Understanding the Buyer’s Journey
Blog posts are an incredibly beneficial tool that every business should invest time into creating. There are a number of reasons for this, such as attracting new customers, building a community around your brand, and building authority in your area of expertise.
Writing a blog post may seem simple, but consistently creating high quality content can be a challenge, you’ll want to ensure that you are producing relevant, engaging and informative articles that your audience will be interested in reading.
To help you with this, we have created a step-by-step guide on how to write great blogs but before we get started, let’s explore some of the different types of blog posts.
Types of Blogs:
There are several styles of blogs that can fall under the ‘How to’ category, such as this one. Think of this category as anything that guides your audience to achieve or create something. Often you will see them titled as ‘Step-by-step to’, ’Guide to’ or ‘How to’.
These have become very popular in recent years. A listicle is any article that involves a list, often titled as ’10 things you didn’t know about’ or ’13 photos of’. They are easy to read, easy to write and often engage your audience very well.
A Pillar post is typically much longer than a normal blog post. They are all encompassing guides on broad subject matters, acting as a pillar to a cluster of articles. Imagine an article titled ‘Everything you need to know about Digital Marketing’, this a pillar post that could include information, resources and links about specific areas of digital marketing, examples include ‘How to write a blog post’ or ‘How to create an email newsletter’ etc. They are often offer the opportunity to provide your audience with more in-depth, detailed knowledge about certain topics.
This could be news relating to the company, your product or services or even news that’s relevant to the industry, your audience will appreciate being kept up to date with information that’s of interest to them.
Of course, these aren’t the only types of blogs out there, but there are too many for us to cover in this guide. Why not research what other styles there are, consider which ones will suit your company’s aims and then use our guide to start writing your own?
Step 1 – Research
The research stage is arguably the most important step in creating blog content. There are several different areas you will want to research before you even begin planning, plus a number of elements you will need to establish before moving any further in the content creation process.
The first is to research and establish your audience. Writing content without your audience in mind will only lead to disappointment, in fact the blogs you are developing should be done so with only your audience’s preferences and needs in mind. Look into what blog styles and topics engage customers and potential customers. Tailor your content to suit this.
Once you have a clear idea of what broad topics you should be covering, each individual blog post will require you to become an expert in the specific subject you are discussing. Ensuring that you are providing your readers with informative and accurate information will help to increase the authority of your blog and brand profile.
Step 2 – Planning
Following on nicely from research is the planning step. Now you’ve gathered all the relevant information, you should plan out how you aim to include it into an article. This process doesn’t have to be overly neat or organised, simply making notes can be sufficient enough for some people to then go off and write a blog.
Remember to plan out roughly what each paragraph will include, this way you know exactly what you’re going to write, what your angle is and how you intend to approach the task. Likewise, it’s important to consider the format of the piece before you set pen to paper, or rather fingers to keyboard. Consider whether you’ll be using headings and subheadings to break up large areas of text, making them easier to read. Will you include images and where may these be placed?
Having all of this in a rough plan before you set out writing the piece will only benefit you when you come to the editing and optimising stages.
Step 3 – Write
You definitely saw this step coming, because, well you can’t avoid it. It can be difficult to advise on the best way to approach writing a blog post, because each person will work in their own way. So instead of telling you how you should be writing, we wanted to remind you of some important things to consider when creating content of behalf of a brand:
With all of the work you put into the research and planning stages, you should know exactly what you want to achieve. Keep this in mind when writing, consider whether you convey a clear message to your audience
Consider your tone of voice
Are you wanting a friendly and chatty tone? Do you want to come across as strictly professional? Think about what your audience will respond to best. Perhaps even trial different tones and see which works for your business.
Is your content doing what it should?
Does it inform, educate or engage your audience? This will differ based on the goals you have set, whatever your goal is for your content, you should ensure each piece you create meets said goal
Step 4 – Proofreading and Editing
This is such an important step in creating high quality content, no matter how informative and engaging the piece you’ve written is, if it’s riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, it loses its authority immediately. As it’s such a crucial stage, why not check out for our top tips on how to approach the task.
Once proofread, you should edit the piece and make any changes needed. Make sure that it’s clear, free from mistakes and refined.
Step 5 – Optimising
Optimising both the visual and written content of the blog post is key to boosting your authority. This is where organising the format in the planning stages comes into play.
Generally, blog posts that include relevant images are more appealing to an audience compared to those without any images. Choosing a featured image is crucial, as this is what will attract the reader to that specific post. There may be opportunity to add specific images that will be used when the blog post is shared to social media. In this case, choose an image that you believe best represents the content of the blog post, as well as your brand.
Include a CTA
Every blog you publish should include a CTA at the end of the post. There are numerous CTAs that you could include, and it doesn’t necessarily have to directly link to converting your audience. Whilst including a ‘sign up here’ button can be beneficial, evaluate whether it is entirely relevant, or whether providing your audience with a resource that links to the article they have just read will help you to build or even nurture your relationship with a potential client.
When someone reads a blog post, they don’t just expect it to be laid out in a clear format, but they also expect it to be aesthetically pleasing. Consider how you will use headers and sub-headers to separate large areas of text. Likewise, it’s important to think about how you may format bullet points, and numbered lists. Whatever you choose, make sure to keep this consistent throughout your posts.
Written Optimisation with direct reference to SEO:
Whilst important, SEO is about much more than just keywords. There is lots you can be doing to optimise your blog posts that will benefit your SEO.
If you can include the keywords you’re targeting then by all means go for it, but only do so if you’re sure that it won’t impact the quality of the writing, or the reader experience.
These descriptions appear below the page title on an internet search. Offering your audience, a brief summary of the content of the page. Through optimising these for each individual post. it can help to improve clickthrough rates.
Select keywords that you choose to link to other pages, whether that be on your own site or another page. Ensure that the pages you are linking to are relevant, and the keyword you use to represent this is succinct.
Once you’ve followed these steps you should be set to publish your blog post to the world, refer back to this guide whenever you need a helping hand.