Writing a blog is important for your website for a number of reasons. It demonstrates to your audience that you know their industry. It provides readers with high-quality content that can help them in their daily work. And it allows your website to rank well for search engine optimization (SEO), which funnels more traffic to you. But writing a blog is more than just throwing a few keywords up on a webpage and hoping for the best. Here are our blog writing tips for how you can make your blog stand out and generate the kind of engagement you want from digital marketing.
Tip #1: Understand Your Audience
It might seem self-explanatory, but you may be surprised how many people don’t really understand their best customers. If you don’t know who you should be selling to, chances are that the messaging you use to reach them — including what you put in your blog posts — won’t resonate as strongly as it could.
This is one of our blog writing tips that is largely research-based, as you’ll want to identify your buyer personas in order to understand what the interests, preferences, and pain points are for your ideal customers (more on how to do that here).
Once you’ve defined your target audience, you’ll also be able to understand what products and services best meet their needs, as well as the keywords and long-tail keywords that they’re likely to search for when looking for help in those areas.
Tip #2: Set Clear Objectives
You’ll want to define the purpose of your blog — in other words, what types of blog posts your readers can expect. If you’re selling customer service training, for instance, you may devote your blog to service tips on how to interact with customers, common problems you can experience using different types of communication (phone, chat, email, etc.), and the like.
You’ll also want to understand what you want your readers to do once they’ve read your blog — i.e. your call to action. Do you want them to request your product or service by phone or through a contact form? Would you like them to download an ebook in exchange for their contact info?
Finally, you’ll want to define what you hope to see from your blog in terms of website traffic, brand awareness, and lead generation. Do website analytics indicate that certain blog posts are getting a high volume of visitors who stick around to read more? Do you see a lot of downloads for a particular lead magnet? Do you have a goal in mind for how much traffic or downloads you want per quarter?
Tip #3: Conduct Keyword Research
We mentioned earlier that blogs are more than just keywords, but that doesn’t mean keywords aren’t important. They’re the words that your customers will be using in search engines to find the products and services you offer, so they’re the words you’ll want your website to rank for in order to be part of those initial results. (Did you know that 75% of search engine users won’t scroll past the first page of results?)
Even though keywords are important, they’re just getting people in the door. You have to include valuable content that keeps them on your website. That means writing material that sounds natural, relevant, and engaging — which means no keyword stuffing or clickbait.
Sometimes it will be difficult to rank for the keywords you select. When that happens, identify long-tail keywords that are easier to rank for, and that can generate the credibility and trust your website needs to rank for the ones you originally wanted. This allows you to grow your content base without feeling overwhelmed by the need to write novel-length blog posts just to be competitive.
Tip #4: Develop a Strong Headline
Just like email subject lines get people to open them, blog headlines get people to click. You’ll want your headlines to be relevant and concise. (If you have a long blog title, make sure the url for that blog’s page isn’t too long, as this can affect your SEO.)
Tip #5: Create Compelling Introductions
Start off each blog post with a compelling introduction that grabs your visitors’ attention and makes them want to learn more. We’ve talked about the importance of skimmable content for email marketing, and the same applies to your blog: make it so that vistors can find the material they need if they aren’t interested in reading everything.
This also ties back to the start of our list of blog writing tips: clearly stating the purpose of the blog post itself (or, as journalists say, not burying the lede).
Tip #6: Focus on Readability
While writing fully developed blogs is important, don’t make them appear like a challenge to read. Break up your material into short paragraphs so that they’re visually appealing and approachable. This can include the use of subheadings (H tags), bullet points for conslidating long lists, and visuals (images, videos, charts) so that readers don’t feel overwhelmed.
Make sure your word choice is understandable. You don’t want your material to sound like a course in 18th Century Lit, but you also want it to sound intelligent and interesting. Keep in mind that people will also want to read your material quickly to get the answers that they’re looking for, so you’ll want to use language that isn’t difficult to understand.
Pro Tip: Read your material out loud to yourself. If you can’t follow the cadence of your own writing when you’re speaking, your readers will likely have trouble with it when they’re reading.
Tip #7: Provide Value
Similar to the warning against clickbait and keyword stuffing, it’s important that what you’re writing about is actually worth reading. Does your blog solve a problem or provide helpful feedback? Does it actually relate to your industry? There needs to be discernable value in each blog post that you craft, otherwise visitors won’t be interested in sticking around to read it — nor will they trust that any of your other posts will be worth their time.
Tip #8: Use Visuals Effectively
Visual media can help to enhance your blog, but you’ll want to make sure that it’s consistent with what you use across the rest of your website, and that it makes sense in the context of your blog’s messaging.
Tip #9: Establish a Consistent Tone
Similar to visuals, the tone you establish for your blog should also be consistent. Imagine comparing a fashion magazine, a scientific paper, and a manufacturing guide. Each of these has a different appearance in your mind, right?
That’s why creating a tone for your content is so important. You want it to have the look and feel that’s apprpropiate for the industry (or industries) that you’re writing to, while also distinct enough to be recognized as your unique voice and brand.
Tip #10: Craft Engaging Content
We’ve touched on this before but it bears repeating: if you want to drive interest with your leads, you have to know what subject matter is the most relevant to them.
Are you addressing pain points that they’re experiencing, or talking about a new technology that they would find useful? Are you sharing industry insights that will benefit their strategies for growth? Are you relating stories that are similar to what they’ve experienced in order to generate credibility and trust?
Tip #11: Optimize for SEO
There’s more to SEO than just keywords. You’ll want to include relevant meta descriptions and tags for the individual pages of your blog, as well as alt text for the images that you use. You’ll want to provide a few links within that content to a) make it easier for leads to navigate and stay on your site, while b) creating SEO connections through backlinks to reputable third parties.
Tip #12: Edit and Proofread
Whether you’re drafting your blogs from scratch or you’re using helpful tools like ChatGPT, you’ll still want to fact-check, edit, and proofread your material. This is because you may need to update it with better language to fit your blog’s brand or tone, as well as verify that the material it cites is accurate.
Plus, typos are bound to happen. (Don’t sweat the occasional ones, but making them a habit can look unprofessional.)
Editing your blog is like offering value. If you can’t take the time to polish it, why should readers spend the time to read it?
Tip #13: Encourage Social Sharing
Even if you don’t use every social media platform that’s designed for business, you can still see benefits from maintaining a minimal presence. This is because sharing your content will demonstrate that you’re still active and involved in your industry, and adds another layer of credibility to your outreach.
Tip #14: Monitor Blog Analytics
You can use tools like Google Analytics to track the performance of your blog posts. This lets you analyze metrics like page views, bounces rates (how likely people are to leave a page), and the total duration of time spent on a particular page.
This helps you better understand your target audience by identifying the subject matter that gets the most visibility, and can allow you to plan for stronger content in the future.
Tip #15: Post Consistently
Like with most digital marketing contnet, you’ll want to maintain a fairly consistent cadence for posting to your blog. Even if it’s only once a month, this establishes an expectation from your visitors and leads on when they’ll see more, with the goal of establishing a loyal readership and improved search engine ranking.
Blog Writing Tips Are Great — But Can You Apply Them?
Now that you know what blog writing tips we recommend, it’s time to start writing!
If you find it difficult to maintain your own blog internally, we can help! Click the link below for a free marketing consultation to discuss your needs and learn about a content marketing program.