I cannot pick the exact moment when I switched my point of view, but more and more I do believe that a regularly updated blog, on your website, is the backbone of your social media strategy. It is your chance to say what you want, using as many words as you want, any image you wish to use, in online real estate which you own.
Social Media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are tools which should be used to bring traffic back to your website where you have the opportunity to educate, inform, entertain and sell, or whatever it is you do on your website. Hey, not everything about having a website is selling.
What better way to entice people to your website than by giving them a glimpse of a well-written, informed piece of prose? A snippet of a well constructed, SEO strong, blog piece, or article?
The content you create with a blog can be re-tweeted, linked on all sorts of social media, and re-purposed for many things, such as article submission to magazines, collected into a series of articles or short opinion pieces, and turned into a book. Blogging is quite possibly the strongest content you can give yourself.
There are some things you need to remember when blogging:
* The first picture you post on your blog will be the default thumbnail image seen on social media. Choose wisely, and in theme with the title, to give a good first impression on the post.
* And when posting onto places such as Facebook, have you ever noticed how a sentence would be cut off with the ‘read more’ option? You can plan your introduction sentence, or paragraph, to be between 20 – 30 words in length, to avoid the sentence being cut off mid…
* The length of a blog post should be around 500-800 words. Enough to get a good argument or opinion across, but not so long as to bore a reader into switching screens and going somewhere else. There are certainly times when a longer post is more than suitable, as with all writing, any rule created for writing has exceptions to it. I have certainly read some blogs reaching close to 2000 words, and have been captivated by the entire post, and as such the rest of the site. Sites such as Copyblogger rarely post blogs over 1000 words. They are leaders in this field, so I think it’s quite okay following their lead in this case.
Keep your blog focused on one topic. You have one point to make, and you have a good space to make it. If you have more than one thing to say about a topic, then leave each main point for its own blog post. This allows you to flesh out each point, and allows for comments from others on one topic at a time. It also helps you stay focused on the task at hand and not wander around with words, distracting your readers from what you find important, what you want to say.
Moving away from content now, what else is great about blogs?
Comments. If you build up a good following, if you read other people’s blogs and comment, then soon they will come back and read yours. Blogs with a good following can have a strong comments section where heated debate and discussions can burst forth, more ideas than you thought of, can come to light.
Also, if you comment on another person’s blog, and leave your web link when you do, as part of a WordPress or Blogger login, or other Meta login, then you grab a trusted link back to your site, which helps in organic Google searches.
Social Media Sharing. Include buttons to share your blog posts on social media, and people can share with their friends without the need to copy and past your link directly into the media walls and circles. One click, and you’re shared to hundreds and thousands of others. And again, this click shows Google that a real person has interacted with your website, and so also improves your organic Google search ranking.
Subscription and RSS Feeds. If someone likes your blog posts, they will subscribe to receive email updates to read your latest post as soon as it is posted. This builds a loyal following, it gives you another email address for your database, and each click of the RSS button shows Google that a real person, not a content farm or a bot, has visited your site and wants to know more, therefore increasing your ranking. Your site must be better than your competition’s, since people always want to know when it is updated.