Katrina: Okay, so Sarah you spend most of your days blogging.
Sarah: Not true!
K: So, I don’t think there’s actually a more qualified person in this building to tell us what on earth you do all day. What is blogging?
S: So, blogging is an article about a very specific topic, which could literally be anything.
S: I think we’ve written something on hats.
K: We’ve probably written something on most things.
S: So, the thing about blogging is there’s a misconception out there that it’s not worth it anymore. That it’s not worth the however many hours it takes to write these concise articles.
K: I feel like blogging, especially when I was – when you’re growing up and everything, blogging is seen as something that you know, someone does on Blogger as a hobby about their travels like it’s seen as a very
S: Beauty bloggers
K: Yeah, like a 2010-esque. kind of thing, but it’s not that, it’s not that at all anymore.
S: No, so basically as long as people are searching online for things, which there’s billions of these searches done pretty much every second.
K: I was going to say, it’s not even every day.
S: Yeah and as long as there is new information available in the world, blogging is going to be relevant and you can turn it into — you can generate money through it, depending what you do, or at least you can get your brand out there in ways that you wouldn’t be able to, it’s really unique and it’s yeah.
K: Did we mention that it’s also not costly at all for blogging.
K: Like you could start a blog yourself from home tonight about whatever you wanted and it’s not actually going to cost you anything. You could actually — as you said before — make money off it.
S: Well other than the hosting for the website of course —
K: Yeah, if you’re doing it on not a free platform that is.
S: Yes, which is something we’ll be talking about in later episodes is the different types of websites out there and how much it costs.
K: Of course.
S: But we’re here for blogging. Okay, so another thing I always get asked is “How do you know what to blog about?” because obviously we create blog schedules and do the blogs ourselves, so we do everything as a — we do it all ourselves.
K: Yeah, we don’t have any external parties helping with that sort of stuff.
S: No. So for businesses the easiest way to create a blog schedule is think about what your customers are asking you. So, let’s say you are a mechanic, if you answer the phone yourself or if you have a receptionist, get them to write down all week the top — the questions they get asked every single time.
S: So it could be, “How much is a car service,” “What does your car services include,” “If i go to a non-manufacturer mechanic workshop, is it going to avoid my warranty?” — Which FYI it doesn’t, but haha
K: haha probably have written a blog on it.
S: Blog tips!
K: So basically you can write it — you need to find your customer’s interests.
K: You need to find what your target market is interested in and then develop a list from there. Is that what we’re going from?
S: A hundred percent.
S: If you can’t be bothered getting these questions or you just can’t think of them, there are platforms out there like A — A H refs? Ah I hate pronouncing this one!
K: We literally Googled it last week to try and find out the correct way to pronounce it and we — I still don’t know either at this point, so we’re just going to call it, that.
K: For reference it’s spelled A — H — R — E — F — S, yes. For anyone wanting to actually find that website themselves and not relying on our pronunciation.
S: Yes, or things like SemRush, so they’re paid platforms which can help you find these questions and keywords for you. Or you can use a free platform like Google itself, because they literally have these questions if you search for your industry they pop up in the search results. You can literally use those questions.
S: Okay, so once you’ve got these questions, it’s what to do with them? So, you could turn those questions into different blogs themselves, so you could do an overall frequently asked questions blog, you could do individual blogs on each question, which highly recommended you do as well.
So once you have this list of questions, what do you do with them? Obviously, there’s different ways to do heading structures and everything like that and the types of blogs, but these questions can be broken up into so many blogs, just by five sets of questions.
K: There’s no blog too niche I guess, is a good way to put it.
K: The more niche, the better?
S: Yes. But you can also do the overall blogs.
S: So you could start with a frequently asked questions blog that has all of those questions in them. Then you go out and take each one of those questions and turn it into its own blog. Then, within that blog, you can use the top tips from them to do another blog. Obviously not duplicating your content, because that’s not good for your search engine optimisation. But, we’re going to have one of our leading experts, Mike Andrew, talk about this with you in another episode.
K: Basically you’re creating your web of content, just from this one blog, aren’t you.
S: Yes, one hundred percent. So that makes planning easy, you can sit down once or twice a week and write your blogs.
S: So how to actually write said blogs is something completely different and is something that unfortunately changes constantly, so how I’ve wrote blogs a year ago, is very very different to how I write blogs today.
K: Naturally, like anything with Google or Facebook or Instagram, it’s going to be forever changing.
S: Yes. So there’s a stat from Smart Insights which actually says 84% of B2B outsource their content creation.
K: Wow, that’s a lot higher than I would’ve thought.
S: It’s a high percentage, but you can completely understand why when you know how frequently those trends change.
K: Oh, completely, it’s like anything, if you’re not the expert in it and if you don’t have the time, sometimes outsourcing is the better option for you then.
S: Exactly. If you already have an SEO service, depending on what package and what your needs are, blogging could be included.
S: So that’s something to look out for. Something you don’t want to do is go onto those skill share services and put out a job request for say, “I want ten blogs written, I have fifty bucks.” You get what you pay for when it comes to writers. So this is — obviously you can do them yourself, and we’re going to talk about that in a little bit, but outsourcing is definitely something we need to talk about because it’s an easy way to…
K: Save you time and sometimes save you money.
S: Yeah, exactly. You want those blogs to be going somewhere.
S: And obviously those blogs can be shared on social and everything like that as well, so they’re multi-purpose.
K: Definitely, they’re not just sitting there on your website doing nothing.
K: Although, that’s maybe the common misconception, but that’s not true.
S: So if you’re going to write your blogs yourself, how do you make sure they actually work?
K: Okay, so first thing’s first, I want to start blogging. What’s the first program I need to know or need to download onto my computer?
