Blog writing or blogging offers much more than you might think. As well as persuading readers that they need your service or product and boosting sales, blog posts can also help your business boost its SEO ranking, position you as an authority on a particular subject, engage more potential customers and drive organic traffic towards your website and build trust and credibility. But it’s not always as easy as it sounds. The issue for most businesses, including mine, is there are rarely enough hours in the day. You need to publish regular posts and most of all you need to have something interesting or useful to say – something that people actually want to read. With blog writing, if you don’t have anything to say, it’s best that you don’t say anything.
Before you decide to write a blog article or have one written for you, be aware that there are two types of post. The first, is anywhere between 100 and 1000 words in length, is crammed full of keywords and links and doesn’t say much of interest or offer the reader anything of value. The second is usually between 500 and 1000 words in length, engages the reader and provides useful information without overtly selling to them. This also contains keywords and links but doesn’t shove them down the reader’s throat. If you’re after the first type, I’m probably not your man. Some words are worth more than others and I believe that words should be weighed and not counted. I’ve been blogging, for myself and clients, for over 20 years and have written about a huge variety of subjects. Here are my simple tips for writing a good blog article.
- Choose a subject that your audience will be interested in now and will also be relatable in the future – an issue the reader might have encountered in their work or in the daily lives.
- Do your research and see what’s already been published about your chosen subject. If you can’t add anything to what’s already been said, then I would suggest finding another topic.
- While researching, take note how other blog posts you like have been written – what it includes, what it doesn’t and how you can add to it. Then develop an outline for your article.
- Grab your reader’s attention with a good opening paragraph which sets the scene and tells the reader how your advice, product or service can help them.
- Write in a conversational tone to make the reader feel relaxed, as though they’re part of an informal discussion and you’re talking to them directly and personally.
- Make sure that the reader is able to get the gist of your article by quickly scanning the page. Use engaging sub-headings, short sentences and bullet points where you can.
- Identify your focus keyword and add a title, meta title, meta description, other relevant keywords and phrases relevant to the subject and a limited number of links.
- Read it several times to make sure that it is grammatically correct and written in a tone of voice which is consistent with your organisation or brand.
- If appropriate, include images or diagrams. Not only do these illustrate your point and break up the page to keep readers engaged, they are also a valuable source of SEO.
- End with a compelling call to action (CTA). You could ask them to sign up to your email newsletter, leave a comment or invite them to share your post on social media.
- Believe it or not, when you publish your post matters. Everyone has a different opinion. I have most success posting between 8am and 10am on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday.