This is rule number one, the most important element of blog writing: consistency. And this means avoiding the trap that most small business websites, even complex ones, end up falling into when they start blogging: an initial burst, with regular posts being churned out for maybe a week or two, only for posts to gradually slow in their frequency until, after a time, the blog is barren – a relic of a past time when the imagination and enthusiasm burned strong.
This is, by far, the hardest thing to avoid. To start with, the toil of churning out blogs every day will be painful because, well, there will be no tangible evidence to suggest that your endeavours are bearing fruit. But be patient. If you can write between three to five blog posts a week for, say, six to eight weeks, you will build up a swell of traffic that Google’s search engines – as well as other bloggers – will pick up on. And if you get to this stage, blogging will come more naturally to you. Your website traffic will prove that sticking at it was a smart move.
Optimise Your Posts
Ahead of charging into writing your first blog, it is worth doing some research to ensure that your posts are optimised for your audience. This doesn’t need to take forever. Just brainstorm a list of keyword phrases, maybe two or three words long, that one might type into the search engine when looking for your ecommerce website, and use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to estimate the search volume for each keyword phrase. Once you have found the best performing keyword, ensure that it is included – four or five times – in every post.
And then, of course, there are the more obvious ways of optimising your content such as word count. The more words, the better. Posts that are 1,000 words in length have much more chance of finding your audience than 200-worders. Moreover, make sure that you use each post as a chance to provide internal links to either other blog posts or your ecommerce website’s home page. This linking with other aspects of your website is a hugely effective way of moving up the Google rankings.
Take Time With Titles
You may have a fantastic blog idea and write something that is passionate and incisive, but if your title is no good, you may as well have not bothered. Hardly anyone will read your blog unless the title really pulls them in. The first rule, of course, is to ensure that some part of the SEO keyword phrase that you decided on earlier is included within the title. The title has to be clearly relevant and totally unambiguous. Readers need to immediately know what your piece is about.
At the same time, though, you cannot give the reader everything, which is where the “clickbait” element comes in. The title has to include enough information to pull in the reader whilst also withholding the essential “crux” of the post, thereby forcing the reader to click.
This doesn’t mean that you should write titles like “You’ll NEVER Believe This Amazing Selling Trick!” Just make sure that the title satisfies the dual task of clearly presenting your subject whilst giving an incentive to click further. A good way of doing this – as you may have guessed from ALL my blog posts – is phrasing posts as a question or, if not that, including some quoted text followed by a sharp, short title.
Connect With Bloggers and Customers
As a blogger, you are part of a much wider community – one consisting of readers and fellow bloggers. Reaching out to them on a constant basis is incredibly important. Writing blogs can often be a lonely experience, as if you were speaking into the void from your little corner. But that is not the reality. There are tonnes of like-minded ecommerce website designers just like yourself who are, just like you, looking for cross-promotions and ways to link their posts to other similar blogs. Look for them. Be enthusiastic and share your blog with anyone who will listen.
An even easier and more obvious way of growing your blog is through interacting with readers and customers. If you are active in your comments section, the casual reader will see you in a different light and perhaps end up visiting your online shop. On top of that, comment on other similar blog posts. Getting your name out there, being as active as possible on a regular basis, serves as the foundation of any successful blog.