Earlier, we told you about how to craft the best possible blog for your business, with the help of business blogger extraordinaire Terra Dawn, owner of Uncork Your Dork. To recap: you learned how to 1) identify your reader, 2) pick your topic, and 3) write like yourself and not William S. Burroughs.
Now that you’ve done all that work, it’s time to move on to the second step — how to make sure that people actually see and read your post! It would be a bummer indeed if you put all that work in and then let it languish. But we know that’s not how you roll, so we talked to Dawn again about how to maximize eyeballs on your post, also known as page views.
“After you post is actually the most important part,” says Dawn.
Step One: Brand Thyself
The first thing to keep in mind, says Dawn, is to make sure everything is branded to a T. That means that your headline will be the same across the board, your dek (the sentence/paragraph that readers see as a teaser with your post) will be the same across the board, and your images will be the same as well. There are myriad systems to choose from that will allow you to customize your shares, but Dawn uses Social Warfare. At $29 a year for one website, it adds a plugin to your Wordpress site that installs sleek social media buttons. The buttons include the number of shares that the post has already received.
“They have over 500 social media sites,” says Dawn, “and you can add in prewritten tweets, Facebooks, pins, all of that.”
That means that you can add in your own hashtag if you’d like, your own quote, or “via @[your Twitter handle here]”.
“When things are prewritten, you are taking advantage of Pinterest SEO or eye-catching text for Facebook,” says Dawn.
Step Two: Check Thy Photos
Speaking of Pinterest, you might not give a lot of thought to the site if you’re primarily writing for business; perhaps you think of it as more for people who are planning weddings or haircuts. But you should take Pinterest more seriously. It’s a huge sharing platform, and it’s also one that can be either incredibly useful or incredibly useless. That’s because Pinterest often lets users select the image that they want associated with their pin, which means that you might have a blog post that’s getting shared up the wazoo and also has 10 different photos associated with it, so it’s recognizable-ness goes down the tubes.
“You give them one image,” says Dawn. “It’s huge, because it becomes a recognizable image for this post. If that is the one pin that has been shared 500 times, [users ] are going to find it pretty easily. Plus, you can make sure that they’re pinning something branded to you and your business.”
Schedule Now, Play Later
Don’t want to be thinking about your post for the rest of the day (and tomorrow)? Get familiar with an app that lets you schedule your socials in advance. Dawn uses Coschedule.com, which offers a marketing calendar, social scheduling, suggestions for re-promoting evergreen content, and more. Other options are the always popular Hootsuite.com, or newer alternatives like buffer.com (which Seed uses), SocialOomph.com, or sproutsocial.com.
With products like these, says Dawn, “you can make the sharing process so much easier.”
Step Four: Know Thy SEO
You don’t have to become an expert overnight, but the more you blog, the more you should teach yourself about SEO. And if it sounds complicated or intimidating, Dawn is here to disabuse you of that notion.
“I could talk about this all day,” she says. “Dive into SEO. SEO is not difficult once you learn the basics of it.”
That’s because SEO is simply the process of learning what Google wants, and providing it. It’s as if you had a dragon outside your door and you needed to know what to feed it so it would stop breathing fire on you every time you left the house, and the answer turned out to be: Cupcakes. Good SEO is the Google dragon’s cupcakes. Follow? Great.
Because, Dawn adds, the Google dragon only wants one thing: “They want to know that you can solve a problem better than anyone else,” she says. “If you can solve a problem, then you will soar to the top of Google results.”
Sounds pretty easy, right? So read up. It will cost you nothing, but it will tame the dragon. And isn’t that what we all really want at the end of the day?