Blogging 101

Posted by Cameron Corniuk

May 22, 2017 3:19:32 PM

Great Ideas for Blogs

Often, coming up with the idea for a blog is half the battle. Once blog2.jpgwe know what we want to write about, the rest has a way of following suit relatively quickly. Your most popular blogs – indeed, your most popular content of any type – will always meet the ultimate content standard: “it must help me do my job better.” If your blog meets that standard of value, and it does so in a way that reinforces company marketing themes, you’ll have a winning blog strategy.

Here are five suggestions to help get you started brainstorming on ideas when you are stuck for what to write about for your next blog.

  1. Read our ideas piece on 19 Killer Ideas for Blog Topics
  2. Talk to your customer service department. Write down the questions they’re asked again and again, and turn those into great FAQ blog topics
  3. Talk to your salespeople. Good salespeople will likely know the pain points their customers suffer with better than anyone else in your company.
  4. Tips from other blog writers: this is one of the better pieces we’ve read on blog idea generation.
  5. HubSpot has a cute little blog topic generator tool here.

 

HubSpot Blog Tip Webcast Collection

How do you do keyword research?   How do you ensure your blog post is optimized for search? How do you measure what’s working about your blog strategy? HubSpot has put together a number of webinars to help the budding blogger improve their craft. You can find these videos at its HubSpot Academy, at the link here.

 

HubSpot Blog

Are you a reader rather than a video watcher? HubSpot has published a variety of tips pieces on what works best for making your blogs popular, more searchable, and more sharable, based on data from the 6000+ blog posts they’ve published.

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/seo-social-media-study

  • Word count: Word count is a highly debated topic when it comes to blogging. One thing everyone agrees on is that the content needs to be longer than it used to be, helpful, and written for the searcher rather than the search engines.
    • We have adopted this model for considering how long b-to-b blogs should be:
      • 600 words = good
      • 1200 words = better
      • 2000 words or more = best
    • 2000 words and more is a tall order
    • Save these blogs to be centered on big rock content
    • Aim to try for one of these once a quarter. Also, tie these in to the Content Pillar concept we advocate: a central piece of content can be redeployed and syndicated in an infographic, email, video, article, etc., so you’re getting extra mileage out of the work you put into creating that 2500-word blog post.
    • Word choice matters. If you’re not tying to the right keywords, you’re not going to get the organic traction and marketing impact you’re seeking. Make the title eye catching. Would it make you pause scrolling through Facebook or take note of in Google search results?
    • Title lengths matters. Google is changing things up. Titles should normally be 70 characters or less, but they have been extending this out to as much as 100 characters. Make sure the important word or phrase is toward the beginning of the meta title no matter what.

Additional notes:

  • Use emotion to your benefit. Getting people to laugh or chuckle builds affinity. So does describing a problem in a way that hits home for them.
  • Limit self-promotion. If you need to promote a good or service, link to that key page on your site. And, if what you want to say is not there or is not strong enough there, modify that key page.
  • Verify the audience you are speaking to with this piece and where they are in the buyer’s journey.
  • Have an opinion. This should be part of your brand and messaging. You’ll often find these opinion pieces at the top of your “most popular” list.
  • Cross link: see if your new blog should link to existing blogs or pages. Conversely, can you think of anywhere on your existing site or blog posts that should be linking to this new blog?

 

Technical SEO Specifics:

  • Be sure to use the read more tag and place sharable icons on your blog post.
  • Include a prominent request to subscribe to the blog.
  • Many bloggers mistakenly make the Blog Title, Meta Title, and URL the same. Make each of these different, building upon semantics.
  • The core keywords should be closer to the beginning of the Title, Meta, and URL, but can (and should) vary a bit.
  • If able, use keywords in the H1, H2, H3 headers. Variations of semantics work better than same exact phrase over and over again.
  • The meta description is usually 160 characters or less. This is part of what entices people to click from an organic search result. Don’t be overly promotional. Ask a question, be provocative—something that is going to make them want to click.
  • Do NOT keyword stuff. But, of course be sure to work-related keywords into the post. This helps define relevance.
  • DO make use of semantics.
  • The core keyword/longtail you are targeting for this post should usually be in the first few sentences and last few sentences of the post.
  • Typically 2 to 3 sentences or 2 to 3 inches in height on a standard monitor is the most text you want to have before breaking things up with a line break, image, graph, video, etc.
  • Link to off-site, non-competitive industry resources.
  • Be sure to set a featured image—usually 200x200 or more to be picked up by various social media channels. Be sure to use alt text for those images, using semantic and/or related terms.
  • Be sure to work-related keywords into the post. This helps define relevance.
  • Be sure to categorize and add tags as appropriate
  • Use different formatting to draw attention to certain stats, quotes.
  • Add ClicktoTweet coding:

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Topics: blog, blogging

About Us and this Blog:

At Goldstein Group Communications, we believe passionately in the power of great ideas, coupled with the impact of measurable results. It’s a philosophy that delivers customers to the sales team, profits to the CFO, and sustainable growth to the CEO. Inspired ideas that are grounded in the real world demands of the market.

We call it Measurably Better Marketing. 

 

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