Search engine optimisation

How To Write Effective Blogs For Your Business

Writing effective blogs for your business website

While we all know we need to be blogging regularly on our websites to help drive traffic, not everyone is a natural Hemingway. So where do you start? (What to do in the middle, and importantly, how do you end?)

The Plan

Well, once you know and understand your target audience you are off to a good start. Choosing the right topics that interest and serve your typical client is key to its success. Step one in any blog writing endeavour should be to plan your content. Plan your content around what your clients are going to be looking for, what do they want or need to know?

Think about it…
Once you have a plan and are ready to start writing take a few minutes to really think about your article, brainstorm what you think it should talk about, angles, subheadings, points to note etc. Do you have a unique point or perspective to give? This is especially important when writing on subjects where there is already a lot of similar information out there.

Working title

Okay, once you have a topic and your basic ideas down pick a working title to guide you. This is not too important at this stage as while the title of your blog is important, you will have plenty of time to be tweaking it to intriguing perfection later on. 

Research

So unless you are super clued up and know everything there is to know about your subject you will need to do some research around the topic. As with anything on the internet be careful to check your sources, where is this information coming from, is it credible? Things to look out for are, recent news on the subject, most up to date findings/research, relevant facts, quotes, and points to include that add to the strength or relevance of your article. 

When doing this information gathering be sure to note your sources where necessary. 

Structure

Now is the time to think about the structure of your post. What type of article is it?
Is there a particular structure you feel would work for it? 
Is it more of a news or informational piece? 
Could it be broken down into a list post?

So assuming it’s not a list post but needs some structure, you need to think about the topic and points to cover to help guide the structure of the article. 

Your post is in its basic form is going to include an introduction, the main body which will be broken down into paragraphs or subheadings based on the points you’ve identified you want to cover, and a conclusion. Many blogs do not have a conclusion in the traditional sense but it is an important step when you are blogging for business so worth a bit of attention. 

Introduction

Firstly the introduction, apart from your heading this is the single most important piece as it will dictate whether people will continue to read the rest of the article. It needs to serve two purposes, firstly to outline what the article is about and secondly to capture the reader’s interest. 

This can be daunting to many but my advice is just to start writing, get it down you can edit and amend later but the important bit is just to get writing. Introduce your topic. 

Body

Then the main body of the post will serve to elaborate and add the meat to the bones of the points you want to cover. Adding subheadings where appropriate to the content is good as it breaks the content down into manageable chunks and can easier to read. 

Conclusion

Now, as mentioned, the conclusion is a really important part, many blog writers don’t give it the attention it deserves and many blogs simply end at the end of the main content but the end of your blog is the ideal opportunity to get your audience to take the next steps you want them to take. A good ending can encourage your reader to:

  • Share your post
  • Subscribe to your blog
  • Comment on your post, giving you the opportunity to interact
  • Read more content on your site
  • Convert to a lead

So don’t lose your opportunity!
A typical, but satisfying, ending could be simply referencing your introduction and reframing it alluding to why they read the article in the first place. 
Alternatively, you could summarise your article reminding the audience of the key points and takeaways. A cliffhanger is a great way to end if you are trying to encourage sign up to your blog posts. A good cliffhanger leaves your audience wanting more or leaves them with a lingering related thought or idea perhaps even alluding to a future post. Another way to sign off your article is involving your audience, asking them for their thoughts or input.

Now the traditional school of thought in marketing circles is to end with a call to action. However, I would give a word of caution here. A call to action is not an ending in itself, it’s used to prompt your audience to the action you want them to take and will be much more effective if you lead into it with your well thought out conclusion. 

So here is my conclusion…
Having read the rest of this article you will have gained some good insights on what is needed to write an effective blog article but now, I would like to use this opportunity to find out more about my article. What do you think? Was it informative, did you like the structure, content and what do you think of the ending? Do you have any tips or ideas to contribute?

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Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

Google My Business: The 5 Key Benefits Every Small Business Should Know

GOOGLE MY BUSINESS: THE 5 KEY BENEFITS EVERY SMALL BUSINESS SHOULD KNOW

 What is Google My Business?

Very simply, Google My Business is a powerful tool that lets you manage how your business listing appears across Google – either in search results or maps. Crucially for small companies, Google My Business is geared towards local searches, i.e. to capitalise on the millions of people every day who search for a business or service near to them. 

According to Google, approximately 50% of people who search for a business online will go on to visit it the same day. Which is why, if you sell a service or product that relies on local custom, you simply cannot afford to miss advertising directly in your local area.  

What’s the catch? 
There isn’t one. Truthfully, there is absolutely no reason why any small business would not have a Google My Business listing. 

What are the 5 key benefits of Google My Business?

  1. It’s completely FREE. The only ‘cost’ to you will be your time as it’s vital that your Google My Business listing is correct, complete and fully optimsed. You will need to set some time aside to do it properly, but it’s certainly worth it.

  1. You’re on the Map! As it’s a Google tool, your business listing will pin-point your location on Google Maps, so customers will be able to see precisely where you are located. On the flip side, you can also hide this information if your business address isn’t customer facing i.e. you’re not a shop/restaurant etc.

  1. You’re in control. It is YOUR business listing, so you are free to update it whenever you need to. Changing your opening hours for Christmas? Update it on your listing. Want to promote an offer? Include it in your listing which, by the way, can also include photos. Just so long as you keep the information useful, relevant and most importantly, up to date.

  1. All the DATA! Within your Google My Business account you will have access to the Insights tab, where you can view analytics on visibility (number of views to your profile, photos and posts) engagement (likes and comments on your listing) and audience (demographics of who has been viewing and clicking through – invaluable insights about your customer base. 

You can also view more in-depth statistics on traffic and audience to your business website in the Analytics tab.

  1. Engagement with your customers. As well as providing analytics on your customer base, Google My Business also allows your customers to leave reviews on your listing, which you then have the ability to respond to. This function can be daunting as every business dreads a bad review, but as long as the response is professional, it won’t be a problem. Actively encouraging good reviews from your happy customers will heavily influence your future customers in their buying decisions.

In short, if you want to increase your chances of customers finding your business on Google search, you absolutely must have a Google My Business listing. It’s an easy to use, powerful marketing opportunity, that allows small businesses to generate targeted website traffic and build a loyal, local customer base. And did we say it’s free? 

At Freelance Marketer, we can help you set up your profile and listing as part of our Digital Marketing packages. Get in touch to find out more.

AUTHOR

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don't hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment any questions on my blog and I will get back to you with the best answers I can give.