Writing a blog post seems like one of the easiest things in the world. I mean, don’t you just rant about a particular subject and hit “publish?”
Unfortunately, it’s not that straightforward. Blogging for your company requires that you get your thoughts in order and ensure that every word adds value.
You don’t want your blog to get lost in the mundane piles of text online and the way to avoid that is by publishing compelling content. How to go about it? We’ve got you covered.
How to write a blog post – the ultimate guide for 2020 includes:
Writing a blog post can be a challenging process that requires creativity and organization. Drafting your ideas, choosing a style and knowing your audience are just a few steps in the process. Understand the basics and build from there.
What Is a Blog?
It might sound obvious. For those that are new to the blogging world, though, you could be feeling a bit lost. Imagine a diary-type log on your website where you publish up-to-date information on the industry you know well.
This is for material that wouldn’t fit into other pages on your site otherwise. Instead, you dedicate a specific section for these quick pieces that can help increase traffic to your domain.
Other benefits of blogging include establishing your company as an authority within your field. By publishing relevant content consistently, followers will find that you’re in the lead and know what you’re talking about. It’ll set you apart from your competitors, which is a must in the digital world.
The tricks of the trade are easy to figure out and once you have them down, you could find that your blog is leading to long-term results for your business.
Blog Post Styles
Posts can come in a variety of styles and you’ll likely use a mixture of them to keep your blog fresh and engaging. Some of the generic categories include:
Now and again, it’s good to spice things up with anecdotal accounts or personal experiences. This helps you engage with your audience in a meaningful way, which can lead to long-term connections.
With this format, you can share the backgrounds of your employees, for example. Maybe you could mention what a day in the office looks like. Anything that helps paint a picture of the people behind the screen is what you’re aiming for with this style of post.
There are endless ways to go about it and don’t forget to have fun.
If you’re looking to instruct your readers on a specific topic, a how-to format will break it up into bite-sized pieces. This allows you to convey your message in a digestible manner without missing out on essential information.
Imagine you’re instructing your audience on how to plant a tree. You’d begin with the seed purchasing and take it one task at a time. Depending on how in-depth the post is, you may need to len
gthen your steps and use headers to identify them.
For shorter instructions, like with a recipe, use bullet points or numbers to make things organized. Concise statements will keep the readers on their feet versus lost in the content.
Incorporate the latest industry news into your blog, so your audience knows you aren’t missing out on vital updates or announcements. Not only will they trust your brand because of this, but it’ll keep your company in “the know.”
There could be a merger, for example, or a change to how Google rankings work. These pieces of information are important for marketers to stay on top of because things are constantly shifting.
You don’t want to get behind in the updates, nor lead your readers to believe you aren’t informed.
When breaking down a complex topic for your audience, you don’t want to make the mistake of throwing out a lot of facts sporadically. Or use large chunks of text without regarding flow or readability.
This style of post is a popular format, but one that people often get wrong because they forget readers can zone out easily. Inform your audience, but do so in an entertaining way. Break up the text with images and keep your paragraphs short.
Time to sell? You’ll use straightforward business posts when you’re looking to sell a product or subscription to your site, for example.
This style includes coercing the reader into buying something. It’ll be engaging and brief, yet enticing. Make your delivery natural and personal, without overdoing it. Everyone can tell when it’s an obviously-pushy salesman on the other end and you don’t want to be him.
Imagine you’re the reader for a moment and you’re trying to decide the value of the purchase. You might include reviews or testimonials to prove your brand’s authority and authenticity.
Newbie Writing Tips
You’ll want to start with devising a plan for an efficient writing process. These tried and tested tips will help along the way:
Much like other aspects of content marketing, it’s easy to run out of ideas or feel murky on what topic you’re looking to cover exactly.
Brainstorming is the perfect solution. You might be going at it alone or having an “ideas” meeting with your colleagues. This is the time to get creative and throw out anything that comes to mind.
