Blogging 101

Blogging 101

Learn To Write Blogs That Get Read

So you want to write a blog, eh?

Or perhaps more likely, you’ve been told you need to write a blog.  “It’ll increases SEO for your site”, they say. “It’ll position you as an expert in your field”, they tell you. “It’s fantastic for customer engagement”, they insist.  Well, they’re right.

You know a well written blog is an essential component to many smart marketing plans, so you’re game to give it a go. But you have no idea where to begin! It’s easy to feel lost when staring down a blank page. Even coming up with your first topic might be overwhelming.  And let’s face it - nothing stirs up insecurities more quickly than imaging your colleagues, clients and competitors hanging on your every word. Am I a good enough writer? Do I have anything that interesting to say?

Relax, you got this. You’ve got more to say than you think. And if you can speak, you can write.

Follow a few basic guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to creating great content. Here are 5 things to consider before you start hitting your keyboard.

Say what, now?

Get super focused … on the subject

I don’t mean unplugging your devices and turning off your radio, although that might help. Every writer has their own process. I mean get super focused on your topic. The first, and most important, step to blog writing is to figure out what you’ll write about. Seems obvious, right? The trick to crafting a strong blog is to identify one solid topic and stay on point. Trying to include too many ideas can be a recipe for disaster. It’s fine to expand on a singular subject, just make sure not to cover too many different ideas in one post. A solid, streamlined thought is the foundation of a successful blog. You’ll get bonus points for being helpful and amusing. Do you have great advice, some insider tips or a hilarious anecdote? Your readers will keep coming back if you share useful, unique content.

You Talkin’ To Me?

Find the right voice for your readers

Know your audience! It doesn’t matter who your audience is but it certainly does matter what they want and how they think. Are you targeting a group of college students or retirees? Make sure your tone, voice and diction are appropriate. If not, you’ll have a hard time capturing their attention. Or even worse, you run the risk of offending your readers. Don’t over think it. How would you speak to your customers on the phone or in person? Do you speak loosely and frequently joke around? Or are you more conventional, measuring  every word to sound completely professional? Neither is right or wrong in the appropriate context. Writing how you speak helps keep your message clear and direct.

 

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Choose Your Words Wisely

Brush up on SEO and Keyword Phrases

Research keywords and phrases to increase your SEO success. (If that sounds like Greek to you, stay tuned: we’re dedicating another whole post to SEO Content. Check back for an SEO tutorial that will bring you fully up to speed ... ) SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s what will pull your blog - and website - higher to the top of the page in a google search. Get into the mind of your reader and google different ways they might search for the question your blog answers. For example, if you’re writing a blog on weight loss solutions, google different variations of the question “what is the best way to lose weight.” See what words, terms and phrases come up. The ones at the top of your google search have solid SEO strategies.

Tell ‘Em Where To Go …

Retain readers and gain customers through links

Include a call to action. Don’t assume a reader will know to click on a link to a sales page or visit your company’s website. Spell it out for them.  Be clear and compelling with your instructions. Tell them exactly what you want them to do. You’ll have a much better chance of achieving your desired result. Make sure to include visible working links and social media icons. The easier you make it for your reader to take the next step, the higher your chances of gaining a follower, getting a subscriber or making a sale.

Nurture Your Relationships

Strengthen your connection through active engagement

You can make a blog interactive by including a comment section or cross posting on social media. Encourage readers to comment, and then acknowledge that they did.  People like to talk, but they love to be heard. If someone responds with a question or concern, use that to your advantage. It’s a great opportunity to mention an additional benefit of your product or highlight a service your company offers. Starting a dialogue is a great way to gain a loyal audience. Even a simple “like” or emoji can go a long way.

Writer’s Block?

The secret is to just start

Getting started can be the hardest part. If you’re new to blogging, the idea alone might make you sweat. Stop jumping in place at the edge of the diving board and take the plunge into the deep end of the pool. Just start typing. Or even hand write a draft. Maybe you want to outline your thoughts. Again, everyone has their own process. If you feel really stuck, pretend you’re having a conversation with someone you feel totally relaxed around. Move words across a screen and start to let things flow. You can (and should) always go back and edit your work. Who knows, you just might find you love writing blogs. Incorporate these tips in your next post and let us know how it goes.

 

Happy Blogging!

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