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Let Your Business Shine: Key Blogging Strategies for Attracting Your Target Clientele
Posted By Victoria WoW October 28th, 2014
We've all heard the buzz around blogging and content marketing, but we're also all busy, especially during our heightened wedding season. Content creation seems daunting, especially if you're subject to writer's block! Thankfully, blogging is easier than it seems, and we're breaking down the key elements to make it even easier. Now that we have a little breathing room, it's a great time to think about how we can implement these strategies to reach our target clientele.
1. Generate Amazing Topics
For many business owners, the blogging spirit is willing, but the idea-generating is weak. It's hard to come up with top quality content on a regular basis, and a blog that's only updated every few months is hardly pulling its weight.
First, to foster idea generation and keep your blog focused, come up with a list of 5-10 topics, and only worry about writing posts within those topics. Your topics can be any area related to your business or expertise – for example, ours at WoW are Events, News, Inspiration, Weddings, Network, Learn, Celebrate, and Give Back. You should be able to think of several issues within each topic that could make good posts, and you also want them to be things you'll actually enjoy writing about, too - enjoying what you're writing about makes it so much easier.
Realize that your customers are a fantastic source for your blog. If you brainstorm, we bet you can come up with a long list of questions that your brides and grooms always ask you. Answer these questions in your posts, and you'll have great, informative pieces that attract new clients who have similar questions. FAQs make fantastic blog topics, because they're exactly what readers what to see, and they're easy to generate. If you run out of questions on your own, reach out on your social media platforms and ask your fans what they'd like to know. The extra interactivity will be a win-win.
Still stuck? Well, if you're a WoW member, you know you're a leader in your field. And you didn't become a leader without a little know-how. Share that know-how with some 'How-to' articles. These are always popular, and they set you up as an industry expert. For example, when WoW Elite Member Deanna McCollum guest blogged about '8 Tips for Looking your Best in Every Shot: A Photographer's Secrets to Posing like a Pro,' it was a big hit.
And it's also a good practice to get into the habit of reading your colleagues and your competitor's blogs, as well as big names in your industry (like, theknot.com, for example). Never copy, of course, but it's helpful to look to others for inspiration, too. Better yet, come to our monthly WoW events, and discuss your content strategies with other WoW Members. This month in particular, we'll be brainstorming your burning questions – make sure to bring any about your blog along!
Ultimately, you need to write what you know. Don't try to be all things to all readers – you just need to create content that will attract future clients who appreciate your brand. If you're passionate about your topic, it will show in your posts. And that passion is more important than being the next Ernest Hemingway. Your blog should be an honest showcase of you and your business, and trust us – people will appreciate that honesty.
2. Look the Part
It's unfair, but people judge books by their covers, and blogs by their pictures. A blog without any photos is dead in the water, given our limited attention spans online. If you really want to captivate, you need not only good content, but good graphics, too. We use gorgeous, high-quality photographs taken by WoW Photographers, to make our blog read like a glossy magazine.
This is where wedding industry professionals are usually ahead of the blogging crowd. Our clients are usually professionally and stunningly photographed using our products. Reach out to your brides and see if they mind sharing some of their wedding photos with you. They're usually quite happy to share, especially if you've developed a good relationship with them.
You might not always have a professional wedding photo to match blog posts, but never fear – there's actually lots of good, free stock photography out there. Wikimedia Commons is a free database of over 20 million photos you're free to use. Pay attention because sometimes you have to show attribution (a simple and small 'Photo credit to Photographer's Name' with a link will suffice). Pixabay is another great database, and you don't need to show attribution for most of these images.
3. What's SEO again?
'Search Engine Optimization,' or 'SEO,' is just what it sounds like – optimizing your content and website to make it more likely to appear in searches on Google, Bing, and the like. It's important, of course, but some small businesses get hung up on 'seo' over all else. Remember that for search engines, there are some good practices, but ultimately, content is king. And no search is going to find you if you're not 'there' – and the more content you write, the better.
The key to seo is to write quality content. Your posts need to be relatively typo-free (but trust us – the 'i' won't be dotted even on the most popular sites), and just like in high school, plagiarism is a big no-no, so make sure you're writing your own material. Finally, learn about key words, and make sure you're hitting them in each of your posts.
And don't let worrying about 'perfect' seo actually keep you from writing. Sometimes, just getting started is a big enough hurdle. Try writing your blog regularly for a few months. Once you're more comfortable with it, then start researching ways to optimized your content even more. But again, your focus should always be on your customer/reader, and making sure she's your main audience when you're writing, and not some robots at Google!
4. Final Best Practices
We keep saying it, but the best practice for good blogging is to be genuine, and to let your readers see the real you. That said, we do have some final tips of wisdom to leave you with.
First, numbered lists, a style made popular by the website Buzzfeed, are very popular and likely to get you lots of attention. Posts like '10 reasons to Buy Your Dress Early' are a great way to generate traffic, so try to think of ways to incorporate them into your blog. It's also a good idea to have a catchy title for your post.
People worry about how much they should be writing, but bear in mind that sticking to a regular posting schedule is more important than how often you post. Create a schedule you can stick to – whether that's once a week, twice a week, twice a month, or more. You probably want to be writing at least every two weeks, but again – good content regularly but slowly is better than poor content more often, and definitely better than no content at all.
Finally, make sure you're formatting your posts and proof-reading them, too. Hopefully, you're using a blog-friendly platform like Wordpress or Webly for your site. If you are using Wordpress, you can find a simple tutorial on putting up a new post here and on how to schedule your posts here. If your site isn't optimized for blogging, talk to your web designer. And there's lots of great small, local companies that can help get you set up.
It's often a good idea to end your posts with a 'call to action,' - a request to get them to check out your link or to email you if they have any further question. And of course, no one's going to see your blog if you don't promote it. Get on Twitter and Facebook, and use your mailouts, to spread the word about your new, lovely words!
We're excited to see all the posts that our WoW Members come up with – we have so much to share! If you're going to use any of these tips, let us know in the comments, or better yet, share your new posts with us on Facebook once they're written! And bring any blogging questions to the Fairmont Empress this November, where we'll be brainstorming best practices together, while also networking as we overlook the Inner Harbour!