Blog writing is a great way to create a strong online presence, build a network, and improve your writing skills. It also draws more attention to your business and can increase your customer base. If you’re not sure how to write a blog, don’t worry. There are a few basic tips you can follow for more effective blog writing and a growing online presence.
1. Understand Effectiveness: First, we need to define what it means to write an “effective” blog. If something is effective, it is successful in producing a desired or intended outcome. When you write, you write with purpose. Before writing a blog, you need to have an idea of who your audience is and the reason they would want to read your blog. If you own a business, the blog will be an extension of your brand. And just like creating a marketing plan for whatever service or product you sell, you need to be strategic and creative with your blog. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
Take a moment and think about the answers to these questions. Once you have a set goal for you blog, you can move on to choosing a topic.
2. Choose the Right Topic: When picking a topic, you want to choose something that you’re interested in and knowledgeable about. Your readers must trust you as an expert in your field, or at least an interested hobbyist. If you’re not sure what to blog about, then think of things you’re passionate about. While you want to avoid picking an obscure topic, you also don’t want to pick a topic simply because it’s popular or trendy. A lot of people blog about fashion, but if that’s not one of your interests, then avoid it. It’s much easier to write about something that holds your interest. If you want the right audience to be excited about it, then you, as the author, need to be excited about it as well. You want to inform and inspire.
What if you own a business? NOTICE: A blog is NOT a landing page for selling a product or service. No one wants to read about your business or what you’re selling every week, let alone every day. It’s okay to mention what your business is doing every now and then. However, if someone wants to learn more about your product, they can visit your main website, which can be linked from your blog and vice versa. Instead, think about the field of work you’re in. What type of business do you run and what topics could you write about within that field? What’s the latest news related to that field? What are questions you get asked alot? What do your customers seem to be curious about? Thinking about these questions can help you pick great topics that start to build a solid blog plan.
3. Be Concise: The average blog post is one page in length and roughly 300 to 800 words. However, the length of your posts really depends on the subject matter. Remember, you want your blog to be effective and communicate your message clearly to your audience. Your blog posts should be long enough to get your point across, but short enough to keep readers interested. Even though you’re trying to tell a story, you’re not writing a novel. If the blog is too long, people may lose interest quickly. They may start scrolling through the post without actually reading it or they may go to a different website all together. Therefore, concision is key. Make your point or purpose clear at the beginning of the post.
4. Engage Your Audience: Let your personality shine in your writing. Be creative. If you’re witty, don’t be afraid to let it show. When you talk to someone about a topic you’re excited about, you often show your excitement with your tone and facial expressions. Imagine having a conversation with your readers. The tone of your writing should match your level of interest and excitement. Interact with your readers. Ask for their feedback. Encourage them to share similar experiences in the comment section and don’t be afraid to reply. People love expressing their thoughts and they appreciate it when others take the time to listen and respond to them.
5. Use Visuals: Incorporating visual content into your blog can be useful in attracting more readers. Photos, videos, and infographics not only help with aesthetics but they also make your blog memorable. According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of the population are visual learners. This means that they are most likely to recall content presented to them visually. No surprise there, considering we are living in a Visual Culture. Almost everyone has a device that can snap pictures and share them within seconds. We actually wrote about the power of an image as a part of our blog series, Social Media + Small Business. Images are powerful and emotive tools. They can tell stories in ways that words can’t express. Also, you want to make sure your images are clear.
Keep in mind that unless you took the picture yourself, an image you want to use may be copyrighted. Therefore, you have to be mindful of the legal aspect of its usage. The Social Media Examiner explains how copyright works for online images. Also, to be sure you’re legally using an online image, LifeHacker has an article that breaks it down perfectly.
6. Use Keywords: Optimizing your blog posts for search engines is an important part of effective blogging. In order acquire readers, they have to be able to find you. Unless they’ve heard about your blog before, your domain name isn’t going to be the first thing they search for on Google. Everything online is organized by keywords. You can increase your search ranking by incorporating keywords or phrases into your posts and on your main website as well. To learn more, check out the article we wrote about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the importance of keywords.
7. Check for Errors: When conducting research for a project or paper, what’s the main thing your sources should have? Credibility. Nothing affects credibility like a poorly written article and the same can be said for blogging. If your post has misspelled words, fragments, run-ons and other grammatical errors, your audience will have a difficult time reading it. The message won’t be clear and visitors are less likely to return to your blog. Editing isn’t meant to be quick and easy. It takes time to polish sentences and make sure the article flows well. Once you finish writing, take a break and come back to it later with fresh eyes. Read it out loud to yourself. Hearing the flow of words can help you pick out awkward sentence structures.
8. POST REGULARLY: We’re not saying you have to post every single day, but you want to keep your blog up-to-date. Develop a weekly or, at the very least, monthly blogging schedule. Use a planner to keep track of your past and future posts. Plan your week out ahead of time so you know what you’re writing and when you’re writing. It helps to write your blogs ahead of time so you don’t fall behind. Once you have a schedule, stick to it. If you stop writing for a long period of time, it can be difficult to start again. Also, be consistent. If you blog once a week, every Wednesday, stick with that it. Your readers need to have a good idea of your posting schedule so they know when to check for new posts. If you decide to change your schedule, let your audience know. Use social media to give them a heads up.
Have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us!
Treefrog Marketing is an advertising agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. Treefrog Marketing specializes in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO and more.
For more information, please visit www.treefrogmarketing.com.