Fill Your Blog With “Evergreen” Content

As bloggers, business owners, content writers and marketers, we are always striving to generate helpful, informative and interesting topics for our blogs. Our blogs serve as a resource for our readers.

And as we continue brainstorm content topics, we should seriously consider filling our blogs with a type of content that has a lasting impact: Evergreen Content.

What is Evergreen Content?

Evergreen content is content that is always relevant. It’s sustainable, lasting, and remains important long after it has been published.

Just as an evergreen tree retains its leaves and looks good all year long, evergreen content is written only once, but is enjoyed my many for years to come.

Evergreen content is not trendy, timely or newsworthy. It is sound, stable advice or information that has an important place on your blog indefinitely.

Here are examples of blog topics that are evergreen:

  • How to articles
  • Tutorials
  • Product reviews
  • History/facts
  • Informational posts (“Everything You Need to Know About….”)
  • Information about your product or service
  • Frequently asked questions

Examples of blog topics that are NOT evergreen content include:

  • News
  • Trends
  • Seasonal or holiday blogs
  • Latest styles and fashions
  • Your take on a new study, product or research
  • An interview with a newsworthy person or about an event

It’s good to have a balance of evergreen and non-evergreen content on your blog, and its up to you to determine the amount of each that is best for your business.

While it may rank high in search engines for only a short time, non-evergreen content can make an important contribution to your blog. Writing about news and events shows that you are current, timely and connected to the rest of the world. But when the news or event is over, the content’s role on your blog usually is, too.

I have a mixture of evergreen and non-evergreen content on my blog, but most of it is evergreen content. Articles like 5 Keys To Creating Engaging Content, Benefits of a Business Blog, and Which Social Media Platforms are Best For Your Business? are evergreen. Someone can read those articles today and get good advice; and someone else can read them six months from now and the content will still be helpful.

Marketing Lessons From Halloween, and  Promote Your Business With the Spirit of Thanksgiving are my blog articles that are more timely or seasonal in nature. They did well when they were first published.

So be aware of the type of content you are generating, and make sure you have a good amount of evergreen content on your blog. Evergreen content ranks well in search engines, brings you leads, and works for you long after it’s published.

If you ‘d like more information about writing evergreen or non-evergreen content for your website, feel free to contact me or join my email list below:

Benefits of a Business Blog

Over the past five to ten years, the word “blog” has become a household word, and a fundamental part of our online culture. Blogs come in many forms – covering a range of topics from entertainment to hobbies, news to business.

Blogs are a valuable resource. When I need to learn more about a particular topic, the first step I take is to research the Internet, looking for blogs that are written about my topic of interest. I know others do that as well.

So as our society becomes more and more dependent upon the Internet for research and information, it’s increasingly important to have a blog for your business.

It just makes sense, because you want to be present in an environment where your customers are.

Here are eight reasons you should create a blog for your business.

  1. It brings more traffic to your website. When your readers click on your blog title in their search results, they are taken to your website. While they are there, they may read another page or two, improving the traffic and Google Analytic’s “sessions” and “bounce rates” of your site.
  2. It improves your SEO rankings. Google looks favorably upon websites that are updated frequently. A blog ensures that you are posting fresh content to your site on a regular basis. Do this on a set schedule, and you will improve your chances of appearing higher in a search.
  3. It demonstrates your commitment to consistency. It takes time and discipline to maintain a blog, and your audience will come to know and expect to hear from you. Being consistent with your blog posting shows that you are serious about your work, and you follow through with what you say you will do.
  4. It improves your credibility. A blog is a great way to showcase the vast amount of knowledge you have on a topic. By creating helpful blogs that your readers appreciate, you are becoming an expert in your field. And who wouldn’t want to buy from the expert?
  5. It’s a way to build followers. You can add a subscription form to your blog, so that your readers can signup to be notified each time a new blog article is published. This increases your following, and continues to help with traffic to your website.
  6. It helps you engage with your readers. By allowing comments on your blog, your readers can respond to questions or issues you discuss in your article. This is a great way to open conversation with your audience.
  7. It gives you content for your social media posts. A new blog post makes valuable social media content. Write a short summary of the blog, and provide a link.
  8. It improves your writing skills. As with anything, the more you practice, the better you will get. By writing blog posts on a consistent basis, you will become a faster, better and more articulate writer.

