I get asked what’s a blog and how to blog all the time, as if I know. I have been‚ blogging since 2006 after Andy Beard’s blog influenced me to stop spamming them and make one. I thought it would be cool if in some way, one day, I could have a blog like my seo hero lol US based link builder Jim Boykin (who in fact was the first seo I ever ended up meeting as a result of blogging).
I do treat this blog as virtually a personal blog, but I always have someone looking over my shoulder these making sure I don’t get us sued (unsuccessful move as it was :) ) again so I need to remember Hobo is sort of a corporate blog.
On a simple level blogging just about adding content to your site. The more content you have, the more traffic you’ll get, the more links you’ll attract, the more domain authority you’ll build, and around you go again.
We got over 650,000 visitors to our site, most from blogging in 2009. There’s no single way to blog and here’s what I learned and how I did it if you are totally new to blogging.
Every time I blog I have some simple aim in mind, and on a post by post basis, none are really that clever, but together as a whole, I hope to create, well, a resource of sorts that drives traffic.
- Some blog posts are for attracting links from other sites
- Some posts are for growing a reputation and influence in social media
- Some posts are for giving back, helping those who have helped you, and linking out
- Some posts are about the company, but not many
- Some posts are about the company’s products, but not many
- A lot of posts are about unlocking domain authority and ranking in search engines
- Some posts are about connecting with industry or niche players
- Some posts are about conversation
- Some posts are about traffic
- Some posts are about increasing subscribers (and losing them)
- Some posts I do because I have an affiliate link
- Some posts are just to test how Google works
- Some posts I do because I like writing and putting ideas down
- Some blog posts are for fun – (dumb posts can often do really well in social media circles)
- Some blog posts are a bit more serious
Blogging is pretty easy – and it looks as though you get better (or at least it gets easier) the more you do it especially if you copy how others do certain elements of it.
I learned (and still learn) how to blog at:
- Andy Beard
- Daily Blog Tips
- Pro Blogger
- Copy Blogger
- and I like the stuff Outspoken Media pump out these days
These people do it better than me, and/or make more money blogging. Of course everybody loves seo book and seomoz for the way they’ve presented seo to the masses, and I like SEO a bit more geeky these days so I like reading Sebastian’s Pamphlets,
SEO Consultants, Huomah and SEO By The Sea to name a few.
My single aim when I started this blog was to add content to my site which, because of the way blogging works, pages appear immediately in Google results.
What I’ve learned in simple terms is most people don’t care about your boring company or products (leave that for the search engine visitors who are looking for your stuff) and most people connect with the individual if the voice behind the blog is at least honest.
Helping others out when you can, seems to be a good way of getting on in the blogging world.
Some savvy marketers might say the biggest mistake I made (probably) was running the blog for 3 years with virtually no ads of any kind, but I’ll introduce some sort of limited advertising on the site in 2010. I don’t want that stuff to get in the way.
Actually, I think my bigest mistake was blogging for nearly two years not giving a damn about subscriber counts, which is actually my most important metric now even above traffic and search engine positions for this site at least. (Compare your feed with others
here and learn how to increase subscriber counts here)
We’ve got well over 6,000 email subscribers when at the start of the year i thought I’d set myself a target of 2,000 so, cool, it has seemed to work out just by blindly pushing on.
I think the biggest mistake you will probably make is you’ll be scared to link out to other blogs and send traffic to other blogs (even those in the same industry as your company).
And that is a mistake.
If you’re not even a bit generous with your links in articles, and all your links are to internal pages, you’re making it much harder for yourself. I see blogs do this all the time – being stingy with links – it’s so narrow-minded.
I blog about what I want to blog about and I link to wherever relevent. I don’t care if it’s newsworthy or not and I don’t want to turn into anything like a seo news blog, but at the beginning, tracking industry news stories is always a good way to go.
I prefer to add content which might be of help to folk, and might get me a link at some point. That’s my blogging strategy at the moment lol and I would rather do that than scour Twitter all night for the latest news story.
The benefit of blogging for us is simple: we’ve never had to pay anybody for advertising, ever, or had to ask anybody for work, ever. Because of it, the phone goes every day. It takes about an hour a day (usually at night) to do. Not that hard to understand.
It’s by no means the end, but I thought I would share some random thoughts about what I’ve learned about corporate blogging to date.
One last tip? I think blogging should be at the centre of any social media marketing you employ and I don’t think it’s too late to start – ever.
If you’ve got any blogging tips, experiences or nightmares you’re willing to share, you could drop them in the comments.