify. While you can use SEO best practices on virtually any website, a blog is a fantastic way to incorporate more keywords. If your desired keyword is “ice cream in New York,” then you’ll want to use that keyword often in order to come up when people are on search engines looking for the best ice cream in the area. Of course, it is hard to use that phrase organically on a single homepage. In a blog, however, you can insert it into a variety of your blog posts. You might use the keyword in all of the following blog articles:

  • What Ice Cream Flavor Best Represents NYC?
  • The Best Ice Cream in Every New York Borough
  • Making Traditional Ice Cream in New York

Each of these posts is interesting and provides value to readers, but they are all also beneficial to your business. They can help more people find you in search engines, leading to more organic traffic. Since more traffic means more potential customers, more leads and more sales, it is a great way to grow your business without relying on traditional advertising methods.

How to Optimize for SEO Using Keyword Planning

For added value and to truly optimize your blog for SEO, you should establish a set of keywords you are thinking of adding to your blog, find a few competitors, and use a tool to help you analyze the performance and ranking of those keywords. If you do this, you’ll also know which keywords you want to avoid.

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Increase Blog Content Tailored for Social Media

Writing blogs brings about a number of benefits, and one of these benefits is that you’ll have ready-made content to share on social media. It is no surprise that social media is big for business. There are currently more than 50 million Facebook pages run by businesses. Part of maintaining a presence on social media is creating plenty of content on a regular basis. Some of this content can be pictures, a few words or an update about your company. Published blog content is also a natural fit for social media.

If you have a new blog post, just share it on Facebook, Twitter or any other preferred social media platform. A portion of your followers will click the link, head to your blog and increase your web traffic. Anyone who runs a company’s social media account knows that coming up with relevant content is challenging. With blog posts, however, you’ve got the story taken care of. Just craft a quick introduction and encourage people to click the link.

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Should You Monetize Your Blog?

If a blog is secondary to your main business venture, then ad revenue may not be your overall goal. For many bloggers, however, writing blogs is all about creating content that can help make a profit. Some bloggers place advertisements right on each post. This can bring in a set price per month, or bloggers can get paid every time a reader clicks on the ad.

There is also the option of affiliate advertising, where bloggers receive a commission based on the sale of a product they promote or link to. Finally, some bloggers can offer direct sales right on their page for products like e-books or meal plans.

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Helpful Tips to Promote your Blog

Perhaps you’re already convinced about the value of blogging. You might even already have a blog, but you’re not seeing the results you first expected. Keep in mind that significant results from blogging can take time. Search engines have to catch up to your new posts, and it is unwise to expect instant success. However, promoting your blog can increased interest as well as traffic. Here are some of the best ways to promote your blog.



Engage With Related Blogs

When you create a blog post, it is easy to get swept into the research, the photos and the content. While keeping quality high has to be a priority, remember that your blog doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There may be other blogs that are very similar to your own. Head over to some of these related blogs and get to know the authors. You can even leave comments on their posts. These comments may include your name and a hyperlink right back to your blog. Since the people reading your comments are already interested in your subject of choice, these are prime targets for your business. Plus, you may get inspiration from related blogs and form some meaningful networking connections for the future.



Optimize Your Blog Posts for Search Engines

A great blog post has to be two things. First, it has to have some kind of value to your target audience. Second, it needs to get seen by your target audience. As you learn how to write a blog post, don’t forget about how to optimize that same blog post. SEO is a necessity if you want your blog to be seen by more people.

That starts with ensuring that certain keywords are found within your content. It also means including headers and having a strong title that clearly states what the content will be about. It might also mean including internal hyperlinks, adding metadata to any pictures and writing a succinct meta description for each post. Although most readers won’t see that information or even know it is there, it can play a key role in getting them to your content in the first place.



Boost Certain Posts on Social Media

Sharing your blog posts on social media is one of the easiest and most effective ways to promote your blog. If people are already following you on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn, then they are at least somewhat interested in what you do. That makes them the target audience for each blog post. While just sharing the post can be a great place to start, many businesses can also pay to promote or boost certain posts. This is an additional cost, but it is a fantastic means of getting the right people to check out your newest blog content.



Send Subscribers Your Blog Posts Via Email

Most businesses today maintain some kind of email list of their potential customers, existing customers and past contacts. If you’re ahead of the curve, you might also have a way for people on your website to sign up to become a subscriber. Email marketing is an excellent way to promote your existing blog content. Whether you send out a quick update or a lengthy newsletter, make sure your blog posts make their way into the email. You can include a hyperlink to each individual post, or you can include a brief introduction to get readers interested in the topic of the post.



Consider Guest Posting

Remember that you’re not the only one trying to promote your blog. There are millions of other individuals trying to do the same thing. One way to increase your audience size and your blog’s traffic is to consider guest posting. If you are a guest post author, it means that you contribute content to another blog. In return, their audience will learn more about you and your company. You can also allow others to serve as guest authors on your blog. You’ll secure more content for your blog, and they will probably promote your website on social media. If both blogs have overlapping or similar audiences, this can be a win-win situation for both parties.



Make It Easy for People to Share Your Blog Posts

If your blog content is valuable to one person, then it will probably be valuable to others in their network. While you can encourage people to share your blog posts, making it easy to do so makes a big difference. At the end of each blog post, include social sharing buttons. These are typically icons for major social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram. With the click of a button, a reader can share your blog post to their social media profile. Sharing is what makes content go viral, and having lots of shares shows that your blog post is valuable to your audience.



Develop Relationships With Influencers in Your Industry

A social media influencer is someone with a large following on a specific social media platform. They can influence the choices of others through their photos, content or recommendations. If you would like to promote your blog, developing a connection with an influencer can help. Often, influencers are paid. They can be paid in cash or even in product, and they can publicly use or promote your business. In many industries, an influencer can have a profound impact on web traffic, brand awareness and sales.

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