It seems like everyone is doing video these days. Every other post I see on LinkedIn or Twitter seems to be a video. Does this obsession mean that the blog article is dead in the water?
I believe not.
Yes, video marketing is huge, and as smartphone technology gets better, making quality videos will continue to become cheaper and easier. This means that people who have no-experience in video creation or editing can make videos.
However, there are many people that still like to read content. I’m one of those.
From a business perspective, creating blogs is fantastic for your organic SEO and blogs are ideal for showing off your knowledge or expertise in your industry.
In a post titled, ‘28 Little-Known Blogging Stats‘, Impact reports that B2B companies that have a blog get 67% more leads than those who don’t. That’s a great reason to have a blog!
If you are thinking of creating your first blog article, or have dabbled in the past and are wanting to do more, here is my checklist on how to write a blog post.
Accept there is no such thing as the perfect blog post
This may sound odd, but there is no such thing as a perfect blog post. Blog writing is like story writing, some people will enjoy reading what you’ve written and others won’t.
Don’t worry about those who don’t enjoy it, there will be those who do.
What makes a blog enjoyable to read, is when the reader can see you’ve enjoyed writing it i.e. it shouldn’t be a slog to read.
I also tell people to write in a conversational tone i.e. write as if you’re talking to someone. This is because it’s easier for people to read and it helps you to create a connection with the reader.
If you operate in an industry where technical jargon is commonplace, then don’t be afraid to include it in your post. But, be careful not to fill your copy with it.
If someone tells you that length doesn’t matter, they are lying.
Most blogs tend to be around 500 – 800 words, but I’m seeing more clients ask for longer articles of around 1000 – 1500 words.
The length that you choose will depend on the topic, how comfortable you are with writing and what you want to say.
If you’re starting out, I tell people to aim for 500 – 600 words.
Your content needs to be findable
Yep, I’m talking about SEO – search engine optimisation.
Every time you write something for a digital audience, whether that be a blog post, social media post or a press release, you should ask yourself will the search engines be able to find it?
SEO is a beast and it can be easy to over-complicate it, but when I’m writing a blog post I:
- First identify the keyword or phrase (if the client has identifed this in the brief)
- Try to include the keyword in the title
- Repeat the keyword in the introduction
- Use the keyword or a variant of the keyword three or four times throughout the main body of the blog
- Use headlines to break up the text, and if possible include the keyword in some of the headlines
- Create a conclusion referring back to the main points talked about in the article
Don’t leave them hanging
A blog article should be structured like a story. It needs to have a start, a middle and an end.
The start should be short, maybe three to four lines long, and it should lead into the middle section.
The middle section is where you put the juicy stuff – where you discuss the topic in greater detail and put forward your argument or give your expert insight.
The ending is often where writers become lost but it’s important to remember that the ending is just as important as the rest.
The ending should give a brief summary of what was discussed and more importantly it needs to guide the reader to take some action.
Referred to as a ‘call to action’, it means that you don’t leave the reader hanging. Your call to action could include: asking them to call you, download an eBook, sign up for a newsletter, book a consultation etc.
If you’re looking to create more blogs for your business, but don’t have the time, get in touch to see how I can help.
You can find out about content marketing in my ebook ‘Content Marketing Guide for Busy Business Owners. Sign up to get your free copy.