How To Write a Great Blog Post
In seven easy steps.
Ahh...the blog post. The Internet's solution to driving traffic to your website and, ultimately increasing your revenue.
You're in the driver's seat here. You get to write about your business. You're the expert. Here you go!
It's a fairly simple process, really.
Here, I outline it in seven easy steps:
1. Know your audience.
Easy enough. They're your target market - the folks walking through your door if your a storefront or visiting your website each day. If you have a business plan, you probably already defined your target market. These are the people you are writing for.
Are they businesses or consumers?
If you are a business to business enterprise, write your blog for the person most likely to research your product. That could be the CEO or the CEO's assistant. Assume that they don't have a ton of time to research and make sure your blog posts are clear, concise, informative, and engaging.
If you are a retail enterprise, write your blog directly for the consumer. They don't have a lot of time to research your product either.
No matter who you're writing for, keep these questions in mind:
What problem are they looking to solve?
Your business provides a good or a service that fills a need and solves your audience's problem. That's why you're in business. What is that need or problem? How do you fill it? How do you motivate your audience to use your service to solve their problem?
What is their education level?
You wouldn't write the same way for high school graduates as you would for a room full of PhD's. And you're not writing a dissertation here - it's a simple blog post. If you know simple demographics like education level, you know exactly how technical you can be, exactly how much research you need to do, and exactly how long the post should be. No matter what, you want your blog to be clear and straightforward. But know that someone with a PhD is likely to expect more detail than a high school graduate.
What is their current position?
Are they business owners? High level executives? Factory workers? Housewives? Each of these demographics respond well to different writing styles. You want your blog to be clear and straightforward without "talking down" to your audience. If it's too technical, people will stop reading. If you sound condescending, people will stop reading too - no one likes to be patronized. The more you know about your audience, the better you can tailor your blog to that audience.
2. Define your topic - and your call to action.
Defining and narrowing your topic allows you to be very clear and you'll hit all of your audience's hot buttons in under five minutes.
Make sure your topic is of interest to your audience. That's why you're writing in the first place. Your goal is driving traffic to your website and increasing revenue. That won't happen if your audience isn't interested in your topic.
Are you writing on a hot topic? That's ok. You're giving your spin on it, and showing that you're an expert. You can add additional facts or your own insights on the topic.
Ultimately you're trying to persuade your audience to do something. What is your call to action?
I know. You're already an expert on your particular blog post because it's about your business. I get it. Research will give you even more credibility - you'll also learn what others are saying about your topic.
Make note of the search terms you used to research the topic. Weave those "keywords" into your blog post. This way your blog will come up when other folks use similar search terms.
Research gives you a new perspective on a topic. And may give you a sense for what your audience is already saying about the topic. Heck - it may rule out topics too.
4. Get Organized
Free writing is a common exercise that writers use to get the juices flowing. I use it as part of my creative process every day. And some of that free writing becomes great work...eventually. But, when I'm free writing, I'm not necessarily concerned with organization.
Once the creative juices are flowing, take what you've written and prepare it for your audience. Make sure that your thoughts are organized so that each subtopic ties to the main point of the blog.
Create an outline of your main point and all sub-points. Do they tie together? Laying out your ideas in outline format is a great way to make sure your content is easy to follow and you're not rambling.
When I wrote papers for college, I took the research I'd done (written on 3x5 note cards) and put it in the order I wanted to discuss it in the paper. This technique works for blogging too.
Once you define your audience, your topic, and organize your thoughts, you're ready to start writing. Expand on the points in your outline and make sure to include appropriate transitions so that your work is easy to follow.
6. Revise. Revise. Revise.
I cannot stress this one enough. Even when I've revised my copy to death I sometimes find mistakes after I've published.
Read through you work. Make sure it makes sense to you. You'll likely catch spelling errors and redundancies.
Read it aloud. You'll catch more errors. You'll also be able to tell if it flows.
Let it sit. Preferably overnight. When you pick it up again you'll find anything you missed.
Proofread it twice. Maybe three times. Read with the idea that there is an error and you have to find it.
If you are able, have someone else read it to catch anything you missed. It is extremely difficult to proofread your own work - because your eye will see what you intended to say and not what is actually on the page.
Once you've read your blog post to death, you're ready to publish. So hit that button.
If you follow all of these steps, you should have a blog post in 8-10 hours. Not bad, right?
You don't have 8-10 hours to spend writing a blog post?
And you like to spend your days off with your family?
You can always hire a copywriter to write your blog for you.
You'll spend about an hour with your copywriter discussing topics. And then they'll do all the work for you. They can personalize it as much as you want. Oftentimes, they don't require a byline - because you're paying them.
If that sounds like a better plan, contact me today.