The marijuana and weed industry, even though have just triumphed over the legalization campaign in Canada, still face restrictions and censorship issues over social media platforms. However, some platforms do permit educational blogs or articles about marijuana’s medicinal properties. Blogs and articles are informative, especially to those who are unaware of the facts related to the weed industry. Blogs also eradicate any myths that people have heard about marijuana. Giving the audience right and relevant information is what makes the blog more readable.
Is Blogging Necessary for the Weed Industry?
Marijuana and weed companies are always on a quest for creating new and exciting opportunities, whether it’s for innovating new products or redesigning their storefront. The same creativity is shown even on their official websites. The weed industry has a huge spectrum of targeted audience. While social media platforms have certain restrictions over cannabis content, the channels do permit blogs and articles.
Give the Readers More
For the dispensaries and other cannabis businesses, blogging is necessary to increase web traffic and to build relationships with potential customers. A dedicated cannabis blog can engage your reader to know more about the industry and can turn them into prospective clients.
We know some social media platforms do allow cannabis content on their news feed. However, what they don’t offer is an opportunity for a background text explaining the image or the video posted. In simple words, they don’t allow marketing your cannabis product in any form of text.
Your cannabis website blogs, on the other hand, have the luxury to have all sorts of content about marijuana. For cannabis marketing, viewer interactions are important, and that’s exactly what blogging and content marketing can do.
Show Your True Passion
The marijuana and weed industry is known to be a competitive space. As new as it seems, new entrepreneurs are emerging after the legalization campaign. With all the weed producing companies in the market, to stand out is quite evident. Blogging on your website can boost your social media efforts and drive long-term results in converting traffic into leads.
For individuals that are new to your business and are researching options online, a cannabis blog probably is the best way to reach out to your online customers and articulate their doubts with your words. Blogs also proffer a personal touch to your readers online, converting them into the regular readers, if you post regularly.
What Type of Blogs can be Written?
Creating blogs related to the marijuana industry can connect weed entrepreneurs with other weed enthusiasts. Blogs can be of various types but choosing the right kind for your cannabis company can make it a successful business.
Blogging began in the late 90’s, where the first known blogger-type was the ‘online diary’ bloggers. They began sharing their experiences, feelings, and thoughts with the audience. For personal bloggers, there are no rules to follow or specific themes to adhere. Cannapreneurs can post personal blogs about their cannabis business and their products. Blogs that are written in the first-person perspective with personal experiences helps the readers relate to your blog more personally, engaging them to read further.
Influencers and content creators can connect with cannabis companies through their personal blogs. They can help with content marketing for a particular cannabis brand. This reminds me of the cannabis cultivating company called ‘my 420 tours’.
This is a screenshot of their website with the influencer campaign they posted to get more ambassadors for their company. Their vision is to bring the cannabis community closer worldwide through educational and authentic cannabis experiences. They constantly reach out to personal bloggers that have content about travel, lifestyle, and cannabis. The company offers tours to cannabis grown fields, and post blogs on their website that are written by people who have experienced these walking tours.
Business bloggers are those who blog for their own company’s business or the company they work for. These kinds of blogs have specific goals to reach like gain more exposure, increase web traffic, and of course get more customers for their business. The content differs this time. Unlike personal blogs, business blogs are more focused on the services or products the company caters. These blogs are not written in the first-person perspective. Cannabis producers will have business blogs pertaining to the general or trending cannabis topics and talking about the products they have to offer. Cannapreneurs can have business blogs about the industry as a whole, how successful the weed industry has become, the kind of growth potential it has, etc.
One such popular company is the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). They specialize in providing accurate cannabis news and information to cannabis entrepreneurs and weed enthusiasts. They also help weed companies to be successful and expand the marijuana industry as a whole. They are also running a campaign to get more ambassadors to their firm to reach out to more entrepreneurs through business blogs.
This screenshot from the NCIA website shows the program they have to get more ambassadors through blogs, write-ups, video influencers, etc. Business blogs for cannabis promote your marijuana company brand. The more consistent your business blogs are, the more faithful readers your website will receive.
Unlike business blogs, niche blogs are more topic-specific. Some specific niche blog topic examples could be cooking with cannabis, sustainable cannabis agriculture, cannabis accessories, and many more. With niche blogs on your website, you can focus on specific queries your readers may have. You could answer the frequently asked questions through these niche blogs as well. Topic-specific blogs can also market the specific services or products your cannabis company offers.
With these blog options, you can always choose your kind of blogging by experimenting all three. Of course, there are several more kinds of blogs but I have shortlisted these three that might support even a startup cannabis company through content marketing.
How to Create a Blog?
Two things are essential in content marketing:
– Means to converse with your audiences such as your website, blog, social media channels, emails, slideshare presentations, infographics and videos.
– Knowing your topic well, the facts about cannabis, latest updates, news, and most of all your content.
