A blog is a great marketing tool. It might feel like an ‘old-school thing’, but it’s still a really strong SEO tool in 2022. Google just loves great content! So if you’re thinking about starting a blog, I only have one thing to say: go for it! Let’s make 2022 the year in which you finally start your blog! But what kind of things should you think about before starting a blog? If you take a little time to think about how to set up your blog before you begin, you’ll have less work later on. Which things could really use some extra SEO love? In this post, I’ll tell you all about why a blog is so important for SEO and give you practical tips on how to set up a blog on your site.
Why is a blog important for SEO?
Google reads text. That means that sites with a lot of great content have a higher chance to rank high in the search engines. A blog is a perfect way to write about what you know. It’ll give you the opportunity to write things that your audience will want to read. You probably want to rank for some very competitive terms. If you write all kinds of blog posts on different aspects of those competitive terms, you’ll make it much easier to rank for those competitive terms too. All you need is (SEO) love and some great internal links to get ahead in those search engine result pages.
Tips on how to start a blog
If you start from scratch and you don’t even have a site, you’ll need to dive into things such as hosting, themes and installing awesome SEO plugins. But let’s just assume that you have a site, but don’t have a blog (yet). How do you start that first post? Let’s go through some practical tips together!
1. Choose your niche
You should always write about what you know. But you should not write about everything you know. Pick a niche! Decide upon the main topic and write posts related to that topic. It’s more likely that your audience will come back and read your other posts if you’re writing about similar topics. People will know what to expect. Starting a mom blog implies that you write about all things concerning your children and family life. Starting a travel blog implies you write about traveling. You can write about something slightly off-topic once in a while of course, but try to stick to your niche. An audience of a travel blog doesn’t expect a blog post about gardening.
2. Do your keyword research
Once you’ve chosen your niche, read up on the basics of keyword research. Try to find out what people are searching for. What words are they using when they want to read about your niche and your topic? You should really get inside the heads of your potential audience. If you do your keyword research properly, you should end up with a long list of keywords you would like to be found for. Try to come up with competitive, head keywords as well as with less competitive long-tail keywords. And, don’t forget to give search intent some thought as well!
3. Think about site structure
You’ll start with a clean slate, so this is the best time to think about site structure. What categories are popular in your niche? What are the most important head keywords you’d like to rank for? You should write a long, kick-ass article about each of these keywords. Those will be your most essential articles, or in other words, your cornerstone content. You should give those articles a prominent place on your site.
After you’ve written those beautiful cornerstone articles, write lots of blog posts on subtopics of that main topic and always link to your cornerstones. That way, you’ll be telling Google exactly what the most important articles on your website are.
Read more: How to set up a cornerstone content strategy with Yoast SEO »
4. Think about style and personality
A blog usually has an informal style. Blog posts are usually rather casual, like talking to a friend. But it all depends on your personality and the topic of your blog. Before you start a blog, decide upon a style. What kind of vibe do you want your posts to have? If your blog is about accountancy or corporate finance, your blog should have a rather formal tone of voice. However, a blog about guinea pigs could pull off a totally different vibe!
A short recipe for that very first blog post
After you’ve done a little bit of thinking, you just need to start writing! Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and just do it. Your blog starts with the very first post. That post doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be published. Let me help you there and give you a short recipe for that very first blog post.
- Choose a topic! What are you going to write about?
- Write down your message: what is the thing you want people to remember from this post?
- Write…. and read more about writing… because it’s more easily said than done.
- Add pictures and videos. A successful blog has pictures and videos as well. Every post should feature at least one image. Taking nice photos yourself is a great way of creating images. Making short videos is a really good blogging strategy as well. Especially if you’re blogging about (aspects) of your own life, photos of it are a necessity.
- Optimize for the Search Engines! Before publishing your post, optimize it using Yoast SEO. Don’t forget to create an awesome SEO title and a decent snippet. Finetune your text. Make sure your text is readable, as well as SEO-friendly. And remember to add some links pointing towards your new post, otherwise users and Google will never find it!
- Promote your blog: Using social media is the best way to reach and grow the audience of your blog. That’s why your blog should have a Facebook page. Sharing your posts on Facebook is a good marketing strategy. Don’t forget Instagram and Twitter either! In addition to the use of social media to promote your blog, we advise you send out a digital newsletter. Let people sign up for it and send out emails with your latest blog posts and other content they might enjoy.
Keep reading: Marketing your blog »
Love your site and start that blog
The most important thing when starting a blog – besides setting up your new blog – is writing that very first blog post. Once you’ve written that first post, your blog has started. From that moment on, you should continue writing blog posts. Just continue with the SEO love. Try to determine a frequency to publish new posts, so your readers know what to expect. You don’t have to blog every day, once a month could also be a nice frequency to start with. Starting a blog is hard work. But your site really deserves a little love. Let’s spread that SEO love!
Read on: Blogging: the ultimate guide »
SEO love series