Whether you are planning to start your blog or improve your own, now is the time for you to become true experts in the field . To achieve this, you have only one solution: to document yourself on the subject. Then experiment.
You can do this scientific process on your own in your own corner. Or benefit from our own advice , studies, remarks… and experiences! Welcome to the world of internet 4.0 research!
The blog should be thought of today as a tool at the service of your business . It allows you to promote your know-how and your experience, while allowing you to go up in the first results of Google on specific requests.
What is a blog?
Get out your microscopes. And your time machines. Knowing the history allows above all not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
The 90s: start a blog as a diary
Since their appearance in the 1990s, blogs have always been used by Internet users to show themselves off, as well as to share their passions . They were then presented more as “public diaries”, with a space for comments which facilitated exchanges between the readers and the editors of these particular Internet pages .
They were the prerogative of individuals, with a wide variety of interests. If you research carefully, if you have time to spare, you might find traces of ancient blogs of teenagers, filled with faults and considerations as essential as knowing that they “love their neighbor too much”. This is a great example of what you should definitely not imitate!
These pages will not be of use to you. You could possibly study them if you want to learn how to start a private blog. But here we are trying to reach another level: that of professional sites.
The 2000s: Businesses Start Blogging
Businesses took a few years, but they soon realized what a great communication tool a blog was.
Faced with the development of the internet, and the number of existing pages, it became more and more important for them to be able to show themselves. It has even become today a real marketing tool and one of the main means of signaling its existence to search engines .
A blog therefore remains a space where you can talk about yourself … but from a professional angle. If you sell yoga classes, you will present postures, conference reports or books in this field, you will expose the qualities of outfits to practice … If you make tractors, you will talk about agriculture, you will reveal behind the scenes of your research and development sector. In short, highlight what concerns you and especially what may interest your potential customers.
And you will do it with style and efficiency , of course! Text, photos, videos, infographics… All these elements are now essential to complete a blog. Whatever you include in it, always design it as a space for sharing, to keep it interesting in the eyes of your readers .
Why create a blog ?
A blog is not a web page like any other . It is a free forum, which is offered to you to express yourself. But it’s not just for shouting “youhou, I exist! In the face of the world!
Set up a blog to prove you exist
This support is essential to keep a professional site alive , even when its main purpose is to present an online store.
Each new article posted reminds search engines that you exist, and makes them want to reference you a little more . There is nothing more efficient to move up in the rankings (provided that the articles are of quality, but we will come back to that later). Each of them also proves to your customers that you are active and this aspect, in our time, is more than very important!
There is nothing worse than a “showcase” site, which is content to display your contact details and the same presentation of your services for 5 years. This is not how you will make strangers want to contact you and Google to refer you.
Make a blog, a central element of your communication strategy
Better yet, opening a blog means integrating it into a real communication strategy on social networks, with your contact base with emailing and to go up in search engines. The blog is a fabulous tool for generating business , word of mouth and making your business credible. If you wish to be accompanied, at Neocamino we offer you adapted digital solutions to find customers on the internet. With:
1) A personalized action plan adapted to your objectives
2) A solution to boost your natural referencing, improve your conversions and retain your contacts
3) A service that provides all types of digital services (website creation, content, advertising campaigns …)
With a single objective: to allow you to find customers with the Internet. Our method has worked for us. So why not you ? Test our solution, it’s free 😉
Each update gives you the opportunity to share it in your newsletter, on your Facebook page, on Twitter or on Pinterest (so many spaces where you could benefit from being present , if you haven’t already done so). Especially if your articles are so interesting that others share them in turn, talking about you for you!
When others also start sharing your articles, the search engines will notice it and will push you up in the search results.
Create a blog to stay “top of mind” in the minds of your customers
To take advantage of the full potential of this space, you will need to keep it regularly updated . It can be tiring at times, we are not going to lie to you, especially if you haven’t prepared yourself well. But you will thus be able to reach both your regular customers, who have already subscribed to your newsletter and who will find there another way to take an interest in you, as well as those who you do not yet know. They will discover you thanks to him!
