Everyone has a story to tell and blog writing is a great way to get started.
If you are reading this article, you’re probably looking for practical tips for creating content that will get read. This article is for anyone who wants build a blog with a professional image, that drives new readers, and encourages interaction.
1. Define Your Purpose
One of the first things you need to do when building your blog is to understand why you are blogging. What are you goals? What do you want to achieve and why is this important? There is no right or wrong answer, there’s just your answer.
Knowing what the purpose of your blog is will make it easier for you to decide what to write about. In addition, and almost more importantly, it makes it easier for the site visitor to understand what the blog is about. The more you can focus on your subject matter, the stronger your brand will be and the more likely you will grow your readership. Readers want to connect with you. If the purpose of your blog is too squishy, too undefined or too general purpose, they’ll have trouble remembering you.
There are many reasons to have a blog. For more about this see our blog post: Blogging for Business: Seven Reasons to Start.
2. Write About What Interests You
Building content around a topic simply because it’s hot right now means that you’ll be competing head-to-head with everyone else. That strategy is unlikely to be successful. Rather, write about what interests you. Writing about what you love will make you more productive, more interesting, and more likely to stick with it. If your blog addresses things that interest you, you will never run out of ideas.
3. Post Consistently
Writing a blog should be not be a chore. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and don’t let your own excitement about your work get the best of you. If you write several articles at once, don’t post them all immediately. Spread them out, so that your readers see something new from you on a regular basis.
4. Consider Your Readers
Every blog, regardless of the subject matter, will need to consider at least two groups of visitors. Each of these groups will need to be satisfied if traffic to the blog is going to increase.
First Timers: No one wants to feel stupid. If a customer walks into a place of business and can’t figure out what to do and where to go, they’re likely to leave and never come back. The same is true of a website visitor.
Make the purpose of your blog clear from the get go. Navigation should be recognizable, understandable and consistent.
Return Readers: Let’s say someone visits your site one time and loves it, so they bookmark it and come back a week or two later. They’ll probably remember the focus of the website, and they’ll know how to get around. But what will make then want to stay or to come back again? Will new content be prominent? Can they dig deeper into what interested them previously? Building loyalty and return visitors takes practice and patience. Give your readers a way to stay connected with you. Can they sign up for a mailing list or like your Facebook page?
5. Be Yourself
Maintain a consistent voice and don’t try too hard. Read your post out loud – does it sound like something you would say? According to Netcraft, there are more than a billion sites on the web. Chances are someone has already written around the subject you’re addressing. What your readers want from you is your unique perspective. Be different from the crowd, but stay true to yourself.
6. Make The Most of Everything You Do
After you write and post an article, look for opportunities to distribute it through other channels. If you have a Facebook page, post a link there. If you have a LinkedIn page, share a link there. Finally, if your blog post is of interest to a particular audience, be sure to share the link with those people. For example, on my personal blog I recently wrote a positive article about a local restaurant. I sent a message through Facebook to the restaurant and they shared the article on their own Facebook page. That post alone sent 86 new visitors to my site.
7. Optimize Your Blog Posts
To get the most out of every blog post, you’ll want to learn about basic search engine optimization. See our article How to Optimize Blog Posts.
Now Start Writing
Blog writing can be a worthwhile and satisfying endeavor. When you take the time to understand your purpose and your audience, you can be successful. Write about what interests you and be yourself. Post consistently and understand basic search engine optimization. Finally, distribute your blog post on as many different platforms as possible.
Do you have questions about blog writing this isn’t addressed in this article? Email us or leave a comment below.