Blogging is something which is easy to try as an engagement tool for your business but it is not something which is easy to do well or to be great at right away. It often takes time and effort to produce better and better posts and to achieve levels of engagement that make the whole process worthwhile.
With that in mind, I’m going to look today at how to deliver amazing customer experiences for your readers, which should always be the aim as you sit down to create a new blog post.
The first step towards earning a truly engaged tribe of readers for your blogs is to review and cast a critical eye over the way your website looks and especially your blog pages.
A lot of people don’t think too much about the look and feel of their website and the message that can send to visitors. It’s important not to lose sight of the idea that keeping people engaged with your website is a must if you ever want to successfully use your site and your blogging content as a means of boosting your bottom line.
So staying on top of website design trends is really helpful for any business owner but especially if you want to make blogging your living. Being up-to-date will help you provide a really great experience for your visitor. Remember your blog might be the first experience your potential client has of you and your brand – so you want to make it a good one.
There is currently a tendency towards making sure that websites are as uncluttered as possible. Less is often more when it comes to websites because it makes them easier to navigate and to engage with. Sidebars are increasingly being left behind in favour of more simplified navigation systems.
It is well worth asking yourself a few key questions about the way your website looks. Such as: Could it be laid out more simply? What would you think of your website if you came across it for the first time? Would you remove the sidebar and change the colour scheme? Could you be using better images? And are you positioning your social media icons in ways that encourage people to share your content?
The need for speed
The speed of your uploads is another important consideration when it comes to blogging and particularly if you are aiming to use blogging as a revenue generator.
Put simply, if your blogs take a long time to load up on someone’s computer or their smartphone then there is a really good chance that they will simply give up and navigate somewhere else. This is actually a hugely common issue in the world of websites and slow loading times is a real conversion killer.
The margins for errors here are remarkably slim. We’d all, I’m sure, like to imagine that our blogs are worth waiting for but there are plenty of visitors who simply won’t wait to find out what you’re offering. In fact, figures suggest that 40 per cent of people will abandon a website if it takes any longer than 3 seconds to load a page.
Having slow-loading pages can also damage your website’s position in the Google rankings, which we know can be so crucial in determining how many people come across your pages and give you a chance to convert them into customers.
It is all part of the same equation and even the very best bloggers will struggle to gain an audience if their pages are super slow to load. Ed and Lisa Penn are the ‘go to people’ for this type of work and they can help you maintain your website – so check out Penn Ink Productions to find out more on that.
Adding addresses to your email list
Having a lengthy and engaged following on social media platforms is great for businesses in a variety of ways but these connections only really count for something if you can go a step further and add them to your emailing list.
Once those names and addresses are on your emailing list then you have cut out the social media middle man and the relationship you’re left with is purely between you and your potential customers, which is a much better position to be in from a business perspective.
So, the question is, how do you get people on to my email list? Well, one of the answers to that is offer something of great value in the form of a ‘lead magnet’, which should essentially be some of your best stuff.
It might seem slightly odd that you should then take that ‘best stuff’ and give it away for free but the idea is that by offering great value and insight via an amazing blog, people will then be only too happy to sign up for all your future emails.
Expanding your reach
Once you’ve put together a blog that you’re proud of then you should make sure that you have a plan in place for how and where to share it so that you can maximise its potential readership.
The various social media platforms are of course the go-to place for the sharing of content and you shouldn’t be shy about sharing your latest blogs on a number of occasions. The shelf life of tweets sent out on Twitter is very short and less than 20 minutes, so there is no harm and potentially plenty of benefit from tweeting about your blog every few hours or even every hour. The best time to post on twitter is between 3pm and 4pm.
Posting on Facebook is a different process and repeatedly referring to your latest posts there isn’t likely to help boost engagement. The aim here should be to have as many people as possible ‘like’ and comment on your initial post because that then makes it more likely that other people will see it and engage with it.
If you need any further help with managing your social media efforts then Anita Wong at Bommie Media can give you all the advice and guidance you might need.
When you are sharing content via LinkedIn and Facebook you should make sure that you share into groups where people might be interested in reading. And if you want to share on Instagram then make sure you put the relevant link to your blog in your profile.
Be ready to engage
As a business owner, if you’re looking to use blogging as a means of bringing in revenues or new customers then the engagement has to flow both ways and you should always be ready to connect with new people. Responding to comments below your blogs is a big part of that. It may take months and years before you manage the stimulate lots of interaction with your material but it is a good goal to have in mind and you should be poised to join in any conversations that spring up. And that goes for social media as well.
Blogging and using social media should always be viewed positively as a great opportunity to reach out to new people and new audiences. It doesn’t matter where you make connections or how tentatively they start out, having a focus on engagement can pay off massively because you never know where your next soul client is coming from and there are more ways than ever to reach out if you can get your communications strategy right.
If you liked this post I would love to hear your comments below and if you feel your business friends would find this post of interest please share on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.