As a copywriter, you may be no stranger to writing blog posts for clients. These writing assignments are typically shorter, and much less formal, than most of the other B2B projects available, like white papers.
And you already know that your SMB (Small to Medium-sized Businesses) clients rely on their company blogs to regularly publish new content. Fresh content is the easiest way to stay top of mind with your audience and keep Google’s Ranking Algorithm happy. Obviously, this process performs as advertised, or millions of companies wouldn’t be spending billions annually for new blog content.
But, how well does blogging work for a small or micro-business, like maybe a freelance copywriter?
That was the challenge I accepted last summer from B2B Writing Success. The assignment was to make consistent blog posts over the summer, and then report back what benefits, if any, the blogging provided for my business.
Unfortunately, my commitment to consistent blog posts took a while to get right. I had a busy last summer and then rotator cuff repair surgery in December, followed by a couple of months of physical therapy. Yet through all that, I’ve been busy posting and compiling all the data and insights for this three-part series about the benefits of blogging.
A (Very) Brief History of Blogging
To fully understand how “blogging” can benefit a small freelancer’s website by adding a copywriting blog, we need some background about how and why blogs came into existence. The original term “weblog” was coined in 1997 by Jorn Barger to describe his process of “logging the Web” as he browsed the internet.
In 1998, Jonathon Dube introduced the “weblog” to the rest of us as he covered Hurricane Bonnie for The Charlotte Observer. Change is inevitable, and in 1999, programmer Peter Merholz dropped the “we” and left us with the term “blog.” Later that year, the platform that eventually morphed into Blogger launched, and the rest is history.
So, way back in 1999, the number of active blogs online totaled less than two dozen… 23, to be exact.
By 2006, the total number of blogs reached 50 million.
And as of now, there are now 575 million active blogs to choose from on the internet. In case you’re wondering, I did the math and websites still outnumber blogs by a four-to-one margin (currently about two billion active websites).
Over the last few years, blogs have become a mainstream B2B communication channel for finding and engaging with potential prospects.
Companies use them to provide customer/technical support, replace a standard FAQ page, and to announce new products and services. Some companies use their blogs as a soapbox to draw attention to political and social issues on a local, national, or global level.
Because blogs add new content, they can also be used to increase organic traffic, improve ranking scores, establish your authority, and grow an audience. And yes, that sounds like SEO jargon because it is. Google doesn’t care if you add new content via a blog post or web page, they want to see new content.
As you can see, blogging makes sense for so many different reasons that there’s really no excuse for not having an active blog on your freelance copywriter website.
Setting Up the Framework for Your Copywriting Blog
The first step is to understand the requirements for adding a copywriting blog on your website. I use SBI (HTML5 and CSS3) for building my websites, and every site includes a blogging module that I can turn on or off by flipping a switch.
The second step is to review the blogging rules for your specific platform. For example, through SBI, I can display from five to 20 of my most recent posts on my blog page. Every time I add a new post, the oldest post automatically drops off the page.
With SBI, I can add as many blog posts as I want that consist of 500 words or less. If my blog topic du jour uses more than 500, then I must consider splitting the post into two or more smaller posts.
If my post is 1,000 words, I can make two equal length blog posts to cover the topic, without much of an issue. However, if my post is only 600 words, then splitting it could be problematic.
Should I do two equal length posts of 300 words?
Three posts of 200 each?
Maybe edit the post down to reach the 500-word limit?
Or “fluff” the article to 1,000 words, and then split it in two?
I’m not a fan of any of those options, so I created a unique workaround that provides some SEO benefits as well.
How I Made It Work
Rather than fluffing up or editing down my copywriting blog post, I simply build another web page for any blog topic over 500 words in length. Then I add a new page to my site and the navigation bar. Instead of being a blog post that will eventually disappear from the blog page, I have another page of evergreen content for the Google spiders and visitors to feast upon.
To catch attention from readers and drive traffic to the fresh content on a brand-new web page, I create a short blog post (within the 500-word limit) with a link inside to “read more” or “read the entire article.”
Yes, this is the same posting and linking strategy you might use on a social media platform. The biggest difference is that social media views, Likes, and comments do nothing to improve your website ranking, while a new blog post and web page certainly will.
And I believe that is a wrap for this installment. Next week, I’ll dig into the traffic and page views to determine the benefits of blogging for a freelance copywriter website. In the final installment, I’ll dive into the challenges and triumphs I experienced while trying to maintain a blogging schedule.
See you next week!