Writing a blog for your website and social media channels, or contributing to blog sites, are an excellent way to engage with target audiences, display your expertise online or improve your overall search engine optimisation (SEO).
Starting out with blog writing can be difficult in knowing what to write about and how to write ‘blog style”.
So what steps can you take to create a blog that is both engaging and successful in its reach?
In the engineering world there is a saying that goes ‘measure three times, cut once’ and the same can be said for writing a blog.
It is important that before you put pen to paper – so to speak – you think about what topic you would like to cover and conduct any research about that topic if you want to include statistics or links to other articles that relate.
Once you have done this you can then start to think about the angle that you wish to take and maybe have a conclusion in mind that you would like to reach.
Next, draw out a rough outline for each paragraph and think about how these will flow within the finished article.
Get a good start
The most important part of any form of creative writing is having a start that grips your chosen audience, which is why your headline and introductory paragraphs must be both informative and enticing.
Within these you should try to fit in the who, what, where and why behind the article, so that readers have enough information to understand what the wider piece and feel encourage to read on.
If writing on a particular subject or about a specific location or sector, it is important that this is included early on in the article, as this can help improve the SEO ranking of an article and your wider website.
Build the body
Now that you have the headline and introduction out of the way you can start to write the main body of text.
Within this, you should add the research and facts that you will have conducted prior to writing the article so as to bolster your position throughout the text.
Remember, it is good if you can try to prepare a balanced argument within the main body of the text, or else it could seem like a rant, which can be off-putting.
Once the main body of text has been written it is time to consider your conclusion.
Re-read your content to make sure it fits your intended conclusion and still meets the angle that you wished to take within the article – it can be easy to get lost along the way and dilute what you are trying to say.
Don’t forget, that even when writing a business blog, it is meant to reflect the values, approach and personality of you and your company.
It must be engaging and an honest appraisal of the topic you are writing, but if it is fundamentally boring or lacking in personality then the reader may switch off and once you lose an audience it can be difficult to get them back.
Check, check and check again
One of the biggest downfalls of any blog is poor flow, bad grammar and typos. Many readers may give up straight away if they think the article is poorly written.
If you have read it several times, but are still unsure have someone else read it and critique it for you – they are often more likely to spot something that you may have missed.
Fact checking is also integral. If you have put in a fact or figure, then go over it and make sure it ‘adds up’. Just because the report you took it from gives the figure, check it against the raw data to make sure it is accurate.
Finally, when editing, don’t afraid to be ruthless. If you aren’t really sure if something reads well, cut it out of the blog or re-write it so it flows with the rest of the piece. Time taken to check and edit before posting can prove invaluable in crafting an effective blog.
Enhance and optimise
Where you have an existing list of search engine keywords make sure that they are included within the text where relevant. If you don’t possess such a list for your website take time to prepare one that focuses on your optimisation goals.
Think about adding colour or an image to brighten up your post, but make sure it is relevant to your content.
Writing blogs can be time-consuming, but also very rewarding for you and your business.
Once you are confident about what you are preparing it is important that you support each publication by promoting it via your social media channels.
This will help to drive traffic back to your site, and if done correctly, can increase your number of followers on social media as well.
If you don’t feel that you have the time to regularly prepare a blog then it may be worth outsourcing production of your blogs to an outside agency.
If you would like assistance with the preparation and promotion of blogs then please get in contact with us.