2. SEO

If you’re not familiar with ‘SEO’ or: search engine optimisation – very simply, it’s about how you’re ranked by Google. If you have good SEO, you will appear at the top of searches, if you don’t – you won’t. As well as original, well-written blog content, you should think about keeping within your field of work. So if you’re a chef, don’t venture into interiors. Unless it’s completely relevant (like: you’re designing a kitchen where you’ll create new recipes from). To be an expert, you have to make it really clear that you know loads about your subject, and that’s what blogging is all about.

Create a headline that contains a ‘keyword’ – that is, the word(s) you want someone to type into Google and then see your article appear in the search. So if I’m writing a piece about getting your baby to sleep through the night for The Early Hour, my headline could be:

Five tips for getting your baby to sleep through the night

The secret to getting your baby to sleep through the night

Want your baby to sleep through the night? Here’s what to do

And then within the blog post, create headers that divide the content up into more digestible sections but will also be picked up by Google. So I might have a sub-header saying:

The first night my baby slept eight hours

And underneath, tell that story.

Another might say:

Babies sleep well when…

This could be followed by five tips about keeping the room dark, quiet etc.

So it’s about creating helpful, informative content that is clearly about one subject, and that fits into your niche (for me, with The Early Hour, it’s parenting. It may well be something completely different for you).

Within your blog post (if it’s on WordPress), there may be the option to write a ‘snippet’. This is another opportunity to tweak the SEO. Again, keep your keywords in there and write a few lines about what the article is about. This is what will appear on the Google search page, that will hopefully draw people in and make them want to read your piece.

Here’s an example of a snippet (referring to the baby sleep piece above):

Would you like your baby to sleep through the night? Here are five tips for ensuring good sleep for you and your baby every night

Once you’ve written your article share it all over the internet. Push it as much as you can. We’ll talk more about social media next week but this is the best way to get content out there, so post it on your personal facebook page – and business page, if you have one. Put it on Instagram, with a link to it in your bio. Tweet about it. Get it to as many people as you can and hopefully they’ll love it and share it too, as this is great for SEO. But it’s also putting you in front of all their followers – who may well be on the lookout for someone who does the work you do.

Engage your readers

At the end of your blog post, ask a question. That might be: Do you have any tips to add? Or something else that gets your readers engaging with the content. This is good for SEO, as Google will pick up on people logging in and leaving comments but it’s also great for growing a community and starting/continuing conversations. Make sure that you have ‘comments’ enabled on your website – this might just be a simple tick box, or you might need a plug-in added.