Deciding to start a blog on your website is an excellent idea as writing articles is a fantastic way of highlighting the activities at your museum, sparking your community’s interest and, above all, boosting the number of hits on your website and then visitors to your museum.
But how do you go about it? Where do you begin?
First of all to capitalise on the traffic generated by these new visits and guide the visitors to your other content, we recommend that you create a page/section dedicated to your blog on your existing website and don’t create a separate site.
To start your blog, here are 5 key stages:
- Find a topic, linked to your activity, that will interest your target audience (and that you’re passionate about!)
- Get your ideas straight and put them in order
- Write the paragraphs, introduction and conclusion
- Think of a compelling title
- Publish your article!
Let’s focus on writing your article here, from its structure to its publication.
Structuring your article effectively
Before you write your first lines, you need to define the editorial line you want to take: the subjects to be tackled, the tone of your communication and the frequency of your articles, etc., according to your target audience. This will guide how your articles are written but also the creation of your other content and will ensure your publications are consistent over time.
Once you’ve done that, you can set out all your ideas on a blank page, then bring them together to define the backbone of your article. If you’re one of those people who prefer to write directly without going through the “planning” stage, then go ahead! There is no right way, just the one you feel comfortable with. If you lack ideas, here are a few ideas for your museum’s blog.
Nevertheless your article still has to be spaced out and organised into several paragraphs with subheads to make it easy to read. An introduction and conclusion are also recommended and appreciated by readers.
Depending on your subject, your content can be organised:
- As a list, with no particular order type: “5 reasons to…” or “10 tips for…”
- Chronologically, to describe an event for example
- In stages, to show how to achieve a result or reach a conclusion
- As a debate, in which you present different arguments
- As a line of argument, to explain your opinion about a given issue, point by point
Don’t forget that a blog article must provide interesting, useful content to entice both web users and search engines. So, sharing your expertise and your knowledge is good practice.
Take care over your introduction and conclusion
Your introduction should be short and explain the purpose of your article so as to capture attention.
With the conclusion, as well as wanting to summarise your main ideas, you should be able to expand on what you’ve said by proposing an action, or a related theme, for example.
Choosing a catchy title
As well as tempting people to read your article, the title is important in terms of search engine optimisation. In fact, the few keywords that it’s going to contain will enable its good indexing on the subject discussed.
On top of this, it needs to keep all its promises. In practice, the title should:
- Refer to a precise subject
- Respond more often than not to an issue concerning your audience
- Be short and punchy
It’s worth mentioning that a title, which plays on the emotions, will make web users more likely to click. For example, out of “Learn to paint with watercolours” and “5 foolproof tips to paint successfully with watercolours”, which do you think packs the most punch? The subject is definitely the same but the second will play on people’s emotions by offering a real promise.
Very often, the title is the last thing you’ll write, once you’ve composed your article.
Bringing your messages alive
An article is a dynamic medium that should provide readers with quick answers. To make what you’re saying more animated, feel free to give a few examples or tell some anecdotes!
You can supplement your article with key data and enhance it with pictures, videos or even links that redirect readers to other content on your site – all to vary the formats.
It’s also important to illustrate your article. This will enable you to capture the attention of web users and say more about the messages you want to convey.
Our tip is to use personal photos from your gallery, museum or collection, etc. for more personalisation and proximity with your target audience. If the people in the photos are recognisable, make sure you obtain their permission before publishing them. Otherwise you can simply crop your photo or blur the main characters to make them unrecognisable.
Another way of illustrating your points is by using free image banks like Pexel, Iso, Foter, Pixabay and Unsplash that offer copyright-free visuals.
Whatever the case, check that the weight of your image is not too heavy or it will take time to load and that will be detrimental to your referencing in particular.
Working your referencing
Your blog article should be worded so as to feed the search engines with a title, several paragraphs, keywords or key expressions, photos and/or videos.
Before approving and publishing your article, check that you’ve properly drafted:
- A title tag: this is the title that will be displayed on the search engines. You can use the same one as your article’s provided it’s no more than 60 characters.
- A meta description: this is the description that will appear under the title of the search page. It must entice the web user to click and have 160 characters maximum.
1, 2, 3, ready, set, go!
Once your article is all set, you just have to publish it and share it as widely as possible on all your channels: mailing list, newsletter and social networks [link] etc. And don’t forget to reply to all the comments! As well as depicting a good image of your establishment and improving the referencing of your article, you’ll spark your community’s interest by showing that you listen and share.
Finally, keep in mind that a blog article is an investment. This may seem tedious to you at the start but once written an article will always bring you visits and visitors. It’s the most profitable communication tool of all and you’d be foolish not to use it!