WordPress is our favorite content management system for a whole host of reasons. It works as a fabulous framework for everything from eCommerce to Learning Management and has a solid architecture in place that allows it to be competitive with any stand alone web software for any application you can imagine, while still retaining flexibility to customize in such a way that other systems are often too rigid to accommodate.
Yet when WordPress was just getting started as a true content management system, often when we’d suggest it to clients they’d say “isn’t WordPress just for blogging?” The truth is blogging is what WordPress was originally made to do, and that history is still evident when working with the now infinitely more powerful and flexible platform. And of course creating engaging new content in the form of regular blog posts is one of the simplest yet most powerful tools to improve your search engine rankings. When we tell our clients this, we are sometimes met with groans of “I don’t know what to write about!” or “I don’t have time for that”. But the truth is you can’t afford to not blog, as your competitors are looking for opportunities to sneak ahead of you in the rankings, and stay there for good. What are their SEO consultants telling them to do to make that happen: Write blog posts!
The good news is, if you have a website you already have the essential asset needed to create high quality blog posts for your audience: expertise in your field.
Write about what you know best
This is the first thing I always tell a client who is unsure how to get started with blog posts. Simply write about what you know best: your product, service, your customers, or something else related to your field of work.
Keep it short
In this age of emojis, text messages, and “likes” most of us don’t have the attention span to read a novel length blog post, at least not on our phone where much of your traffic will come from. Keep it digestible for readers, and also short enough so that you can actually find the time to write it. It is much better to post a simple 2-3 paragraph blog post than to not post at all.
There was a time when best practice for SEO was to stuff a blog post with as many keywords that you wanted to rank for as possible. There were even sneaky techniques where you would load a bunch of those keywords onto the bottom of the post and then hide them from public view so only the search engines would see them. These kinds of techniques are now ineffective at best, and considered “black hat SEO” at worst (which will quickly get you banned by Google, a very bad thing indeed). Google and other search engines have such complex algorithms these days that the best approach is to simply write naturally and in a way that actual humans will find easy to read and informative. Don’t feel the need to use fancy words or a clever writing style if that is not the way you write or talk. Express yourself like you would if you were chatting on the phone or replying to an email from a customer, and you’ll make the search engines happy.
Research as needed
Another good approach is to identify a topic that you have an interest in or relates to your field that you want to learn about, and to use the opportunity to write a blog post about what you learn. Think of it as a little research project to expand your expertise and engage your audience as well.
Spread the word
Whenever you create new content on your site, you need to let your readership know, and give them the opportunity to let their friends, family, and people they went to high school with 30 years ago and haven’t seen in just as long know. Yes, I’m talking about social media. Be sure to post any new blog post, or other content on your website for that matter (events, new products, etc.) to all of the appropriate social media channels. The right ones to choose depends on your field, but if in doubt, use them all and cross post across platforms, always linking back to the website. If you have a newsletter for your customers it is always a smart idea to include any new blog posts on that as well.
You don’t have to be William Shakespeare to write a quality blog post, far from it. But you do need to have basic command of the language you are writing in, and more importantly enough attention to detail to avoid spelling errors. In this day and age there are few excuses for misspellings in written communication aside from sloppiness, and this will stand out to your readership and make a bad impression which they’ll use to judge the quality of products or services you are providing. Just use the spell check and have a friend or colleague or two read it over and you should be good to go.
Writing blog posts doesn’t have to be a chore, and if you frame it in the context of writing about something you love (your field of work or business) then you can quickly find it to be an enjoyable break from the routine. I know I always do! So turn off your phone notifications for an hour, put on your blue blocker glasses, plop down in front of your computer, and write a blog post!