This regularity will allow you to stay in the minds of your contacts and prospects who will more often think of prescribing you or will come back more often to buy from you directly.
We don’t pretend that blogging is easy and free. Especially not in the case of a business . On the other hand, all the studies are formal: it is an act that can pay you big
What you need to know before you start
Work on your positioning so that your blog is on target
It’s time to position yourself as a professional. That is to say that you are not going to create your blog to present your vacation memories (unless you work in tourism eventually…).
It is crucial that your blog is relevant to your business. Better yet, it should match your positioning. This means that if the people you have decided to target for your communication strategy are urban singles, you are not going to write your articles as if you were addressing a large mother! You have chosen a niche for your brand image, for your marketing positioning : never lose sight of it!
Because a blog is also a marketing tool. It must express what makes you different, the personality of your company. If you are neutral, you want to talk to everyone, you spread out, you will ultimately not hold anyone’s interest.
Make your blog part of your strategy for maximum impact
Also, don’t forget to really integrate your blog into your communication plan : it would still be a shame to devote so much energy to writing for your blog, but your articles not being read because no one knows that. they exist. This can be the opportunity to establish a real digital strategy , thanks to your social networks, of course, but perhaps also by offering exchanges with personalities who have a connection with your products.
All of this implies that you have thought about how you are going to communicate beforehand : a blog is a tool, but, on its own, it is not strong enough. Only by putting it in a set will you make it powerful!
How do you decide what to post on your blog?
Define your editorial charter
The step that directly follows the creation of a blog is its animation. That is to say, the publication of regular articles, which therefore correspond to an identity which is specific to you. Rest assured: you have the right to work as a team on your blog. And even to delegate the writing of the articles (of all or only of some).
But you still need consistency, tone, content and presentation. And all this can be notified in a very useful document to share: an editorial charter . This is where you will put in writing, black and white, everything you have decided, namely, mainly:
- who you are addressing
- in what way
It is quite possible that over time, you will feel the need to supplement your editorial charter. Indicate that you want two horizontal images per article, an expert quote, an external link, that you want to reach more specifically for a given age group. Like any good tool, you’ll need to tailor it to your needs, maybe even testing and checking out which techniques are working or not in terms of communication.
Because a strategy, even an editorial one , must always be able to be measured and qualified by specific objectives: do you want your blog to be used directly to sell your products, to inform more generally, to entertain? This is also what you will have to decide.
Set your blog post frequency
Plan from the start the frequency of publication that you will adopt : your regularity will retain your readers. Even on the internet, people like to have dates at fixed intervals.
There is no frequency schedule that corresponds to all activities: you will have to find the right balance between your text production capacities, the content to decide … and the number of times per month you want to remind search engines that you exist.
Do not hesitate to study the blogs of your competitors, to examine their own frequency. It can be a benchmark to guide you. Either way, below one post per month, your blog will almost be considered non-existent. So plan from its creation the time slots that you will devote to its drafting.
List your blog post topics against your keywords
At Neocamino we do this work by analyzing the keywords typed by our prospects in search engines. We do this by using a keyword research tool which is included in our solution and which allows us to come up with keyword ideas and even to be inspired by what works best in our competitors. If you want to find out, you can access our free test for a week.
Choosing your article subjects in this way allows you to write articles that will have maximum impact, because they correspond to a need expressed by the Internet users that we are targeting.
If you don’t worry about your SEO, then list all the questions that your customers are asking and asking you about the theme you have defined for your blog.
The ideal is to have a list of items that can last for several months or even the whole year. So you don’t have to go back to it regularly and when you start writing, you just have to go
Choose the perfect platform for your blog
Hosting and domain name of a blog
A blog, like a website, must be hosted. There are blog hosts specially dedicated to them, but they are not always the most practical when they have to be related to a professional activity.
Either way, having your blog and your site on the same domain is essential. The blog then becomes an integral part of the website. The best site for blogging is still yours. For the sake of consistency, and to remain more practical to find, it is best to stay on the same domain, with addresses such as blog.site.fr or site.fr/blog.site . en / blog .