You’ll want to be open during this process and not think too much into the future. We recommend coming up with a wide variety of topics that you can have on-hand. When you go to write, they’ll be there waiting for you.
Work on paper first and put your screens aside to keep distractions at a minimum.
Writer’s block happens to everyone. Here are a few ways to get out of the rut:
- Hop online: Look for inspiration from fellow marketers on social media platforms or their blogs. There are loads of resources that might get your brain churning just enough to make it happen.
- Get outside: Sitting in an office all day under artificial light can take its toll. Why not have a walking meeting? Maybe you need to get a bit of fresh air for things to take shape. This is one of our favorite remedies for writer’s block.
- Step away: If all else fails, a break might be in store. Give yourself some blocked time away from the task and revisit it at a better moment. You might be surprised at the clarity you can recieve.
Know Your Audience
Always remember that your blog posts aren’t for your entertainment alone, but for your audience and those you haven’t reached yet.
If it’s interesting to you and has the potential to be a good topic, you could be onto a winning blog post. Use Google Trends to see what people are engaging with and stay relevant at all times.
Keep in mind your niche readership may change slightly from post to post, so figure this into the blog’s schedule and content strategy accordingly.
How to Write a Blog Post
You’re done brainstorming and have some killer ideas to get cracking on, but where to start? Look no further:
Step One: Outline
There’s no point rushing headfirst into a post when you have no structure to guide you. Creating an outline ensures your text stays organized and flows with ease.
This doesn’t mean, however, that your path can’t change along the way. Think of it as a flexible map that you can rely on and adjust when you need it.
If you’re writing about scuba diving (why not!), an example of this could be:
- Header: Why you should try scuba diving?
- Intro: Personal anecdote on scuba diving.
- Subheaders: Scuba diving benefits, basics, types, precautions.
- Conclusion: Time to go scuba diving.
Step Two: Draft
A rough draft is just that. This is where you’ll use your outline to start writing your bulk of text. Avoid self-editing as you go along because you’ll cover that later in the rewrite process.
It’s easy to stress or feel overwhelmed when it comes time to draft, but don’t worry. Many struggle with getting started. Stay on task, keep your notes nearby and let it flow naturally.
You may find that sitting in a particular location or doing this at a specific time of day is best for you. I choose to draft with music to get me in the zone.
Step Three: Rewrite
You have your first rough draft drawn up. Between steps two and three, give your eyes and brain a break. You’ll feel fresh and ready when you return for the rewrite process.
Things to check for include:
- Flow and structure: Does it feel natural in delivery? Do the paragraphs follow one main point? These are just a few questions to ask yourself to determine if your piece reads effortlessly.
- Grammar: This is where you’ll check for spelling and punctuation errors, among other fine details. We highly recommend Grammarly for this. It also helps with more in-depth tuning like word choice and bulky sentences.
- Check for value: Read through each sentence carefully to see whether you actually need it or not. If you don’t, take it out and add something with more value or scrap the text altogether.
- Keep revising: Go over your draft a few more times to make sure it’s in the best place it can be before letting someone edit it.
Step Four: Format
Everyone’s nightmare is not that bad. In fact, formatting is essential for enhancing your post and breaking up large pieces of text.
When formatting, you can include:
- Pictures and videos.
- GIFs and memes.
- Headings and subheadings.
- Bullets and lists.
Pictures and Videos
Make sure the images you use are eye-catching, relevant to the text around it and are royalty-free. You don’t want to run into any copyright issues later down the road.
Sites like Pixabay are easy to navigate and have free options.
YouTube is an endless trove of useful videos, so long as they don’t come from your competitors. Incorporating short clips is another great way to get information across in an accessible manner.
GIFs and Memes
Who doesn’t love a good GIF? These short-loop animation bits are fun and even addictive at times.
Memes allow you to incorporate some humor in your blog post, as well. If you happen to make a good one, you might find it goes viral.
There are plenty of GIF and meme makers available online including Imgflip.
