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?)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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