For many marketing managers and business owners, sitting down and writing a weekly thought piece may be the last thing on your list (especially during a pandemic). But when it comes to deciding whether or not your business should invest time into a blog, the answer should be a resounding, yes!
In addition to being a great way to showcase your expertise, thought-leadership and ideas, blogs can be a powerful vehicle to express your brand’s personality and purpose. Blogs are also one of the best ways to reach audiences when they are seeking content in their own time – and for many readers seeking to escape from the incessantly negative news, they can also play an essential role in entertaining, enthralling and delighting your audiences and inspiring them with fresh, new ideas.
Internet use has skyrocketed during this lockdown period, and brands are responding to the demand with creative messaging on their social media channels. But unlike your amplification channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts, blogs satisfy an essential need in your content marketing mix – fresh, SEO-friendly content that’s exclusive to your website.
Not only will blogging help you to buff-up your website content with compelling, on brand content, but being a constant source of new and popular reference material is a key determinant for search engine crawlers, looking to prioritise the most relevant search listings to serve to new prospects and audiences.
Here are some other benefits of having your own business blog:
- Blogs are an effective way to re-engage your potential prospects and latent leads. According to HubSpot, companies that publish 16 or more blog posts per month generate 4.5x more leads than those publishing 4 posts or less.
- Blogs are an insight into your audience’s interests. As you start to build up your content, using analytics tools you can identify popular blog posts and the topics your audiences are engaging with, helping you to focus more on topics that gain the most traction.
- Blogs help to feed your social media channels. With so many audiences spending their leisure time on social media, the opportunity to showcase blog insights when audiences are in the best state to receive it can trigger stronger attention and engagement.
How do I get started in blogging?
Blogging can be hard, particularly if you don’t have someone in your business who loves writing and is willing to champion your blog. For many, just getting started is usually the biggest blocker to success.
If you are struggling, here’s six tips for writing effective blog posts.
Open with a strong title
Your title (or headline) is the key to attracting visitors to your blog
Think about your target audience, what kind of content do they like to read? What will attract them to click through from social media?
One trick we tend to use is to write your title after you complete your first draft. While it can be tempting to simply jot down the first title you think of and click publish… it’s important not to downplay the importance of a title in grabbing and holding audience attention.
Also, beware of titles that might be considered “clickbait”. Attracting someone to your site with a provocative but misleading headline tends to leave audiences frustrated and unsatisfied. By ensuring that your headline clearly and accurately describes your article, you are setting yourself up for the success you want!
Original content is as good as gold
Did you know that users produce around 70 million posts each month on WordPress blog sites alone? The internet is a crowded space, and amongst all the noise it can be difficult to stand out.
Make sure that your blog posts are delivering value to your readers. It can be a good idea to set aside some time with members of your business and brainstorm story ideas that address the biggest pain points and interests of your target market. Think about how you can create a blog post that helps them, and overtime you will build up a valuable resource of blog posts.
Amplify your unique tone of voice
A story is only as strong as its storyteller. Maintaining a distinctive tone, flow and style for your blog is essential to verbalising not only what your business is about, but also what it’s like to work with you.
You can also test your audience’s response, by setting attention goals and creating experiments with your website’s Google analytics account. For example, if people are bouncing from your site quickly, make sure you work on your first few sentences to ensure that readers hang around.
Also think about making your blog conversational to give your story an authentic ease. For talkative types, a great way to achieve this is to start by simply transcribing your recorded voice and to edit the results.
Vary your content
Ensuring that your blog is clear and easy to read is critical to maintaining your audience’s attention.
- Making sure your paragraphs are short and clear
- Using headings throughout your post
- Incorporating lists and bullet points (see what we did there)
- Weaving images into your post
Remember that a lot of your readers will be reading your post on their mobile phone, so breaking down any big slabs of text is critical.
Include a “call to continue”
At the end of your blog post, instead of just a standard call to action, try to offer ways to keep your reader reading. If you have more articles on the same topic of interest, link to these. If you have an email list, think about what you could offer your reader in return for their email address. If your blog is tied into an online store, you might want to offer your reader a small discount in return for signing up.
Encourage readers to share your insights freely
Finally, you have put lots of effort into creating an exceptional blog post, make sure your readers can share it with their own networks. Social media is a really important way to share your blog and message, so try and start some conversations on your business’ social channels.
Need help with your blog?
At Thirst we have professional copywriters, editors and content marketing strategists who love telling brand stories. Contact us for help curating your blog or visit our ‘Pivot Packages’ if your business needs help adapting to a post-lockdown future.
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