For many website developers, having a blog is an essential part of their website experience and EverWeb makes creating and running a blog easy. Here’s are some suggestion about what you should do to get up and running with your very own blog…
- Your Target Audience: The first thing to find out is: Is there an ‘audience’ for your blog and what content will the blog deliver? Knowing your audience is crucial and you will want to engage with them properly. Remember when you developed your website in EverWeb, you probably designed it in a way that your target audience relates to. You’ll want to do the same thing for your blog so that you can engage well with your audience.
- Content: Your audience will have its own ‘language’ and also you will probably have a feel for what your audience wants to hear or know about. Targeting your audience properly will help you grow your blog.
- What will the blog achieve? Before embarking on your blog, does it, or should it, have a specific purpose or goal? Your blog could be very general or very specific in terms of its content. Is your blog primarily there to provide information? Or to help sell or support product sales? You may want a blog to be a facilitator for discussion and so on… It is more than likely that you will have a mix of subjects to blog about and one blog may be suffice. Some EverWeb websites however, create multiple blogs, each of which serves a different, specific, purpose, so think about what you need and if you need to ‘categorize’ your blogs before you begin.
- Frequency and Timing: How often should you blog and on which day, or days, or the week? And how often will you want to produce a blog post? There are no hard and fast rules here as the answer to this depends factors that are relevant to your business, or interest, the time that you have available to devote to a blog and the needs/requirements of your target audience. It’s useful, if you can to post regularly whenever possible. The timing of the post can also be important e.g. Tuesday and Thursdays tend to be popular days to post and the timing of the blog post for release could be early in the day or in the evening depending on your business. The important thing here is that you want your blog post to reach the maximum number of people possible so work out your frequency and timing based on this criteria.
- How long should your blog post be? As with Frequency and Timing above, there’s no particular rule here, although generally posting between 800 and 1000 words seems to be a sweet spot. Again, this may differ depending on the nature of your blog (e.g. it may be a long read blog ideal for weekends), or you may want to use a post to make a short announcement that just takes 200 words… so again, take in to account what the purpose of the blog post is and your audience. The important thing here is not to get too hung up on having to produce a certain length of text. If you do, then you could be damaging your blog by excessive padding of posts that don’t need padding. Quality is better than quantity!
- Create a posting schedule: Perhaps one of the most challenging things about blogging can be the possibility of running out of things to write about. When you start out, you probably have lots of ideas, so write them down or put them in to the blog posts page in your EverWeb Project as draft posts. You can then work on them later! Keeping things fresh is always important for you and for your visitors so it’s also a good idea to read other blogs for inspiration (make sure not to plagiarize someone else’s work though!). Keeping a list of things to write about is invaluable. You may have ‘Evergreen’ content that you should recycle from time to time e.g.for this blog, the subject ‘How to start your first website in EverWeb’ is evergreen as there are always new users of EverWeb coming on board. When using evergreen concepts, the best thing to do is not to just recycle the post, but to put a new spin on it so that it keeps the post fresh. It’s also good for search engines too who don’t like seeing duplicate content either.
- SEO Considerations: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) may be something you want to consider as well so that more people can find your site! When looking at SEO, use EverWeb’s great SEO for EverWeb Video Course. It demystifies the whole ting and each video is just a couple of minutes so well worth the watch! For your blog posts, add your keywords if possible in the first paragraph as this will be better for catching the attention of crawlers. Remember, though that you should never sacrifice your content just for SEO keywords. Content is always #1. It’s always great too, to add a blog post image to your post and now since EverWeb 3.6 you can add ALT Text to the image you use.
- Choose the right Discussion Engine: If you want to facilitate discussion in your blog, you can use either Disqus or FaceBook Comments as your discussion ‘engine’. Check out the EverWeb User Manual which has a great comparison between the two different engines. The user manual also details how to set up each discussion engine as well. When considering setting up a discussion engine, remember that you will have to be the moderator of the comments that are made on the site, so there’s a time investment here, and dealing with unwanted comments or difficult comments can also be stressful for a moderator.
Creating a blog in EverWeb can be a rewarding investment and a good way to interact and grow your client base.
In the next AAI post, we’ll look at blogging specifically using EverWeb’s built in blogging tool! So, leave a comment if you have a question for us!