Software to create a blog
You NEVER want to create your blog from 0. There are CMS tools (which are used for content management) that allow you to manage all aspects of a site including the blog. This is the case for those who decide to create a blog with WordPress for example. This software was originally a platform for creating blogs elsewhere and allows you to do a lot of things today like e-commerce.
If it is the best known, WordPress is far from the only existing support. Jimdo for example is a very simple and intuitive solution that our customers love to use and very often prefer over WordPress. Tumblr can also be a good solution if your site editor doesn’t allow blogging and you don’t want to change now.
Take the time to study the specifics of each one , and first the one you are currently using, before selecting the one that really meets your needs. Because it can be very frustrating to have to constantly create and recreate your blog because it is not useful enough for you. The more control you have over your website builder software , the more you can take advantage of it.
Remember that you are not just looking to write texts, but also to be well referenced: to achieve this, you have to think about the tags, the metadata, the types of data included … And this applies whatever your level of computer knowledge: a platform, a software, which allows you to modify in a simple way what needs to be changed can really change your life! Rest assured if you are new to blogging: the first steps with a platform can be very easy to follow.
Free software to create a blog
The only really free solution is to create a blog on Tumblr, for example, and post it on a subdomain of your site. This implies that you already have a domain name. If you do not have a domain, the cost of the blog will therefore be at least 6 € / year (price of one .fr).
Creating a blog without having its own domain but a domain of the type: monblog.jimdo.com is free, but this solution is only suitable for a personal blog, a travel blog but not a professional blog for reasons of communication, serious and SEO. Then if my example with Tumblr is very inexpensive. You remain on your own. With a solution like Jimdo which costs less than 80 € / year you will have access to their support team and will not have any technical problems to connect your domain for example.myblog . jimdo . com is free, but this solution is only suitable for a personal blog, a travel blog but not a professional blog for reasons of communication, reliability and SEO. wordpress . com ) is also a solution even if I do not recommend it to you. 2 anecdotes from my day yesterday:
WordPress which is described below in its hosted version (wordpress.com) is also a solution even if I do not recommend it to you. 2 anecdotes from my day yesterday: – a nanny who runs a blog on WordPress had a technical problem and her blog is no longer online. She was badly advised by her host who in the process made it pass on an offer far too powerful and expensive for her needs. She doesn’t know how to get her site back online and is spending all her evenings there right now. – a client who updated a plugin on their WordPress site. It caused changes to all of his images. Result: pay someone to fix everything or spend 1 day there.
WordPress is powerful in the right hands. Tumblr or Jimdo are great options if you don’t have technical knowledge.
How to start a free blog? To this response Jimdo replies:
“You can realize your blog project on the Internet easily and for free in just a few steps:
- Find an idea and an original concept;
- Create your blog for free with Jimdo;
- Write blog posts regularly;
- Choose your domain name and promote your blog. “
Jimdo allows you to create blogs with beautiful visuals and that are very well designed for SEO. Again, feel free to use this site for your blog!
Blog4ever is a platform primarily designed for individuals and associations who wish to unite a community around their passion .
You will be able to publish articles complete with photos, videos, musics, documents… organize them by categories and send them by email to your members who can then leave a comment. Even if it is less complete than the solutions we quote in this article, it is intended to be easier to use.
Customer service is available to help you build your blog. As with Jimdo, a free offer allows you to have a blog with no time limit (there is a disk space limit), then paid offers offer more space and additional features such as a personalized domain name.
Click on “Create a site”
Choose the name of your site. WordPress will tell you if the name is already taken or not.
Then click on “Create your site and continue”.
Complete your form with your email, a username and a password. The username and password will allow you to connect to your blog. Regarding the identifier, note that it does not need spaces or capitals.
Once done you can go to the next step:
WordPress offers you to buy personalized addresses. You don’t have to do this. I remind you the objective of this tutorial which is to answer the question “How to create a free blog?” You can therefore click on “No thanks”.
You go to the penultimate step of creating your blog.
You can then choose a theme for your blog. The theme is the “visual”, the basic structure of your blog. This is not final, you can always change it later.
