Blogging as a contractor can take you a long way. But while many can make blogging seem like an easy side-hustle you can add to your routine with no problem, it’s not that simple. The reasons and benefits that come from blogging are simple, but keeping a schedule and consistently writing good content (or hiring someone to do so) isn’t as easy as it looks.
But still, the benefits of blogging are great, so if you’re considering making this addition to your contractor business, here’s what you need to know!
Why blog in the first place?
The benefits of blogging are simple: it makes you easier to find by search engines like Google, and they add to your credibility as a professional in your area.
In practice, this translates into the following: a homeowner Googles a service or doubt about a service. If you have a website and you’ve blogged about it consistently, they are much more likely to find the post where you answer their question, which in turn, greatly increases the chances of them contacting you.
Plus, if they just so happen to find your website through other means, your catalogue of blog posts in that area will greatly increase their trust in your business.
Follow a regular schedule
One of the first things you must do is determine how often will you publish new articles. Once a week? Twice a week? It will depend on how much time you have on your hands, or how much you can pay for someone to write it for you.
In most cases though, once a week is a fine schedule for starters. Most contractors don’t have enough time leftover to write their own articles, so it’s much more convenient to hire a professional writer and pay them per article written.
A secondary purpose of this schedule is to keep your site up to date – search engines favour websites that receive regular updates, so if you website sees no changes in weeks or months, it will surely fall back in search results. But if it’s been updated within the last week, you get extra points.
Stick to your field
It might seem tempting to write about basically anything homeowners could be interested in as an easy way to get more attention, but it’s much more practical and safer to stick to your field.
Getting too broad with your subjects for writing won’t do much, because for example, if a homeowner finds a good article you’ve published but you don’t actually offer the service the article refers to, then there’s no point. The idea behind blogging as a contractor is to find homeowners who need your services, so when outlining ideas, write about your field.
Plan article ideas in advance
Simply making a list of good ideas in advance is great for maintaining consistency and making sure you’re going over the most important topics of discussion.
An easy way to find the most common questions is to Google some of them. You’ll quickly find the most relevant results, other questions homeowners have, and from there, you can decide your next topic.
Make it visually appealing
Writing blog posts is not much like writing prose for a book, it’s more akin to creating an organized list.
The truth is that most people don’t read blog posts in full – almost none do, to be honest. Most will skim through until they find the information they want and then leave the page, and if they can’t find it or become frustrated trying to, they leave and look for an answer elsewhere.
This might seem like a rough deal, but it also has a simple solution:
Just give the answer.
If your blog post is structured around answering the most common questions about a given topic, give those answers clearly and concisely, and homeowners will feel like they got what they came for – even while skimming.
To make this easier on the eyes, follow these basic tips when structuring your articles:
- Use headlines to separate different topics
- Opt for brief sentences and shorter paragraphs
- Put emphasis on important points to guide the eyes of the reader
- Use short lists (like this one) to bring across helpful tips
There are tons of conflicting information regarding keywords online, mostly because the best practices have changed in the past and will continue to change as time goes on.
However, you can follow the basics and get a lot done with it:
Keywords are, more or less, the literal terms search engines use to determine if an article is relevant to what someone is looking for. So for example, if someone searches for “plumbing contractors in New York”, the search engine won’t just show contractors, it will look for plumbing contractors. But not just plumbing contractors, they will be plumbing contractors from New York.
This might seem obvious, but it tells you all you need to know about keywords. If a website has the terms “plumbing contractor” but it’s not from New York, it will be ignored, because that’s not what the homeowner was looking for.
When writing your articles, make sure to add words and terms that a homeowner would probably use when looking for the very article you’ve written. If you’re writing a guide on “how to fix common plumbing issues”, for example, type that on Google and see what other terms the engine suggests that are similar.
This will help you find keywords to add to your article so that it can rank better in search engines.
There are many great websites with images you can use for free with no attribution required (like Pexels and Pixabay), like the one above, so use them to your advantage. Images make your blog posts WAY more appealing from a visual standpoint, but also better from an SEO (search engine optimization) perspective.
Posts with images also look way better when shared via Facebook and Twitter since those networks will always try to find an image to better display the article.
You don’t have to use too many either – for a 600 to 800 word post, two or three images are usually enough to add some visual variety.
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