We all know the benefits of blogging as a way of improving your SEO, and of demonstrating expertise in your field. In an ideal world, we’d all love to be crafting perfect blog posts for our business blogs every week, but because of time pressures and lack of inspiration it can be hard to keep coming up with winning content (especially if you have been blogging for several years now).
Here are ten tips to help you keep the ideas flowing, keep your writing sharp, and keep you turning out blog posts that your audience will love to click on and share.
1. Use Tools to Help you Generate Ideas
Knowing what to write about can be one of the biggest challenges of all. Staring at a blank page waiting for inspiration to strike can be dispiriting and a waste of time, but you can help yourself out by using a few of the following tools:
- Google keyword tool – if you do your keyword research you’ll know the kinds of things your target audience are searching for, and this will give you a steer as to the topics you need to cover.
- Evernote – using a notation tool like Evernote is a great way to collate ideas and plan your blog posts. Michael Hyatt has a helpful article on how to use Evernote for blogging here.
- Twitter Advanced Search – this allows you to make a very specific search on Twitter, for example you can search for all recent Tweets mentioning a particular keyword that are in the form of a question. This means you get an idea of the questions people are asking around a given topic, and you may see an opportunity to write a blog post to answer one of these queries.
2. Write an outline
Outlining the article before you dive into writing the main body of it can be a huge time-saver, as well as making your blog post a more structured, cohesive piece to read. Start with your headline, introduction and conclusion, and then fill in the rest from there.
3. Try writing in list form
You’ll probably be familiar with Buzzfeed and other hugely popular websites that write exclusively in list form. It’s a highly effective technique for blog posts, because as soon as someone reads the headline they get an indication of how much time the article will demand of them, and also the list format makes information very easy to read and digest.
4. Keep it Simple and Conversational
Blog writing offers the opportunity to be a little more informal than perhaps you would be in regular business copy, and so a conversational tone of voice works well (not too casual though – no text speak, and grammar and spelling still needs to be all correct).
Keeping your writing simple and easy to follow is crucial too. Even if you don’t use the list-based approach discussed above, you should avoid huge, dense paragraphs of text, as this can be difficult for people to read, particularly if they are viewing your site on a mobile phone or small-screen tablet.
5. Use lots of ‘action words’
When Dan Zarrella did an analysis of the types of language that get the best response when used on Twitter, he found that overwhelmingly tweets that used a high proportion of verbs and adverbs were more likely to be shared than those that used more nouns and adjectives. These so-called ‘action words’ keep the reader engaged and are just as effective when used in blog writing as they are when deployed on Twitter.
6. Embed video, images, infographics and other content
Blogs are a lot more commonplace than they were 5 years ago, so nowadays if you really want to stand out, you will need to think of blog posts as more than simply 300 words of text. If you can, try creating your own short videos or infographics, both of which are very blog-friendly.
Social Media Examiner has a good post on video blogging here.
7. Include SEO keywords (but don’t go nuts!)
Keywords are still all-important if you’re hoping to use your blog posts for SEO benefit. Just remember that while your keywords need to be in there, don’t cram them in at the expense of the readability of your article.
8. Remember the call-to-action
The call-to-action is one of the most important parts of a blog post – this is where you tell your audience what they can do next after they’ve finished reading your blog post. You can use this to generate leads and enquiries, or simply direct your audience to other pieces of content you’d like to use.
9. Proof-read the next day, or get someone else to do it
One weird phenomenon of writing that I’m sure most of us have encountered is that when you’ve spent an hour or more working on an article, it becomes very difficult to read back over your text with a clear eye and spot your mistakes. It’s too familiar, so it can be hard to identify errors and poor wording, even if they’re really obvious. The solution is to either go back and re-read it yourself the next day, or else get someone else to proof it for you before the blog post goes live.
10. Share it!
Don’t let your good work on a blog post go to waste by just posting it to the website and leaving it at that – spread the word! Utilise social media, email marketing or any other marketing tool you use to tell people why they need to read your latest blog content and what it will do for them.
If you’d like to find out more about blogging for business or writing SEO friendly web copy, then why not give the Key Multimedia team a call today on 01305 542003.