Why it’s important to understand how to write a blog
I’ve been asked how to write a blog and keep it informative and effective for your readers, so in this podcast episode, I discuss exactly how to do just that. According to e-Strategy Trends,
….more than 70% of both B2B and B2C marketers plan to produce more content in 2014 than they did in 2013, and six out of ten plan to increase their content marketing budgets.
Content marketing, my friends, includes blogging. Now’s the time and season to begin ramping up our content creation and marketing for our online businesses. The best way to learn to do this practically is by learning how to improve our blogging skills.
Know and understand your audience.
In order to write a great blog, you’ll need to understand who your audience is and what they need from you. This all boils down to knowing your USP (unique selling point) or being very familiar with your niche market. I talked briefly about this in episode 012- Setting Your Blog Up For Success.
Gather a collection of focused topics around your niche.
What is your niche? Online marketing? Painting? Design? Home decorating? Pet-sitting? Whatever your blog niche is, you need to go do some initial research by gathering a list of topics you can blog about throughout the year. You’ll want to stay relevant and focused on helping your target audience, so keep that in mind.
Write an incredible intro.
Once you’ve narrowed down your topic, you’ll need to find a great intro to lead into your blog post. Get your readers’ interest with an attention-grabbing headline- and once you’ve hooked them just be sure to follow up with solid content they’ll love.
Organize your content with the reader in mind.
Okay, the next step is to make sure your thoughts spilled out on the blog post make sense to the reader. Do you logically progress from one thought to the next or are you just rambling? Think about how your reader will view your post and put yourself in their shoes. Does your content make sense to them? Is it helpful? If you need to, grab a second pair of eyes to have a look over your post before you hit “publish”.
Write up your content.
Now’s your time to shine, Blogger! Let your thoughts hit the keyboard and type away. Spill out whatever is on your mind and heart, add in some quotes or statistics, and be sure your goal is met- whether it is to encourage and inspire, motivate, inform, or entertain.
The only way to succeed in online blogging is to be relatable. Be sure your audience gets a feeling of who you are through your blog post and let your tone and personality shine through. Relate to their concerns and problems by being transparent, sharing your own mishaps, and teaching them through your mistakes. The “been there done that” mode is a perfect way to show others that you’re human and you’ve made mistakes, but you’ve learned through them and can help them not to make the same mistakes you did.
And if you’re simply writing up an entertaining post a “been there done that” story can be pretty entertaining.
Don’t forget your CTA (call to action).
Leave your reader with a question to ponder, an assignment to commit to, or give suggestions about solutions you offer for their problems (like one of your products or services). This is a very important part of the blogging process that you don’t want to leave out.
Fix your formatting.
Be sure to use links within your post, include some headers and sub-headers, and add images to really beef up your post. Formatting comes last, so I wouldn’t really get caught up in trying to make your post perfect while crafting it and gathering ideas. One step at a time.
Optimize for SEO.
Use plugins like WordPress SEO by Yoast to verify that your post has green lights for good search engine optimization. You’ll want to get all the SEO help you can for Google. Specifically, you should:
- use a strong keyword throughout the post, including within your titles, description, headers, and subheaders
- be sure to include metatags in each post
- check your post URL to be sure it includes your keyword as well
Promote, Promote, Promote.
Here’s your chance to get out there in the social media world and tell the blogosphere about your latest post. But be sure you promote within your circle of influence first- your Google+ and Facebook groups, and Twitter followers, and don’t forget to Pin it.
Set up your tweets to be scheduled throughout the week promoting your latest content so you can get the most value for your time on the post.
Respond to blog comments.
Lastly, always, always respond to your blog comments! Your readers are letting you know how much they enjoy your content, so a reply back is a polite way of saying “thank you for taking time out of your schedule to read my blog post.” Those responses go a long way in forming online connections.
Do you use these steps for your blogging process? Does this info help you understand better how to write a blog? Let me know!