Writing Blog Posts

Blogging for Small Business

Pre Post Considerations:

 

Timing is everything – Find a time where you are least likely to get distracted and shut everything else off.

Keep a mental note of the times you are most productive and update your content calendar accordingly.

Using your content calendar select the next topic on the list.

 

Write the post:

 

Aim for 400-500 words, but 100 words either side is also fine. Just make sure for longer posts that the content is very compelling as attention spans are short.

 

When you start writing the post, do not even consider search engines or optimisation – your only focus should be to create compelling content for your audience.

 

Dedicate 30 minutes for a brain dump on the topic.

 

Spend another 30 minutes prettying it up.

Optimise the Post:

 

Content Checks

Duplication

  • Do not post duplicate content – blogs need to be unique, do not copy content from elsewhere.
  • Try not to overlap content – make each blog as unique as possible.

Keyword Density

  • Try and include a few keywords you are looking to target (1-3% density is ideal) – although the main focus of the content should be user experience.

 

Synonyms and other related keywords / phrases

  • Try and include ‘buzz’ words relevant to your industry.
  • Try to include synonyms and other words/phrases that are relevant to the main targeted keywords in the article
  • Google trusts articles that use related phrases as they broaden the topic more than a post that just focuses on 1 keyword/phrase

In text Links

  • Include in-text links to other website for ‘further information’, but make sure they are authoritative sites/industry resources
  • Include 2-3 links to other pages on your website where relevant
  • Have external links open in a new browser window

 

Multimedia

Images

  • Use a feature image on every post
  • Use original images where possible
  • If you do not have any original images you can use royalty free images from a number of sources
  • Use multimedia such as videos and picture in blog posts. A very simple thing to do and very effective.

 

  • Make sure that any images used are properly credited in line with licensing
  • Use alt tags
  • Change the image file names (before uploading to your site) so that they are also relevant to the targeted keywords
    • Facebook-likes.jpg instead of image42.jpg

Video

Embedding YouTube videos and adding 1-2 pictures per post is strongly advised.

 

Meta Data

Titles

  • Keep the title to less than 55 characters – Anything more and it will be truncated in search results.
  • There are 2 different types of page titles:
    • Meta Title
    • H1 Title – Stands for Heading 1 and appears in the on page content
  • Have custom urls that include the main search query you are targeting with hypens separating the words:
    • Hyphens are judged by search engines as spaces
    • Try to keep it to 3-4 words in length and still makes sense
      • Eg. mysite.com/increase-facebook-likes instead of mysite.com/how-to-increase-your-facebook-likes
  • Do not over-use headings – only include them within the content where necessary for the reader.
    • Use H2’s and H3’s where is improves readability of the content
    • Only use 1 H1 per post

 

 

 

 

  • Create similar content

Description

Meta Description

  • Keep the meta description between 135 and 160 characters. Descriptions longer than 160 characters will be cut short
  • Mention your main keyword once in the description.
  • Include a call to action
  • Think of this like an advertisement for your post – its main purpose is to entice people to click through from the search results.
  • If you do not set a description Google will make it up for you – and more often than not you will not be please with the result

Final Checks

Readability

One final check after you have optimised the post to ensure that

Mobile Devices

Always check how your post looks on mobile devices.

Call to Action

Always include a call to action at the end of a post to tell people what to do next.

Some good examples

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Date and Author Check

This one is very important and often overlooked:

Decide upon who will be the author of your posts and stick to it.

  • Will it be published under the brand name?
  • Will it be published by a spokesperson?
  • Or will there be multiple contributors?

One thing I see happen with new blogs far too often is that small business owners start publishing on their new blog without considering authorship and end up with a bunch of posts published by:

  • Admin
  • Insert Web Developer’s name

If you are the spokesperson, it is also good best practice to include a link to your blog in the signature of any email communications.