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Learning how to start a blog is an excellent way to reach your target audience online. Unlike a Facebook page or an Instagram account, you have the right to own your blog. Regardless of how the social media universe develops, your posts are and will remain visible. A blog is often referred to as a content hub: this means you can manage your content centrally and distribute it from there. In an email newsletter you can draw attention to your new blog post or share the link on Twitter. In addition to the people who have subscribed to your blog, you can reach numerous other readers in this way.

What are you trying to achieve with your blog?

Before you really dive into the world of blogging and find out how to write a blog post, you should first make your goals clear. Do you want to become a blogger to raise awareness, to increase your online reputation, or is it primarily about establishing an expert status? Of course, this question only applies to professionally managed blogs, such as those of a company, freelancer or artist. On the other hand, if you want to blog about your favourite hobby, you have artistic freedom and you don’t need to think about these questions. All you need to do is just start creating a free blog. Although some successful bloggers started out with a harmless hobby blog, using some of the strategic ideas we mentioned earlier won’t hurt.

Who should your blog appeal to?

Depending on the orientation of your company and your products, you should learn how to write a blog post that appeals to private individuals (B2C) or to reach corporate clients (B2B). Based on the needs and interests of your target group, you get to decide on the topics, the tonality and the keywords. But no matter which of the two groups you address, there is always another target group that you should not lose sight of. Search engines like blogs because they regularly provide up-to-date content, so the crawlers from Google & Co. will check your blog often. Therefore, pay attention to good search engine optimisation when creating blogs and work with a reasonable keyword density; the days of keyword stuffing are long over. If the blog posts contain relevant content, are easy to read, well structured, and include the right keywords, you will delight both readers and search engines alike.

What type of blog should you create?

Now that you have clarified who you want to create the blog for and why, the next step is to decide what type of blog you should create. Should the company blog „with one voice“ or should the blog express the diversity of its employees? Years ago, Daimler Benz showed that such an employee blog can work excellently and is considered to be a prime example of corporate blogs. For this concept to work, you need an open corporate culture and a management team who is enthusiastic and sets a good example. In addition, a staff representative should be involved from an early stage and some rules must be defined for the employees.

Do you actually need your own blog?

Of course, it is also possible to write posts without having your own blog. You can regularly publish guest posts on other suitable blogs or publish your posts on a platform, such as LinkedIn-Pulse. This can be useful when there are no other resources or enough topics for regular blogging purposes; otherwise, it is not advisable and we are back on the subject of „owner’s rights“. The blog where you published your guest posts may get shut down or a social media platform like LinkedIn can, in the worst-case scenario, change its direction. However, if you establish your own blog as a content hub, you won’t be facing any of these problems.

Technical questions all about blogging

Once the basic issues have been resolved and you have a budget available, the technical implementation can then be decided. Do you want to host the blog yourself or through a third party,or do you want to blog via a blogging platform? When making these considerations, it is always advisable to look as far ahead as possible. Initially, access to the posts will be limited, but this will change over time. Therefore, on the server side, an expansion of capacities should be planned, for example through appropriate cloud services that grow with the server. For acorporate blog, there is no doubt that a personal domain and a web hosting package are the right choice, ideally from the same provider.

Learning how to create a blog for free is not a difficult task, but free services are not always the best choice. Ads are often displayed there and since the GDPR came into force, it has also been necessary to carefully check whether the platform works in accordance with data protection regulations. For blogging, there are various well-known, popular and proven content management systems (CMS) such as the following:

WordPress and Blogger are usually automatically mentioned in the same breath and are a particularly widespread CMS. One great advantage of a WordPress blog is that there are numerous communities on the web in which users can exchange ideas and give advice to one another.

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Tips on planning your blog content with the right topics

The important point is the topic planning – long before you want to become a blogger and go live. Your online reputation can greatly suffer if you announce that your blog has a lot of followers, publish three excellent articles and then nothing else for months. It is, therefore, extremely important that you plan well ahead. Collect topics and write them down in an editorial calendar. This editorial plan should ideally be filled at least three months in advance. Of course, you can always deviate from your planning if there are more relevant topics to cover. However, it is a matter of avoiding mismanagement when there is no time left in the hustle and bustle of everyday working life and the desired rhythm of publications can no longer be maintained. Before you go live with your blog, you should already have posts for the first few weeks in the drawer. There are many reasons why a blog post doesn’t get finished in time, for example, the content manager could unexpectedly fall ill. It may also be the case that an assigned employee does not fulfil the task on time, the guest blog post is not received on time, or the agency delivers the wrong content. The advantage of working with a content agency is particularly useful in such situations. With a quick inquiry, you can always find a reliable copywriter who can take on the job at short notice.

