What Makes a Good Blog?

What makes a good blog?

There are millions of bloggers and every day more people are starting their own blogs. Businesses have also caught onto the idea that blogging is good for them because it adds valuable content to their website. So what makes a good blog?

What makes a good blog? – Write for your audience

makes a good blog Most bloggers start out writing about things that interest them without much thought to who is going to read it. They are probably not even concerned about what makes a good blog. It is probably more about a way of expressing themselves.

There are of course going to be people who are interested in what the blogger writes about. They will like the content and the style. Once these people find such a blog they will engage with the blogger and share the content via social media platforms such as Stumbleupon, Twitter and Facebook. This will help to get more readers and over the course of time the blog can become very popular.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It is usually best to blog about what interests you because you are more likely to write well about it. Blogging about subjects you don’t understand is going to be hard work and it will be difficult to write in a way that makes a good blog.

When you write each post do keep your audience in mind. If your blog has been about one subject and then you start writing about something unrelated you will find that your established audience will leave. From time to time you might add an off the subject blog post if it interests you and explain to your readers why you have added it to your blog.

For businesses a blog should provide valuable content that is going to be helpful to their customers and attract new people to the website. The blog is not going to be about selling in a direct way itself but the visitors that come to read the blog will find themselves on your website with links to your product.

As an example think about a shop that sells guitars. A blog could be about learning to play guitar, tuning it, restringing, the history of guitars, different types of guitars and so on. There are probably hundreds of posts available from just these topics alone. If such blog posts are written with search engine optimization for keywords and phrases there is going to be traffic generated from searches without paying for search engine advertising.

What makes a good blog post? – answer a question

Many people search the Internet for answers to questions. The blog posts that are most likely to be visited from search engines are going to be those that are “How to” posts. If we think about the guitar shop again for the purpose of this illustration you could write blog posts such as:

How to play the guitar
How to play acoustic guitar
How to play electric guitar
How to understand guitar music
How do I tune my guitar

The list can go on for a very long time and can be a response to a very broad based question or answer to a niche one. How to play “Stairway to Heaven on guitar” is much more niche than “How to play the guitar”. These titles will certainly make good blog posts.

I recommend that before you write your blog posts use the Google Keyword Planner to see how many searches there are for the search term that you have in mind, it will also show you other variations at the same time that you could use for more blog posts.

What makes a good blog post? – Call people to action

A blog will really take off when you can get people to use the comments section and engage with you. With so many blogs and things to comment on nowadays this has become more difficult. In time though you should get a few people who will leave comments and once they do this will attract others to add their points or questions. It is therefore very important that you reply to comments to show that you appreciate your readers and engage with them through your blog.

At some point in the blog post make sure that you invite comments. How do you feel about this post? Please leave a comment in the box below. Do you have any questions about blogging? I would love to answer your question so please enter it in the comments box below. Now you can see what I have done. I have invited you to engage with me about blogging so do take advantage of my offer! This makes for a good blog post.

On your blog think about what you are writing and how can you get your readers involved by commenting. These are just some of the things that makes a good blog and I will add some more tips that I have found to work in future blog posts. Perhaps this blog post should be called “What makes a good blog Part One!”

VAT – Should you fear becoming VAT registered

 

VAT – Value Added Tax

 

PAH Accounting - Phil Hendy Devizes For help with VAT and other business taxationVAT (Value added tax) is very much part of all our lives. Many of the everyday products or services that we use have VAT charged on them. The standard rate of VAT is 20% and therefore considerably increases the cost.

 

Many small business owners are faced with a dilemma when it comes to charging VAT. For those with a turnover of over £81,000 per annum for VAT taxable goods or services registration and charging VAT is compulsory. Those business owners who only supply their time are often trading at well under £81,000 per annum and therefore can have a competitive edge over businesses that charge VAT. This upsets businesses that have grown in size and who now compete against those not charging VAT.

 

If you want to grow your business particularly if you are charging for more than just your own labour you will be faced with either staying small or registering for VAT. Should you fear becoming VAT registered?

 

How easy is it to register for VAT and to account for it? I put these questions and more to Phil Hendy of PAH Accounting based in Devizes, Wiltshire. Phil has a wealth of experience helping business owners with VAT.

 

 

Is it difficult for a business to register for VAT?

 

It is a relatively simple process and can be done online via the HMRC website. Just be a bit careful with some of the question as they are not necessarily relevant to your business.

Be wary of the thresholds for registration, i.e. when Turnover in a rolling 12 month period is £81,000 you must register. note the rolling 12 months period, this often catches people as they try to ‘time’ their sales to miss this at year end and delay the process. There may be some significant benefits to voluntary registration.

 

 

Does accounting for VAT create problems for business owners?

 

It does for some; however, this often depends how organised the business owner is. If they keep nice, neat records ?then it will be straightforward as you will merely be including VAT on your sales and claiming it on your purchases. If they are not organised and tend to be ‘last minute’ with everything this makes things much harder. There may also be some industry specific issues as to whether vat is due on sales and claimable on purchases.

One of the key benefits is that it enforces records to be kept up to date at the very least quarterly. This should help when a business is preparing its end of year figure.

 

 

What top tips can you give that makes being VAT registered easier?

 

Systematise – ensure that an appropiate system is used for recording sales and purchases, most importantly keep on top of it.

Put money aside – when making vatable sales, ensure that you remember that VAT is the charge ‘on top’ of your normal sales price and does not effectively belong to you. ?Having a business deposit account will definitely help.

Look at the various schemes, in particular, Cash Accounting and Flat Rate – there may be some significant savings to be made.

 

Do you recommend any software that will help with the accounting process?

 

There are lots of software systems; however, I would definitely recommend going cloud based. The one I tend to promote is KashFlow and if you go through my link there is a 60 day trial rather than the usual 14 days. Click here to start your free trial.

 

I would like to thank Phil Hendy for answering these questions and if you need help with VAT or any other aspect of your business accounts you can visit his website or telephone 01380 860151.

Coming soon

Look out for a series of posts about business with help and advice from a series of business experts. We will be covering a broad range of subjects including taxation, Internet connection speeds, accounting, importing / exporting and much more.

 

 


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