10 Essential Tips For Writing The Best CBD Blog
So, you’ve got your CBD Oil website finished. It’s looking good and you’re feeling proud of your work. You hopefully believe your CBD products are amongst the best out there, but the market is looking pretty crowded right now. ‘I know, I’ll start a blog,’ you think. ‘I’ll just write a bunch of stuff about CBD, it’s as easy as that.’ Only you’ve never written a blog before and you’re not sure where to start. But fear not, I’m going to tell you how to write the best CBD blog possible, that will increase brand awareness and get your CBD company ranking higher on Google.
Why is blogging important?
Buying CBD oil online is a booming business right now. In the UK alone there are over 120 companies selling CBD products in some way, with the majority having some kind of digital presence. Having a marketing strategy is key, and an active blog with quality, original posts should be part of that strategy.
It makes sense really. How many of us when faced with a health related question automatically say, ‘let’s google it?’
What happens next? We enter a number of key terms related to our question and then see what comes back. Realistically, we probably won’t read beyond page 3 on Google, which will contain a mixture of informative articles from media outlets, companies selling related products, and you guessed it, blog posts.
Not only that, in order for Google to rank a page or website, it must contain content that corresponds to the kind of searches people are doing around a topic. Search engines also love sites that are regularly updated with relevant, fresh, quality content. And there is no better way to do this than through a blog.
But don’t take my word for it. Do your own research. Check out the companies that are ranking highly online for CBD. They don’t do it just on their products alone. They all have active, informative blogs that add not only to their brand’s authority, but also to their Google rankings.
So if you’re thinking about starting a blog, or already have one and don’t know how to maximise its effectiveness, here are my 10 steps to creating a revenue generating CBD blog.
1. Get Strategic and Embrace SEO
When I first started writing about CBD and medical cannabis for Endoca, I’d come straight from a journalistic background. Back then marketing for me was frankly a dirty word. So I just wrote stuff I thought was cool content, not thinking about how there could be an underlying strategy behind each article which would ultimately drive more online traffic to the company.
That’s not to say my articles were flops. Some of them went viral getting over 3000 shares; not bad for a CBD company blog. It’s just had I known more about SEO, I would have thought more strategically about what I had written.
Last year however, I had a SEO baptism of fire and my CBD blogging has never been the same since.
But what’s the big deal about SEO?
Well, SEO - search engine optimization - means that every inch of your online content is carefully crafted to ensure your website moves higher up the search engine rankings based on key terms that your customers are looking for.
How to do this involves researching high ranking and related keywords used by anyone looking for CBD oil online. Knowing what people are asking can throw up ideas for blog posts. Then it’s a matter of following the tried and tested methods to optimise text, such as including the keyword in the title, metadescription, introduction and concluding paragraph.
A good place to find out more is the Moz Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
2. Don’t Over Do The Keywords
It’s easy to get carried away with clever SEO tactics, replacing quality, informative content with difficult to read text stuffed with keywords.
I’ve had the misfortune of being asked to write this kind of text and it sucks - for the writer, the reader and even in SEO terms.
So remember who ultimately you are writing for; people who want to inform themselves about CBD oil, with the intention of maybe purchasing some products at some point in the future.
And don’t forget about writing for your existing online community. Hopefully by now you have some loyal customers and blog readers. Don’t damage any reader engagement you’ve achieved through insulting them with nasty, marketing nonsense.
3. Remember Shareability
As well as getting your business ranking higher on Google, a successful blog will also improve brand awareness.
To do this, it’s a matter of getting the right balance between SEO focussed content and high quality, educational articles. A reader immediately smells when you’re just trying to sell them products. So why not educate them about the science behind cannabinoids or current research developments. These are the kind of blogs that get shared on social media, are linked to on other sites, and ultimately give your blog more authority.
Obviously, not everyone can write well-researched, engagingly written blog posts, so if this isn’t in your skillset, hire a professional.
4. Use WordPress
WordPress is a great platform for setting up professional looking blogs. There are a whole host of plugins to improve reader experience such as social share functions, mailing lists etc.