There are various software providers for such an editorial calendar, but ultimately the planning can also be carried out using Excel or Access. The most suitable tool also depends on how many people want to work in parallel with the plan and how many channels are used.

Who calls the shots on a blog?

Regardless of who writes the individual posts, there should always be a content manager who is responsible for the blog. A content manager plans the topics of the posts and assigns writing tasks internally or externally before editing and publishing the content. They pay attention to the desired tonality and the correct use of internal technical terms. They also ensure that the new articles are published on relevant platforms, including newsletters and social media. They are also in contact with the press department if there is a press release for a particularly important blog post that needs to be written. The content manager should be a resilient organisational expert and have an affinity for writing. When the going gets tough, it would be helpful if they can write or at least edit good-quality texts.

What are the most popular blog posts?

Blog posts should have one or more of the following properties so that they can be read and found easily on the Internet. Blog articles should offer added value to readers and embody certain characteristics. They should be:

  • relevant

  • current

  • informative

  • entertaining

  • authentic

  • clear

The question of current topics can still be answered quite generally, but which blog topics are the most relevant? A topic can only ever be relevant from the point of view of an individual, personas or traget groups. That is precisely why it is so important to get to know and understand your target group well.

In any case, you should pay attention to the high quality of your posts in order to be taken seriously and to gain expert status.

What should your blog content be about?

Now it gets serious. It is about the specific question of where the topics that you wish to write about should come from. There are no limits to your imagination, and if you can’t think of anything else, you can pick up seasonal or other current and hotly debated topics. This way, you will benefit from the traffic of the existing topic. You are the best person to find out which topics fit your business and products. Therefore, the following list is only intended to give you some food for thought.

Potential topics for blog writing:

  • A look behind the scenes of the company: development of new products

  • Write something about the company’s history or its background

  • Introduce the managing director, new trainees or employees

  • Personal stories about the employees

  • Funny (not embarrassing!) anecdotes from everyday working life in the company

  • Provide industry tips and information to position yourself as an expert

  • Organising competitions

  • Start a survey and present the results in a follow-up article

  • Conduct internal or external expert interviews

  • Explain the origin of the materials used for your products

  • Introduce selected foreign locations and their team

  • Change of perspective: writing from the customer’s point of view

  • Customer services staff identify which problems and questions keep coming up, then answer those questions and explain them using examples

  • Preview or review of interesting company events

Write a follow-up series or read what the competitors are writing about?

If you find a topic that is suitable as a “follow-up series”, this would also be helpful. This makes the research on the topic even more worthwhile and the findings can be processed in several blog posts. The aforementioned interviews with experts could be expanded into a fixed category, so you ask the same series of questions to an expert once a month.

If you find yourself at a loss for new topics, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at the competitors in your industry. Of course, we do not recommend copying from the competition, but you can implement their ideas as food for thought. You can also use tools for keyword analysis as well as Google Trends to generate new blog post ideas. If you are active on Twitter or Facebook, you may also get fresh ideas from scrolling through your newsfeed.

Last but not least, you should occasionally refresh your content . Check whether the older and successful articles are suitable as new content after you revise and modify them.

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How often should I blog?

The best answer to this question is you should blog regularly. Whether a regularly means once per day, per week, or just a single monthly contribution is ultimately less important. It is crucial that your readers get used to a rhythm and know the dates you’ll be posting. One post per week is a good frequency that will keep you from being forgotten by your readers. If you commit to this interval, a fixed weekday is recommended. The best time is in the middle of the week between Tuesday and Thursday. After the weekend is over, people are often bombarded with a wealth of information and on Fridays, they are daydreaming about their weekends. Find out how other corporate bloggers manage this and when and how often they publish their posts.
Also analyse the statistics of your social media channels thoroughly to find outwhen your target audience is particularly active.

How do you determine the language and tonality of your blog posts?

Firstly, your blog posts should be easy to read and understand without being trivial. Ideally, you should align the language and tonality with your target group. Are they experts in your topic and can handle a few more technical terms or are they people who want more easily digestible content? Under no circumstances should you use too many technical terms and foreign words as you never know exactly which ones your readers will understand. Use active language and avoid sentences that are too long and complicated. All in all, write short and snappy sentences and avoid filler words or fluff.

