As a small business owner, your time is money, and you don’t have a lot of it. So when people say you need great content, what does that mean, how can you figure it out quickly, and how do you know it’s great? Content is not your landing pages or your sales copy. Content is something written for a purpose, but that purpose is not always sales. It can also be to make your audience feel kindly towards you, to educate them, or to entertain them. Content creation can be writing a ten page e-book for lead generation but it can also be writing captions for under reels or photos, or blog posts. Today we’re going to look at basic hints and tips for blog writing.
How to Write Blog Content
Blogs are a fast and easy way to accomplish multiple things with your website:
- Establish a voice on the net
- Create customer interest in the business
- Showcase expertise or knowledge
- Search Engine Optimisation
There’s a lot of ways you can use a blog in your business. But the first step to great content is to look at your product and your audience, and figure out what they need to move them along in their buyer’s journey. Some types of blog posts can be:
- Opinion pieces (show values and value alignment)
- Educational pieces (how to use our products, useful information about our product, etc)
- Customer interest (for example, if you sell saddles and attend horse shows, write posts about your experiences)
- News in your field
- Showcase/Case studies
A General Template You Can Use For Blogging
Depending on your blog style, a template can be useful to get you started. A general blogging template is:
- Point 1
- Point 2
- Point 3
- Call to Action
You should always have an introductory paragraph, and you should always finish off the post with a summary. Humans like a narrative structure, and like to have things feel finished. If you don’t write a summary, the piece will leave your customer unsatisfied, and not in a “hungry for more” way. More in an annoyed kind of way.
A blog post can be any length you feel comfortable, however 400 – 800 words is usually sufficient. The longer length will aid in search engine bots rating your post, however to cover one idea, and cover it well, people will only read for a few minutes unless you are an amazing writer. So just aim for 400 words while you are learning to write your blogs, and as your technique improves, you’ll start to spot when topics are bigger than one post.
Your language does not have to be perfect, but does need to be clear. You can use any word processor’s inbuilt grammar checkers for sentence structure, and inbuilt spell checkers for spelling, however word processors can not check for clarity. If you’re not sure how clear you are, then read it out loud to yourself, or read it out loud to someone else, and ask what questions they have. If your topic is a big one, then break it into two, and mention in your post that the audience should watch out for the next part, or even a series.
A call to action is a must. It can be directing the customer to your contact form, a sales page, a newsletter sign up page, or other content that might interest them. The longer you maintain their attention, the more likely they are to remember your business, to trust your business, and eventually, more likely to buy from your business.
SEO Tips for Blogging
If you are targeting SEO practices, there’s a few ways you can write for the bots. The first step is you need your keyword list handy.
One option is to write a blog post that targets a bunch of similar keywords that would naturally relate. If it doesn’t come across as natural, your blog post will be rated as low quality, and read like you’re keyword stuffing, which is something the search engines watch out for. Your content should still be interesting and valuable to humans.
A second way to target SEO is to write expanded list posts, sometimes called a pillar post. This is one long post that answers all the possible questions people might be using to search that relate to your business. These posts may also be a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) structure. You still need to maintain readability, quality and the human touch, but that one page can work very well, and will continue to work for a long time if the quality is high. Some businesses will have one or two pillar posts written per year, and then produce shorter blog posts in between.
Another way a pillar post can be created is by summarizing related posts that you may have already written but the section titles are posed as questions for SEO purposes, a one paragraph summary is provided as an answer, and then a link to the original post.
A pillar post may look like:
- (Header 1) Title
- (Header 2) Section Title 1 (SEO catchphrase as a question)
- (Header 2) Section Title 2 (SEO catchphrase as a question)
- (Header 2) Section Title 3 …
- (continue for a while)
- (Header 1) Summary Title
- Call to action
In Summary – Just Get out There and Try It!
Marketing your business is a series of habits and actions that get YOU and your products out in the world so your ideal clients can find you. Blogging is just one tool amongst many, so if the idea of so much writing makes you feel like Atlas with the world on his shoulders, it may help to remind you that you only need to blog occasionally. Once a month is great! A solid pillar post can also continue to silently work for your SEO for years to come, so if you don’t want to blog regularly but would like to see if you can build a little SEO traction, this is where you should focus. Lastly, blog writing can be outsourced, and if you’d like to talk to us about getting some content for your site, just click on this link and fill out our form today.