A blog is truly worth the effort it takes to create and maintain. So if you haven’t already, I encourage you to jump in with both feet and start blogging today. If you need help, contact me.

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8 Questions to Answer Before you Start a Blog

A blog can be a powerful marketing tool for your business. If you don’t have a blog for your business, there are many benefits to starting one.

A blog can:

  • establish you as an expert or authority on a subject
  • lead your prospective clients to your website
  • allow you to engage with your readers
  • improve your SEO, by using key words and publishing frequent posts

A successful blog is a result of careful planning and decision making. Many blogs launch with the best intensions, but aren’t effective because the owner lacks direction or runs out of steam.

Take a few minutes to reflect on the type of blog you’d like to have, and plan for its success. Consider the answers to the following eight questions:

  1. What is the purpose of my blog? A blog should have a reason for being, even if it is just a place for you to rant about your opinions or beliefs. Knowing and defining the goal and purpose of your blog will attract a like-minded following, and improve your chances that your blog will be a success. The best blogs begin with a purpose the writer is passionate about.
  2. Who is my target audience? Define the type of reader who would be interested in what you are writing about. Small business owners with human resource problems? Young professionals looking for financial advice? Stay at home moms trying to stay sane? Think of who you are trying to reach, and keep that person in mind when you create your blog.
  3. What platform will I use? There are lots of platforms available for the non-tech-savvy blogger. Blogger and WordPress are two popular choices. Do a little research, read about the possibilities available, and select the option that will work best for you.
  4. How will I promote my blog? Once you have begun your blog, you’ll need to let the world know it is out there. You can provide links to your blog on your social media accounts, add share buttons to your posts, and include a subscription button so your readers will receive an email when you post an article to your blog.
  5. Do I want to enable comments? Most blogging platforms have a comment option you can enable or disable. There are differing opinions about having comments on your blog, and whether or not you should respond to them. But many bloggers find the comments are a great way to engage with their target audience, answer questions and develop a more personal rapport.
  6. Will my blog be part of my existing website? If you already have a website for your business, a blog can be a page of it. This is a great way to bring your readers in to your website, where hopefully conversion occurs. A blog can also stand on its own as a separate site, and just be for your blog.
  7. How frequently can I commit to blogging? It’s no secret that blogging takes commitment. It’s easy to get behind as other tasks sometimes take priority. There should be some type of consistency to your blog publishing. So take in to account what your audience needs and expects, what your competition is doing, and what you can realistically commit to.
  8. How will my blog be different? There are millions of blogs out there that will be competing with you for readership. What makes your blog different from all the others? What will make your blog stand out? Perhaps it is your approach, your experience or the type of information you will offer. Really think about what makes you or your business unique, and play to those strengths in your blog.

A blog is an effective addition to your marketing plan, and allows you to become a resource for your audience. Not just a resource about you and your company, but about industry insights and answers to the problems or questions your audience may be having.

It will be well worth your time to plan your blog before you begin. Answer the eight questions, define its direction, and watch it grow into one of your most successful and measurable marketing tools.

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8 Types of Links to Include in Your Blog

A blog is an important part of your business’s content marketing strategy. It drives traffic to your website, establishes you as a trusted professional, and allows for engagement with your readers.

And while the content you provide in your blog is of utmost importance, what you do with that content contributes to your overall marketing objectives.

You can maximize your readers’ attention by placing links in your blog content.