What’s the ideal blog post length?

Even if the answer sounds unsatisfactory: a blog post should be just the right length. If it is too short, it contains too little substance. If it is too long, readers may jump off the page without having finished reading it. You can experiment a little with the length and see whether longer or shorter posts are better received by your target group. Ultimately, however, you should base it individually on the respective topic. Some contain no more than 400 meaningful words, whereas others cannot be fully grasped even in a thousand words. The more complex the subject of the text, the more difficult it becomes to explain it in just a few words. If a text becomes too long while writing, you should critically review the content again. It is likely that you’ve covered two topics in one text. It’s best to separate the topics to make the post shorter. In this way, you’ve immediately gained the ideas you needed for another blog post.

An average blog post length of between 500 and 1500 words is recommended, depending on the topic. The exact length also depends on the frequency of the posts. If you publish blog posts several times a week, you shouldn’t need to add more than a thousand words to them. If the intervals are longer, the posts can also be longer. Search engines tend to reward slightly longer articles, or at the very least they must have high-quality content and be well structured.

What is the best blog post structure?

The headline of the blog post is extremely important. It should immediately arouse interest and make people want to read the article. Spend some time thinking of a snappy headline. The blog post should start with a short teaser of one to a maximum of three sentences. In this introduction, make your readers curious and lead them to the topic. Ideally, there should be a summary or conclusion at the end of the article.

Make sure that the individual sections do not get too long; ideally, they should not be much longer than 150 words. Add a subheading regularly to structure the text well for readers and search engines alike. The most important keyword should appear in the main heading and regularly in the subheadings.

How can you make the blog post even more readable?

If it fits the topic, include bullet points, lists, tables, and use photos, videos, or infographics. Such elements make the article more appealing and more readable; the reader feels less bombarded than with a wordy text. Try using one or more quotations in your article to make it more lively. And underline them with a photo of the author.

Remember to include internal links to connect new posts with the existing ones. This way you keep the reader on your site for longer. You should also link to external websites that usually return the favour by linking to your website. This supports the off-page optimisation of your blog.

Blog commenting: yes or no?

Before you put your blog online, you should decide how to deal with comments. You can allow commenting right away, activate them individually, or gar not at all. This decision is not a trivial one. In general, it would be odd not to allow discussions in the form of comments. On the other hand, it is clear that the comment function can be misused. It starts with visitors who are uninhibited and spiteful, and ends with classic trolls and haters. It is, therefore, best to enable comments individually. But be careful, as you don’t want to expose yourself to the accusation of muzzling unwelcome critics.

It’s also best to publish critical comments, provided they do not contain any insults or criminal elements.Respond promptly to comments and remain objective and calm even when you’re facing criticism. To encourage readers to comment, ask a question at the end of the post. Ask readers to answer this question directly in a comment box.

How should the world discover your blog?

Now you’ve planned your blog and published some great posts – but the readers are still missing. This isn’t due to the lack of interest, but because they have not discovered your blog yet. The first step to take is to test the blog’s search engine optimisation and see whether theright keywords are used.

The second step is to use all the advertising tools online and offline to draw attention to your blog. Of course, this includes sharing the link to the new blog post across all social media channels. You can also promote the links in your private network, especially if your company’s social media platforms do not yet have a wide audience reach.

Use your email signature to draw attention to the blog and include the posts in your email or newsletter. You can also refer to the blog offline by printing its URL on brochures, business cards, letterheads, posters and banners.

If you have the available budget, you can also turn to Google Ads to generate traffic.

Guest blogging posts

As soon as your blog has reached a certain level of awareness, other bloggers will likely offer you a guest post. This win-win-situation means that both sides benefit from the newreach and each other’s network. If your reach is still moderate at first, you can pay a blogger to place a post with you.

Performance control and monitoring

You should regularly monitor your blog’s subscription and page visitation figures. Also look at the number and tonality of the comments made. Comments on your posts are naturally not only made directly under your blog, but also on the social media platforms on which you share the blog post. This analysis will give you a better sense of which topics your readers are interested in and what you should omit in the future.

Blogging often, not just once

A blog is an excellent platform for your content marketing strategy as it gives you independence from social media platforms. If you get regular support from external copywriters through Textbroker, you’ll always have blog posts at hand. Even if you mainly want to create the blog posts internally, it is good to be able to rely on external staff if necessary. As a content hub, the blog is at the centre and its posts can be shared in different places. The more popular your blog becomes, the easier it will be for you to get high-quality guest posts.

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