S: So obviously, you need to have a website that hopefully that’s something you can just outsource because it’s going to make your life a lot easier.
K: Oh yes.
S: As for actually writing your blogs, technically all you need is the note or word processor on your computer, that’s completely fine.
S: From past experience, it’s very easy for your computer to get corrupted and lose those files.
K: It’s not something that is good when you’ve written hundreds of blogs and they’re all of a sudden gone.
S: Yeah, especially if you plan out every month to set aside say three, four hours to smash out a couple of very quick blogs, you don’t want to lose them. So something like Google Docs. Having an external hard drive or Microsoft OneDrive, I believe it’s called. They — it’s essentially cloud software, it’s like Microsoft Word, but it’s being stored on a server.
K: Safeguard your work, always.
S: Yes, and even if you do it on Google Docs and Google Docs auto-saves as well. I believe [Microsoft] OneDrive is the same, it auto-saves as you’re working, which is so handy!
K: Also, you can share it into one of your employees to proof it for you which is super important isn’t it.
S: Yes, yes, that’s what we do.
S: To send it across to your proofer, which sends them a link to their email. They go in and they can literally add comments, so they don’t have to do the changes, you can do those changes. So handy!
K: It’s my favourite place personally to write blogs.
S: So once you’ve got your blogs, or you’ve got your place you’re going to write them, moreso
S: What are you writing? I think that’s the question, right?
K: Yeah, like how do you, how do you start? Do you just start writing anything? Do you write it like you would write a uni essay? Do you write it like you would write content for a website? Like how do you actually write a blog?
S: Whether you’re writing content for social or a website or blogs, you need to be writing for your user.
S: So you need to be thinking about who is reading it and what they’re going to get from it.
S: So say you have a blog that’s called… Let’s go back to the mechanic.
K: That’s a good example, yeah.
S: Let’s say how much is a car service, you could have your heading structure, which again is something we’re going to get Mike Andrew to talk about, because he’s the best at SEO, he’s great. *laughter*
So you have your headings in there, you have your section about how much does a car service cost and you say “the average price for a car service in Australia is xyz.” and then underneath, you have another section that says “What to ask your mechanic when you have a car service,” and you have a list of questions under that. You could also do a listicle.
K: It’s actually an industry trend that says listicles get 2 times more shares than any other format of blog, according to SemRush.
S: Yeah, it’s because they’re easy. And what it does as well with search engines again, Mike will talk about this one, but Google will pull your headings. So say you had top 5 tips for maintaining your car, and then you have number one, checking your oil every fortnight, number two
K: Make sure you have tire pressure correct.
S: Yeah, we’re not car people aha. But things like that, Google will literally go in, pull those headings and display it in what’s called a snippet. Now they may not, because you can only get one snippet per search result.
K: That should be kind of your end goal, you should write as if that is your end goal.
K: You want your content to be readable.
S: Yes, and that’s why headings are important, because if someone can’t go into a blog and just read your headings
K: You’re not doing it right
S: So, the checklist for you if you’re going to be blogging yourself, other than how to get started.
K: I would say — first tip would be, find your frequently asked questions.
K: Whether it be — you, you know what, if you can’t do it, if you’ve got a business where you can’t get them from your receptionist or you can’t get it directly from your customer, try putting it out on your socials.
S: Yes, polls are great.
S: And plus they boost your engagement on socials.
S: Which has a placebo effect. [11:36]
K: So you’re kind of killing two birds one stone here.
K: So what would your second tip be?
S: My second tip would one hundred percent be, once you’ve got all your questions and everything like that, is set time to write your blogs like you have a meeting. Literally block out time in your calendar and this could be weekly, monthly, whatever it is. However, if you’re not the strongest writer in the world, I highly recommend outsourcing, because grammar, spelling and how concise your language is and how easy it is to read is a huge factor for search engine optimisation.
K: It will impact your results, won’t it.
S: It really will. So yeah, block out your time. If you don’t have time, or you’re not the strongest writer
K: Definitely outsource or maybe there’s somebody else, if you’ve got somebody working in reception or something like that, who is a stronger writer, you don’t have to be an expert in what you’re blogging about to write a blog about it.
K: That’s an important thing to note here as well.
S: If you read a lot of our blogs that we write, you would think that we are car people, put it that way haha.
K: We definitely do not know the first thing about cars.
S: No, so third tip, you’ve got your questions, your blog structure, you have your time that you’re going to blog, you’ve obviously got Google Docs, OneDrive or whatever you’re going to use. You sit down and write, the first thing you should write is your headings.
S: Because, if you write all your headings, this is going to make it so much easier. Now, as for actual heading structure, we’re going to leave this for Mike, our SEO specialist, to explain because he explains it so well. But once you’ve got your headings, you then go in to write your content underneath and of course at the bottom you need a call to action.
K: Like most things in marketing.
S: Yes, so this could be, your goal could be Ted’s Mechanics has car servicing from $109. How does that sound?
K: or you could be, yeah I was going to say you could be super direct and just say, give us a call on x if you want to book in your car service.
K: Like it’s your blog, you be direct.
S: Or it could be, “check out more facts about car servicing over on our Facebook page,” or “join our newsletter,” or it could be anything like that.
K: Absolutely anything.
S: Obviously a checklist for blogging is a little bit hard because it’s going to depend on your business and what you’re doing, but those are the basics, and if you do have more questions about blogging
K: Definitely feel free to submit them to our Instagram at the HelpMeGrowMyBusinessPodcast or on our exclusive Facebook page.
S: Yes, we’re over there so you can talk directly with us as well, and we are there to answer any questions you have.
K: Yeah, I think that’s all we have for everyone today and we’ll see you next time.
S: Bye guys!