Building a high-quality blog
Creating a company blog brings many benefits to a remodeling company. More people are gathering information via the Internet, and a blog will help your company grab their attention.
Judy Mozen, CR, GCP, president of Handcrafted Homes Inc., in Roswell, Ga., had several goals in mind when she decided to create a blog. “Electronic communication is here to stay,” she said, “and I needed to get up to speed.”
She thought the blog may help her tap into a new 30-year-old client demographic that she has previously been unsuccessful in reaching. “I know from my own adult children that they use blogs as an information-gathering tool, so I knew this would be a good way to expand my reach,” she said.
In addition, Mozen wanted to use her blog as a search engine optimization (SEO) tool for her Website. With the help of a marketing consultant, she strategically inserts keywords that correspond with her Website and social media pages to increase her organic search ranking.
Finally, the blog was intended to be an easier, more efficient way to reach the masses. “It is much easier and faster to push content to the public through a blog rather than an magazine advertisement or article, which can take months to produce,” Mozen says.
Nuts and blots of the blog
Since a Website or blog commonly generates that first impression, it was important that the content and writing style reflect the type of quality for which her company is known. “Before I started my blog, I knew that I wanted it to be artistic, informative and professional,” Mozen says. “It had to reflect the quality I serve my clients, and it had to be something I was proud of.”
The task of creating a high-quality blog came with a large amount of dedication. Mozen worked with a marketing company for several months to build the actual blog.
Mozen was advised to connect her blog to her other social media channels
Handcrafted Homes categorized its posts at the top of the home page to make it easier for a visitor to find the information sought.
to streamline the content into different places. That way, a potential client may access the blog through her company’s Facebook or Twitter page, or vice versa. That optimizes Handcrafted Homes’ Web online presence.
The blog acts as a platform for Mozen to show visitors she is up-to-date on trends in her industry. One way she does this is through topics that have universal appeal, such as green remodeling, painting or tiling. Do-it-yourself improvements always resonate with homeowners who want to do their own and can benefit from learning the tricks of the trade.
One thing Mozen is careful about is self-promotion in her blog space to ensure that she doesn’t lose her audience’s interest. If visitors are coming to Mozen’s blog for useful home improvement information, they may get turned off by promotion of her remodeling company in that space. That’s not to say she never talks about her company—she will announce a company award and news about her company on the blog.
The social media buttons make it easy for visitors to interact with the company’s Facebook and Twitter page or to add the blog to an RSS feed. This blog also has a Tell Us section where homeowners can contribute content.
Since Mozen launched the blog, she has reconnected with a potential client from four years ago. “We were out of their price range, and we thought we had lost them until they found out blog and called us,” she says. “They said they had never forgotten us and wanted to kn ow if we could accompany them to a showing of a home they were thinking about purchasing.”
Keeping it going
Finding the time to keep the blog going on a regular basis is the biggest challenge. Everything from photos to content takes time, and she is still trying to find balance juggling this new task.
“My goal is to have a set schedule between me and my staff to contribute to the blog,” she says. She also actively monitors responses from the blog and tracks visiting patterns such as who visits, when and for how long. This is important for her to figure out which topics people are more interested in and where they gain access to her blog.–Morgan Zenner
| 8/31/2012 12:00:00 AM
Content creation seems to be the big hurdle for remodelers who want to start a blog, but don’t know where to start.
To make it less overwhelming for you, create a content plan. Decide on what day you’re going to post to your blog, and decide for the year what you will write about each year. Writing will overwhelm you if you have to sit down, decide on a topic and then write about it.Where do you get those topics? Think about the items your clients are asking about most often and use the answers as your blog posts. Look online and see what days, weeks or months are designated something, and tie your posts to that. For example, May is National Home Improvement Month. May also is National Allergy & Awareness Month, which would be a great topic to discuss remodeling to make your home air quality healthier.Third, have a few blog posts written before you actually start your blog. Again, this will help you get started, and on those weeks when you absolutely can’t get to writing or are suffering from writer’s block, you have back-up content.
In order to be an effective SEO tool, you should plan on posting at least once a week to your blog. If you can’t commit to at least once a week, don’t start a blog. Build up content so you will be able to keep to that schedule and then launch the blog.
If you absolutely think you can’t write, visit your local college’s communications department. Many college students are looking to build a file of clips to help them get a job after college, and writing blog posts for your company could be one way for them to do so.–Nikki Golden