By Anja Skrba.
Not all blogs are created equal, and many of them are guilty of being just plain terrible. The good news is, with a few quick steps (which actually represent a fairly hefty investment of thought) you can avoid your blog becoming yet another one of the internet’s dirty little secrets. If you’re going to all the trouble of creating and updating a blog, you want it to be the best blog it can be.
1. Know Your Message
If you don’t know what you want to say, you’re going to very a hard time saying it. Decide from day one what you want your blog to do. Is about keeping everyone in the firm aware of what’s going on? Is it about helping laypeople find legal help? What you choose is really far less important than the act of choosing the direction you want to go.
2. Know Your Audience
Once you know what your blog is about, the next step is determining the audience you want to reach with it. This will dictate more than anything else the topics you tackle and the complexity of your writing.
3. Know Whether You’re Aiming for Readers or SEO
If you’re looking to dominate the Google rankings to bring in organic search traffic and build up the blog, that’s one thing, and if you’re looking to provide content for people arriving through other sources, that’s something else.
In general, readers are most likely to link and share content in the general range of fifteen hundred words. Google prefers content in the realm of two thousand to twenty-five hundred words, however.
On the other hand, if you’re writing to keep clients and members of the firm abreast of what’s going on, you might want to write nice concentrated blasts of five hundred to one thousand words—just know you can’t have your cake and eat it to on this. You can have short content, or highly-ranked content.
4. Know How Much Time You Have to Blog
Once you know how long and how technical your articles are going to be, you’ll want to take a look at how much time you have available for the act of writing itself. Since you should have a pretty good idea of how long each article will take you to write, just divide the amount of time you have for writing a week by the amount time it will take you to write that content.
Congratulations, you now have your weekly (or bi-weekly) posting schedule!
5. Know Your Voice
How much of your own voice you sneak into a blog is largely dependant on circumstance, but a consistent voice is very nearly as important as a consistent schedule for getting readers to return to your blog. People like to know what they’re going to get when they click on the link.
It’s why there aren’t cans labeled “Random Surprise Flavor” in the soup aisle of the supermarket.
The Rest is Just Details
This is hardly an exhaustive guide, naturally, but it is a firm foundation for building just about any type of blog you want to build, on whatever platform you’d like to build it on.