DIY Blogs – at any social gathering, once people discover how I am gainfully employed, the conversation always turns to blogs. So, I am dedicating this blog to people who know they need to write one but struggle to know why they should, what to write and most importantly, how to write them.
- Why do we blog?
Arguably the number one reason to blog is to attract Google’s algorithms and feature higher on their search engine results page (SERPS). Nobody wants to trawl though pages and pages of SERPS – the majority of us only look at the first page. Although, I do think if you are looking for skilled individuals and not a large corporation, it is always worth looking through more than just the first page as many a talent is lost somewhere in a SERP.
The second most important reason is to impart knowledge — not to sell. If you’re looking for a hard sell with immediate effect, go knocking on people’s doors. A well written blog will create revenue but in a roundabout manner. You need to show the world you are a trusted authority on your subject and help people through imparting your wisdom. Google respects well written DIY blogs — not pieces of illiterate rubbish. Keyword stuffing is not allowed anymore and your site will be penalised if you try this old school trick to gain exposure. Essentially Google became rather annoyed at web content turning into complete drivel just for people to earn money from advertising. Therefore they changed the nature of blogs; content must be interesting and relevant, the better the content, the more likely Google will recognise you. Keywords should and must be used naturally and grammatically correctly within a sentence. Each time someone clicks on your blog you gain brand exposure, create trust between you and your reader and Google respects your hard work and effort.
- How to first start writing a blog
First, why are you writing DIY blogs? What information do you feel others need to know? I’m a content and copy writer who has written blogs for companies when they are too busy. However, on this occasion I’m writing this blog to help people use my writing experience to enhance their blog writing knowledge, create their own DIY blogs, and therefore if they have the time and inclination, become a skilled blogger, not needing to employ the likes of me!
So, first decision to make… choose your blog topic.This is actually really important, as you want to be seen as a helpful expert in your field. Your blog is the reason people will choose to come to your company over others, as your blogs have helped build a trusted relationship between you and potential customers. Your DIY blogs need to reflect and develop this symbiotic connection.
Second decision — what will be your keyword? Blog posts usually only require one major keyword to happily suffice Google’s algorithms. But keywords are a bit trickier than you may first suspect. A keyword is the word people are most likely to write into a search engine to find the information they desire. So, if someone is after a family tent — tent is the most obvious word they will use. However, this word is going to generate thousands of results, most of which will not be relevant. Large tents or family sized tents are going to narrow their search result and, if you’ve chosen these as your keywords, it will help people find your site or blog and learn how to put up a family tent without killing your partner in the process.
But how do you know which keywords are already employed over and over? Use sites such as Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, SEMRush and Alexa – most are free for a period of time. These sites are amazing as they show which words are most popular and which ones are already overly used, so therefore you do not stand a chance of being noticed — especially against companies who spend thousands of pounds on Adwords.
Sites like SEMRush help find words which naturally work well together — like the ‘family tent’ keyword idea earlier. Another keyword tip is to consider keywords which do not rank quite as highly as others, but are still ranking nonetheless. These are known as low competition keywords – Alexa’s site easily explains the ranking system for low competition keywords.
Try to keep your keywords different for each blog post you write — this will help to drive more traffic to your site. People write blogs differently, dependent upon their own personal style. Many add the keywords later, once they’ve finished their blog. However, I choose my keywords first, so when I’m writing DIY blogs, they’re placed naturally rather than being crow-barred in at a later time and risk sounding false.
Try and use your keyword in the first paragraph and even better, as your first word, if you can. Ensure your meta description contains your keyword and it is also in your finishing sentence.
DO NOT over use your keyword – Google will penalise you for keyword stuffing. In a blog of about 1000 words, four to six times is plenty. The SEO community will argue over this subject, but in my experience, you are better off using your keyword sparingly and writing a well written article.
- Inbound and Outbound links
Another trick to optimise your site’s noticeability or search engine optimisation (SEO) is to ensure you place links to other RELEVANT sites. As you probably noticed in section 3, I had added links to Google Adwords and Moz etc to help you find sites for your keyword strategy. These are called outbound links. These sites are allowed to be added as they are relevant to the content I’m composing. However, if I suddenly added links to large corporations purely to increase my noticeability – Google would not be impressed and I would wind up ranking far lower or not at all. Inbound links are the next important consideration and not always possible if you wish your blog to maintain credibility. So for example, I could suggest you look at my services page as it explains I offer blog writing, should you decide against writing them yourselves. I have also made the first use of the word ‘blog’ (not blogs) an inbound link which this time, takes you to my blog page. Two different inbound links really help Google’s algorithm recognise your work.
If you have never placed a link in before, on Apple’s Pages go to Format, then Add Link. This offers you a choice of either webpage, email or bookmark. Choose which is appropriate (here I’ve used webpage as this is where I wish to direct you) and simply find your webpage, click and save on the html at the top for example: https://wordcrush.co.uk/services/ and place this into the website section. Easy! If you’re using Microsoft’s Word, click here for a hyperlink which will tell you how to place links on this software.
However, if the blog you’re writing doesn’t naturally marry to your website, don’t place awkward links in. You’re better off writing a really good piece of work, with natural keyword placement and no inbound links if they are not relevant. Google algorithms will pick up on this and work against you.
- Keep it simple
Apparently it is better to write concise blogs without confusing words. Google prefers blogs to be written to a standard that a 13-14 year old will be able to understand. I guess this means you really have to know your stuff and can’t hide behind a wall of hyperbole; it also means information can be readily available for all.
- Blog word count
Ideally blog lengths should be at least 300 words, and even better at 1000. This blog post is 1,405 to give you an idea of length. Google will notice longer blogs and therefore you will rank better in the SERPS. Check out this article if you’d like to know more on this subject.
I have written a variety of blogs for companies, in all sorts of different styles and tones. Writing my own have always been the hardest, however I view DIY blogs as writing an English essay when I was at school. You’ll always have three sections — beginning, middle and end — keep each section concise and relevant to your point — then you’ll get top grades, I promise!