If you have entered the glorious world of blogging for business, congratulations! As you likely know by now, blogging takes a bit of effort on your part. For some people, sitting down to write a blog is the last thing they would want to do, but if you do it the right way, then blog writing won’t feel like the end of the world.
If you’re still wondering whether you should start a blog for your business, check out our previous blog on blogging for business.
There are a number of things you can do to help keep yourself on track (ie. Creating a topic schedule), but there are also things you can do when you actually sit down to tackle your blog writing – one blog at a time. We’re going to focus on that moment that you sit at your computer to start writing what I am sure will be a spectacular blog.
Here are 7 steps to blog writing greatness.
Step 1: Consider your audience
It always starts with your audience. Your blog can’t just be a shameless promotional plug. Get to know what they like and what kinds of information they need. That’s a great place to start.
Step 2: Choose a topic
If you keep a blog topic schedule and you already have a topic, give yourself a gold star (really, you should keep stickers around) and move on to Step 3!
This is one of the biggest barriers most clients have when it comes to blog writing. In fact, sometimes it can take longer thinking of what to write about than it does to actually write the blog itself. While there are blog title generators you could try, if you are stuck on what to write about, look to your audience. If you are listening, you should be able to find out what they want to read. If you are still stuck, try reading other blogs from businesses in the same industry as you. It may jog your creative juices. Just make sure you don’t plagiarize!
I find it helpful to keep a “swipe file” on hand. A swipe file is a list that I keep of interesting blog topics or thoughts that I have on a day to day basis. If you are ever stuck for a blog topic you can grab one from the swipe file.
Step 3: Gather your thoughts
Everyone is different, but I like to first jot down notes on the topic and do any research for statistics I’ll need. I have a mini brainstorm session (with myself – it’s not weird, I promise) and then I organize my notes so that they flow, whether it is a listicle-type of blog (like this one!) or a more exploratory written piece.
Step 4: Write away!
Once you have done step 3, you can basically just “fill in the blanks” by fleshing out your notes. It is helpful if you imagine you are speaking directly, one-on-one to your readers. Ask questions, anticipate pain points, and don’t just talk about how great your brand is.
Step 5: Entice interest with the introduction
I often write my introduction after I have written the bulk of the blog. Sometimes my writing has taken me a different direction than I anticipated so it’s most efficient this way. When you are ready to write your introduction, think of your favourite book or short story – even your favourite movie. Would you have kept reading (or watching) if the introduction was boring? Probably not. Your customers feel the same way about your blog writing. If you can win them over with the title and they keep reading, then the next hurdle is the introduction. If it isn’t captivating enough, then you’ll likely lose a reader before they get to the rest of your blog, and they may not ever come back.
Step 6: Create a killer title
This is the first gateway to your content… No pressure, but if you don’t nail your title, you will get fewer readers… The thing is, you can do a great job of this if you know what your audience likes. Avoid “click bait” titles because your readers likely won’t be that happy with them. Make the title topical, to the point, and as punchy as you can. Think about headlines that grab your attention in the news or on social media and try to create the same feel.
Step 7: Include a call-to-action
Decide what you want readers to do after they have completed reading your blog… and ask them! Do you want them to share it? Comment? Call you to ask questions? Sign up for your newsletter? Whatever your goal is, you will find more readers take action if you tell them what you want.
Bonus: Don’t forget your basic SEO!
Once you are ready to post your blog, make sure that you are using your chosen keywords enough throughout. You can also make sure to use the keyword in an H2 heading and tag your images using the keyword.
Not sure if your blogs are hitting the mark? Be sure to call us so we can get you on the right track!