Blogging’ and Website Design success in 2022.
A guide to blogging from Martin at Mac Websites – Limerick and Munster’s leading Website Design and Content Creation Consultancy
As we all know the internet started out as a simple medium for the publishing and exchanging academic views. And ever since it first appeared it’s rapidly developed into the most prolific exchange of facts and opinion, one that we now depend on in some shape or form today. Thanks to the creation of platforms like Google, and forums like Twitter and Facebook, the internet has become a fascinating and incredibly useful medium for expanding commercial opportunities. Nevertheless, where ever you are on the internet the fundamentals of its existence remain exactly the same today as it did at the outset. And, it’s with these principles upper most that we aim to approach any website design and blogging activity with the right mind-set.
The world wide web is now our go to place for entertainment and for information. It’s our go to place to discover and learn about aspects of our lives that are highly personally important to us. It’s the provider of answers to the meridian of questions we ponder each day, both in our home life and careers. And there in-lays the quintessential essence of your internet presence should you wish to create one for your business or institution. The burning question is as always – whose problem are you there to solve today – and why indeed would you be involving yourself anyway. A clearly defined purpose is absolutely key.
But before delving into the depths of content designed to satisfy someone’s needs, or curiosity, a quick summary of how useful a blog can be to the overall dynamic of your website (or internet foot print as I like to refer to it as) is perhaps timely at this point. Because, for the time and energy expended in creating one, it’s worth noting commercially why it all makes perfect business sense to do so.
Why is it Useful to Blog
This old adage has never lost its significance, ‘Content is King’. And as we highlighted in the first paragraph that the internet is the ultimate exchange of information, ideas and opinions, then the more up to-date and relevant the content, then the more it’s both appreciated and sought after.
For example; ” 5 Great Tips to improve your Blogging in 2022”, is going to find more relevance than an article posed 5 years ago when so much has changed since. And that could be said of your competitor’s entire website too, as all too often they become forgotten as commercial life takes over. Given that Blogging articles rank higher than actual static website pages, the act of adding fresh new content and links is appreciated more by search engines than standing by stale anchor pages that have not evolved. And let’s not forget, that in actually engaging in the habit of blogging this too increases the size of your local data presence over and above a competitors neglected set of web pages which may simply be showcasing a telephone number and email address.
An additional aspect in favour of regular blogging also feeds neatly into the content game plan. Blog articles by nature are often focused on one subject, a specific issue or product, this is in contrast to a catch-all page of service information. This and can often be likened to that new term you may have come across, ‘The Landing Page’. They are the ‘How to” that you go looking for or, “ this is better than that “ pages you find. And of course this kind of delivery of information becomes a very powerful proposition when there’s an offer attached funnelling traffic to your website. Indeed the most successful form of Newspaper advertising ever, was considered to be the ‘Editorial Advert’, or better still a fully-fledged press article boasting your merits by a third party, rather than the eye catching image and brand label. And why is that?
In offering yourself an expert in your chosen field, which undoubtedly you are, someone somewhere will acquire enough confidence when reading your insights, to invite you to address their concerns in a more commercial manner, be it to buy a product or subscribe to a service. And by the time they get in touch, all the hard works already done, they are already sold. It’s an absolute no brainer – Keep Blogging !
But what do I write and how do I go about it?
It’s at this point when vacant expressions set in and that enthusiasm sags. Either you set about looking for a professional copywriter to offer a helping hand, or hang fast with a determination to stretch your creative skills. Certainly you’ll be surprised that when you engage with chatting in your head about your own knowledge base, how quickly things can actually arrive on paper. The first secret is, is to imaging who it is you’re talking too. Nurture empathy with the issues they are facing, and set down how you can go about address them. The first task as always is to get a brief overview of what you want to say.
Map it out.
Title, Strapline, First Paragraph, Content, Sub Headers, Conclusion, Call to Action
Title: a combination sentence of the ‘Problem and Solution. People like lists, step by step approaches as this indicates you’re there to inform and guide (not sell). Tips, tricks, life hacks call it what you will, the gift of empowering people to achieve their goals is the business you’re in today! Include your articles chosen key word in the title.
Strapline: A snapshot of why you are writing this and to whom, and possibly where they are located which is good for your SEO. For example: A guide to how to, for those with ‘x’ living in ‘x’ region.
First Paragraph: Engage, either draw interest with a statement that’s either a question or a statement of fact. Or, start painting a picture in the minds of readers which brings them in to the realm of discussion in following a train of thought. A sentence that qualifies or invokes interest, and remember you are not the point of interest, the problem and its solution is. ‘I’ is a word to avoid at all costs.
The activity of expanding and deconstructing the problems faced and introducing the solution and fixes.
Section Headers: These are brilliant in helping to contain blocks of information. You may have a multi-faceted problem with a multitude of solutions or steps to take. Outline your thought processes or relevant information in to clear section headers. Show the reader that the entire subject can be addressed in bite sized chunks, so as not to overwhelm. These you can list before hand after the first paragraph, as shown in the ‘Blog Template’ illustration at the end of this article. This is simply ‘Anchoring’ an index of subheadings that can be jumped to. This feature is also a recognized tool that search engines like, as is aids the delivery of rapid contextual solutions. Later I’ll add a summery on how to create anchor links in Word Press.
Great words to use and handy tips to engage your reader
As eluded to earlier, if we can focus or visualize on writing our thoughts as though we are chatting to just one person, then we will instantly notice our conversation on the page begins to flow. Some psychologists note that when we watch TV for example, we begin to exclude all that is within our peripheral vision and in those very moments we are actually heading towards a semi- hypnotic state, a mini trance. Have you ever noticed that phenomena? The same with reading, if as a writer you can gain sufficient interest, get up close and personal with the reader, then you are part way there in capturing and maintaining their un- divided attention. How is that done exactly? The first fundamental is keep the conversation all about them and rooted in the solutions you deliver. Like, how it will you improve their current circumstance and how easy will your suggestions be to follow ? The key here is to really know your subject and deliver on your knowledge base without using the word ‘I’ too much. Yes that’s an attention killer – remember this really is not about you!
