One of the crucial steps to building a successful business or brand online is having consistent traffic, after all, you can’t thrive if no one is coming to your site! With over half of all visitors to your site coming from organic search traffic, you need a strategy in place to ensure you are continuously winning that traffic. So long as you already have a website (and if not, we can help) you have all the tools you need to start netting yourself organic search traffic! This time on the Helix House blog, we’re looking at blogs and how you can leverage this resource to net your business increase traffic, positioning yourself as the authority of your field, and grow your brand. Just follow this 5-step process!
First, you need to decide on what exactly you want to write about!
Choosing Your Topic
You might already have plenty of topics ripe for blogging! Are there questions you have to answer every call? Regular topics of support emails? These can make great content pieces to build on!
But what if you don’t have a clue where to start? You can check a few favorite sites of your own or do some reconnaissance on competitors. What are they writing about? Do those topics look like they would be of benefit to your audience? Okay, jot those down!
After you have a list of possible topics, the next step is to narrow in on what makes for the best one. There are a few ways to do this.
One of them is a free tool from Google called Google Trends. You could plug in the topics/keywords to see the general popularity of the terms. Google Trends doesn’t show us the actual search volume. For that, you can use other tools to find longtail keywords and their volume like Ahrefs and Answer the Public.
Filter through the results, find the keywords/topics that look to be the most valuable, with the most potential visits. Keeping in mind that it’s a term that is in your business niche and has enough monthly searchers to warrant the time investment you will be making.
Now you’re ready to get writing, you just have to defeat that terrifying blinking cursor on that empty blank space. For some writers an outline is totally useful, placing the big ideas of what you want to tackle can help give your blog a skeleton, a guide for you to follow. Your outline can simply include three major points you’d like to hit on or it could be as robust as listing headings, subheadings, openers, and conclusions. Once you’ve got that framework figured out you can start building out your post in your first draft.
The first draft is all about getting your ideas out on the page. These can be rough, half baked, out of order – whatever. For the first draft turn off your editor brain and just keep going. Soon enough you’ll have a rough piece of content ready for editing.
Edit and Feedback
Once your first draft is completed, take a moment to go back through and fix any obvious mistakes and make changes that are clear. Typos, moving around sections so that they flow better, that sort of thing. This is by no means the final pass on the piece! Instead, this first pass is just to get it to a place where it can be reviewed by someone else.
Having a second set of eyes on your work is crucial for getting good feedback for a number of reasons!
For one, having someone who wasn’t in your head during the writing will spot any glaring gaps in information, where something doesn’t make sense or is clearly… unclear. What might make perfect sense to us might not be as clear to a reader who doesn’t share our brain. If a piece is too inside baseball then the clarity of the message will suffer.
As the writer you can be too close to the piece to have an objective look back on it, everything is on the page for a reason, and it simply wouldn’t do without it! Yeah… That’s just not the case. There is always going to be an extraneous sentence, word, or thought that could be done away with.
When asking for edits on a piece, it can help generate valuable feedback to be specific with what you’re looking for. If you suspect a certain section isn’t working as well as it should, point it out.
The goal of this edit isn’t to simply be told ‘no typos here!’ It is to find those yes, but also to see if it works structurally, if the language is clear, all sorts of stuff.
Revise, Revise, Revise!
When you have your notes back on the areas of improvement it’s time to head back into the trenches of your word processor! Make those revisions your editor suggested, expound where it is needed, cut what’s extra and distill it down to the most cohesive piece you can.
Repeat this as much as you feel is necessary. Move pieces around, rewrite sentences. Work at it until you have something that sings. If you need another round of feedback and revisions, go for it! Know when the feedback is valuable and when it can be ignored. I know, that seems like walking on a knife’s edge but if you believe in your work keep it in.
Once you’ve completed the writing all that’s left is to upload it to your backend and make sure you’re optimizing for those keywords we discussed previously. You’ll need a great title, something to hook the readers into clicking that link in the first place. Come up with a few possibilities and see what clicks. Ask for other opinions if you’re not sure.
When it comes to the URL, you want to make sure it is short and sweet, clearly describing the piece they are going to be reading when they click the link. A URL string made up of a bunch of numbers isn’t as appealing (and optimized) as the keywords listed.
With your blog out there, go ahead and share it to the world, blast it on your social media, you’ve done it! If properly optimized and the topic/terms have value you should see yourself netting organic search traffic soon! It’s by no means an overnight change, but so long as you consistently build blog content into your site you can generate that organic traffic and, more importantly, keep it.
That’ll do it for us this time on the Helix House Blog! We hope this guide gives you the info and structure you needed to start blogging and building your brand!