- by Trish
What worked five to ten years ago no longer applies today. With even more blogs being created daily, bloggers really do need to focus and learn so that is why I’m offering you blog writing tips for beginners and winners alike.
One of my friends used to get away with writing a 250 to 350 word post, once every three months in order to rank high in local searches for their business.
This technique worked wonders until about four years ago when that friend (who owns a local business) got so busy that they neglected their blog and slooooowly their website drifted downward in ranking in the search engine results for their local business.
In a panic, this owner wanted to know why their rank was not restored in rank after writing one new post that really did nothing to offer their visitors any real value… plus the owner kept the post to the usually 250 to 350 words.
You may have been adept at writing posts five to ten years ago but you still need to keep up with the changes that are happening online regularly.
Back in the late ‘90s, when Google first came on scene, many website owners had all of their information on ONE page, and visitors needed to scroll and scroll and scroll for the information.
Then Google decide to enforce their new rules that if website owners forced their website visitors to scroll for information, then your website would be ranked lower in their search results.
Many website owners scrambled to comply with Google’s new rules so their websites would maintain or improve ranking in search results. Back then, most posts would be punished with a lower rank if they were beyond the 350 word marker that Google seemed to be enforcing.
Today, well… things seem to be going back to the way things were pre-Google days… you know… when all the information was on ONE page. Now, if your post content contains only 350 words it is quite possible that your post may not appear even on the first 10 pages of Google search results for your chosen keywords.
How to Find Ideas to Write About
For those of you who say you have difficulties finding things to write about, here are some ways to gain ideas:
Define a problem your client may. Examples: for a plumber’s website, leaking pipes, which I bet that you COULD create a series of post on this topic alone! Or for a post on a spa website, skin treatments for rosacea; and then simply write about resolutions to those problems.
Whenever scientific or medical proof is needed, be sure to provide proof of what you stated by providing links to that renowned online source… or, provide the address to that study in a list of sources at the bottom of your post.
Remember your client’s and potential customer’s questions and expand on them with answers. Bets that alone would provide you with a 1000 word post… easily, once you set about to write.
Here’s another tip… the last time you did a search on Google; did you notice all of those questions that appeared at the top of your search results… much like those in the screen print below?
Well, you too can retrieve valuable topics and subtitles from Google searching a problem that one of your potential customers might have… and then, write about your solutions to those questions. TIP: Be sure to use those questions in your subtitles providing you can offer quality, unique answers.
Watch your snail mail junk mail for your competitions flyers… and provide quality tips on a post that are beyond what your competition offered in their flyer.
And… last but by far not least of all, don’t be afraid to share DETAILS in your posts. Don’t hold back on information sharing thinking that will be to your advantage because that attitude will only turn out to be your disadvantage.
Once you have some ideas to write about, be sure to learn why writing a great title is so important and how to get targeted traffic to your site, as these techniques will help your posts rank better too.
7 Basic Blogging Tips
1.) Do not simply blog for the sake of blogging. You need to have a purpose.
2.) Provide relevant content on your social media accounts as people no longer want to leave the platform they are on in order to visit your website.
3.) Four hundred to five hundred word posts published daily NO LONGER WORK. Now a one thousand word post is considered as being short. Long form content is now considered as being essential.
4.), Creating content once every two weeks or less is now considered acceptable, as long as your content is informative and unique.
5.) Seriously consider offering what is termed as pillar posts …or what some may call evergreen content. By this I mean key posts that become the most popular and reflect your local business (your niche).
By providing this type of content this can help get your business noticed when someone seeks out a resolution for an issue related to your niche that they are experiencing. Don’t be afraid to share what actually works, as that is how your business can stand out from your competition, making your business out to be the expert in that searcher’s mind.
Offering a 4,000 to 5,000 word relevant guide is also an ideal method of creating pillar content.
6.) Be sure to re-purpose your website content that proves to be the most popular, and use that on your social media accounts, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and even on SlideShare in which you can create slides… and create videos.
7.) Find your most popular posts and add more relevant content on a regular basis. Make sure the additional content is always related.
Now that you have your blog tips, let us take a look at another great way to gain more traffic to your website and potential leads for your local business… VIDEO.
SEO How to Videos
What bloggers need to understand is that it is no longer acceptable to Facebook when you share your YouTube hosted videos on your fan page, or your LinkedIn account for that matter.
Do you know why?
You guess it!
They are competitors (or as some call them, rivals), and EACH social media account now wants you to share your videos on THEIR platform. No more sharing your YouTube hosted videos on your other social media accounts, because like Facebook they just won’t show your posts in news feed, so you need no longer waste your time.
Rank Your Videos in Google in Minutes
(NOTE: the Hubspot video tool talked about is shown below…)
You now need five different video lengths and formats to host on your different social media accounts.
