JOIN OUR MAILING LIST
Blogging and your website
Blogging is one of the best ways for generating content for your website. Being a small business owner like ourselves you will have the disadvantages of not always having the finances to pay a professional copy writer to generate content for your website but you will have the distinct advantage of not having to discuss your next blog entry with the board of Directors. You can simply write your blog and publish the content.
Yesterday we did exactly that with one of my hobby websites : www.kalk-bay.mobi . You can view the blog entry here:
The first thing to know is that your blog should always form part of your website. This will help to attract visitors to your website and so you might attract a visitor interested in the services you offer. On www.buddywebdesign.co.za I blog about web design, getting good results with search engines (SEO) and all a small business owner should know regarding his website and the services we offer. I take this blog more seriously than the blog about Kalk Bay.
That specific website is just a hobby of mine.
That is a first important lesson . Hopefully you are passionate about your business or the product and service you sell. If you are fortunate to have some writing skills then you should definitely blog about your business. It will come naturally. You do not have to consider things like keywords. Remember you are talking to your website visitors, potential clients.
I used the photograph below as part of my blog entry.
Photographs are one of the easiest ways for generating content for your website. The website , www.kalk-bay.mobi , competes in the very competitive tourism industry. Companies like Safari Now & Where to Stay have for years employed professional copy writers. It will cost you a lot of money to start a similar business. The only way to compete with them is to focus on a very specific area like I have done with Kalk Bay.
If I had wanted to attract people who wanted to stay in Kalk Bay and make money out of bookings the website should have focused a lot more on the accommodation establishments. Up to now that is not the angle on which I have written the website , which for the most part in it's entirety is a blog. (There are no services on offer.)
Back to the photograph.
When you look at the actual blog under discussion you will notice i used the photograph to generate ideas for content. Content which a tourist to Kalk bay would find interesting. Typically a foreign visitor to Cape Town who chooses to stay in Kalk Bay. The photograph shows False Bay, home of the great whites, Seal Island renowned worldwide for the filming and photographing of Great Sharks breaching when hunting seals. Also in the far background is Clarence drive , equal to the best scenic drives in the world. This kind of information is what tourists to Kalk Bay and Cape Town would want to know. Our websites are all Mobi enabled and visitors to South Africa on holiday will probably only have their phones as internet devices on holiday. The website www.kalk-bay.mobi can therefor be a nifty guide for a local tourists. Maybe one day I will be a guide for a very wealthy visitor to Kalk Bay. (Bruce Willis has a house in next door St James) . A lot of movies are produced in Cape Town.
These are just dreams, pipeline dreams. Dreaming can be very expensive in the blogging world. You can blog and blog till you are blue in the face but if you are not very specific with your blogging topics you will only be wasting your time. You will gather some insight into the things people search for on the internet and possibly from that develop a more sound website based marketing idea.
On this website, Buddywebdesign.co.za , I try and focus on web design matters.
www.kalkbay.mobi is an information website about Kalk Bay. It is aimed at foreign and local tourists seeking information about Kalk Bay. I have yet found a direct means to make money out of the website. I enjoy visiting Kalk Bay , fishing off the harbor wall, visiting the restaurants etc. What makes Kalk Bay unique is that is has a working harbor where you can buy fresh fish, nice restaurants on the Waters edge like the Brass Bell, Harbor House and Cape to Cuba. There is also some antique shops, clothing shops and quite a bit of art galleries. It is described by many websites as a quaint little town. (Some website copy writers keep on stealing and when new copy writers steal from them a description such as Kalk Bay is a quaint little town becomes used by all.)
When blogging it is important to choose the heading of the blog entry carefully. Headings are important for search engines. This very blog entries title is : Blogging and your website . ( The word website is an important keyword for me.) I have to write this blog entry "about blogging and your website" on that topic. You will be surprised that some of your potential clients actually read every word which you write on your blog!
You will notice on www.kalk-bay.mobi that I started that blog 3 years ago. The age of a website is a factor which search engines does consider but newer and fresher content is becoming more important. (See video below discussing that). If I want that website to attract more visitors then I will have to invest some time in visiting the area and gathering information like telephone numbers of the people selling fish at the harbor. Somehow I don't think I will convince them to get a website of their own. I will provide this service free of charge.
That is the idea of a blog: proving useful and relevant free content so that you give a search engine like Google a reason to present your website when people are searching for information. That will not be the case if people have to pay to get the required information and the information is hidden in a member's only section.
I monitor the actual website traffic and the search terms people used to find www.kalk-bay.mobi. I see a lot of people search for information on whether there is fish available and what kind of fish there is at the harbor . People will drive from far to go and buy fresh fish in Kalk Bay. These people are all from Cape Town. Once I have invested enough time on this website I will have a lot of website traffic. One of the benefits is that I can advertise my web design services on this website. Who knows who is reading about the fish at the harbor while coincidentally being interested in a getting a website for his business. That would be getting business indirectly from my blogging efforts. That is not a very effective way of blogging. ( I see a lot of people with stupid ideas like myself with that website. When i started it I did not have a clear idea on how I will make money out of blogging about Kalk Bay.)
I do use that website so that my consultants and sales people can demonstrate our web design software to potential customers. Hopefully a new local business in Kalk Bay notices the website and asks to be listed on the website (It is free) and I will have an opportunity to market my web design services to them as an alternative.
Video on the importance of fresh content: (How I can beat big companies with professional script writers like Safari Now on the topic of Kalk Bay )
Picture below: (The Buddies of Buddy Web Design)
We blog about fun things. The Brass Bell also happens to be a client of ours. (www.brassbell.co.za) We design and sell websites in a beautiful place. We have also started a photo gallery on our own website. A photo gallery on a web designers website? Will we take pictures of us coding or doing graphics? No we will rather take photographs of the beautiful places we see while designing websites and talk , blogging style, about the various web design projects we have completed.
As can be seen from this photograph and from our overall image and our business name "Buddy Web Design" we are relaxed about our works and our clients become our buddies. It is important to have fun and enjoy the topic which you are blogging about. Yesterday was such a day. Thoughts were already moving to other ways of blogging, making short YouTube videos while we do website training for example.
As we left we noticed this sign asking people to rate the Brass Bell on Trip Advisor:
On Trip Advisor you have other people doing reviews / mini blogs if you will, on your establishment. That's a topic for another day.
Click on the image below if you are interested in the Brass Bell on Trip Advisor. (It has been Hyperlinked to actual reviews on Trip Advisor)
"Be realistic on your goals when blogging else time will make you become realistic!"
I know some people will say but I am too busy to blog. Others will say but I do not have the skills. I will reply that you can make use of the services of professional scriptwriters to which some will reply : but I can not afford the services of a professional scriptwriter.
My answer will remain:
Getting your business onto page 1 of Google for organic search results requires effort and it requires that you provide useful and relevant content for your website visitor. You can always pay Google for advertising but you would still need to have a quality website to convert visitors to clients. You need to give Google a reason to present your website on page 1 of search results. Blogging is a powerful tool to show potential clients that you are passionate about your business and that you know what you are talking about.