In the last few weeks, I’ve been doing some mentoring for some friends of mine. These are all amazing women entrepreneurs who are in the infancy of building their web presence, marketing plan and branding. They each have asked me about tips on how to get started with blogging. So, I thought it would actually make a great blog topic to share about!
Why do I blog?
First and foremost, I love storytelling. I wanted to work as a photojournalist for National Geographic as a kid, and I loved the idea of using my talents for writing and photography to tell stories. So, blogging is a great way for me to do just that!
But what purpose does it serve in my business? There are a few important reasons to blog!
You can showcase your skills. Whether you’re a photographer like me, or a florist, or even a dog rescue – blogging what you’re up to showcases what you have to offer the world.
It helps build your web presence. I’ll share some of my easiest to do tips on how to get started with blogging in just a sec, but, let’s just put it this way: if you don’t blog, it’s going to be much harder to show up on search engines organically (meaning, without paying for it).
It’s basically free advertisement. Aside from paying for URLs and what not, blogging is basically a free way for you to advertise yourself, your expertise and whatever it is you have to offer the world. I’ll share sessions and weddings to showcase my skills as a photographer, and that in turn gives prospective clients an idea of what to expect when they hire me. I’ll share education blogs, like this one, to help other entrepreneurs build their own businesses up because one day I plan to become a sought-after educator and speaker.
There is a direct correlation between my blog, site views, number of bookings and the amount of money I make each year. The more I blog, the more site views I get, the more weddings and sessions I book … and as we know, supply and demand means I can make a lot more.
Blogging is super important and I strongly recommend it for anyone who wants to build their web presence. Blogging will solidify your brand presence and take your marketing game up a notch.
Here are a few of my top tips on how to get started with blogging:
Figure out the keyword, and use it! A keyword is a short phrase that you want your blog to be found for on Google. Let’s just say you were writing a blog about a cookie recipe – but not just any cookie recipe! You’re sharing this amazing gluten free white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie recipe, that would be your keyword. Use it in your title, in your URL, and at least once per 100-150 words in your blog. You also want to use the keyword phrase in the alt text of at least one of your images, but not all of them.
Speaking of images, use alt text for all of them. Alt text are simple descriptions of what is in the image. So let’s say you’ve got a beautiful picture on your travel blog of the sunrise in Hawaii, you would use a short phrase that describe it; i.e. “sunrise photo at Diamondhead Lighthouse.” Try to keep your phrase 3-7 words long!
Use both internal and external links. An internal link would be linking something on your own website, like when I link my education page – and for internal links, you want to make sure it does not open up in a new window. But an external link? The exact opposite! You’d link to another reputable website that has to do with whatever you’re blogging about, and have it open up in another window. If you’ve ever looked at any of my wedding blogs, you’ll see that I always link to vendor’s websites; that’s an easy way to serve the people in your community as well as build some external links for your SEO.
Write a minimum of 300 words. It’s actually pretty easy to hit 300 words (at least it is for me, haha!), but Google likes for blogs to be more in the 700-1,000 word range.
And my biggest blogging tip on how to get started with blogging:
JUST DO IT!! Make blogging part of your workflow, regardless of what the industry. Add it in to your workday plans, and try to blog at least a couple times a month (it’s even better if you do it more often than that!). For me as a photographer, I like to blog most of my sessions and weddings. I typically do it before I’ve delivered the full gallery, so clients are excited to see and share their blog. I also like to add in personal blogs, tutorials, advice columns, etc. – so prospective clients get the chance to know me.