 Including links in your blog articles has many advantages:

  • It keeps your readers on your website for longer
  • It encourages further engagement with you, through social media or contact form
  • It provides additional resources
  • It builds your email list
  • It improves your SEO

Here are eight types of links you should consider including in your blog articles:

  1. Links to other blog articles on your site. Including these types of links is a great way to provide more in-depth information about a particular topic, and keep your readers on your website for longer. If you are writing an article about social media for example, you may briefly mention how to brainstorm content or how to create a social media marketing plan, with links to those articles so your reader can learn more.
  2. Links to sources you mention. If you talk about a recent study, an article you read, or some type of statistic, you’ll want to include a link to the website you got the information from. Not only is this a professional courtesy, it could keep you out of legal trouble.
  3. Links to other websites. If you know of a website that provides resources or more information about the topics you are discussing, you could include a link to those website for your readers. Your readers will appreciate being led to helpful information, and you’ll be known as someone who is connected with others and understands your readers’ needs.
  4. Links to other pages of your own website. Maybe your blog talks about a product or service your business provides. You can include a link to the product page, or a landing page for a promotion or sale.
  5. Links to your social media accounts. If your business is on social media, include links to your profiles so they can follow, like and connect with you and your business.
  6. Links to social share buttons. This is different from the social media links mentioned above, because it allows your readers to share your content on THEIR social media accounts. They are essentially telling their friends and followers to check out your article. This is a very powerful affirmation that your content resonated with your readers.
  7. Links to your email address or contact page. This type of link takes your reader directly to an email already addressed to you, or to your contact page where they can fill out a form. This is a great type of link to encourage further communication.
  8. Link to your email list. Building your email list is one of the most effective ways to connect with your potential customers. By providing you with their email addresses, they are giving you permission to send them your newsletters, e-blasts and other communications, which will appear in their email inbox. Take this privilege seriously, and provide helpful content on a consistent but not overbearing basis.

Tips for Using Links:

  • Your links can be a hyperlinked word, a button or an image. Words hyperlinked within a paragraph appear a different color or underlined. They are noticeable, but still allow for smooth reading of the paragraph. You can also use buttons or images with a call to action, if you want to invite your readers to email you or sign up for your email list.
  • Always set your links to open in a new browser window. This makes it easier for your reader to get back to your site and finish reading the article.
  • Have a balance. Use links throughout your content, but don’t overdo it. Moz recommends having less than 100 links on any given webpage, but that still seems high to me. Articles that have a lot of links can be distracting, and could defeat the purpose by causing your reader leave your site entirely.

Do you have questions about including links in your blog content? If so, please feel free to contact me.

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Best Practices that Will Make Your Blog a Success

Do you have a blog for your business? If you do, you probably know how effective it can be for staying connected to your customers and increasing your credibility.

If you don’t have a blog, or if you’ve started one but aren’t keeping up with it, I encourage you to take a moment to understand the benefits of a blog:

  • It’s a great way to show what you know
  • It helps you get found in a Google search, leading customers to your website
  • It provides valuable content that you can include in your social media posts and e-newsletters
  • It helps your customers understand something about your business or industry
  • It generates awareness of your topic or cause

Starting and maintaining a blog isn’t hard, but it does take a commitment on your part. And being aware of a few tricks of the trade will help you make the most out of your time and efforts.

Here are a few “blogging best practices” I’ve compiled to help you start and grow your blog:

Know your target audience. Know who is interested in what you have to say, and keep them in the back of your mind with every blog you write. How does your blog topic benefit them? How does it solve a problem that they have? Creating value will keep them coming back for more information.

Have a plan. As with any project, having a plan will help you be more successful. Create a calendar, and plan the blog posts you are going to write about, with a publishing date, key words, and who is responsible for writing them.

Write an enticing headline. A headline is the first thing your audience reads before deciding if they want to read more. Use strong, clear, concise words that catch their attention and entice them to read on.

Make it readable. Most people skim web content before deciding to read it in its entirety. For that reason, you want your content to be easy for them to scan. Use numbered lists, bullet points, short paragraphs and lots of white space so they can get the information they need as quickly as possible.

Only one topic per blog. It can be tempting to write whatever comes to mind, but don’t go off on a tangent. It is really important that each blog focuses on one topic only. If you have a lot to say, that’s great. Just divvy it up into separate blog posts. If you’re dying to talk about more than one subject, start a newsletter.

Have a call to action. A call to action is your invitation that asks your reader to do something, and every blog you write should include one. A call to action could be to sign up for your email list, leave a comment, follow you on social media, or buy your product or service.