WordPress is also superior when it comes to SEO as it boasts its own SEO plugin, Yoast which holds your hand through the whole content optimization process. Yoast gives suggestions for best use of keywords, metadescriptions, and highlights any overly complicated language that may affect readability.
5. Post Regularly
According to Forbes Magazine, a small business should consider publishing one quality blog post per week both for SEO terms and in order to build a sense of community. I can’t tell you how many CBD companies out there have a half-arsed blog that was started with the best of intentions, contains 5 badly written posts, and then died a slow, painful-to-read death.
When it comes to starting a blog, either do it properly, or don’t do it at all. But when done well, not only will a blog drive traffic towards your site, but it will also be a chance to educate the world about cannabis, hemp, CBD, and other cannabinoids. Not only that, it’s also a great PR opportunity to shout from the hill tops about any exciting developments in your company.
Plus, if your quality content is regularly shared on social media, there’s more chance that others are going to link to these articles on their sites, which is SEO gold.
6. See What The Opposition Are Writing About - And Do It Better
Despite the lacklustre blogs by many CBD companies online, some are in fact taking a strategic approach, and as a result dominating search engine rankings.
So do some research. What’s their formula? They may have a first page ranking blog post on a subject you are interested to target - but maybe you can do it better?
We’re not talking plagiarism here. Google does not like duplicate text, nor indeed will the other CBD company. But let them be your inspiration. If they’re ranking in the top 5, they must be doing something right and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
7. Don’t Forget The Visuals
Heavy dense text in large paragraphs, with no headers or subheadings is not an easy read, particularly when so much traffic comes from mobile phone devices. So think about structuring your blog posts in a digestible way that doesn’t tax the eyes too much.
Using attractive visuals are key. There are a whole bunch of free stock photo sites available containing a variety of tasteful images. Just remember to optimise any images used by including the keyword in the title and ensuring the alternate text field contains a keyword rich description of the photo.
8. Use A Call To Action
As a CBD company, creating a loyal customer base is key. Of course a top quality CBD product is priority, next comes customer service, but following close behind is creating an online community your customers can feel part of.
The ‘About Us’ section on a website is a good way to do this. But many people interested in CBD want to feel they are part of a bigger cause. After all, for most of us in this industry, it isn’t just about selling bottles of CBD oil, but about something much bigger - fighting for more access to the extraordinarily complex benefits of the cannabis plant.
A blog is the perfect way to engage your readers, letting them know that they belong to a movement that isn’t just about business and making and money. Including a CTA in your blog posts is a great way to build more reader engagement. Encourage them to share their thoughts and experiences. Direct them to some further reading. Always remembering to respond to any questions, while keeping an eye open for any spammed comments.
9. Make Sure Your Content Doesn’t Make Any Medical Claims
As a medical cannabis writer, I have never made any medical claims about CBD or any other cannabinoid. It would be plain inaccurate and irresponsible to do so as right now there isn’t the clinical evidence available. Just because CBD the cannabinoid, has been tested in the lab on animal models for pain, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, does not mean it is effective and safe for humans with those conditions.
Indeed, in the UK the restrictions given by the MHRA take things even further and leave very little room for even mentioning CBD and a health condition in the same breath.
This is very frustrating if you want to publish decent, informative content, but right now, that’s just how things are.
So wherever you are in the world, find out what you can and can’t say, and work within those parameters the best you can.
10. Hire a Professional
Of course I’m biased, but blogging isn’t for everyone. One thing is to write an occasional, fairly average blog post, another is to create strategic, engaging content that improves Google rankings, increases brand awareness, and gets shared on social media.
Unless you happen to be a writer with a marketing background and have the time to put into researching keywords, you’re probably better off getting in some help. But a word of caution. Before reaching out to a professional, really think about your commitment to blogging as part of an ongoing marketing strategy. If you haven’t already got a marketing budget - get one. Have a clear vision in mind about where you want to take your company and how blogging will form part of your journey to get there.
Hopefully, if you’ve reached the end of this article, you now have some concrete steps that will help you create your own best CBD blog. But know your limits, and acknowledge when it’s time to call in an experts.