Building a blog for your organization is a great way to create awareness, make a meaningful connection with your audience, and inspire action. In this post we’ll review how to write a blog that is both compelling to your audience and drives more traffic to your website.
Building a Meaningful Connection
It’s widely known that blogs are a great tool for content marketing that can be used to drive traffic to your website and build brand awareness through SEO. However, we believe that is a residual effect of its main goal, which is to make a meaningful connection between a brand and its intended audience. Just like the relationships you build, the content that your brand publishes must provide value for your audience. Creating meaningful and relevant content will establish your blog as a valuable and trusted resource and will keep people coming back. Once you’ve made a connection with your audience you can inspire them to take action and engage with you online or in the real world.
Focusing On Your Audience
When you begin writing, it’s easy to forget that this blog is about your audience, not your organization. Don’t get wrapped up in talking about your work, posting press releases and patting yourself on the back with the newest case study. Think about your audience and what they’re searching for on Google. Find out what they want, or need, to know and give it to them. When it comes to content marketing, blogs are primarily used to create content that helps drive traffic to your website via search engines, and people generally aren’t searching for information specific to your organization. When planning to write a blog its helpful to consider your audience’s interests above your brand’s.
Choosing the Right Topic
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s not always easy to decide what to write about on your blog. Like many things it’s hardest to get the ball rolling, but once you start you’ll find there are a limitless amount of possibilities and you’ll start to feel like there will never be enough time to write all these posts! You can start by going into detail answering the most frequently asked questions about your organization. If you provide a service or have specific expertise you can write an instructional post. Storytelling is also a nice way to captivate and connect with readers, as long as the story has resonance with your audience. If you’re curious to gauge the interest of a specific topic you can use tools like Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner or Wordtracker to see how many people are searching for that type of content.
Knowing How to Write a Blog Post
Writing for a blog doesn’t need to be super complicated, but it’s important to have a plan. Begin with refining your topic and narrowing it down to one keyword or keyword phrase. Once you have that, build an outline which you can use later to easily write and break into easy-to-read sections. Chances are you will not be the only one writing about this topic so be sure to use a unique spin. This will give you a chance to put your brand’s voice into the content and deepen the connection of your brand with the audience. Lastly, you’ll need to make sure your content is optimized for search engines (has good “SEO”), allowing Google to scan your site, establish the keywords and decide whether your content is relevant to a user’s search terms.
Apart from having a full-blown content strategy, creating a simple checklist of content criteria and SEO best practices is a good starting place for authors new to writing blog posts. There a few key things to remember that will have a great impact on the success of your blog.
SEO Best Practices Checklist
- Focus on a keyword (or search term). Keywords are the terms people search to find your content, every post should be focused on one to two keywords or phrases. For example “how to write a blog” is the keyword phrase we focused on for this post.
- Structure your post properly. You post should be broken up into approachable sections with descriptive headlines and subheadlines (H1-H6).
- Don’t overwrite it. Make sure your posts are easy-to-read. Try to get the most information in the fewest amount of words. Apps like Grammarly and Hemmingway make it easier to write succinct content that is very reader friendly.
- Naturally integrate the keyword or phrase into the content. Be sure to include the keywords you have chosen within the content and in the headlines when applicable. There is no need to force it, as overuse can be seen as spam by search engines, 3-7 times per 1000 words is ideal.
- Include the keyword in the Page Title & URL. By including the keyword in the page title and url you are giving the search engines insight in to the focus of your content, and increasing your post’s priority in search results.
- Make sure your post is the proper length. If your post is less than 300 words search engines will have trouble properly indexing it and analyzing the content. Wordcounter.net is a great tool for helping you count your words, while measuring keyword density and reading levels.
- Include Media. Including an image, video or infographic will not only enhance the user’s overall experience of your content, but also Google and other search engines tend to prioritize content that contains media files. It helps to include the keyword in your media file’s name.
- Include Meta-data. Meta-data is information that lets other websites know what content can be found on your website. This information makes it very easy for search engines to index your site and allows you to control how your site looks in search results and when shared on social media.
Now that you know how to write a blog post and you’ve included all the necessary SEO best practices, it’s time to publish your content to the world. After writing a post you can submit it to the search engines for indexing through the Google Search Console, allowing them to index it immediately instead of waiting for them to scan your site again. The Search Console will also allow you to preview the way your site is seen in search results. Using social media is a great way to generate additional interest in your content outside of basic SEO tactics. Including a way for users to share your content from your website is a great place to start. You can also use Open Graph meta-data to control the content and imagery that is displayed when users share your content on social media, giving you more control over the messaging behind your content.
Creating a great blog and building an audience base takes a lot of work and more importantly a lot of time. You can’t expect immediate results, quality and consistency are the keys to good content marketing. However, now that you have a better idea of how to write a blog you can begin sharing your content with the world and building more meaningful connections with your audience. If you have any questions about content strategy or digital marketing in general we’d love to hear from you.