You finally arrive at the last step!
WordPress asks you to choose which version you want. You can opt for the free version. You will then have a site in myblog.wordpress.com.myblog . wordpress . com .
And there you have it, your registration is complete.
THE guide to creating your articles
Before you start writing, before even looking for your topics , remember one thing: you will not write for the web like for any other medium !
You will need to produce articles whose main information is clearly identifiable (Internet users first look at the structure of an article before actually reading it. And often, they just peck at the points that seem most important to them). The headings, the lists, the texts in bold are used to indicate these points to them!
In the same vein, favor short sentences and short paragraphs. The most popular recommendation on the web is: one idea, one paragraph! You will be careful to avoid heavy blocks of text which discourage the reader just at the sight of their compact mass.
The fact of presenting only one idea at a time also forces you to be clear and concise… even to make a plan before even starting to write, to determine exactly the points which you are going to address. This is a more than recommended passage for long articles! The tracks indicated in your map will also serve as a basis for titling each of your games.
In your plan, you will not neglect the introduction and the conclusion either: both should make you want to read the entire text, while being informative. It’s a somewhat peculiar style exercise, but an essential one in web writing: Internet users rarely take the time to go through an article from start to finish, unless you encourage them to do so.
If presentation matters, content is what will get you readership buy-in. Providing clear, even quantified information, citing sources where appropriate, will help you position yourself as an expert. Don’t just paraphrase what has already been premasted and digested ten times by competing sites: try to add something more.
And, to make the article more pleasing to the eye, consider adding an illustration (at least).
Finally, do not neglect the spelling: a simple mistake can discredit all your content!
Systematically check that you have respected these points before publishing your articles, to take full advantage of their publication. It is also the right tactic so that they are shared as much as possible !
The ultimate tips for promoting your blog
You haven’t spent all this time creating your blog, thinking about its content and writing its articles in the rules of the art so that the only people who read it are your mother and your cat (and again, just when he falls asleep on your keyboard!). The world must learn that your blog exists. And it’s up to you to let him know!
” How? ‘Or’ What ? »You will tell me …
Create a blog that goes back to Google
From the design of your articles, to begin with. This is where I tell you about SEO optimization, that ugly acronym that simply indicates that in order to improve your SEO , you write your blog with at least minimal thought about how the search engines are going to read them. That is to say with
- carefully balanced key words and phrases
- tags that provide useful information
- > internal and external links that are well exploited
Today, we talk more and more about semantic fields, to multiply the input tracks also for the readers: do not mention only the socks, express yourself on the feet, the toes, the shoes, the steps, walking, running, sweating, comfort, heat… Take some height on your subject! This is how your texts will be more interesting, because they are more complete, but also that you will position yourself as an expert in the eyes of all (search engine robots like human beings).
Boost your blog with social networks
Search engines won’t be the only ones reading you, at least not if you’re thinking about promoting your blog on social media as well.
Some advocate that 80% of the time spent on an article should be used to advertise it! Publicizing your blog is essential and different techniques make it possible to achieve this:
- the most obvious: the automatic sharing of your articles, with tools like Hootsuite or Buffer, or manually. Remember to regularly highlight old posts, or even update them, to continue to benefit from them.
- the addition of infographics, which can almost be shared apart: social networks are fond of it (Pinterest is the most obvious of them, but it is far from the only one)
- Participation in discussion groups on topics relevant to your activity. Especially on Linkedin, for BtoB, but it is also necessary to consider a presence on more popular forums, for a BtoC communication.
Relay your articles in your newsletter
This is the first instinct you must have, with sharing on social networks. Your base of loyal contacts is the keystone of your business and it will bring you sales and word of mouth.
You can also email your latest article to a few people asking them to relay and share it. They will undoubtedly do the same and these exchanges are a good way to start partnerships.
Use other people’s blogs to relay yours
Articles written for other blogs, with a link pointing to yours, in the text itself or, at a minimum, in your presentation.
We are always happy at Neocamino when partners or even strangers offer us quality content.