How Non-Writers Can Craft Business Blogs
Posting to your blog on a regular basis is extremely important. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing loves current, new content. By doing this will also help index your blog that much faster.
Most importantly, you will get results in keeping your readers coming back more often to your blog to read your articles, watch videos, listen to audio casts and learn more about you, your products and services you have to offer.
I came across an article at KISSmetrics about how non-writers can craft business blogs. I found this valuable as you will discover there are 9 elements for creating blogs posts that will engage your readers.
Research done by writtent.com/blog shows that 15 blogs a month can generate 1,200 new leads, gather twice as many inbound links, and use content to bolster social media engagement.
But, if it was easy, everyone would do it. The key for non-writers in charge of business blogging is to begin with successful templates, and then add the main ingredients. For instance, here is what a worthwhile business blog would include:
- An eye-catching headline
- Multimedia within the post
- Linked outside sources
- A structured narrative that answers the premise
- Concise, scannable language
- Quality, authoritative content
Smaller businesses may enlist a marketer or “that guy who knows writing” to publish blogs because that’s what everyone else does. While having content out there that promotes a business is better than nothing, blogs often are the first point of contact with new customers. Don’t let them encounter a rushed 300-word post with terrible formatting that doesn’t have a takeaway at the end.
So let’s take a look at what you need to do to craft a blog post…..
Find a Topic
Knowing what to write about is just as important as how you write it. Posting to a business blog every day is possible but not worth the effort if no one reads it. Luckily, hunting down topics is not difficult to do;
1. Stay up to date on what competitors are blogging about. Write a response or approach the subject from your own perspective.
2. Search through comments your readers leave on social media and blogs. These “clues” can lead to increased interaction with followers and help you leverage the content that works.
3. Research trending subjects on Google and news outlets. Is there some industry trend or social event in progress that can be recycled as a topic?
Build Better Headlines
Headlines, or “linkbait,” can be used to attract clicks and readers. Tractionable headlines need to spark interest, especially considering that Facebook followers will (at most) glimpse at a post before scrolling further down their newsfeeds. The difference between a click and an ignore is the headline.
Consider the following headlines:
1. Why do small businesses need blogs?
2. Ten Reasons Startups Need Blogs
With a topic and headline in place, it’s time to write your blog.
Readers need to be able to answer the question, “Why did I click this link?” within seconds of loading a page.
To get readers to scroll down an entire page, add in transitions and teasers, and format content with narrative flow. There needs to be a beginning, middle, and end, mingled with surprises and commentary. As a capstone, business blogs need to have a call-to-action or conversion tool that fulfills the purpose of the blog: getting readers to your website.
The most effective way to structure content is to play off of the headline. Let’s try “4 Tips to Boost a Blogger’s Readership” as an example:
- Open with an anecdote or example that convinces readers to read on.
- Explain the purpose of the blog (its intent) in the second paragraph (or section).
- Make a bold, obvious break for Tip 1, develop the point, and repeat for Tips 2, 3, and 4.
- Add a final break (subhead) and finish with a synopsis, sources, and closing thoughts.
As you can see there are 4 steps to write 4 tips.
Concerning length, blogs are only as good as you use them. Can you develop your topic, comment, and offer a takeaway in 400 words? Great. If not, write until it’s finished without boring readers or yourself.
Develop Style and Voice Branding
The biggest blog-killer is over-promotion, or when a business puts too much of itself into the content.
If your readers want to know more about you, they can go to your “about page”.
Create a Personality
While a business blog should have some promotion, or at least a link or mention of services, one thing it definitely should have is personality.
Unfortunately, a non-writer likely will focus more on typing out a blog one word at a time and miss the big picture.
Blogs should be fun and informative. Writers should sponsor the business rather than being sponsored by the business.
When I say a blog should have personality, I mean this:
1. Relax. Write to the reader, use “you,” and communicate in the first person.
2. Don’t be afraid to pull in odd examples to entertain your readers.
3. Allude to present events, industry, and modern culture when applicable.
4. Multimedia holds personality, though I advise serious business bloggers to stay away from cat memes and Rickrolling links (no matter how tempting).
Write for Readers who Scan
In terms of structure and style, today’s blogging culture often calls for short, choppy statements and lists. This is a gift for non-writers responsible for handling business blogs. Which of these two topics would be easier to write and be more informative and more attractive to readers?
1. Why College Students in the Midwest Shouldn’t Handle Personal Finances
2. Ten Reasons Why College Students Are Bad With Money
And now the crux of the post — authority. Business bloggers are challenged to write as experts on a subject, even if they know nothing about bank loans in Idaho or how to manage credit debt. Thus, a paradox between writing quality and authority:
1. The “expert” may be your CEO or sales specialist. But, for whatever reason, the blog lands on your shoulders, and you have to fulfil the assignment and deliver an expert opinion (an even bigger challenge when the expert isn’t involved in the process).
2. You may very well be the authority on a subject but have no experience blogging or writing to an online audience. What do you do to revise and write prolific posts?
Focus on Quality
Quality or quantity? Bloggers have mixed feelings about this, especially considering the opening paragraph about how frequent blogging can double website visits.
For struggling business bloggers, it’s best to scale back quantity in order and just create fewer showcase blogs. Use a mix of content to give your readers (and writers) a break. Consider some of these alt-style blogs:
1. A roundup of a business’s top social media posts (top Tweets of the week, etc.).
2. A summary of a linked news article that has to do with a business.
3. Infographics or images that readers may find interesting or entertaining.
4. A quick “week in recap” post about what a business has been doing in the past week.
5. New product line? Write a post that cites a press release.
These types of blogs break up the workload and allow non-writers to focus more energy on creating a big hitter once a week.
Follow up after Posting
Finally. The blog is done. What now? Well, the post-and-done model is rarely worth the effort. These dead-on-arrival blogs aren’t updated, analysed, and shared, nor are they read.
Businesses should keep a running list of topics they’ve done in the past and use them as resources for future content, re-purposing, and collecting feedback on quality. Proficient business bloggers, for instance, often will write a big, comprehensive article that cites previous blogs.
In Summary, remember to structure your blog post with the following;
1. Find a Topic
2. Build Better Headlines
3. Structure Narratives
4. Develop Style and Voice Branding
5. Create a Personality
6. Write for Readers who Scan
7. Establish Authority
8. Focus on Quality
9. Follow up after Posting
Be sure to read the complete article; How Non-Writers Can Craft Business Blogs
Please leave your comments and share it using our handy social media bar.