Oh the art of blog writing. Tis’ a wonderful thing. Not only are you providing a reader with insight, advice, news, humour (we try) and potentially enjoyment, but there are benefits to your business too. Blogs can have enormous SEO benefits, drawing people to your website. Content needn’t be formal, factual and boring for it to work in your favour, there is Wikipedia for that. Give it some character and make it a satisfying read. If you’re regularly providing content that is organic, useful and informative, readers are going to return, which suggests your content is worth reading and this is only going to be helping your SEO rankings. So, just what do you need to do to create a great blog article?
Imagine, you’re standing in Waterstones (other booksellers are out there) and there are two books on the shelf in front of you. One is called The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The other is called A Hobbit’s Quest to Destroy a Powerful Ring With A Group of Humans, Elves, Dwarves And Hobbits (I don’t think Tolkien would have ever gone with that!) It is a no brainer which one you pick up first, right? Okay…Okay… Don’t judge a book by its cover, judge it by its title.
First impressions matter and when the internet is a war zone, in terms of fighting for space and clicks, your title needs to stand out and do the basics right. Of course, you need to consider what the purpose of your blog is, as this will dictate your title. If you’re writing something that is industry-specific and business related, it needs to come across as professional for you to retain any credibility and respect. It needs to tell prospective readers exactly what they’ll gain from reading your blog article, without being too long.
“Blog titles with 6-13 words attract the highest and most consistent amount of traffic.”
While blogs and books do obviously vary, the example I gave of titles a couple of paragraphs ago fits with this fact. We subconsciously make a decision based on a title length and what the title describes.
Following your title, you need an equally worthy introduction. Consider this your first chapter, or blurb. If your readers don’t find this interesting or at all enticing, they’re likely to not carry on reading, first impressions really do count!
That heading shouldn’t be new to you. Content, like Aragorn, rightfully sits on the throne. From an SEO perspective, this is where you can utilise your keywords, which will ultimately help bring readers to the page. Don’t just list them out or chuck them all in the first paragraph. It’s all well and good getting users to the page, but give them something to read! Your content should flow with natural, organic links between paragraphs and topics. Don’t try and make links that aren’t there like they do on The One Show. Matt Baker could probably link the Olympics to house renovation. Focus on the overarching topic of your blog and allow the keywords to insert themselves.
The two go hand in hand and together, good content and good imagery will see your blogs rule the internet realm. For those that skim-read an article prior to reading or have a quick scroll up and down the page, imagery could be what either entices or deters them from the read. So what is good imagery? Whether it be a photograph or illustrated image, the composition needs to be right and balanced. Secondly, it needs to be a good quality image and at a decent size too. Perhaps a full-width image will grab the eye and allow you to showcase detail, or a smaller image will sit well with the rest of the content on the page, it depends on how your page is set up and the options available to you.
Most importantly, when it comes to imagery in your blogs, you need to ensure it relates to your copy. Imagery and copy shouldn’t be two different entities, they shouldn’t provide the reader with different pieces of information. They need to work together. Imagery should expand or visually display what is being described in the copy and if that isn’t the case, the copy should be talking about and describing the image, or at least reference the image subject matter.
One little reminder, when it comes to choosing your imagery, we suggest avoiding stock imagery, and this will explain why.
One of the most important things to consider when writing a blog is the purpose of the blog and what you hope to achieve. There are usually two options, either writing to inform, or writing to market a product or service. Writing to inform could cover general news, advice and tutorials. Writing to market a product or service, on the other hand, requires a little more thought. While you could see it as a sales pitch, that shouldn’t be what a blog is. Talk about the product, give examples of how and why it can be used and has been used and make references to other topics. You should view it as a blog over a piece of marketing material.
You’ll find that the majority of blogs on the internet are written with an informative purpose. That’s because these are the blogs that people want to read and are more likely to be interested in. It’s engaging content that can give the reader something to take away and use themselves, and they’ll feel fulfilled and satisfied in doing so.
I’ve just found a blog that looks like it might be of interest, I go to take a quick scroll down the page and discover it’s the length of a dissertation. Alarm bells ringing? What do you do? You go back and look elsewhere as you haven’t got the time or energy for a 2-hour read. It’s off-putting when you see a long page of text, even if it does have a few images in it. It’s therefore important you limit yourself in your blog writing as you could eventually be wasting your own time. Keep the content focused on the topic at hand and give the readers the information they want.
It’s not necessary to have calls to action (CTA) in every blog you write, it does depend on the purpose and what your business hopes to gain from the blog. If you’re writing to try and sell a product, then a CTA linking through to that product’s own page will work wonders. You’re giving the reader what they need in order to convert and become a customer and it is also the logical next step.
Links can be a great asset in any blog too. They’ll keep users on your site and give visibility to other blog articles and content, which in turn can help your business gain customers and frequent readers, while also giving readers fulfilment. You can also use links to increase the credibility of your blog and back up your claims and any statistics you’ve used. It shows you’ve done your due diligence and gone out of your way to provide them with certain information.
You’ll be wanting links to where any of these have come from too, just to give your blog credibility. Such content will also help to break up your blog, along with imagery and make the whole article much more manageable and easy to digest.
Hopefully, I’ve left you feeling fulfilled by reading this unless you considered the images boring and the text too hefty? In which case, it’s likely you didn’t get this far, but I hope to have followed my own advice. Ideally, I’ve given you some food for thought and the next time you’re writing a blog for your business you’ll be able to refer back to this as a guide. Of course, if you’re struggling to write content, we’re more than happy to help and offer Content Creation as one of our services.
And there is my last tip, end your blog with a conclusion or a summary and provide a link to a logical next step.