Writing Blogs: Our Top Tips, and Why They’re So Important for Business
A ‘blog’ used to be simply the online diary of an individual, but things have moved on and now businesses are hiring and working with content creators to produce their own blogs and articles on their own websites and channels. Now a way to position a business as a thought leader in their field, blogs add value for both existing and potential customers and can be re-purposed and re-used time and time again.
Most businesses can benefit from having a blog on their website and producing relevant content through it. These can enhance SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) criteria, making them easier to find online, improve external perception of the brand as ‘expert’ and to maximise the opportunities to appear in front of interested parties.
Whether your brand is hiring an external writer to produce content, or it’s being managed in-house, it needs to be done in an efficient manner and best optimised to your audience and goals. Here are our top blogging tips to ensure success in all of your blogging endeavours!
Know your niche
It’s imperative that you know your target audience in order to best tailor the blog content you’re producing to them. If you’re aware of your niche and specifically create content for it, it will perform better and reach the people relevant to you and your business; working much more efficiently than just putting out articles to no-one-in-particular and getting lost in the ether of ‘stuff’ online.
If you’re unsure of your niche, take the time to work it out. Find who they are, where they are online, how they like to interact with brands (and your competitors!) and what they’re engaging with. Keep a close eye on others catering for your audience and ensure you have a key differentiator that sets you apart from them.
If you think you have your audience nailed, but are unsure of what they want from you, sense check – by asking them! Host a poll on social media and have them specify exactly what content they’d like to see you produce.
Keep an eye on the analytics of your website to really understand what performs well, and what doesn’t. If a blog or article isn’t performing as well as expected, the user journey through the site and the actions they take on it will be able to help you identify any issues or areas for improvement.
Re-purpose your content
Creating quality content should always be prioritised over quantity of content. Once a good blog has been produced and published, the content within it can be re-purposed for numerous channels. Break down the main points into an infographic, save an Instagram Story highlight of you talking through the key takeaways, create graphics for Pinterest with quotes from it and ‘chip in’ to other discussions about the topic on forums. Again, analytics can help you identify the top referrers to your blog, and you can go on to focus more on promoting through these channels.
Guiding audiences to your blog from a variety of different places is good for SEO too; so, don’t stick to one link from one channel just because it’s guaranteed hits.
Keep it catchy and clickable
Audiences will judge whether or not they intend to read an article in just seconds, usually based on the headline. Make sure your title is catchy and concise without being clickbait-y – and don’t be afraid to use a question or ‘hook’ to draw people in.
Unless the content you’re publishing is of academic or extremely specialist nature, it’s unlikely that your audience will sit down and specifically set time aside to focus and read through it. This means that the length of the articles you’re producing is important – because if people don’t have the time to read something long, they won’t bother at all, and if they find it too basic, they’ll go elsewhere for more info! Start with 500 words and work your way up depending on level of interest; but if you know your readers are busy people, keep it as short and snappy as possible. If your blogging software allows it, include an estimated reading time at the top of your articles.
You don’t need to be in a constant cycle of churning out daily content; and if anything, that’s a really quick way to run out of things to say quickly! However, businesses do need to stay somewhat regular with their content publication so that audiences know to expect new articles and that they’re confident the brand they’re reading from is relevant and current. Nothing looks more unprofessional than clicking onto a business website that hasn’t been updated in years, so when there is something to be written about, make sure you have and it’s up and ready to be read.
Always end on a Call To Action
Blogs rarely work as a direct sales tool, but that’s not to say there can’t be an ROI of some respect on them. Try to end articles on a positive note and include a Call To Action. This doesn’t need to be (and in lots of cases probably shouldn’t be) a ‘click to buy’ link but instead consider encouraging readers to join your email list, to follow you on social media, to move on to another related article or to get in touch. Demonstrating a business’ willingness to interact on a subject as well as to write about it can only be a positive move and will further help solidify the perception of the brand as a thought leader.
If you’re not already producing blog content, now’s as good a time as any to begin. Showcase your brand’s knowledge and expertise and centre yourself in your audience’s minds as experts – then when the time comes to purchase, they’ll know where to come for the best possible product or service!