“Blogging isn't about publishing as much as you can, it's about publishing as smart as you can.” – Jon Morrow
Maintaining a consistent blog is a fantastic business strategy these days. Aside from (hopefully) establishing yourself as an expert in your industry, it also shows that you are actively dedicated to exploring every facet of your business, which will inevitably incite more nods and winks from visitors than your blogless competitors.
But best of all, if you have a quality blog, then a community can be formed around your business. If people subscribe to what you have to say, then they will subscribe to your business as a whole.
Well, this is a lot easier said than done. It seems like everybody and their cat has a blog lately. So how best to set yourself apart? We've got some tips, and we hope you like what we have to say.
As with any form of writing, it must feel genuine and natural. If you rely too much on formulaic principles, your posts will be hollow and thus, not so pleasant to read. Having said that, it never hurts to follow some guidelines. Building is a lot easier when you start with a well-structured foundation. So take everything you can from the tips below, but above all, you must remember to keep it real, and say it with feeling!
The number one rule of writing blogs: quality content is more important than anything else. Do what you will with the cosmetics, the SEO, and the social media – those are all important aspects as well, but always remember that no one will stick around for long if you haven't got something worthwhile to say. Concentrate the bulk of your efforts on the body of your text.
The Title of your blog, as well as the Opening Line play a vital role as well. When people are scrolling through Google or their RSS feed, these are the things they're going to see. Put some time into making these two elements as intriguing and useful as possible, as a way to stand out from the flood of questionably-useful information out there.
Anybody who's checking out your blog for the first time will likely do so in a predictable manner: rather than start at the top and read straight through, they'll probably start scanning the entire page, looking for phrases that pop out as they analyze whether the post is worth their time or not.
Equipped with this knowledge, try to make the main points of your post (or at least some of the juicier tidbits) stand out. You can do this with lists, well-worded subheaders, or anything else outside the box that comes to you. A little bit of word-play and visual stimulation goes a long way.
Okay, so the Internet isn't exactly a grammatical academy. However, that being the case, a great divide has been formed between those who carefully structure each sentence and polish every paragraph – versus those who can't be bothered to care about capitalization, punctuation, and so on.
Typos, errors, and grammatical apathy can absolutely devastate your credibility. Lack of attention to this takes away from the tone you are trying to create, and waters down your message by making it less readable. Before pushing publish, it is well worth your time to read back over everything, and polish until it shines.
What is the purpose of your blog? You should have the answer to this question in your back pocket the entire time you're writing, and each post should be an appendage of your efforts to connect with your community of readers – the newcomers and the die-hards alike.
Ideally, the power of your posts will be enough to prompt readers to take action. The type of action they take will differ from post to post, and from one industry to the next. Perhaps you want them to check out the new line of products you're currently showcasing on your site. Perhaps you want them to share what you have to say on Facebook. In the end, blogging can absolutely bring business – it's simply a matter of trial, error, and great persistence.
Whenever we design a website for one of our clients, we ultimately want to help them make the biggest splash possible on the web. A blog isn't for everybody, but for a lot of folks, it can prove tremendously beneficial.
If you feel like you've got something to say, we'd love to help you, whether that means coaching you, ghost-writing for you, or just helping you to come up with good ideas. Contact Us today to get started.
In the meantime, stay tuned for more on how to write a good blog post. In the next part, we'll be talking about ways to generate quality ideas over time.
Till then, happy blogging!