Are you a contractor who wants to get started with blogging but just doesn’t know how? Here are some quick tips for getting your blog up and running.
How to Start a Construction Blog
1. A dedicated place to publish
Most of you have a website, but many of you don’t have a “blog” – a dedicated area connected to your website where you can easily publish articles. I recommend a WordPress.org blog that is connected to your website; the web URL typically looks like this: (www.yourawesomebuilders.com/blog). When your blog is connected to your website, it has many benefits such as when you publish a new post, it signals to the search engines that your website has been updated (search engines don’t like stale websites).
2. Figure Out What to Write About
“What do I write about?” is one of the two biggest stumbling blocks to blogging (the other one is time – see #5). The easiest way to figure out what to write about is to become more aware of the “things” that your ideal customers want to know from you.
I recently co-hosted a Twitter Chat on the topic “Blogging for Contractors.” Here are a few topic suggestions that came from that discussion:
- Frequently asked questions (client questions)
- Industry news
- Trending topics in the industry
- Projects that feature our products
- Trade publications
- Non-construction specific publications
- Google / Yahoo News
- Talking to people via social media
3. Keep a Content Ideas Warehouse
Once you have some ideas, you need to keep them organized. I recently went from a paper-method of storing ideas to using Trello, but no matter what the method, the key is to find one spot where you store all of your blogging ideas. That way, when it comes time to write a blog article, you already have a warehouse of ideas at the ready – saving you time and eliminating procrastination. I think you’ll find that over time, you’ll actually collect more ideas than you’ll ever write about.
TIP: Focus your blog ideas on the business you want to attract. For example, you are a remodeler that can handle many different types of jobs, but your sweet-spot-projects are kitchens and bathrooms, focus on those topics – leaving the outdoor living and basement remodels to the other guys.
4. Determine a Schedule
Blogging is a marketing activity, and marketing is only effective when you do it consistently. If you want to see results from your blog, you need to treat it with the same level of respect you treat other marketing (print advertising, radio spots, PPC advertising, etc.). Determine a do-able blog schedule – twice a week, once a week, once every two weeks – just pick it and stick to it – no matter what! That’s the only way you’ll see return on investment.
5. Dedicate Time
Those contractors who can drive more leads and ultimately more business with blogging are successful because they’ve made blogging a priority in their lives. You must dedicate time to creating high-quality and informative articles to share on your blog – ones that inspire people and that are fun to read. THIS TAKES TIME. If you don’t have time, hire a professional writer to help you. If you don’t want to dedicate time or hire someone, then don’t start a blog.
A word of caution: blogging is not a quick fix; it is a long-game. It will take a while for search engines to recognize your blog content as helpful. As Bridget Willard said in one of her recent posts, “Even Google needs time to trust.”
When it comes to blogging, what do you want to know more about? Tell me in the comments below.