Has your business got a blog? Before you decide that it’s all to hard and you can’t be bothered, consider this – more than 60% of businesses have a blog. Can you afford to be the one that doesn’t?
It’s all well and good for us to tell you to write a business blog, but how do you go about creating a post that’s engaging?
Blogging – just like anything that’s creative – doesn’t have an exact science but there are certain steps you should follow before you hit publish to make sure your post will be read.
Choose a story
First of all, you need to make sure your topic is interesting to read. The best content tells a story that has a beginning, middle and end, with some kind of conflict thrown in for good measure. While this format may not suit each business blog you write, it’s something that’s handy to consider because telling a good story will captivate your audience and keep them reading.
Pick your keywords
Before you start, it’s helpful to think of your keywords so you can optimise your post for SEO. Don’t get carried away though – posts written solely based on keywords are often unenjoyable to read. However, having your keywords in mind will make sure your post stays on topic and ensure your post can be found once you hit ‘publish’.
Make the headline punchy
The headline is the key to a good post and we can’t emphasise this enough. It’s what makes your readers click on the post in the first place. If the headline isn’t catchy your post won’t get read – it’s as simple as that. Think of answering a question the reader would be interested in knowing, such as ‘Why renting is better than buying a house’. Or entice them with a headline that promises instruction, such as ‘How to build a unique website on WordPress’.
It’s all in the intro
The second most important part of your blog, after the headline, is the introduction. As trained journalists, we’re well aware that the hook of your post needs to be in the first paragraph, and you should know this too. Your business blog needs to pull the reader in and make them want to read more. You could start your post with a powerful quote, use a shocking statistic or paint an image in your reader’s mind by starting with, ‘Imagine this…’
Structure your post
The structure of your blog post is just as important as its content. We all know that when people are online they have short attention spans. To entice them to read your entire blog, you have to make your post easy on the eye. This means avoiding long blocks of text without any paragraphs and breaking up your post into different subheadings. Images also help immensely.
Keep it conversational and relaxed
Blogs are a different medium to newspapers or the nightly news and you need to ensure your business blog embraces the more conversational tone that comes with writing a post. Blogging gives you a chance to show the face of your company, so have fun with it. You want to come across as a lively business, not a snooty one.
Forget the sales pitch
Your business blog is not the arena for the hard sell. If our inbound marketing blogs have taught you anything, you should be forgetting the hard sell altogether anyway. Don’t spoil a business blog by trying to sell to your customers continuously.
Give a CTA or push to comment
You may not include a sales pitch but this doesn’t mean you should leave out your call to action at the end of your post. Your business blog has a purpose after all, and that is to win more customers. At the end of your post present your call to action button, whether this is a white paper download, a video or a podcast. It you don’t yet have any content to give, perhaps ask your customers to sign up for your e-newsletter or end your engaging blog with a question that entices them to comment.