1.) YouTube – your videos can easily be 15 minutes in length if you wish. It seems that once your channel becomes popular, Google can add more ads to your videos and when you allow that… then your videos will be ranked higher and higher. In other words, you scratch Google’s back and Google will scratch yours in return.
YouTube re-encodes all videos in order to optimize them for the best quality playback so you are asked to always upload a high quality original video. The preferred file formats are as follow: 1080p HD, DVD-compliant MPEG-2 saved with a .MPG file extension, and/or MPEG-4.
Audio must be 128 kbps or better, and the minimal length of a video to be uploaded to your account is to be 33 seconds. Frame rate needs to be 24, 25 or 30 frames per second.
Aspect ratio needs to be 4:3 with vertical pillarboxing bars when played on a widescreen 16:9 player. Video resolution needs to provide a minimum of 1920 x 100 with a 16:9 aspect ratio. However, there are exceptions if your videos will not be publicly visible on YouTube.
If you want to support Google ads on your video, it is recommended that your resolution be at least 1280 x 720 with an aspect ratio of 16:9… and at least 640 x 480 when a 4:3 aspect ratio is used.
For FULL details on the YouTube video formatting guidelines please see visit YouTube guide.
YouTube SEO: Get Your Videos Ranked
2.) Facebook is YouTube’s rival, I’m sure you have heard that before now, and their guidelines differ from YouTubes.
With Facebook’s video guidelines for posting on your business fan page, you will need to use MP4 format and there is a file size limitation of 1.75 GB and 45 minutes in length. However, the Facebook video ad guidelines are different again.
How Facebook News Feed Ranking Works
3.) LinkedIn recently started offering their members a means for uploading and sharing related videos. The types of files supported are numerous (for now) and they are: ASF, AVI, FLV, MPEG-1, MPEG-4, MKV, QuickTime, WebM, H264/AVC, MP4, VP8, VP9, WMV2 and WMV3.
Files size maximum is 5GB and minimum 75KB. Maximum length is 10 minutes while the minimum length is 3 seconds. The resolution range must be 256 x 144 to 4096 x 2304, aspect ratio range from 1:2.4 to 2.4:1. You will find full details regarding the LinkedIn video guidelines offers you even more information.
Optimize Your LinkedIn Business Profile
4.) The Instagram video guidelines state that your video lengths need to be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes (650MB). Longer maximum videos, those up to 60 minutes (3.6GB) need to be uploaded from a computer.
File type accepted is MP4, while the videos must be vertical 9:16 in aspect ratio with a minimum resolution of 720 pixels. Their recommended cover photos size is 420px by 654px (or 1:1.55 ratio).
Your videos MUST comply with Instagram’s Community Guidelines or suffer from removal, and if YOU should see something on Instagram that you find offensive you can report it.
What You Need to Make Videos Instagram Stories
Great APPS for Great Instagram Stories
5.) Like Facebook, Pinterest video guidelines states that all promoted videos must comply with their advertising guidelines. Acceptable file types are MP4 and MOV standard or max width, 2GB maximum size, minimum length 4 seconds, maximum length 15 minutes, with recommended length of 6-15 seconds, and an aspect ratio of taller than 1.91:1 and shorter that 1:2.
How Pinterest Video Marketing Works
6.) Vimeo video guidelines are somewhat different again, so you will need to be fully aware of their list of rules before you begin. Violation of their guidelines may lead to your videos being removed and possibly losing your Vimeo account too.
Apparently, Vimeo accepts all shapes and sizes but offer a list of the most common formats, of which there are 10 to choose from. On their blog you will find helpful tips on creating gorgeous videos for your Vimeo account.
File format suggested is MP4, resolution 1280 x 720, and a codec of H.264.
Create Your Own Vimeo Channel
No matter which platform you host your videos on, make sure to pay strict attention to the introduction text (your titles) using your keywords and descriptions that will attract people to click on your videos.
How to Make Videos for YouTube for Beginners
Advice for New YouTubers – 10 Mistakes New YouTubers Make
Tools to Help You Create Videos
The list below is NOT a complete list of tools to help you create videos, but a list of freebies to help you get started creating videos so you can out rank your competition now.
4. Google search for Free video editing software and be sure to READ the descriptions to make sure the software is truly FREE, not just free to sign up for.
5. And now, PowerPoint can be used to create videos!
Last of all… for those who love to create how-to videos, here is a very INEXPENSIVE (yes, cheap!) software that I use: FastStone Capture
If you would like to see a video I created for a training website, while using another video creator showing how to use FastStone Capture, you are welcome to take a look.
I do hope you have learned a lot from the information I have shared with you here and I truly do trust that you will use at least some of these tips so that your website can rank high for the first time or rank high in local search results once more.
If you know of ANY other great tips to share with readers, please DO feel free to share them in a comment below.