So, your blog sucks and you’re too poor to pay a pro to fix it.
Well I got news for you, miss.
Your blog is your second most important (free) marketing tool that you have, so you best be making sure it’s a good one (your website is first).
There’s a favourite recruiter saying that candidates only have 8 seconds to impress us before their resume gets turfed. The same can be said for your blog posts.
Blog to Impress
There are roughly 4.7 billion indexed websites and as few as 1 billion blogs competing for attention - your work’s cut out for you.
Small business owners and start-ups tend to write their blog content themselves – forgoing a professional content writer due to the extra costs involved, for others, it's keeping creative control of their content. I get it.
But unless you’re a good writer with a knack for keywords, you’re probably doing yourself out of some business.
So, in recognition of the little guys out there who’ve been going it alone – I’ve put together a short and sharp Blog content DIY. It won’t be quite as comprehensive as a Bunnings Guide to Paving Outdoor Entertaining Areas, but it's a good start for giving your blog a face-lift that your audience can fall in love with.
Your DIY Guide to a Better Blog
1. Know your keywords (30-90mins*)
Super important – your keywords are how your audience finds you in search engines.
Ask yourself - How would people search for your business? And, what do you want to be known for? How often are these keywords or key phrases in your blog content?
If you still aren't sure which words you should be using, type your search phrases into Google and see where you place (if you’re on the first page, you’re #nailingit!). Then check out the bottom of the page for Google's 'other' suggestions and try incorporating these into your content too.
The longer the better. So for Betty's Flowers, you could be looking at “How to Design a Spring Flower Posy” or “How to Care for Orchards”. Ask customers what's on their mind and how you can help them solve a specific problem they're having.
If business is slow right now and you’re kicking back with a Vino while bingeing Gilmore Girls on Netflix (guilty), you should check out your competitors too. What are they writing about? How are they ranking on Google? Find out what keywords they’re having success with and if they're relevant, add them to your content plan, too.
Check out Spyfu.com to see what your competitors are cooking up.
*WARNING: researching keywords is highly addictive
2. Optimize your content (30mins)
This is where you put your keywords to good use. And I don’t just mean scramble a whole bunch of keywords together and stuff them in your blog posts.
Try adding your keywords to your Headings (H1 and H2 level), your page meta description, your image tags, and throughout your post.
It's a fine art and really important you don’t overdo it, folks. Google frowns on keyword stuffing - they don't like being duped.
If your blog post isn't easy for humans to read or make sense of, then it won’t work. And since it’s humans paying for your goods and services and not a Google algorithm – make sure you’re catering for both here :)
This is the part a good copywriter will do really well.
3. Calls to Action (10mins)
Well, der. If you’re not telling your audience to do something at the end of every post, then it’s no wonder they’re bouncing off!
Make sure you have a clear call to action on each page. Whether that’s directing them to read more About You, Leave a Comment, Sign Up for Your Newsletter, Book Your Service – pick one and run with it!
They need you to tell them what to do.
4. Style and Formatting (20mins)
Death to block text! As a reader and writer, if there’s one thing that absolutely puts me off reading further, it’s large chunks of text!
Embrace white space.
Embrace new paragraphs.
Embrace short, sharp, snappy sentences written in clean (but engaging) English. KISS! (like I'm doing riiiiiight now)
And a quick one before I forget – do a spelling and grammar check. Copy and paste your content into a word processor and run the damn check before you publish. Please. #noexcuse
5. Craft Clean, Crisp, Compelling Content (45mins)
While we’re on the specifics of content, make sure what you write is engaging. Why should people keep reading your crappy blog? Does it make sense? Does it give them what they need?
Your language should be conversational and approachable, like two friends sitting down for #cawfee. You can do this by speaking to your audience (you, your, you’re), telling them what they’re thinking and how you can solve their problems (like no one else can).
(If you want to learn more on how to write engaging content – check out my next blog!).
6. The pretty stuff (60mins)
Despite the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ people still do. So what’s your cover saying?
Your graphics and images are as important as your content. Make sure you’re using a clean template that’s easy to read and navigate.
Design 3-5 graphic templates in your brand colour palette, choose a font family, and identify your image style (bright and colourful, clean and monochromatic, warm and welcoming), to align with your brand personality.
You want your blog to invite your audience to engage, stick around and explore your site (and ultimately buy!). Check with your friends and family for their feedback and update your posts accordingly.
There you have it! My Top 6 tips for a quick DIY blog face-lift.
Do you find these helpful?
I included a rough time guide for each step so you could plan these activities into your working day.
But if you honestly can't remember the last time you kicked back with a Vino 'on the clock' - then get in touch for a consult. As a fully-pro (fully sik) copywriter these days, I can help you jazz up your blog and email content to get you engaging your audience and ranking hard.
Check out my content strategy and marketing services to learn more.