By Shelley Widhalm
With two million blogs posted every day, can small businesses compete and get clicks and eventual buys?
Blogs started out as online journals but have become brand-building tools, a marketing avenue and a way to increase SEO. Blogging isn’t an automatic ROI but takes some time to build a following—statistics show that the best number is 11 blogs a month, but that might not be feasible. Even once a week or every month generates reader interest, as long as the blog is consistent, focused and relevant.
Hiring a Blogger
Before venturing into blogging, here’s what you need to know about hiring a blogger:
- The Topic: The blogger should be able to understand your business and what you do, plus be able to write in the right tone and style for what you offer or the topic you want to cover.
- The Process: Find out the blogger’s credentials, plus how they will do their research and conduct interviews. Ask for samples of their work to get a sense of their style and use of language, plus if they can write error-free and effectively use grammar and syntax. Find out the blogger’s policy for addressing any errors once something has been posted.
- The Lists: Check if the blogger can write in lists and add graphs and statistics, since bullet points and visuals are popular with today’s online readers.
- The Length: Find someone who knows how to write clearly, concisely and in a short format—blogs at 200 to 300 words get the most attention, since they can be quickly read and still give readers what they need.
A Final Thought
As a final step, ask about the review process for finished blogs and the process for uploading the posts, plus how social media and SEO best practices will be handled. Make sure postings will be on a consistent schedule and that there’s a plan in place of what to post when.
Whatever you do, avoid content mills. Readers will be able to tell and won’t click and stay.