Headings and Subheadings
A simple and effective way to break up text is by using catchy headings and subheadings. Do keep in mind that these words are what the reader will see if they’re skimming through the article. They need to be succinct.
You will have noted a few already in your outline, of course. However, during your formatting process, see if you can scope out any places that could use another one or two.
Bullets and Lists
Online readers love these. Just think for a moment to all the “Top 10” articles you’ve read. Or the skimming you’ve done to arrive at a bulleted list.
Bullets and lists are both wonderful ways to not only change things up but deliver information quickly and easily. If you find your text is too much, you’re free to expound in more depth below.
The outline and writing process are figured out. Now we get to jump into more nitty-gritty details that can make your good blog a great one:
The first thing that your readers see is your title. You want to keep it straightforward but attractive enough to catch someone’s eye. When you get lost in the writing process, you’ll return to your title (and outline) as a reminder of where you’re headed.
Ways to create the best titles include:
- Use keywords: This is where SEO comes into play. Incorporating the most common words used in searches will help readers find your article when they hit up Google for support.
- State the benefit: Behind every great title lies a benefit for the reader. This is why how-to lists are popular. Make sure that your title captures what they can gain from opening and reading the article.
- Tease the readers: Don’t give away everything all at once. Hints are fine, but don’t let them in on what the whole blog covers. This will entice them to open it and find out for themselves.
- Short and sweet: Instead of using “hurt you badly,” use the word “betrayal” as it packs a greater punch in fewer words. Look for ways to spice it up without adding more bulk to the text.
- Write and rewrite: Try and write out the same title five to 10 times. The more you move the words around, the easier it’ll be to find the perfect match.
If you’re having trouble capitalizing your title and headings correctly, use capitalizemytitle.com. Our team visits the site on the regular and it’ll provide you with options, according to what rules you’d like to follow.
One of the main ways to engage with your audience is through understanding and empathizing with them. Don’t begin your introduction with a dry statistic. Start it with a connection, instead.
Example: Do you find yourself dreaming of the sea? The breeze on your face and the feeling of the sand between your toes?
Here are five budget-friendly destinations that can help your dream blossom into a reality.
You’ll want to maintain a quick pace here to catch the readers before you jump right into the body of your text.
Remember that this is the juice of your post. It’s the reason that anyone and everyone clicked on the title in the first place.
You don’t want to lose your audience half-way through because you veer off track or get too long-winded.
Keep the following tidbits in mind:
- Avoid repeating ideas: If you talk about something in one section, don’t repeat the same idea in another. People will think that you don’t understand what you’re saying and you want to stay professional, of course.
- Word choice: Avoid starting your sentences and paragraphs in the same way each time. Also, don’t choose one adjective throughout, like “good” for example. An online thesaurus is essential here because it provides other options when you can’t come up with any yourself.
- No filler language: You may be writing an informal blog post, but you don’t need to ramble. Keep the content relevant and always ask yourself if what you’re writing is valuable.
- Personal touch: Sprinkle your opinions and life experience throughout your posts. Remember, your readers want to feel they’re connecting with another human, not just a screen.
You’ve managed to engage your audience throughout, so you can’t drop the ball now. Remind your readers of the main points and how they can benefit from following your advice or purchasing the product you’ve covered. Avoid repeating anecdotes you already used in the introduction and come up with something new to wrap it up instead.
You’ll want to keep this one on the shortside, as well. Lastly, give the audience a shoutout or call to action if you want to hear from them.
Get It Done
Writing a blog post in 2020 doesn’t have to be a boring, drawn-out process. It actually be fun with a little creativity and personalization in tow.
Take advantage of the various post styles, depending on the needs of your company. You’ll flesh out your outline and hop right into the writing process from there. There’s no worry if it takes a few drafts, it’s completely normal.
Don’t forget to incorporate media wherever you can that’s relevant to keep readers entertained. We love a good meme from time to time.
Reach out to Clever Touch marketing for additional support with your content marketing strategy and more. We’ve got your back.