Just a website without blogs, your SEO rank can drop down. You won’t be having any content or matter to post on your social media channels. Without blogs you’ll have no interaction with your prospective customers and leads. And, fewer pages to put those worthy call-to-actions that generate more leads.
Now that we know the potentials of having a blog on your website, understand how to start a blog.
Step 1: Understand Your Readers
Before you actually decide what your blog topics would be, understand your audience and their needs. Cannabis enthusiasts out there would want to clear all their doubts and myths about marijuana before they actually purchase or deal with any online transactions. Begin by knowing your target audience or customer segments. This is where creating a audience personas becomes handy. Knowing your reader’s interests can help your choose reader-relevant topics that will, in turn, help you with the conversion of your readers into consumers.
Step 2: Choose Your Blog’s Domain
Next, you will need a place to host your blogs where your audience can access and read your content. This requires you to choose a content management system and a website domain service. You can either create a different domain for your marijuana and weeds blogs like a dedicated cannabis blogging website, or you could simply create a subdomain where you create a webpage that connects to your existing company website. After you create your domain using various blogging platforms like WordPress, etc., you can host your webpage through some web hosting services to have traffic on your website. Some popular web hosting services you could choose from:
Step 3: Customize Your Blog’s Theme
Yes, this is where you could spark up your webpage with creativity and can actually stand-out from the other competitor cannapreneurs. If you have an existing website for your company, keep your blog webpage consistent with your website theme. Complement the colour scheme or include images and cliparts of weed and marijuana. It is important that your blog page is consistent in both appearance and in content matter.
Step 4: Identify Your First Blog Topic
Topic creation depends on the kinds of service your company offers. And if you’re a startup, it’s advised to begin your blogs with a more wide-centric topic than going into specifics. For the weed and cannabis industry, topics should be quite general in the start. Let’s say you wish to blog about “weed production and agriculture”. Before you directly start with growing weed, you could begin with a more generalized topic like “which countries have legalized cannabis?” These are some sample topics for first blogs:
– List-based Post: X countries to legalize recreational cannabis
– Curated collection post: X bachelorette gift ideas for weed enthusiasts
– Slideshare presentation: X type of cannabis grown
– News post: X medicinal properties of marijuana
Step 5: Begin with a Captivating Introduction
Grab the reader’s attention through the first few sentences of your blog. A good introduction can engage the reader and get him interested in your blog topic. Along with being informative, your introduction could include a short story, a joke, an empathetic opinion, or an interesting fact or statistic. All of these can engage the reader to read further. After which, you could describe your post and explain how the reader’s query or the problem will be addressed through the blog. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading.
How to Optimize Your Blog Posts?
The marijuana and weed industry is growing rapidly, posing a problem for both storefront and web-based marijuana businesses. Unlike recreational weed, medical marijuana can significantly benefit from investing their time and resource into optimizing their webpage blogs with some SEO strategies.
Search engines always feature the most relevant and best content for their visitors. And readers today don’t simply like a lot of text. By adding images, GIFs, videos, diagrams, and graph flowcharts to your web pages you will have low bounce rates and people will spend more time on your page. Google uses both these metrics to rank the quality of your content.
– Use high definition images and high-resolution videos.
– Don’t limit yourself to only using stock photography.
– Don’t forget to use alt-text tags to describe your images.
– Have captions for your images, if possible use keyword phrases.
– For web pages with videos, include a transcription.
– Use valuable and relevant keywords
– Use hyphens instead of underscores
– Consolidate your ‘www’ and ‘non-www’ versions of your domain
– Keep URLs short and clean
– Use subfolders instead of new subdomains
Meta descriptions are the 156 character snippet that appears under the URL in the search results. Having a well-written meta description helps the readers to clearly identify the kind of content relevance the page provides. Focus on creating a unique story for your cannabis brand identity that includes your targeted keywords. You can also use tools to accurately preview your completed description before you confirm it.
Anchor Text Optimization
Anchor text provides opportunities to link internal pages to your websites. Optimizing your anchor text with keywords can provide Google with more information about your site and how your website content is relevant to the keywords typed in the search query by the visitors. For example, you own a dispensary and you have your website that caters to a section for cannabis edibles. You can simply add an anchor text to the ‘edible’ subdomain of your website.
Along with attaching photos and videos, the content itself needs to be of good quality for SEO ranking. Writing content that resonates with your target audience has higher chances of customer conversion. Use keywords phrases in your content. Make sure the content is grammatically correct and has no errors. Create content for every stage of the sales funnel and keep a consistent tone if possible for your content and wordplay in all your blogs.
Where to Find Cannabis Updates and News for Your Blogs?
For good content, you need to get your facts right! Knowing the topic well and having complete insights into the context of what you’re conveying to your audience is what makes a well-written blog. For real-time updates and news related to the marijuana and weed industry, there are some websites that cater news about general topics and studies pertaining to cannabis use, both medical and recreational. These are a few websites I have shortlisted.
