Many words have been written about how to produce great blog posts. Here are my thoughts based on many years of writing. I’ve learned the biggest hurdle when writing is… to start writing. So ready, steady, go!
I find it useful to quickly write a list of the main points I plan to highlight – almost like subject headings. This gives me a framework for the article. I may create a working title for the piece, but that invariably changes as I come to the end of the article. Now here are my additional 8 tips…
1. It’s not about what you want to write, it’s about what they want to read
Do your research and find out what’s trending. Avoid using your own subjective gut feeling. Use tools like Google Trends to get objective facts on what your audience wants to read.
As you write, keep your audience’s persona front of mind. Write about the elements of a subject that they will find interesting.
2. There’s a 300-word minimum
Most single topics can be explained in 300 words. But if you have a complex subject then use more.
If you need to cover multiple elements, consider a series of blog posts instead of a single article.
Avoid setting yourself a target of 500 or 700 words – this often results in posts that ‘waffle’ just to fill the space. Your audience will become bored.
Also, remember that your audience may be reading your post on a mobile device. Scrolling a 1,200-word article on a small screen is not enjoyable.
3. “Headlines are 90 cents of your dollar”
The above is a famous quote from David Ogilvy – and it’s very true. Spend time crafting your headline, it’s the most important part of your post.
Don’t try to be too clever. Be clear about the subject and include a benefit of reading the post.
4. Make it readable
Use short sentences (perhaps 12-15 words) and short paragraphs (four lines if possible).
Your opening paragraph should give the reader a good reason to read the rest of your post. Give them a juicy piece of information right at the start.
A ‘wall of text’ can be daunting to read, so break it up with sub-heads and 3, 5 or 7 bullet points (odd numbers work best).
Finally, use good grammar; it reduces misunderstanding and improves your authority (and search engines like it).
5. Get these 11 ‘power’ words for free
Power words (particularly in headlines) are more likely to grab your audience’s attention. They include the words You, New, Now, Free, Get, Who, Why, What, When, Where and How.
6. Give them original evidence
When you have found a relevant topic, be smart and try to teach your audience something they don’t already know.
Original content is always powerful, especially when it is supported by objective evidence and robust research.
7. Check and praise your sources
If using research or evidence from outside of your company check your source is unbiased and the data is valid. Also, ensure you quote the source and give proper attribution.
8. Remember the call to action
What do you want the reader to do? Download a report? Call you? Share the article? Be clear on what you want them to do next.
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