Everybody’s blogging these days. But is anyone tuning in?

By Susan Saldibar

Everybody’s blogging these days. But is anyone tuning in?

Blogging can either be a wasted effort or a strategic, hard-working tool—but it is often somewhere in between. Which is too bad, because it’s within the reach of every senior living community to produce blogs that nail it every time. But how?

G5, a Senior Housing Forum partner, works with senior living communities to help them, not only build digital marketing strategies, but develop strategic tools—such as blogs—to help drive traffic and, ultimately, gain leads.

“Just putting anything out there without a plan is one of the most common mistakes we see,” says Marion Kello, Content Strategy Manager. “A successful blog requires careful consideration and planning in order to achieve the positive results you hear about others getting.”

Below are some tips for getting a blog started or revisiting your current blog content.  

1) We need this blog because. . . ?

How do you fill in the blank? Ask yourself what your blog needs to achieve. What is its purpose? Without a clear objective, you can’t measure its effectiveness.

Here are some questions G5 suggests you ask yourself before your fingers start flying:

  • How does our blog help us achieve our digital marketing efforts?

  • Which of our competitors are blogging on what topics, and how often?

  • How can we use our blog to represent industry trends and current events most relevant to our readers?

It’s important that you not just show off your industry knowledge in your posts, but that your passion and authenticity shine through. If your blog lacks a genuine sense of purpose or enthusiasm, you’ll lose the attention and engagement of readers—and potential customers.

As a general rule, the best blogs combine these three things:

    1. Passion – If you’re not passionate about your topic, it will show in your posts and blogging will become a dreaded task instead of something you’re excited to do.

    2. Expertise – The importance of expertise may seem obvious, but a surprising number of bloggers are in the bad habit of simply retreading what others have said. Their posts may attract attention, but they don’t follow through with any real insight.

    3. Creativity – Creativity is key to producing content that is both informative and engaging for your readers. Good bloggers manage to take a fresh approach, even with traditional topics.

2) It’s all about them, not you!

Keep your audience in mind at all times. Resist the impulse to recite self-focused content. Instead, ask yourself, “Why do my readers care about this?” The answer to that question will keep you on track with content that is informative and engaging.

  • Take a conversational tone, but avoid confusing jargon: “Everyone knows what ADLs and LTC mean, right?” Wrong!

  • Readers love posts that feature interesting graphics, charts, photos, or videos. Use them liberally.

  • Lists, such as “Five Important Questions to Ask Before Moving into a New Community,” are great ways to introduce content in an easy-to-read format.

  • Bring out your personality. Even informative blogs can be entertaining. 

3) Keep search engines in mind.

A blog can boost your site’s
search engine optimization (SEO). New content delivered on a regular basis encourages the search engines to return to your site to crawl and index it more often.

  • Add industry-relevant content to increase your topical relevance for search queries.

  • Don’t force keywords related to your business into your blog entries. Keep readability in mind. A paragraph that repeats the same word over and over again not only turns off the reader, it won’t boost your search engine rankings. In fact, it can hurt them.

  • Be genuine in your writing and your keywords will appear naturally.

The Bottom Line:

  • Post frequently and consistently.

  • Always keep your reader in mind.

  • Be creative, informative, and engaging.

  • Avoid using “industry insider” terms your customers may not know.

  • Don’t overpopulate your content with keywords.

If you’re already blogging, go back and review your posts with a critical eye. Make note of where you get off track with the content or your writing style. It’s never too late to make adjustments and start writing blogs that will get read and passed along.