06 Dec 5 Clever Shortcuts to Writing Better Blogs
Blogging: don’t know where to start? Here are five writing hacks to create awesome blog posts
Written by Daniela Cavalletti
6 min read
Writing regular blog posts is one of the most effective inbound-marketing tools to connect with your customers new and old, your target market. But … it’s easy to get a bit tired of it all, with too much crap content clogging up the internet. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t then? Not necessarily.
5 Tips for Writing Better Blog Posts
It all comes down to the topics and quality of what you’re writing. And getting it right is actually not as hard as it may seem. Sure, you have to put in some effort (or outsource).
But with just a few nifty professional content-marketing tips up your sleeve you can beat the competition and build a following of raving fans.
#1. Who’s Your Reader aka Ideal Client?
It’s crucial to have a crystal-clear idea of who your potential and actual clients are – because you are writing to get them engaged and hooked.
How old are they; are they single or married; a parent or not? How much do they understand your product or service – and how much do they want or need to know to reap its benefits? All this will influence what you should write about, and how.
If you are not 100% clear on this, then think about this: who has been your best client; who was your worst? What kind of customer wand jobs would you like more of? These clients will have things in common. Create an avatar (or more if you have multiple client types) for them; e.g. Jane, in her 30s, married, high income, etc.
You can even put up a representative picture to look at when you’re writing – it all helps.
#2. What Should You Talk About?
What are the common questions and comments you get from your customers or clients? There are a few? Excellent – here then is your first list of blog post topics.
People are interested in how to set yourself apart from other businesses, but also how you are like them, the reader. They want to be assured that you are likeable, an expert, and willing to listen to them. Try answering these questions, and others like them, and you have a solid second list of blog post topics ready to go:
- How are you different from your competitors?
- What are you passionate about in your business?
- Do you have a client story that impresses and helps the reader?
- What’s new in your field?
- What’s your niche of expertise?
- Turn bad industry stereotypes on their head and tell your reader how you handle things in a way beneficial to them instead.
You might have guessed it by now: the list is endless if you really put your mind to it.
Bonus Tip: keep a list of potential blog topics that pop up for you – but also poll your networks (virtual and real-life) for things relevant to your business that they are curious or wondering about.
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when you’re writing is that it’s all about them, not about you (sorry). So tell your readers all about their ‘what’s in it for me’. Tell them about the benefits, not features, your service or product offers.
#3. How Long Should Your Blog Post Be?
A standard blog post starts to look healthy at the 300 to 500-word mark. Go up to 800 to 1,200 if you have a big topic or loads of background info that needs sharing for the post to be making sense or be otherwise complete.
If the topic warrants it, a longer post thrown into the mix gives your readers a deeper understanding of you, your knowledge and the discussed issue or process. A series can also be an elegant way to get more than one post out of a large topic – and it gives you multiplied opportunities to share and therefore be seen.
It helps to start with a one-sentence takeaway you want your reader to be left with after finishing your post. This main premise needs to be answered by what you write, and is a good check to see whether your post is rounded enough and complete.
Always resist the urge to write just to fill up word count – it’ll backfire, I promise you. Your writing always needs to strive to be useful, memorable and easy to understand.
#4. How Often is Often Enough?
Set aside weekly or fortnightly writing periods. Routine makes writing so much easier, and your readers will get used to expecting (and looking forward) to your musings. And do go for gold when you feel the creativity flow: write more than one article while you’re in the zone. We all get busy and it’s good to have a buffer blog or ten ready for those crazy, time-starved times.
Don’t love then leave your readers.
Blogging is about building a community and a following – and that needs nurturing and care. Translated into writing terms that means you need to ‘feed’ your readers interesting, valuable blog post regularly.
If you don’t they’ll lose interest and leave you (I know, it’s a cruel world).
#5. Blogging Masterclass Tips
Done! Your blog article is written! Now you’re ready to post it – and have a well-earned nap. Actually no, … sorry. Before you can rest of your laurels (or start the next post, don’t forget) there’s more to think about:
- Call to Action
Don’t forget to tell your reader what you want them to do next, now that they love you and you have their attention.
- Grammar Gremlins
It’s tough to proofread your own content, so write … then let the blog post sit for a day or so before you check it for typos and those sneaky syntax sprites. Or pass on your blog posts to someone else to proofread them.
- Share It!
Blogging is all about starting a conversation and being visible in a community, so share your writing far and wide. Remember that you can share the same blog post many times: at different times, in different social media forums and many groups. The virtual world is moving quickly and you are competing with many other bits of juicy info – so you need to be a little loud to be heard.
Everyone loves to have an opinion and be listened to. So do invite your readers to comment, for example by ending your blog post with a question. Then ensure you respond to everyone who leaves a comment– the good, the bad and the ugly. Handling curly comments quickly in a positive way shows integrity; so don’t be afraid of them.
In a Nutshell
Writing regular blog posts your readers will enjoy is one of those things that seems pretty easy … until you actually have to do it. If you’re biting your nails right now every time you need to write a post, don’t worry. It does get easier.
With time, care and practice, you’ll be blogging like a pro in no time.