Content is currency these days, and attempting to survive in the online world without evergreen blogs to draw more eyeballs to your site is a little akin to owning a bank account with nothing inside it. Therefore, provide value to your customers by writing an amazing blog. Here’s how:
1. Brainstorm an idea
If you’re stuck on a blog topic, good places to look are on social media and customer forums. Here you’ll find the things your customers are either confused or frustrated about, which are prime topics you can respond to in your blogs.
2. Write an outline
Remember when your middle school English teachers urged you to write an outline first before you start writing your blog? Did you write that outline or did you ignore their advice? If the former, then congratulations – you passed the test! If the latter, well, you probably should have listened to your English teacher.
I’ve found that outlines not only help me write better but also help me write faster. When I outline my blogs, I have a better grasp of my topic, particularly the high-level points I want to expand upon in my blog.
Outlines also help structure your blog, allowing you to organize your ideas in a cohesive manner. In an outline, you can clearly see your progression of ideas, how logical it is, and whether your points make sense.
3. Do your research
This is where outlining becomes incredibly helpful. You already know the main points you want to hit in your blog; therefore, you know what information you need to research in order to strengthen your argument and persuade readers to believe you.
I normally like to find two types of data: statistics and examples.
Stats persuade people to believe your point. For example, if I told you that you need to pay attention to your mobile presence because more people are searching and converting on mobile, you’d probably call me out on that.
However, if I were to tell you that 60% of Internet access is made on mobile and 70% of mobile searches lead to action on websites within 1 hour only if the site is mobile-friendly (and if not, it drops down to 40%), well I’ve just proved my points, haven’t I? Now you’re more likely to believe me when I say you should have a responsive design website (because you should).
As for examples, people understand when they’re given something they can relate to, particularly if it’s a visual. Take my e-commerce blog. I included an image under each sub-heading, which helped illustrate my point better than just trying to describe it with words.
4. Write, write, write
Although this step is pretty obvious (especially since we are talking about how to write a darn good blog), I’d like to point out that this step is probably the hardest step of all. Any writer will tell you that.
Of course, a good blog requires that your writing is clear, concise, and easy to follow. However, writing a good blog is not just about your syntax. A good blog is about writing something interesting. How do you do that, you ask?
Write with your customers always in mind. Will they find your topic relevant? Will they understand your points? Will they find your examples interesting?
And don’t forget to come up with a catchy title, as that’s one of the first things people will look at to decide whether they should click on the link and read the blog in the first place.
5. Publish and market it
Riddle me this: If you write a blog but no one reads it, does it still exist? Now, the existentialists will argue that it doesn’t, and I just might have to agree with them. After all, isn’t the point of writing a blog to educate your customers and increase exposure for your business?
So what should you be doing to help your blog get found?
First, play nice with Google and make your blog SEO-friendly. You can do this by filling in and optimizing your blog’s meta title and description. These become the link title and description that appear in search results and when you share the blog on social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Meta descriptions thus not only help search engines understand your blog content better but also make the link more attractive and clickable to consumers.
Speaking of social, your blog and its contents should also be easily sharable, with large and attractive social sharing buttons on the blog page, click-to-tweet links within your blog, and shared on Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and industry-related forums.
Ready, set, blog!
Writing a good blog that will draw thousands of readers will not take overnight. It definitely requires a lot of time, practice, and some savvy marketing to gain interest. However, blogs are a good way to generate conversations with your customers and indirectly address their concerns.