We all know we should be blogging, but coming up with engaging blog content can be just as fun as going to the dentist. (not fun!)
But… and this is a big but…those blog posts help dramatically with SEO, brand-building, establishing expertise, audience rapport, plus a whole lot of other valuable perks marketing gurus love to tell us about.
Maybe you’re writing blogs already, but for some reason they just aren’t being read.
We’re here to help! *Cue Superhero Entrance*
You can start slaying in the blogosphere in a way that broadcasts your message and boosts your brand in the form of sales, subscriptions, follows, and downloads. With a bit of practice, you’ll be writing blogs in a way that will have you feeling every bit the savvy marketer we know you are!
We’ll do it in five simple steps.
Step One: Know Your Target Audience
Remember that although you are writing a blog with the hopes of promoting your product or service, a blog isn’t really about you. It’s about connecting with, and relating to, your perfect customer. Your readers should feel as if they are benefitting from what you have to say. If you can make a connection and help solve a problem, they’ll be excited to keep coming back — and maybe even bring their friends.
What does your typical customer dream about? Where does she live, what does she do for a living, what are her goals, what does she do for fun? What are her struggles and concerns? And, of course, how does that information relate to your product or service?
Pay attention to your customers. Interact with them on social media and in blog post comments. A wealth of useful information about your fans and followers can be found in your website analytics, Google Analytics, and in the social media audience data available on each platform. Many companies will also help you generate surveys, as well, to really hone in on what your audience wants.
Step Two: Presentation is Key
Organized content looks good to more than just highly organized people! Take better control over your blog than you may have over your sock drawer, and organize it in a way that is both visually appealing and easy to read.
There are many services out there that make it so easy to produce a blog start-to-finish. Tools offered by Wix, WordPress, and SquareSpace and countless more allow you to customize the overall theme, add widgets, use visuals, employ a comments section, use lists, charts, graphs, and templates.
You can even break up the content into bite-size portions using bullet points that your audience can devour bit by bit.
Step Three: the Hook
Your opening statement should spark curiosity. It can be a quote, a question, or almost any idea that grabs them and lures them through your open door.
This first part should be irresistible, but also consider keeping it short and punchy, that way you can use it as a meta description, the caption for a social media post, or a link preview.
You’ll want to develop your “hook” based on info from the research in Step One. Your audience will tell you what they want you to write about! Then, it’s just up to you to be authentic and relevant.
Time and again, authenticity wins out over almost any other quality from bloggers, followed by the real value of the information shared. Don’t worry so much about creating a brilliant piece of writing! Instead, make it a point to be genuine, and to contribute worthwhile knowledge to your readers.
Step Four: Get Writing! Eliminate Distractions
You know what they say: the hardest machine at the gym is the front door! You might consider scheduling blog writing in your calendar. When it comes to your brand, it’s usually smart to make sure you treat it as seriously as any important work meeting.
Find a peaceful spot where you’ll actually write (and that means resisting romantic fantasies involving that cute new barista . . . not everyone can handle the many distractions at a café). Showing up for your appointment with yourself, no matter what, means you’ll have nothing else to do but to finally write that blog post. Set yourself up for success!
Step Five: Edit, Proofread, Proofread Again
You’ve done it! You researched your target audience, interacted with your followers on social media to get to know them better, and immersed yourself in your followers’ likes, dislikes, wishes, goals, and dreams. You’ve established your blog on a host site that offers excellent opportunities for customization. You’ve landed on some fantastic post topics by cross-referencing your audience interests with current trending talking points.
And . . . you’ve written your blog post!
Stand up and hold your arms above your head in victory! That’s right, right there in the café. But before you can rest on your (adorable) laurels, you’ll really want to give it a final polish. Some people like to have a friend or colleague do this bit for them. A second set of eyes might notice mistakes you won’t.
It’s dispiriting to create a blog post you think your readers will love, only to find the feedback’s weighed down with comments about misspellings and grammar errors, or snide asides about the quality of the writing. Shine it up with attention paid to these details! It lends authority to your words.
Most readers will respond positively to a warm, authentic, intimate style. Don’t fret if your humble paragraphs aren’t high literature; no one really expects that from blogs. A conversational tone is preferable, even. Think of yourself seated across the kitchen table from your favorite reader, sharing information you know will engage and delight her.
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