The process of posting blogs, just to post blogs, isn’t going to drive the traffic or leads you’re looking for. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or still stuck with the assumption that blogging is for foodies and millennials, read on to learn the what, why, and how to write a winning blog post that will capture your readers and keep them coming back to your site for more.
As the number of companies opting for the remote business model increases, the importance of building brand awareness, through digital content, has never been greater. Many businesses that weren’t focusing their marketing efforts through digital channels are now doing so, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of their ability to shift their efforts and adapt, these types of businesses were able to stay top of mind and actually increased opportunities for growth. This includes moving their service offerings online, providing online ordering for pickup, or increasing the amount of digital content around their services online.
Of course, changing your business model isn’t right for everyone. But increasing brand awareness via your digital footprint can be.
A blog (“weblog” abbreviation) is a platform for people and businesses to share their views and experiences with a target audience.
From a business perspective, blogs may be written about:
- Survey results & analysis
- Breaking industry information
- Products or services
If the prospect has a question, you can use your blog to provide them with answers.
Inbound marketing is all about offering useful, unbiased information to educate prospects throughout their buying journey. The benefits of blogging for your business can include:
- Educating prospects about your products or services
- Boost brand awareness
- Increased website traffic
- Generate leads
- Promote products or services
- Differentiate your brand from competitors
- Use your knowledge to be identified as the authority in your niche
By developing the right campaign to run alongside your blog strategy, you’ll be able to increase targeted traffic and generate more conversions.
Whether you’re writing blogs for your business or for a personal page, remember that the hallmarks of successful blog posts are that they are easy to read, interesting and educational.
If you’re new to the craft or are just looking for a few reminders or pointers, here are some tips on how to gain traction, connect with your readers, nurture an impressive following, generate leads, and become the authority within your selected blog niche.
- Choose a topic that’s relevant to your business and your consumer needs: Before typing the first word, be sure you know your target audience – their interests, questions about the topic (a quick Google search can provide a plethora of frequently asked questions), known problems in the industry or issues surrounding a certain topic, the number, and focus of blogs that have been written on the topic and their success rates.
- Don’t skimp on research: Even if you’re an expert on the blog topic you’ve selected, we live in a world where the only constant is change. Be sure to hone your knowledge by doing the research before every blog you write. This not only ensures a high-quality post but helps to avoid inaccurate or dated content within your blog.
- Create an eye-catching title: Whether you decide to write an outline or not, you should have a good idea of the content your blog will include, as well as the flow. Use this information to develop a working title. As you build out the blog, don’t be surprised by the tweaks you’ll make to the title – and for good reason.
Your blog title will be the first thing a potential reader will see. To peak their interest the title needs to be not just good – but great.
You want high visibility, and nothing does it better than to include keywords within your title to boost your website traffic.
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps to generate qualified traffic to your website, expanding your ability to reach potential readers. But don’t stop there. Be sure the words you select that surround the keywords are enticing, which will further help you to get the clicks you want.
- Expert Tip: Create a detailed outline of your blog’s intent and target audience at the top of each writing document. Be sure to include your buyer persona and keyword phrase.
Intention Outline: [My Blog Post Title]
- Capture your readers’ attention: You only have a few seconds to hook your readers, which is why the first few sentences of your blog are critical. Spending the time on developing your opening paragraph pays dividends in generating the type of interest that compels the reader to read more. Once you’ve crafted a captivating introduction, review the sentences to insert your keywords.
- Create the content: These are the sections where your blog will come to life. This is where you fulfill the promise you made in your title and introduction, and you don’t want to disappoint your readers. If you don’t provide content that meets your readers’ expectations, people will stop reading your blogs – and nobody wants that.
Tone and style may deviate depending on your audience. If you’re a business blog writer you’ll most likely use a more formal writing style.
But, this isn’t a steadfast rule and if you can insert a bit of levity into the reader’s workday, you may just find that people are not only spending more time reading your blogs but sharing them.
It’s a fact, most people won’t read every single word you write. Our digital age makes it easy for people to scan the material for the information they want. To ensure your readers are able to quickly locate the content that they are looking for, you’ll want to include:
- Sub-Headlines: Create interesting subheadings that provide the reader with an idea of what the next section is about.
- Highlighted text: Draw attention to important points within your blog by bolding or underlining the content.
- Lists: Using bullet points or numbered lists is a great way to document steps, as well as to keep your message clear.
- Quotations: If you’re using verbatim content from another source, use block quotes to ensure it’s not overlooked.
- Links: Whether you’re linking to your own past posts or to external resources, using hyperlinks to the content provides the reader with additional information, as well as help with SEO rankings.
As mentioned, most readers will only scan your blogs. Long paragraphs are not only hard for readers to digest, but they may be overlooked altogether by blog scanners.
By keeping your paragraphs short, you’ll be helping your readers to quickly locate and absorb the information they need.
- Conclusion: By providing a short summarization, you’re not only helping your readers retain the key points of the blog, but it provides you with the opportunity to add your final thoughts.
- Call-to-Action (CTA): Do you want your readers to take action? Perhaps you want them to schedule a product demonstration, attend an event, post your blog on their social media channels or just write a comment. The final component of your blog should be a CTA that is relevant to your blog material, your buyer persona, and their current stage of their buyer’s journey.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Your goal is to drive as much organic traffic to your site as possible. To do this you need to ensure that your site and the blogs you write are SEO optimized. A quick Google search on SEO optimization will provide countless tips on how you can improve your ranking. A few ways to increase your SEO traffic include:
- Use keywords appropriately
- Produce high-quality content
- Break up content with header tags
- Link to credible sites
- Encourage sharing on social media sites
If you’re seeing a decrease in traffic or receiving low quality traffic, check out some of the most common SEO problems and how they can be fixed.
Before you publish, don’t forget to check your work…
- Did you provide clear, actionable steps to accomplishing the task your reader needed help with?
- Did you provide relevant and accurate facts and stats to prove your understanding of the concept?
- Did you emphasize the importance of understanding this concept if it is not already well-known?
- Did you properly cite and backlink your sources?
- Is your keyword phrase in the SEO title, copy, and meta description?
- Did you spell check and proofread?
- Are there at least 1-2 images?
- Is the post 800-1,000 words at a minimum?
Blog writing isn’t difficult, but it does take practice. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to writing the kind of blogs that people can’t wait to read!