You might have heard that blogging is absolutely key to your online business, that Google need to see your website updating regularly for you to rank highly in their searches...
Well, you may well be surprised to know that recently I've been hearing otherwise. And not from any old person. But from an SEO guru. Which, for a person who earns her bread and butter through blogging and supporting businesses with their blogs is - I can tell you - a bit of a buzzkill. However, I know that she isn't trying to kill my vibe, she's trying to raise her fellow witches up! She - like me - is a member of The Coven. Read more about that here.
So the question on everyone's lips is, "Should I be blogging?".
The answer is still most definitely still a resounding YES. (Phew!) This is still an excellent way of engaging your readers and showing potential clients why they need what it is you've got to offer. Yay!
The absolute key to boosting SEO is making your website USEFUL. Google want your website or blog to give as much useful content to their users as possible, and THAT is what you need to do! So you need to blog, not about what you had for dinner last night (although I guess that could be considered useful...), but by using keywords and planning ahead to make your content the most useful it can possibly be.
If you're a wedding planner, for example, you need to be writing about table decor trends and other relevant topics, but you also need to think about the things that your potential clients are searching for. Use Google's tools to find out what they're looking for. You might be surprised at what it is they actually Google! And once you've discovered this, you'll be able to plan out an amazing array of useful blogs that will help you rank higher.
Now, back to the SEO guru I was telling you about...well, not only did she say that blogging isn't really useful in the way that it once was, she explained about the way search engine bots look for "cornerstone" content.
So what exactly is that? No need to panic, it sounds much more complicated than it actually is. Cornerstone content is basically a giant piece of content that demonstrates how useful you can be. Often this consists of an "Ultimate Guide to..." and it's about 3000+ words long, which might seem pretty epic when you're used to writing 500 word blogs. It's basically a guide to what you're all about, and readers can navigate your site using it because you'll link through to all your other content in one article. Genius, right? Google bloody loves it, so go with it!
(If you're still confused, I've written a blog explaining WTF cornerstone content is, which you can find here. And I'll be writing a guide to creating your cornerstone articles in the next few weeks, so watch this space!)
Tell me what to do!
In summary, my advice to you is build up your blog, make the content useful and relevant to your readers. Plan your blogs out to ensure you're using keywords that your ideal clients are searching for. What are their pain points? Use the tools Google offer to research this well and nail it! Once you've built up your confidence with writing and you're posting blogs consistently, write some cornerstone content.
Most importantly, don't write for the sake of it. Spend a day planning out your blogs after you've done your keyword research. Write about topics that ignite a fire in you. What led you to be where you are? Be authentically you. Let your blogs tell a story.