You’ve decided you need to upgrade your company blog. You need to provide quality content to your audience to build thought leadership and generate leads. You need to quit filling your blog with product launch announcements and trade show pics.
You’ve written the blog plan. You have a production schedule and a list of topics. Now you need to write. This can present a challenge, whether you like writing or not. How does one go about writing a blog?
Check out these three tips on how to write a blog that gets clicked, read, and shared.
Tip 1: Get the basics right
There is a basic structure to any piece of quality content. Get the basics right and your blog is that much more likely to get read.
The headline presents the first impression of post. It’s important to get it right or readers won’t click through to read the content. A headline should be actionable and keyword-focused. Try to keep it brief. Be clear and definitive, maybe even intriguing.
There are lots of guides out there on how to write a great headline. Most agree that you can spruce up a mediocre headline by:
- including numbers,
- adding an intriguing adjective, or
- using action verbs.
The body copy
Any piece of content will be more engaging if it is focused on one emotionally compelling idea. A blog post is no different. You should have that emotionally compelling idea based on your keyword research, as discussed in last week’s post. Now it’s time to write the post.
Always start with an outline. Organize all the information that supports the one big idea and make sure it follows a logical flow. Use headings and subheadings to divide the supporting information into sections.
Start with an introduction, where you tell the reader what you’re going to tell them. Follow with the body copy, subdivided into sections with headings and subheadings. This is where the real information is. Finish with a conclusion that tells them what you told them.
Unique to blogs is the chance to get a conversation started. Find a way to invite your readers to comment. Follow the discussion and contribute solutions.
Finish every post with a call-to-action. As a powerful top-of-the-funnel tactic, your blog is the perfect place to pull prospects further into the funnel. Get your readers to subscribe to your blog or to contact you or to read about your product and services. Be sure to include that CTA.
Tip 2: Readability IS the new SEO darling
Although keywords and keyword phrases remain important, search engines are increasingly focused on readability. Search engines want to be sure your content will fulfill the reader’s intent. Most readers prefer easy-to-read text. Here are some ways to make your text easy-to-read:
Use personal pronouns
Using personal pronouns gives your writing a conversational tone. Personal pronouns seem to connect the reader to the writer. A conversational tone helps your reader focus on your message rather than your language.
In the water industry, it is easy to fall into using technical terms that may confuse some readers. If you must use a technical term, especially when you’re writing for non-specialists, define it so all your readers can understand.
Words like very, really, actually, or carefully don’t serve any purpose. Keep in simple, keep it easy to understand.
By adopting an easy-to-read style, you can start engaging your audience. Use personal pronouns, where appropriate. Avoid jargon by choosing the right word. Avoid padding your text with words that serve no purpose.
Tip 3: Design it so readers will move right through to the CTA
You may not want to know this but not all your readers will read your entire blog. Many blog readers (43%, according to Hubspot) admit to skimming content. Rather than being offended by this, play to those readers. Cater to all readers with the design of each blog.
Dense blocks of text can intimidate readers. Clever use of white space – areas with no text or graphics – will lessen the stress. Put in a few pull quotes to add variety to the blog’s visual flow.
Headings and subheadings
Headings and subheadings not only help with the flow of logic of the post, they provide a break from the text. They allow skimmers to get the gist of the blog without having to read the entire article. Optimize headings for keywords where possible.
Bulleted or numbered lists
Anytime your information allows, break up blocks of text with bulleted or numbered lists. Again, they cater to skimmers, but they also help organize information into short concise portions.
Photos, graphs, charts, and tables add visual appeal while providing in-depth information in an eye-catching format. Keep graphs and charts relatively simple.
After all the meetings, the brainstorming, the planning, it’s time to write. Writing posts for the company blog may never be your favorite thing to do but with these three tips you can help to ensure your post will get clicked, read, and shared.
How do you check the readability of your content? Which tools do you like best?