If you think blogging isn’t for you; think again. From doctor’s offices and police departments to social workers and law firms, everyone can benefit from a blog. As a professional association, you have the unique opportunity to reach a wide array of people, both familiar and unfamiliar with your organization. If you are not currently blogging, we recommend that you get started ASAP. And to help you get started, we have gathered a list of best practices to live by.
Know Your Audience
Your first order of business is to identify your audience and really get to know them. Who will you write for? As a professional association you have a few options to choose from: members, prospects, and the general public. Determine which audience you would like to target and develop your topics accordingly.
If you would like to target all 3 audiences simultaneously, there are a few ways to do so. We recommend writing blogs that appeal to your members, since they are probably your most important audience. Make sure to avoid internal jargon so that your blogs can still be consumed by the generally public. And finally, include a call to action for your prospects: “to learn more about our organization, give us a call”.
Keep SEO in Mind
Search engine optimization is the process of improving your chances of getting found online. Like blogging, SEO is important for every company with a digital presence. Tactics that help you optimize your site for search engines include link-building, social media, special coding, and content development. This is where blogging and SEO collide.
Blogging on a regular basis will signal to search engines, like Google, that you are active on your website. This will result in Google indexing your site more often, increasing your chances of ranking on the first page of search results. When writing your blogs you will also want to incorporate your targeted keywords. Decide which keywords and phrases people are most likely searching to find your services and use those within your content.
Stick to a Schedule
As we mentioned above, your blog post frequency is important for SEO. The more you blog, the better chance you have of getting found online. It is also important to keep a schedule. This will help you stay on track and will let your readers know when they can expect new posts.
We recommend determining how many times per week you will blog and which days you will post. Develop an editorial calendar that identifies blog topics for the next quarter. This way you can avoid writer’s block and you’ll never miss a post!
Make it Mobile-Friendly
Having a mobile-friendly blog is just as important as having a mobile-friendly website. If you want to reach a wider audience, you will need a blog that can be read on mobile devices. If your website is responsive and your blog is hosted on your website, it should be responsive as well. If your blog is hosted on another platform, like WordPress, you will want to ensure that you have either selected a mobile-friendly option or download a plug-in that makes it responsive.
At the end of the day, your blog means nothing if it isn’t being read. While some people will find your blog by visiting your site, a large majority won’t. Therefore, you need to be sharing it across multiple platforms. Including your blog posts in a monthly e-newsletter, posting them on social media, and working on your SEO are all ways to ensure your blog is getting read.
Remember that getting started is always the hardest part. If you keep these best practices in mind going forward, you will be blogging in no time! Contact Informatics if you need assistance with blogging for your professional association.
View the rest of the professional association digital marketing blogs from this month:
The Ultimate Social Media Guide for Your Professional Association
Professional Associations: 5 Things to Include in Your Next E-Blast
3 Must-Try SEO Tips for Professional Associations