If you read our post a week or so ago, you know how important a blog is for you and your business – but what’s even more important is learning, How to write a blog post and structure your content correctly.
Writing blog posts are all about providing your website with valuable, quality, and consistent content. Content that is easy for both potential customers to consume as well as those pesky search engine bots that are constantly indexing stuff on the web.
In this post we’ll be reviewing how to come up with topics, how to plan your post, and how to most efficiently and effectively structure your articles.
Coming up with your blog article topic
You must think of a blog post as bait for potential customers looking for your product or service with-in your niche. The part of this bait that can make or break the right people clicking on your article in the first place is the topic.
It’s nice to write about things that you’re passionate about, but unless your target market can find value from it, the post won’t help your business.
When formulating a blog topic, ask yourself: Will this be of any use to my target market?
A good blog topic can cover a wide range of subjects. From events or news in your industry to just standard questions that you’re asked all the time. We generally suggest sticking to the latter.
Focus on post topics that will still be relevant 3 months from now. Standard subjects of confusion or concern to your clients in your field that could be referenced again in the future. We call these long-lasting blog articles evergreen posts.
Evergreen posts give your website with quality content that is always relevant, helping you educate potential clients and become a trusted resource of theirs in return.
Once you’ve found your topic, you must plan the content.
Develop the article’s goal
Consider what path that you’d like to take the reader on and what your goal is for them to do once they’ve read it. Position the content in such a way that provides value but also sells your business as the place to call for their business. To do this, have sufficient call to actions in place. If a reader is not provided with what to do, they won’t do it.
However, even though your end goal may be a phone call for new business, the reader may not be ready to buy just yet. Consider directing the reader to subscribe to a monthly newsletter instead of out right giving you a call.
It’s an action that is much less intrusive for many and gives you the benefit of gathering the potential lead’s email address. This will allow you to send them useful and trust building content which will remind them what your business can provide.
Even after figuring out your topic and developing a goal, that blank page sitting in front of you can be intimating.
A great 10 step planning method that helps me dive into creating actual blog content quick is called the snowflake method. The snowflake method is used by novel writers to develop a consistent and cohesive flow and to help them avoid writers block.
I use the essence of the snowflake method on a smaller scale for an article. It helps me stay on track.
- You start by writing a one-sentence summary of the post. It is what Randy Ingermanso, at AdvancedFictonWriting.com, calls: Your ten-second selling tool. It’s the essence of your post. If you ever think that you’re straying off topic, look at this sentence. Does it still relate?
- Take this sentence and expand it to a full paragraph describing the topic, your point of view, and the target of the article.
- You should now be able to look at this paragraph and extract the main points. From here, use these main points and continue expanding from there.
I suggest taking a look at Randy Ingermanso’s great article on the method here. Though the article is formatted for novel-writing, there are a lot of crossover techniques to pull value from.
Create the perfect SEO’d headline/title. It should be the phrase that a potential client would search for to find the content of the article useful.
For instance: if you’re writing an article on how to write a blog post, a good title would be, “How to Write a Blog Post”. This may seem a bit vanilla, but it gets the job done.
Many times, the best titles are a more boiled down version of my “ten-second selling tool” (mentioned above).
The content of a post is all about ease with a bit of entertainment. This isn’t a paper for a college professor. It’s an article to easily inform while developing an audience.
If your standard customer is an average Joe consumer, write towards a high-school reading level. Not to say that your customer base is ‘dumb’, you just want to make sure consuming your content is as easy and understandable as possible. Write like how you would talk to someone.
It’s also important to make articles easy to scan. A reader will, most likely, only be interested in just a specific section of the post. Split your article up into easy to find sections so that your audience can find the content that is of value to them.
The imagery of an article is important as well. It’ll help set the mood of the article as well as pull people in to read the content.
Try to find or create a striking (copyright free*) main image that doesn’t trick potential readers. It should be an image that catches attention but won’t pull the wrong people.
A website is as much about pulling the right people as it is not pulling the wrong people.
*Be sure to use copyright free images that either you’ve taken or bought from sites like www.istockphoto.com. Another great resource for free images is www.stockvault.net. The last thing you want is a legal dispute!
Create reasons for your audience to comment
Involve your audience. Ask their opinion. Developing a strong community around your brand and content can become extremely powerful.
Quality over Quantity
Creating quality and consistent content that provides value to potential customers can help your business build trust, rapport, and a following. Allow you and your business to become a powerful influencer in your industry and a step above your competition.
What techniques do you use to create quality and consistent content on your website?
Let us know in the comments below!