Blogs remain a great way to get your message out into the world, and deliver content that
continually directs traffic to your brand, company, or website. Blogs can help your web content expand into areas that you might not initially have considered, they can help you get more easily discovered via sites like Pinterest, and they can provide a simple, streamlined avenue in which to deliver how-to pieces. Although most marketers have a basic understanding of how blogs work, many are not maximizing the reach of their sites by not working to develop a blog initiative that prioritizes inclusion.
A Basic Definition of Inclusion
The term “inclusion” has been enjoying something of a heyday, primarily with regard to workplaces and entertainment. But inclusion is not relegated to these specific areas; instead, inclusion is best practiced in every aspect of your life and the world as a whole, including communities, relationships, education, and (of course) your blog. What is inclusion, then? Inclusion is best defined as an ongoing dedication to making peace for people of all backgrounds, belief systems, races, and persuasions, in order to create a safe and welcoming atmosphere.
Inclusion can be used to describe any behavior that intentionally reaches out to people of a specific background who are regularly left out, ostracized, or demonized, or it can refer to behavior that simply makes space for anyone and everyone, without a dedicated focus on any specific people group or background. In both of these cases, though, the purpose of the inclusive behavior must be to promote a rich, diverse environment that accepts, celebrates, and equalizes people from all ethnicities, backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and belief systems.
Inclusion and Reach
Inclusion is vital for your blog’s reach, because the more audiences who can relate to what you are writing, the more you will connect with and speak to your audience—and the more likely you are to see them return to your pages. Inclusion may not directly correlate to search engine results, but it can be used to improve your reach through word-of-mouth and referrals from those who have found your site through your SEO practices, and want to continue spreading the word about a blog that prioritizes inclusive language and behavior. While inclusion may not have a dedicated algorithm like so many other metrics, it is an innately valuable practice to incorporate into your blog, and can help you develop a site that reaches and impacts a larger variety of readers.
Recognizing inclusion in your marketing efforts will be more difficult than measuring engagement or likes, as inclusion and its after-effects are not clearly identified in marketing metrics and evaluation tools. Nevertheless, you may be able to determine how effective your current or future inclusion-based blogs are by comparing the reach of blogs that prioritize inclusive behavior and topics and those that have a more narrow focus. To make those comparisons, take an old blog post with non-inclusive language or an extremely narrow topic and weigh it against the metrics of a more recent blog that has inclusive language and develops a diverse array of topics and viewpoints.
Authenticity in Inclusion Efforts
Although it is important to utilize inclusive language when crafting your blogs, it is equally important to provide content and a tone that is authentic as you work toward inclusion. Pandering or simpering language comes across as frustrating and dishonest, while openness to learning and making changes comes across as appropriately dedicated to prioritizing diversity and inclusion. To remain authentic as you create content that strives to be inclusive and respectful to diverse voices and backgrounds, there are some important considerations to bear in mind. These include:
- Encouraging conversation. When creating a blog post or developing the content for your landing pages, ask questions of your audiences and encourage civil discourse in the comments. Be sure to engage with followers in the comments, as well, to demonstrate that you are present and open.
- Continually learning. You will never know everything there is to know about every culture, every background, and every belief system. Making your brand, blog, or company one that is dedicated to constantly learning and making amends when mistakes are made means that you will naturally be well on your way to practicing inclusion. Articles on inclusion emphasize the importance of growth and expansion in understanding.
- Asking for input. Deciding your own courses of action is often not enough. When building an inclusion practice, consider reaching out to people in similar niches, or meeting with a marketing or management firm who trains or specializes in inclusion efforts. Doing so on a regular basis (or even once) may help you develop a more robust approach to inclusive language and content development.
Developing inclusive blog construction habits requires a shift in thought processes and a shift in overall writing. Certain words, phrases, and tones can all be used to promote a sense of inclusivity—the simplest of which is using “they” in the place of the pronouns “he” and “she”. While inclusivity may not be the primary focus in search engine optimization practices, maximizing your reach can also occur when you make an effort to use language and cover topics that prioritize inclusion. Through word of mouth, search engine results, and inclusivity-forward organizations, your site may more effectively enjoy a broad reach.
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