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Five ways to a successful blog

how to blog

1. Know your brand, know your audience

The ‘who, what and why?’ of your company should ring true in everything you produce from the product/service you’re selling through to what you post on social.

Once it is clear who you are, why you exist and what you stand for it’s much easier to curate content that gives life to and supports your brand. It also makes it easier for your customers to relate to you.

You need to be able to level with your readers, but to do that you need to know exactly who you’re talking to. How old are they? Where do they work? What do they do in their spare time? Create a profile: start with the outline or ‘demographics’ (age, education, socio-economic status, gender etc.) and then colour them in with the ‘psychographics’ (hopes, fears, aspirations, attitudes, views etc.). If you really want to dig deeper, familiarise yourself with Hugh Mackay’s ‘10 Desires’, this will help give you insight into the ‘core’ of your audience.

2. Consistency is key

Be consistent, it can’t be stressed enough. This includes your tone of voice, the way in which your content is presented (aesthetics) and frequency. If your brand identity is down-pat the former points should come as second nature.

Think of tone of voice as the ‘personality’ of your brand and the visual representation is how it ‘dresses’. For example, take a business in the education sector – you could expect to read something educational, informative and authoritative, published on a conventional site with simple graphics. Imagine this as a person and it might conjur images of a history teacher or principal. Now imagine that teacher came into class at random intervals, dressed eccentrically and talking off topic. You’d be confused and doubtful of their authority and the validity of their messages. Don’t confuse your audience. Stay true to your brand identity and post about things that relate to your business.

3. Keep it relevant

Don’t post for the sake of posting, this is the easiest way to lose sight, go off topic and lose your audience’s interest. The old adage ‘quality over quantity’ could not be truer in this instance. Set a reasonable goal as to how often you can post and balance this with having relevant, topical content. A general benchmark is one blog post per week.

4. Aesthetically pleasing, easy reading

On the topic of maintaining your audience’s interest, the simplest recipe is ensuring the content is easy to digest. You might find your latest report, research or finding super-interesting but unless it can be understood by the masses, there’s not much point posting it. Pick out the key messages of what you want to say and write them in a way you would communicate face-to-face. After all, you are posting on a social platform so keep it light, conversational and encourage your audience to engage in the dialogue.

Don’t forget layout and design can do wonders for making your content more readable. Don’t have the faintest idea about visual communication? Check out resources like Canva that offer both a platform to create graphic content as well as tutorials on basic design principles.

5. Link yourself, link others

Utilising social media (including blogging) is a great way to better your SEO. Another valuable way you can increase SEO is through link building. Ensure when mentioning other sites and businesses that you do so in a natural, organic way. An example within this article is above. The mention of Canva doesn’t stick out as a purposeful SEO tactic as it’s valuable information, relative to the topic.

Lastly, ensure you’re linking back to your business. Each platform should have the appropriate social media widgets and an obvious link to your website. It is also super-important that blog posts are easily shared – ensure your audience can click to repost on their personal Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Email etc so that you can tap into their audiences too.

About the author:

This article was written by Jo Scard, Managing Director, Fifty Acres Communications Agency. With over 20 years’ experience in communications, political advisory roles and journalism, Jo Scard is Australia’s foremost strategic adviser to Not-For-Profits, entrepreneurs and government.