Sometimes the task of writing a blog post can be overwhelming. Depending on the topic, you are likely to need to undertake research – particularly if you are to include some up-to-date statistics. We have prepared 4 steps to help you move past the procrastination stage of blog writing and get your teeth sunk into it!
1. What is your primary message?
Consider a newspaper article. From the absolute outset you know exactly what the topic is – thanks to both the headline and the initial paragraph. It grabs your attention and pulls you in. The first paragraph is absolutely fundamental to capturing the attention of your audience, only second to that of the headline. The basic rules of journalism also apply to blog posts – your most important information should go first, and then as you move through the article you get to your lower priority information.
Before you can even consider starting to write your blog post, though, you need to determine exactly what the topic of your blog post is. This allows you to focus on what you need to shape your article, get an idea of the flow of your article, and start fleshing out some ideas.
Do you want to share knowledge and educate your customers/prospects?
Do you want to get your audience thinking about your products and services?
Will you do a comparison or review of certain products?
2. Open your post with a great title!
On average, only 20% of those who read your headline will actually click through to read your article. Why would you not look at every opportunity to increase the click through rate by creating a GREAT headline that can have a dramatic impact. In fact, wired.com indicates that you can increase the traffic to your articles by as much as 500% based solely on the headline! It may seem strange that we have put this as step 2, but despite having a topic selected, coming up with a headline is really left til after you have written your article. The reason? Because quite often as we are writing, we have little “brain waves” that allow us to pour out some amazing sentences and knowledge. Attempting to create your title or headline before you have gone through the creative process of writing means you are restricting the opportunity to give it the absolute “WOW” factor.
According to HubSpot, there are 13 types of blog headlines that will get you more traffic. If you boil it down to the fundamentals, they are:
- It must appeal to your target audience
- It must promise to provide value to your target audience
A few ideas on how to brainstorm headlines are:
- Ask a question
- State a startling fact or statistic
- Use the first sentence to start telling a story that they will want to read the rest of…
- Use a ‘how to’ sentence to deliver information of value.
- Include a number – including a number can dramatically increase your click through rates, things like 13 kinds of headlines…. 6 steps to marketing automation…. 10 tips to improve your SEO….
This free blog ideas generator tool can be super handy for helping you find that “perfect” headline too.
Remember – you have to stand out in the crowd! Your headline is the first opportunity you have to do so.
3. Make it easy to read
For those of use who use Grammarly or Yoast SEO – well done. These tools are both fantastic for assessing a variety of fundamentals around your writing such as grammar, spelling, keyword use and more. Whilst some page builders (eg. Avada’s Fusion Builder) can affect your “readability” scores, it is important to keep an eye on just how easy it is for your visitors to read your blog posts.
Does your blog use tiny (eg. 10pt) font? Is it hard to navigate through blog posts? Have you broken up your article with appropriate headings and sub-headings? Do you have images, infographics, videos or other content in the article that supports the topic? You may also want to consider using lists to break up the text.
Keeping a clear, white area around the text and images also helps to make the article easier to read, as does font spacing and the font colour (and background contrast).
Do not feel the need to squash everything together, your article (and topic) should be interesting enough to keep your visitors scrolling!
4. Review, check your SEO and publish!
Proof reading is one of the most critical steps of any form of writing. Quite often we get so immersed in the art of writing that it can be easy to make mistakes, possibly repeat ourselves, or fail to delete unnecessary or incorrect statements. As an example, I just found an error in one of our most recent articles where we had written “are you ready to drive to boost your sales” – we obviously changed our mind on the adjective to use “boost” versus “drive” but failed to remove the original! Fortunately in the digital world, any errors can be easily (and quickly) rectified, unlike print media.
Be thorough when proof reading – often you are best to walk away for a day or two, but even a couple of hours will do. If there is someone else in your team (or even your better half!) that can take the time to read it, the fresh set of eyes on your writing will make a big difference.
Here are a few pointers –
- Double-check the headline and make sure it as compelling as possible
- Is your first sentence appealing?
- Check the draft version of the post to make sure it looks the way you want it to – on both desktop and mobile.
- Have you entered all the SEO details you need such as meta description, focus keyword,
- Have you “overstuffed” your article with your primary keyword. Yoast is a handy tool for checking this!
- Make sure to add a feature image, and that both it and images within your article feature your keyword in the alt description.
- Select an appropriate category, add tags, select a date (if not today!) and publish!
If you feel like you are on a roll, write more than one post. Once you are in the groove you might find it easier to write a few all in one hit!
Copy writing for your blog or website isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
If you want help with your websites blog posts / social media. Get in touch.