So you finally decided to get serious about blogging? Good! Blogging is a great way of connecting your brand to your target audience. Company blogs have been catching a lot of steam, and they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. Don’t want to take my word for it? I understand, but the stats don’t lie!
- 61% of global internet users research products online.
- Businesses that blog upwards of 20 times a month see 5x more traffic than those who blog less than 4 times a month.
- The average company that blogs generate 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages.
Now that I have put some fancy numbers in front of you to win you over, it’s time to get into what actually goes into making a successful blog post.
There’s obviously no one size fits all guide to creating the perfect blog post (we wish there was). But, there are definitely some specific details that can up your blogging game. This guide will dive into making a blog post from something that crowds your weekly newsletter to an article that leaves your audience begging for more.
Deciding on a Blog Topic
TOP SECRET BLOGGING INFORMATION INCOMING…
In order to write a successful blog, you have to first decide on a topic. Okay, so maybe that’s not so top secret. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t an important part of the blog writing process. Deciding on a topic can either set you up for success or failure.
These are the questions I ask myself to decide on what I should be writing about:
- What do I like?
- What do I know well?
- What is something my friends or coworkers ask me to explain?
- What questions are my target personas asking?
If you can find a topic that aligns with these questions, then you are off to a solid start. You want your topic to be something that you enjoy, have confidence in being able to articulate, and also something that will add value to your audience.
At the end of the day, if your blog post isn’t being read then it doesn’t matter how great it is. This leads us to the next aspect of writing better blogs.
Understanding Your Audience
If you don’t understand who your audience is then the content you write is never going to be relevant or valuable to them.
One of the more common ways to understand your audience is by building out buyer personas. A buyer persona is a fictitious consumer who represents a member of your target audience. These personas help you dive deeper into what your customer is looking for (and what they aren’t).
Use the insights you gain from creating your buyer personas to figure out what topics your audience is searching for. If you don’t understand what your audience is searching for then your content is never going to be seen.
I like to use this template when creating a new buyer persona. Your job isn’t finished at building a persona. Now that you know what they are searching for, it is time to craft it in a way that they will want to read.
Telling A Story With Your Blog
To really have your readers locked in, you have to tell a story. I am not saying that your blog needs to start with “Once upon a time…” and end with a knight and princess skipping off into the sunset. However, it does need to have the basic anatomy of a story. You need to have an introduction, problem, and resolution.
The beginning of your blog is where your reader decides to either continue reading or find a new source of information. That is why it is so important to hook a reader with your introduction.
Asking a question at the beginning of your blog can push your readers to think and interact with your blog right from the start. A majority of blog readers prefer a conversational post in comparison to a mundane, methodical post. Questions are an easy way to ease a reader comfortably into the information you are about to share with them.
Interesting facts also have a way of grabbing someone’s attention. Numbers oftentimes stick out more than words, giving you an advantage if your stat is jaw-dropping. Were the numbers at the start of this blog what helped you make it this far? Not all facts and statistics are worthy of your introduction, however, so make sure you choose one that is relevant and also impressive.
These are a couple of the introduction tactics that I personally like to use, but there are definitely other options to go with. Coschedule is a great resource for a more in-depth look at blog introductions.
Once your introduction has been set, it’s time to establish the overall problem. This is where you are able to draw attention to the fact that the consumer has a potential problem or opportunity. Feel free to use the buyer’s journey to help guide this.
It’s important to keep in mind that the reader has a general idea of their problem. Now you have the ability to help the reader realize how complex their problem might be. By breaking down the aspects of the problem a reader might not have realized helps you gain credibility and trust from the reader. This is all setting you up to bring home your article with the valuable information that the reader has been waiting for.
Now that your reader is fully aware of the problem at hand, you can give them the juicy details to the resolution that they’ve been waiting for. This is also when you are able to build up the complexity of the problem that the reader might not have been initially aware of. But, this time, you can attach the solution to it. You should give the full plan and details needed so that the reader walks away knowing how to fully resolve their problem. This is where the reader will get the most of the value from the piece. In turn, you will become a trusted source or thought leader in their eyes.
I love storytelling as much as the next content marketer, but it’s about time we got into some of the more technical details of how to make your blog post successful.
Writing for SEO and Scannability
If you want your article to rank well then you have to be writing with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind.
The first thing that comes to mind when most people think about SEO is keywords. Keywords should be the foundation of your article. Remember earlier when we were talking about understanding what your audience is searching for? Well, keywords are how you appear in those searches. I won’t go into the specific details of how to optimize your keywords, but it can make a huge difference in how you rank.
While keywords are important when it comes to your ranking in Google, they aren’t the only thing you should be focused on.
Backlinks and outbound links are other ways to add authority and credibility to your blog. Using outbound links to cite sources of information is a great way of giving credit to originators, and it also helps your SEO. For more SEO tips, Neil Patel has a whole article about things you should know.
No one likes reading a giant wall of text.
It could be the best blog in the history of blogging, but if it’s a mass of text, no one is going to read it.
While there is no formal format a blog should be written in, there are a few tips that I’ve found that work best:
- Break up your paragraphs.
- Use bolding to highlight.
- Add pictures, videos, and graphics.
Break up your paragraphs to help your readers not lose their place. This will also help break long pieces of text into more manageable, bite-size pieces. Do this by utilizing headlines. Using headlines helps the reader easily scan your blog to find what topics they’re searching for. This also helps your SEO by showing Google what you rank as important topics in your blog.
Using bolding to highlight key pieces of information you want your readers to remember. While the headlines are great for overall topics, bolding bits of information within your paragraphs helps the important details stand out.
Using Custom Graphics In Your Blog
Do you want your blog to stand out from the rest? Then create your own graphics.
The human eye processes images 60,000 times faster than text and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is from visuals. This proves the importance of having distinct graphics.
What? Didn’t think of this step in the blog writing process? Trust me. Creating your own custom graphics helps take your blog from average to amazing. Having custom graphics also helps all of your content fit together in a more cohesive way.
Specific benefits to creating irresistible visual content include: better scannability, higher SEO, increased visual appeal, and allows your information to be easily digestible.
There you have it! You’re very own guide to writing a blog the Modthink way. These tips are not set in stone. Blogging is not a one size fits all process. You have to play around and find what works best for you. When you do find the winning formula, make sure and connect with me on LinkedIn and tell me all about it!