Businesses and freelancers everywhere are thinking about ways to inject some ‘New Year, new you’ energy into their brands.
The conclusion many of them (perhaps including you) are coming to?
Start a blog.
January is the most popular time of year to create new blogs. It’s the perfect opportunity to start a new habit, after all… right?
Take a look at the graph below.
The blue area shows the percentage of Zyro users who have added a blog to their website; see that huge spike in the New Year? However, the green area shows the percentage of Zyro users who have actually posted a blog post on their new blog; note the lack of accompanying spike.
The lesson? While you might want to start a blog, actually writing one (and getting in the habit of keeping one) is a bigger hurdle than just adding a blog to your website.
Here we want to answer three questions:
- Why might you want to add a blog to your website?
- How do you get into and keep the habit of writing a blog?
- How do you start a blog with a Zyro website?
The benefits of a blog
There are countless reasons why a professional blog can add value to your business, whatever it is you do.
1. Speak with an authentic voice
Ads need to be snappy and eyecatching, social media posts need to be clever, and all media posted off your own website must conform to the format of another platform.
Only on your very own blog do you have the opportunity to really establish your own brand’s voice in long-form. This will help you connect with your audience in a more meaningful way.
2. Tell your brand story in your own words
As well as giving you the space to speak in a way that’s true to your brand, your own blog allows you to tell your story your way.
You pick the topic, you choose the words, and you control how everything is presented. With a blog, you have the opportunity to expand more on the things that are important to you, and really tell your audience about what motivates you.
3. Reach new audiences
Is your aim to expand the reach of your brand? Well, guess what? A blog is perfect for that, too!
A blog allows you to cover all kinds of topics that may be of interest to a broad cross-section of your intended audience.
The right blog post might be just the thing to introduce a new customer to your brand and increase your brand awareness.
4. Capture more traffic
From a purely numbers-based perspective, blogs are a great way to drive more traffic to your website overall.
Blog posts are the perfect gateway into the rest of your website. Even if the topic of the post is only tangentially related to your brand, it can still be a good source of traffic.
The more blog posts you have and the more varied your content, the more likely you are to capture traffic.
How to start writing a blog and KEEP writing a blog
1. Make a list of topics you want to cover
Staring into the cold, dead eyes of a blank page can be terrifying, even for the most experienced writers. Not knowing where to start is a creative killer.
So, start by making an exhaustive list of the things you want to blog about. Consider writing working titles and sub-headings if you want to go into more detail.
2. Draw up a publication schedule
Goals, goals, goals. You have got to set yourself some goals.
Once you have some topics, set yourself deadlines for publishing each piece.
Try and walk the link between being ambitious and realistic. Try and post as much. as you can without overworking yourself.
3. Write and publish your first post right away
This one speaks for itself.
If you add a blog to your website with the intention of writing a post later, procrastination is just going to take the wheel and you’ll never get round to it.
Just jump in with both feet first. You’re ready, so stop waiting.
1. Visualize your progress
How’s your blog going? You got data?
Writing your first few blog posts might feel like shooting into the dark, but once you have some posts under your belt, you can start to collect performance data.
Using tools like Google Analytics will tell you which posts are most popular, and help you visualize the growth of your blog. This is super helpful when it comes to keeping your momentum going.
2. Monetize your blog
In the long term, keeping a blog regularly updated is all all about motivation, and there are few motivators more effective than hard, cold cash.
To help develop the blogging habit, you could do a lot worse than monetizing your blog.
This might include publishing ads, adding affiliate links, or simply pushing traffic to your own online store.
3. Reward yourself
Hit your posting target for the month? Treat yourself.
Met your wordcount for the day? Treat yourself.
Grown your audience by 5%? Treat. Your. Self.
Train yourself to keep the habit of blogging by rewarding yourself for sticking to targets and growing your blog. Your chosen reward is up to you, but snacks and shopping are popular choices.
4. Share the work
Are you the only person writing your blog? Why?
If you’re just starting out, you can get good quality content written by professional copywriters at pretty reasonable prices.
Later on, you might find that other bloggers are keen to guest post on your blog to get links and exposure. Take advantage when this free help is offered.
5. Connect with other bloggers
Blogging can. be lonely pursuit, but that doesn’t mean you have to face it alone. There are plenty of online or IRL communities ready to support you through your new endeavor.
Check out Facebook, Reddit, and your local community to find other bloggers who want to support you and be supported.
Add a blog to your Zyro website
Whether you already have a Zyro website or are thinking about creating one, adding a blog could not be simpler.
How to add a blog on Zyro
You can add a blog to absolutely any Zyro website, whether you have just a basic website or online store, regardless of your template or price plan.
Some Zyro templates come with a blog already built-in, but all will allow you to add one if you need one.
When you’re ready to start writing your blog, simply select “Blog” from the righthand toolbar and select “Start a blog”
You can add your blog to an existing page or create a new specialized page for it.
Powerful blogging tools
Zyro comes packed with all the tools you need to publish and maintain a professional blog:
- Add a new post or edit existing posts from the right toolbar
- Add text, image, or video content
- Use a featured image
- Establish categories to group posts
- Choose any layout and background you want
- Write SEO titles and meta descriptions for each post
- Set custom URLs
Make a blog part of your marketing strategy
What are the best ways to incorporate your blog into your overall marketing efforts? For the majority of brands, there are some standard ways to make this happen.
If you’re serious about getting your website found through search engines like Google, then you pretty much have to add a blog to your website.
Search engines crawl websites looking for content that informs users and answers specific queries. By creating content that does this, your website can start to rank higher in search results and attract more traffic.
The long-form nature of blogs also makes them the ideal place to add keywords to your website without packing them too densely. This indicates to search engines what kind of topics you’re covering, and which kind of users will be interested.
Be careful, though. Make sure that you’re always writing your blog posts for your intended reader, and not just for a search engine.
There’s a pretty good chance that you found this very blog post on one of Zyro’s social media channels.
While your average social media post is great for conveying a short message, if you want to say more, it’s often best to link users through to a blog post.
Posting relevant and attractive content from your blog on your social media channels offers you the opportunity to funnel your followers onto your website to convert them to customers.
What’s more, since most social media platforms allow you to promote your posts to reach new users, the combination of a blog and social media
Effective marketing is all about understanding reading habits. While your average user is unlikely to read a long email, they may be more inclined to spend time reading a blog post.
Instead of trying to get everything you want to say into an email, instead, consider linking your email contacts to relevant blog posts.
Not only is this an opportunity for you to expand on the topics you want to cover in your email marketing, but it also allows you to effectively encourage recipients to click through to your website.
Ready to start a blog?
If you want to start writing a blog of your own, follow the link below to launch a Zyro website with a blog.