So, you’ve decided to write a blog – Hurrah! There are so many benefits to blogging. They are a great way to connect with your target audience, demonstrate your expertise, drive traffic to your website and will give you lots of content for social media (Double hurrah!). But, when faced with the prospect of writing a blog post, do you find your mind goes as blank as the screen in front of you? Here are my thoughts on how to write a blog. Here goes…
1. Know your audience
When you really know who you want to attract, when you understand your target market, then you will know the subject areas that are bound to interest them. When considering writing a blog, it can be useful to brainstorm a list of possible subject areas – not all will make the cut, but you’ll be surprised how the ideas come, once you get the creative juices flowing. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
If you’ve exhausted your own ideas or are looking for external inspiration, then you can find inspiration online. Quora is an online FAQ site. Type in your subject area and discover what questions people are actually wanting answered. Another useful tool is Impact Inbounds blog title generator which will generate a number of “fill in the blank” titles to jump-start your creativity.
2. Research popularity
Once you have decided upon a title, I recommend checking the popularity of that term with a Google add-on, called Keywords Everywhere. This allows you to see the volume of searches carried out per month for your particular search term. There is no point writing a blog on a subject which no one is searching for – you want your blog to be seen! If your title is not popular, consider rewording it or using one of the alternatives that Keywords Everywhere will suggest.
3. Have a clear introduction
Now you’ve done your research, you’ve come up with a cracking title, it’s time to start creating your masterpiece! Make sure that it is clear what your blog is about from the first paragraph. This is your golden opportunity to hook readers into the article and encourage them to read it in full. If it’s not clear what the blog is about or what benefit they will receive from reading it, the chances are they won’t.
4. Use Headings
The ideal blog length is anywhere between 800-1200 words. Presented in one block, reading it in full is an awful big ask of your audience and few readers, in reality, will. The average attention span is somewhere around 8 seconds. Do your reader a favour and break the text into much more manageable sections with headings. This allows your reader to skim the body of your text and to come back to areas that interest them.
5. Keep your paragraphs short and sweet
The shorter your paragraphs, the easier they are to read and digest. Ensure your copy is written in plain English. There are no medals for bamboozling your audience with technical terms and phrases. Similarly, complex sentence structure will turn people off before they’ve started, so keep it simple, using your brand tone of voice.
6. A picture speaks a thousand words
Fun Fact: The brain processes visual data some 60,000 times faster than text.
A well-placed image will help retain your audience’s attention and keep them from scrolling right through to the end. Make sure that the image is free to share or that you have permission to share it from source. There are some great stock photo libraries around Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash are three examples of free stock image libraries. Although any image you use should be relevant to your content, it’s fine to have fun with images and go slightly left of centre with them, if that’s your style.
Round up the points you have made with a paragraph conclusion. It’s absolutely fine to ask for your readers’ opinion on your post.
8. Include a Call to Action
Remember why you are writing a blog. If it is to encourage traffic to your website, then use links to other pages to encourage visitors to explore your site further. If you want them to message you to enquire about your services, then include contact details. Make it easy for your reader to complete any action you want them to take. Remember that the longer you keep a reader in your presence, the longer you have to persuade the reader to “buy”. If nothing else, include links to your social profiles.
In summary, the key points to remember when writing a blog are:
- Discover what your audience want to read. What answers do they need?
- Have a clear introduction, setting out what your blog is about
- Use headings to break up content
- Keep your audience’s interest by keeping paragraphs short
- Use relevant imagery or graphics
- Conclude (briefly!)
- Include a Call to Action.
Remember, your blog should resemble a burger. The top bun is your introduction, the “meat” is your main content, the pickles that add to the flavor are your images and your conclusion is the bottom bun. It’s an easy analogy to make and hopefully, will help you when next you put pen to paper! If you would like help with writing a blog for your business– perhaps you recognise the value of a blog, don’t have the time to dedicate to creating it, or you just can’t muster any inspiration, then why not take advantage of our blog writing service? Contact us for further details and make a blog part of your content marketing strategy.