chapter 21

Start Your Own Blog

Starting a successful blog can be the easiest and cheapest way to attract thousands of new customers. All it comes down to is how well you can create valuable content for your readers. If you put the time and creative energy into blogging, it can pay dividends for years to come.

The beauty of blogging is that once you’ve created a great piece of timeless content, the search engines will bring you traffic to that page for the lifetime that page exists. So it’s a worthwhile endeavor since it’s really a way of planting seeds of future growth for your business.

Creating Exceptional Content

Many corporate business blogs will usually pump out very boring content that doesn’t get much attention. So don’t look to them for examples. Articles like “XYZ company’s fifth birthday office party” and “A day in the life of an XYZ employee” just doesn’t do much for attracting new customers. However, creating exceptional blog post topics is quite easy. Let’s go into how you can create a list of topics that will win you traffic and new customers.

What are some common questions your customers ask?

Answering common questions in the form of long detailed blog post always makes great content. Look through old emails to see what recurring questions arise. You can also survey your customer using surveymonkey.com to help fish for content ideas.

Create “How-To” Content

If you want to jump right into making content, then the easiest type of content to tackle is “How-To” posts. Just explain how to do something that’s a common task for your customers. For example, Lowe's does an exceptional job at providing "how-to" content that helps its target customers maintain and beautify their homes. When you visit, you'll find posts like:

  • How to Install a Toilet
  • How to Operate a Chain Saw
  • How to Make a Poinsettia Bloom Year After Year

It's the same reason we write blog posts like this one: How to Start a Blog. It's valuable content we know Shopify merchants want to learn.

In the end, what you are trying to achieve is to be the online authority of your subject matter. The beauty of this is it builds trust with online visitors. This helps to convert them into lifelong paying customers.

Be sure to use a lot of clean photos, images and diagrams to help communicate within your blog posts. And if you feel up for the challenge, give video blogging a shot to up the ante. 

Make Sure Your Blog is SEO Optimized

Before you get too far into blogging, you’re going to want to make sure that your blog is optimized for the search engines. Here are the few things you need to look out for:

  • Title Tags – Title tags are the holy grail of on-page SEO. First, you’re going to want to make sure that they are present on every page of your blog. Simply look for the title tag in your source code. View the source code of all your webpages and look for “<title>, that’s the title tag code. If it’s in your source code that’s a good thing. The next thing is to make sure the title of your post is inside <title> and the </title> tag. This means search engines can index the page for their results.
  • Meta Descriptions – The meta description is used in search engine results to give extra descriptions for each result. Look for the code:  <meta name="description" content=" in your source code. Again, this means you have meta descriptions present on your web pages. The next thing is to see is if there is a description present within the content=“” part of your meta description. Hopefully you see a couple of sentences describing what the page is about. If you don’t, you’re going to want to make sure you fill those out. 
  • Block Duplicate Content - The golden rule when it comes to on-page SEO is to make sure that you limit repeating the same textual content on multiple URLs.  The way to do this on a blog is to make sure your blog home page isn’t posting the entire textual content of each post.  So make sure your settings are only showing snippets from the posts on the blog home page. Also, make sure you block your comments pages in your robots.txt file because they are usually duplicates of your blog posts.
  • Check Your Text Navigation – Search engines find their way to content by following hyperlinks. Make sure you can navigate to your blog from your main website home page via text links. If you can do that, then so can the search engines.

Frequency

Blogging is something that you should commit to on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, the more you blog, the more the search engines will crawl your website. Additionally it can raise the importance and authority of your website in the eyes of the search engines. This leads to increased traffic and obviously more business.

The number one mistake most entrepreneurs who engage in blogging make is that they start off strong and then completely stop. It’s important to keep the show going as it will be a main source of free internet traffic after a few months. Unfortunately, a lot of business owners are too impatient to wait for the effects to kick in.

One way to solve this problem is to look at your blog as a resource rather than a burden. If you create content that solves your customer’s problems, you can use your blog content as a solution resource that you can send to customers or employees that have questions. 

Promotion

The best way to promote your blog content is through your marketing lists which you build through a simple sign-up box prominently displayed on your blog. If you’ve been building your marketing lists, you probably have a decent audience to help spread your content to the masses. 

Be sure to post your content to Facebook , Twitter and Linkedin the day your content is published. Keep tabs on what time of the day most of your social media followers are logged into their accounts so you can increase the likelihood of them seeing the content in their own feeds.

Another little trick to help promote your content is to link to other articles when references or citing information. You can reach out to the authors that you linked to and ask them if they can share your content with their audience. You’ll find that often times; they will have no problem giving your content a tweet or Facebook share. And of course, this is another great way to build business relationships.

We highly recommend blogging if you have the knack for it. It’s one of those marketing strategies that can potentially brings in the biggest share of customers, not only can you build authority and genuinely help people with content they appreciate, but you'll see how quickly they reciprocate with a purchase or two. If you're still unsure as to the steps you need to get started, read our blog post, How to Start a Blog which will provide step-by-step guidance and everything you need to know.

Next chapter

22. Write a Controversial Blog Post

4 min

Start your free 14-day trial today!