Be consistent. Adding content to your blog consistently has many benefits. It keeps your website fresh and updated (which is good for your SEO), and it shows your readers that you are actively producing content to help them. The more you write about a subject, the more authority you have over it.

Don’t forget to promote it. You’ll need to give your blog a little push to show it off and ensure the right audience is seeing it. Promote your blogs through your social media outlets, include links to other blog articles, or put your blog url in your email signature.

A blog can be an asset that grows your business, and continues to work for you long after your articles are published.

If you have any questions about starting a blog or maintaining the one you have, please feel free to contact me. Stay in touch by joining my email list below:

Create a Marketing Plan for Your Blog

A blog offers your business a number of benefits, from search engine optimization, to brand awareness, gaining credibility in your field, to generating awareness of your topic or cause. It is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful ways to market your business online.

But a successful blog doesn’t happen by a stroke of luck. It doesn’t happen quickly, and it doesn’t happen without a plan.

Whether you are just getting started with a blog or are looking to refresh the one you have, a good best practice is to create a marketing plan for your blog.

What is a blog marketing plan?

A blog marketing plan is a way to organize your thoughts and develop clear, measurable goals for your blog. This is especially helpful if you have multiple people contributing to your blog, because it keeps everyone on the same page. All of your blog contributors can understand its purpose, and develop valuable content that align with your blog’s goals.

Why do you need a plan?

Just as you need a business plan for your business, you need a marketing plan for your blog. Beginning a blog without one is like trying to drive a car with your eyes closed. You have no idea where you are, where you are going, how to get there, or why you are on the road. A plan keeps you focused and organized, and provides a clear roadmap to accomplishing your goals.

How to create a blog marketing plan

A blog marketing plan does not have to be complicated. If fact, the simpler it is, the better and more effective it will be. If it is short and helpful, your team will be more likely to refer to it as your blog launches and grows. It won’t be shoved into a file folder and forgotten about like what sometimes happens with other plans you prepare for your business.

A blog marketing plan should have the following seven components:

  1. Goal. Every blog should have a clearly defined purpose. Your goal could be to increase brand recognition, present yourself as an expert in your field, or drive traffic to your website. It could be all of those things, and maybe a few more. Identifying your goal or goals helps everyone understand the desired result.
  2. Target Audience. It’s important to identify who your audience is, so you can tailor your blog content accordingly. Spend some time thinking about the age, gender, location, and psychological traits that make up your target audience. Keep that audience in mind when you write your blog articles.
  3. Call to Action. Every blog should ask your reader to take action, and your call to action may vary from blog article to blog article. That’s okay. Your “ask” could be to fill out a form, click on a link or download an ebook. Asking for the next step is an effective way to begin a relationship with your audience, and move them through the buying cycle.
  4. Approval Process. If you have multiple people contributing to your blog, you may want to select someone to oversee all of the content, edit for spelling and grammar, and establish a publishing schedule for the blog. The owner of the company may want to read the blogs before they are published. Ask questions upfront so everyone is comfortable with the process of developing content and getting it posted to your site.
  5. Frequency/Length. Determine how long your blogs will be (for example, under 300 words, 500-700 words, over 2500 words, etc.) and how often you will be publishing them to your website. The more you can blog the better, but commit to what you can do consistently.
  6. Promotion. How are you going to get the word out about your blog? You may choose to add a subscription form to your blog so your followers receive an email whenever you publish a new post. Or you may promote it through social media or an email marketing campaign. Adding social share buttons to your blog allows your readers to share your post with their followers.
  7. Measuring Success. It’s important to know how well your blogs are performing, and which topics engage your readers. You could use a tool like Google Analytics to evaluate web traffic, or track email opens through your email marketing program. You could also evaluate the number of likes, shares and comments on the social media updates that promote your blog posts.

Developing a plan is a necessary first step to any new project, and it begins with collaboration and organization. Once you have established a blog marketing plan, your team can work toward your blog’s growth and success.

If you’d like more information on blogging for your business or developing a blog marketing plan, please contact me, or join my mailing list below: