Date: 23 July 2019 Hands up if you have a blog on your website? Now keep your hand up if you regularly post content on that blog and get engagement or increased leads as a result. I imagine that not many hands stayed in the air. Blogging, content, articles, whitepapers; these are wheeled out by marketing experts as proven, consistent ways of increasing traffic to your website. They raise brand awareness and generate leads. It makes sense too. Write a useful piece and people will read it. Build it and they will come, as they say. But are we stuck in too much noise? Is there just too much content to wade through and your blog is getting lost in the ether? I’ve been blogging for seven years or so and have written a few pieces this month alone, both for the ISV website about our candidate testing and for our partner sites. So here we go with my top tips for getting your recruitment blog read: 1. Don’t be afraid of being controversial You don’t have to be deliberately offensive or belligerent, but if something is bugging you or you have a strong opinion, share it. Invite others to get involved. Yes, there is a risk your opinion might be divisive or put people off but equally, it might be a magnet for others who whole-heartedly agree. Better to gain some traction than churn out another bland, vanilla blog. 2. Ask for readers and tag them in Why not ask directly for people to read your article? Share the link on social media and tag people in, ask them to comment. Better still ask for a like, share or retweet. If you share an article you’ve written about perhaps, and coping with volume applications – tag in your client or potential client with a "Hi Name, I’d be interested to hear your opinion on this".’ Or a simple "like or comment if you’re going to X conference". 3. Tap into the nation’s psyche There are some things that just grip the nation and you can’t escape from them. Take the recent TV series Bodyguard. Most people were hooked and discussing the big finale the next day. Or earlier this summer England went giddy with World Cup fever. Blogging and tying in a popular topic is an easy route to picking up readers. Try and avoid clichés though. For example, you couldn’t head onto LinkedIn without falling over a blog on leadership lessons from Gareth Southgate. Instead try and work in a different angle. I wrote about during the (now dim and distant) long hot summer of BBQs, the World Cup and Love Island. 4. Share your story and get personal Sharing a little something about yourself, maybe something personal that you wouldn’t always broadcast, is a great way of drawing the reader in. I wouldn’t go as far as playing the ‘Nan card’ as people do on X-Factor or other reality TV shows, also known as going for the sympathy vote. However, showing some vulnerability or facts that influenced your career or why you’re writing the piece are fine. Blog readers suddenly identify with you as a person. The blog isn’t just coming from a faceless company, it's coming from a human, talking to another human. It helps build a connection then trust and loyalty in your reader base. 5. Tag it and share it It’s all well and good writing the content but, if no-one can find it, your powerful words will be languishing in the depths of the internet, read by neither candidate nor client. When you upload your blog or article, pick out the relevant keywords. Tagging your post allows search engines to pick it up more easily. Also, take responsibility for sharing it. Head to LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram - whichever is relevant or works for your business - and share the post, add relevant hashtags (searchable terms) and let the platforms do the work for you. Plus, top tip for LinkedIn, don’t just share the link on your home page, head into groups that you’re a member of and share it there. Don’t be shy about commenting on other similar articles too with a link to your own blog. Writing unique content can be tricky but think about what your candidates and clients want to know. What are their burning questions? What would make their lives easier? Write about that and then point them towards it. I’d love to hear any of your tips to add to this list as well. Feel free to like, comment or share.