Leafy is an online news hub that caters cannabis-related only information. They update their audience about medicinal and recreational cannabis both. Their subdomains include cannabis news and blogs pertaining to health, lifestyle, cannabis 101, politics, science and technology, new researches, legalization news, and much more!
Cannabis Life Network CLN
Cannabis Life Network CLN is another news hub that has blogs and news updates about the cannabis industry. Being well-versed with the latest news about the marijuana and weed industry helps you write better content and provide informative blogs to your audience.
Marijuana Business Daily
This website updates people on all sort of business news about the marijuana and weed industry. News about upcoming entrepreneurs, new products, new medical trials on the use of marijuana, etc. are seen on their website. They have statistics and data charts about the economic conditions and growth of the cannabis industry. They provide information about legal and regulatory principles for cannabis, stocks and public cannabis companies, marijuana cultivation companies, etc.
Weed Intelligence is like a search tool exactly like Wikipedia. It’s an encyclopedia for cannabis and marijuana-related information. It has blogs, articles, and video links that appear on the search results of the website once a keyword is typed in the search bar. The website has 4 main domains:
Weed Info– for any kind of information needed, blogs about personal experience, or facts related to the searched word.
Weed News– for the latest news and updates pertaining to the cannabis industry, political information, research information, etc.
Weed Biz– stock market information about the weed industry, companies to invest in, product sales, financial information, etc.
Weed Wiki– specific information about certain weed products such as edibles, medicines, accessories, blogs about specific topics related to the use of marijuana, etc.
How Often You Need to Post Blogs?
For every original blog post that is published, you create new opportunities to get featured on search results, get shares and likes on social media, get linked-to by other websites, get noticed by more viewers.
The column chart above is for the following table of statistics with reference to Team Maryjane.
monthly blog posts
Size of the company
According to the study on inbound web traffic through blogging through blogging done by Team Maryjane, “companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0-4 monthly posts”. The more blog posts you have on your website the more chances of your website being featured to the viewers. As a reader, I prefer blogs that are posted once a week or even once every two weeks than blogs that posted every day just for the sake of it. As a blogger, posting once or twice a week lets me write in-depth about the topic with a carefully constructed content format. But, if you are writing blogs everyday, make sure to keep the content short and crisp. This enhances viewer’s readability and readers will interact more with your blog page. Posting short content everyday can also help you create different blogs for each subsection in the same topic rather than keeping them all in one long blog.
Just as how the tone of every content blogger differs, similarly, the posting routine may also differ for each blogger. The ‘one-size-fits-all’ concept doesn’t work for blogging and content marketing. Some bloggers follow a themed routine for different days of the week. The kind of blogs they post on each planned day of the week caters to different areas of knowledge about cannabis. For instance, you may post about new updates on a Monday, medicinal information blogs on a Wednesday, and recreational cannabis products and accessories promo-blogs on a Friday. In this way, you are dedicated to posting often and giving viewers different content to read.
How Long Your Blogs Need to be?
These super short posts are excellent for generating discussions or debate topics. They don’t help much in SEO ranking but they do get audience reaction and comment opinions by viewers on social media. Short and crisp content can include an interesting fact about marijuana that not many know about. It could also be like an infographic where long blogs are shortened for quick reading.
This is a more standardized blogging length for blogs. It has good middle-ground for social shares and comments. For social shares, choose topics that will not be censored on social media platforms.
This is the standardized length for professional journalism, especially for newspaper articles. I find this word count good enough for receiving backlinks from other cannabis bloggers and along with social media shares. Educational blogs about marijuana’s medicinal properties are permitted on social media.
With this word count, your readers may receive relevant information all at one place. Readers are of various types, some read in detail, and some skim through. Divide your content into sections and subsections with appropriate font size or formatted with some highlighted text in bold and italics so that even the skim readers may receive certain information that they find relevance in just by glancing.
Blogs under this word count are most shared on social media and have higher SEO ranking. However, if you are writing 2000-3000 word articles, make sure you write about a topic that is most searched for. In other words, blog about general cannabis topics in greater depth so that the reader finds all the information at one hub instead of looking for relevant content on multiple websites.
Here is an image from Hubspot that depicts the average social shares that blogs receive depending on their word count.
Content is always king in the cannabis realm. People are becoming more curious about marijuana and weed as legalization trends continue globally. Take the opportunity of this trending topic to create content that is relevant and valuable to your consumers in some way. Blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts and so much more can all be used on your website or in partnership with a cannabis content-promoting company mentioned above like Leafly. As these kinds of content is used and shared by your viewers, your cannabis brand is being exhibited to a larger and newer audience that could be interested in your business. If you have any more suggestions or insights on content marketing and blogging for marijuana and weed industry, do let me know through the comment section below.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing – Canada’s fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500’s and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company’s customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches. Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they’re most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.