With more people consuming content on social media, is it necessary to post it on your website?
“I keep hearing from marketers that I have to blog regularly on my business website, but I don’t like writing and I’m not particularly good at it. What do I do?”
This was a question posed by a vegan business owner in a Facebook group recently and several others commented that they felt the same. I promised I’d cover it – ironically in a blog post! So here it is.
Facebook is conducting an experiment right now, in conjunction with many of the world’s largest media players. It’s called Instant Articles. Instead of publishing a piece of content on the media owner’s site, then sharing the URL to that content on social media, the content is published directly to Facebook, bypassing the media outlet’s website.
Depending on the results, the initiative is likely to be rolled out to smaller, independent media producers, including blogs.
While there are a number of benefits to publishing content on other people’s platforms – from traditional media to social media – it also pays to own your own media. This is your blog, which you should host on your business’s website and needs to be easily accessible from your Home and other pages.
Benefits of publishing on your site
You have control of the media platform
Publish what you want, when you want. No need to pitch editors and hope they pick up your idea. The content also remains for as long as you continue to host your site.
More traffic to your site
Entice people in with an intriguing headline that arouses their curiosity (making sure the content fulfils the promise of the headline and avoiding misleading ‘clickbait’) and you’ll generate more visitors to your website, where they can see your other offerings and become potential customers.
You can also encourage them to sign in to your database by offering a free, valuable lead generation gift. This allows you to have regular contact via email with your tribe.
Boost your SEO juice
Google rewards sites with valuable, relevant content by featuring them higher in organic (ie non-paid) search engine results.
Other media may pick up your blog posts and request to republish them
Independent and mainstream media curate as well as create content and they’re always looking for quality pieces to share with their audiences. Most will include a note stating it was first published on your blog with a link back to your site.
But what if I hate writing or am useless at it?
It doesn’t matter if you hate writing. A blog doesn’t have to be all about the text. Maybe your thing is podcasts. Or video.
Simply embed your audio-visual content into your blog post and add some introductory text to explain what it’s about. I also recommend listing the key points for those people who don’t have time or preference to listen to or watch your content. You don’t need to be a great writer to do this – just provide a summary of the main points covered.
That said, you need to know what format your audience likes to consume content in. This is important, as it’s not all about what you want. Do they like written blog posts, Youtube videos or audio podcasts? If they like the written word, what kind of length do they prefer? Short, snappy pieces or longer, indepth ones? Or a mix of both?
Much of this you’ll find out by trial and error – by producing different types of content and measuring the hits and/or views. Then of course, do more of what’s popular with your audience.
How do I find the time to create content on a regular basis?
Decide how often you’ll post on your site. You don’t need to create content every day, or even every week. A monthly post on your blog is fine. (You’ll need to post more regularly on social media, but this can be curated ie sharing other people’s content, or can be short, on-the-fly videos shot on your phone, photos or memes).
Once you’ve decided the frequency of your blog posts, plan your content, including deadlines for completion. Then, you can either create the content each week or month as you go, or block out a certain period of time and put together several pieces of content in one hit. These can then be scheduled to publish on your blog a few weeks or months in advance.
Hire a professional
If your audience responds best to content that you don’t feel comfortable in creating yourself, hire a professional to do it for you. Many journalists are leaving or being forced to leave an ever-changing media industry and turning to ‘brand journalism’ to help business owners like you. They use their extensive interviewing, researching, reporting, writing and editing skills to produce engaging content written in a style that’s relevant to your brand.
Remember the more relevant, valuable content you provide on your blog, the more it will be shared, increasing the number of people to your site and introducing them to you and your vegan business.