So you’ve got your WordPress blog set up and you are just starting to write – what you do?
Words are, in my opinion, the most important thing on a website. This is because the search engine robots that crawl the web every day can pretty much “read” what you’ve written, but they can’t look at your website and think “mmm, nice graphics!”
For me, there’s two things to think about when writing. One is keywords; the other is making sure you’re writing stuff that people are going to want to read.
Keywords in your content
Keywords are what people type into a search engine (Google, for example) in order to find websites. Now there are good and bad ways to introduce keywords into your website text for SEO purposes, but I’ll come to that in my next post. For the time being, if you are a designer for example, you should write about – guess what? – design.
But it’s not as simple as that. It’s virtually impossible to be found on the internet with just one keyword so you should think of your second most important keyword; for me it’s probably “graphic”. Your third most important keyword; for me, “freelance”. The fourth; “London”. And so on. Don’t sweat about choosing these you can always change them.
Use these keywords in the title and body of your articles with the most important being the most frequent. But, there is only one way to do this – naturally.
Write about the subject as you would normally, don’t struggle to add the keywords as many times as possible or even once more than is necessary. For one thing, search engines will penalise you for keyword repetition; for another, it will make your site very unpleasant reading for your visitors.
How would you rather read about a subject you’re interested in – in an ad or an article? It’s so much better to read the considered thoughts of an expert in a field rather than the hurried ramblings of someone who just wants to make money.
Here’s how you make money:
Write content that people will want to read
Write intelligently and lucidly about what you know most about.
Remember, you are an expert, we all are. You’ve spent your life doing something – it doesn’t matter what it is – that something is useful to somebody. This to me is the crux of what internet marketing is all about.
When you write about your specialities you will naturally attract to your website those who are your best customers. Let me explain, I do graphic design and marketing, now graphic design and marketing are huge fields, it would be nuts for me to market myself in this area and leave it at that. So I specialise – every organisation does. Web information about a niche area will draw in like-minded people and perfect clients through Long Tail keywords.
So I’ve written tutorials for Photoshop and Illustrator, blog posts about delivering advertising messages with graphics, articles about web and print production. Other articles have been solely responsible for melanding certain jobs. The subjects of these have been: interactive and rich media PDFs; pop art; creating countries’ map outlines and flags; WordPress for website creation. Quite a mixed bag. But if someone wants to ask me to do something I’m always grateful for the work!
When you are writing about what you know best, keep checking your facts. Constantly ask yourself when you write something if you really are sure about it. Very often in our professional careers it’s easy to believe certain things by hearsay or rumour. Use the internet and any other resource to back up your assertions thoroughly before you publish your post.
So when writing about your specialities, do you spill the beans and reveal all your trade secrets or do you hold back on certain information hoping to retain the power of knowledge from your competitors? I would always favour the former rather than the latter.
I would encourage anyone to put as much detail into their descriptive articles as possible. I’m sure it won’t harm your business to reveal the correct and best practices that you use. Transparency in governments is considered to be ethical so I would encourage anyone to be open as possible in their own organisation.
Your potential clients won’t have the time or the inclination to use this information to do the job themselves and this priceless insight will win you kudos for your generosity. (And, of course, valuable information on the internet will be linked to raising the profile of your site and have it appear higher in search engines’ results, more to come on SEO in the next post.)
I have benefited immeasurably for the community of designers and marketers who have explained techniques and solved problems in websites, blogs and forums. It’s only fair that I give back to the community.
For me this is kind of business karma. Take Matt Mullenweg, for example, the founding developer of WordPress – the most popular and best blogging software that has empowered millions of ordinary people to publish in a beautiful way for free. Matt is listed in Business Week’s 25 Most Influential People on the Web, is in Inc.com’s 30 under 30 – America’s Coolest Young Entrepreneurs and his company Automattic Inc is 123rd in TechCrunch.com’s list of Startups Best Positioned To Weather A Downturn. My point is that Matt’s initial and ongoing commitment to open source software – giving out good stuff for free – has helped him in his brilliant career.
So I would advise virtually anyone to get a WordPress site and start writing on the cutting edge of what they know best. The advantages you will see in your community, your networking and your client list will far outweigh the effort.
And in the area of the style of writing, here are ten tips for writing a blog post.
Some say write for a month when starting and then publish for the first time. Some say write every week once you’ve got going. Some say make every post no longer than 350 words.
I say … write!