Writing a blog post is a crucial element of digital marketing. It is among the most favored techniques in search engine optimization. Blog posts can help improve lead generation, customer engagement, online reputation, and (best of all) sales. It is, however, also an art. It requires some mastery of word crafting to write an extraordinary piece that can help your business and you can also consider it as one of the effective strategies for online business. Read on to learn how to create a compelling piece.
Writing is not merely tapping away on the keyboard; it requires discipline, planning, and creativity. Unlike traditional composition, a blog post must meet the needs of both a human audience and computer algorithms (web crawlers). Pre-writing activities can help you plan effectively and streamline your process.
- Know your audience – Unless you run a personal blog, your posts are meant to target a particular audience. Determine who your readers are, what you want to tell them, and what they want to know. This step will also allow you to decide on the tone of your blog. If you’re writing for a medical or legal blog, you may want to take a more professional approach; writers for a fashion or daycare blog, however, can get away with a more casual voice.
Know your readers to connect with them and be sure that they read your blog to the very end.
- Choose a useful or compelling topic – Attract your audience by selecting a subject that can generate interest. As a business, you can write blogs to help your clients. If you’re selling products, for example, you may provide instructions on usage or information on how they can benefit from the product. One way to narrow down your choice is to scour the internet to learn about trendy topics related to your business.
- Research keywords – Keywords are the terms that users type in search boxes when they are looking for something, and are an essential part of online marketing. Keywords can either be short-tail or long-tail. The right keyword can impact your post’s visibility. If you run a dress shop in Winnipeg, for example, you can use keywords like “summer dresses in Winnipeg” or “stunning cocktail dresses in Winnipeg.” When your audience searches these terms, your post appears on the search engine results.
- Generate a catchy title or heading – The title provides your blog’s first interaction with your readers. Pique your customer’s interests with an attention-grabbing title. Make it irresistible so they’ll click on that link and read your blog. If you can’t come up with a catchy title at the start, use a working title that you can change to a better one when you’re done writing.
- Gather your sources – When you do your research, make sure your sources are reliable. Spreading misinformation can cost you your credibility. Doing this early in the process will help you organize your outline.
- Build your outline – Before you start writing that first sentence, create an outline. It functions as your blog’s skeleton and gives it a solid structure. Outlining helps your ideas flow logically and cohesively. Identify the main points you want to tackle and organize them.
Don’t make your readers work for the information. Hand it to them on a silver platter, and you will have their gratitude and their attention. Here are some well-used tactics to help you present your information attractively to readers.
- Write a compelling introduction – Nail that crucial first impression with an appealing opening. Be sure to place the main points and the key statement of your topic in the first sentence or first hundred words.
- Use subheadings – Readers tend to “bounce” if they are forced to read an entire article to find one specific detail. Identifying sub-topics makes it easy for your readers to find the exact information they want.
To make it more reader-friendly, highlight subheadings. Use a different colour or shade, use bold or italics, or increase the font size — whatever it takes to bring it to their attention.
- Use bullet points – People tend to avoid large blocks of text. Long paragraphs without any breaks can result in high bounce rates. Break those paragraphs up into pieces and, whenever possible, use bullet points to highlight individual nuggets of information.
- Insert images and infographics – The simplest image adds value to your post. It provides visual appeal, supports your information, and increases the opportunity for social media shares. You don’t have to be an expert photographer or photoshop artist to add visual impact. There are many free stock photos and simple graphics editors available online. Take advantage of these resources to augment your copy.
- Add relevant links – Adding links can enrich your blog post. It makes it easy for readers to find additional information. It also increases reader engagement and can drive traffic to other pages on your website. Including both internal links (to pages within your site) and external links (to other websites) improves your credibility and can also impact your search engine optimization efforts.
- Use reliable sources – Protect your reputation; fact-check your information. Verify your data with that from other references to make sure it accurate and relevant. Use sources that are reliable and do not spread misinformation. Your standing with search engines and your readers will suffer otherwise.
We all have personal bad habits when writing. We may habitually misspell words, make common typographical errors, or rely on the same phrases over and over. Editing your work is essential for presenting your ideas professionally and authoritatively. Here are some tips on how to refine your writing:
- Don’t edit right away – When your meaning is fresh in your mind, it’s easier to miss mistakes you might have made. Put it away for a day, and come back to it with a refreshed outlook. You will be surprised how effective this simple step can be.
- Check spelling, punctuation, and grammar – No matter how engaging your piece is, it must have a solid grammatical structure free of spelling and punctuation errors. One comma or letter in the wrong place may prevent readers from fully comprehending your message. Use online tools like Grammarly or Hemmingway to do a quick scan of your work and identify problem areas.
- Break down overly long sentences – Shakespeare once said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” It also makes a sentence much stronger. Shorter sentences add tension and give readers a sense of urgency. This is a definite advantage when making a pitch or presenting a call-to-action.
- Remove repetition – Eliminate or reword repetitive statements. While often not an error per se, it can be jarring for readers. Use a thesaurus to select alternate wording, and to ensure that you aren’t introducing unwanted connotations.
Optimizing your blog requires small a effort to earn significant gains. Giving the reader an idea of what to expect before they come to your page, providing an outlet for their newly-acquired knowledge; the basics are, well, basic. Here are two tools to help you start optimizing your position on search engine results pages.
- Add calls-to-action – After reading your article, your visitor will look for instructions on what to do next. A call-to-action (CTA) takes your readers to that next step. It bolsters the success of your internet marketing and improves the likelihood of a higher conversion rate. Failing to place a CTA may lose your chance for a sale. Simply adding links or buttons saying “Call us now!” or “Book an Appointment” can boost conversion.
- Include a meta-description – Meta-descriptions are the little blurbs located beneath the titles on a search engine results page. These blurbs are both as a summary of your article (attracting readers) and a place to insert keywords (boosting search engine rankings). If you don’t designate a meta-description, the spot below the title will reflect the first few words of your blog. Write a short, compelling piece, between 50 to 300 characters (including spaces) long — long enough to be descriptive, but not so long it gets truncated.
While the basics of SEO are straightforward, getting the maximum benefit of optimizing can be challenging. Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving to provide their users with the best possible results. Keeping up with these changes may require the help of an SEO professional. If you’re running a business say, in Winnipeg, Canada, Local SEO Search Inc. is an expert in website marketing you can rely on. Turn to reliable professional SEO experts in your area for advice and assistance in optimizing your articles and your website.
Though creating online content like blog posts may seem overwhelming at first, it doesn’t have to be dull. The primary purpose of writing a blog post for your business is to help your bottom line. Sharing your knowledge and your expertise can be rewarding in itself. Done well, your blog can provide useful information your readers can use for some time to come.