“I did this, I did that, I’m so happy, I’m passionate about my business” Me, me, me – my, my, my! These may all initially sound great, and what the modern day interpretation of what an ‘entrepreneur’ should sound like. BUT, yeah great, all that appears to a achieve is re-affirming how much of a failure they are. Yes readers should feel your energy but not to the point of deflation, and deflecting from actually who is the most important person in the conversation – your reader!
And given we are exploring the means of engaging and holding someone’s attention linguistically, what words will help us maintain attention? Earlier in the paragraph a clue was offered. Ah yes, the clue was in using words that would help creating that semi hypnotic state you get when watching the telly or reading a good book. And what better words to use than those actually used as key triggers by hypnotists ?
Now before there’s any notion that there’s any intent here to teach you how to hypnotize you reader in to buying your entire stock catalogue, that really not what’s happening. You may recollect that a good novel uses words that grip you, draws you in to a world of imagination where you see a drama played in front of you. And as with creative writing there are techniques that you can use, sentences and words, that if you’re stuck or feel content is dragging, you can insert and quickly pick up the pace again and keep that all important reader engagement.
For example: sentences and qualifiers may sound like this:
“ Would – you rather discover now how to become an effective blogger now or later?
“You’re right – why hang around?”
“Really – and best of all you can when ”
“You might have noticed – how that was worded”
“Where would you feel a sense of achievement”
“Sometimes – sometimes the improvements you seek are where you’d least expect them”
“And as – you apply”
“Will you – try this before attempting that”
“How quickly – would you like to”
“Now that you – have”
“ Do you wonder – had it ever”
“What happens when – you notice”
“It’s been heard – from an authority on that subject”
“How would it feel – if you”
“Is there a part of you – looking for the right career”
“Can you feel – a sense of achievement looming”
“ The more you – learn or engage”
“ And yet – in contrast to x”
“ We won’t tell you, you’ll discover ‘this’ for yourself”
“ Perhaps, this is worth exploring further”
“Because when you are already”
“You may, indeed find”
“Does it not – indeed it doesn’t”
That’s a quick snapshot of the kind of words you can use to successfully maintain rhythm and engagement. Try out these suggestions in your next written assignment and see how it works out for you. Now that you have an idea, the next segment gets a little more into the technical frame work of a blog and how to best engage with search engines. You’ll want to know because SEO is referred to a lot out there in website world.
Blogs and SEO formatting aids good website design
The great thing about using Word Press is that there are some superb plug-ins that gets rid of the much of the jingoistic mystique surrounding this subject, often peddled by those selling courses.
It’s simple, either your page includes the key works you are hoping connects and resonates with would be browsers, or it doesn’t. Or, the page uses the right number of words in the relevant Google descriptive elements, or it doesn’t. The plug-in currently used by Mac Websites with clients is AIOSEO, it helps users optimize their content based on widely accepted practices. They have 3 million users and it’s pretty easy to get the hang of, and yes there are free and pro packages. The plug-in ranks your efforts by scores and also back checks you to ensure any images you post are including key words in the Alt Text descriptions, or whether you’ve forgotten your key word in the first paragraph, internal links and more besides. How great a relief is that?
But above all most common question about blogging is how much should I write? The current consensus is Search Engines are only interested in content that’s around 1,500- 2000 words minimum. Perhaps a check box to ensure that content remains as articles, rather than memos or extended notes. Where subject explanations and helpful solutions are not glossed over, enabling readers to gains full context and content. After-all, the fundamental of the internet is as an source of accredited information. It’s also worth taking on board that browser site visit of over 2 minutes also register with Search Engines that the site is worthy of attention. So a good blog should have readers hanging on beyond this watershed. It’s also noticeable that this ‘word target’ may also go some way to ensuring that its content actually makes legible sense, and isn’t written with just the intent of copy pasting key words on mass – which is an absolute no, no.
And Finally – should you be at it for the long haul?
How would it feel is you had an amazing back catalogue of content, so enriching it made your site one of the go to sources in your locality? And furthermore it becomes a quoted source, creating those all-important back links to your site – ah, that’s pure GOLD in ranking terms.
Its a sad fact that from an absolute yes this dream quickly dissipates and all often becomes abandoned amidst the everyday pressures faced by SME’s. As with all things, just one moment taken to structure some basic steps and goals and these positive outcomes will eventually manifest. Committing to one blog post a month is that something you should seriously consider, given it adds such a distinct gravitas to your internet standing. Just doing that provides an incredible foothold, and in mapping out your publishing activities to reflect specific products/services and related info guides, then it’s easy enough to see a pathway ahead. When worked in with your overall social media posting strategy (which is more news and ‘event’ led activity) featuring your monthly blog as a media post it’s a great way to showcase your market commitment in meeting your clients needs, and in drive traffic to your sight. Now note the word commitment. Dependent on your own personal business goals, you are still free to delegate and buy in the necessary skillset. But, the commitment and the objectivity remains the same – BUILD YOUR WEB PRESENCE BIGGER and DOMINATE!
When you are on the look out for good website design in Limerick, or in Ireland as a whole, you should be talking to Mac Websites. Call, text or whatsapp on 0857394081, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
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“This is the copywriter’s task: not to create this mass desire – but to channel and direct it”- Eugene Schwartz.
Perhaps the most profound book on writing advertising copy. Break Though Advertising