THE Creativity Chronicles
Where to begin when writing a blog post? What do you need to think about? Is it even worth creating a blog? A blog works for myriad reasons – the main one people talk about is search engine rankings and being found for key topics (in short, getting new leads) but what people don’t talk about as often is how blog posts give value to their existing customers and establishing a relationship with them.
A blog can be super powerful if used correctly – talking about the right things to the right people. Here are my ten quick tips for writing a great blog post:
Give Them Gold
Tell your reader something of interest, add value to their lives. Don’t tell them something super indulgent about yourself, give away something that they want to know – the tips, tricks and insider knowledge of your industry. Think about the questions potential clients always ask you and answer these on your blog.
Write For Your Ideal Customer
Don’t write for everyone, write for THE one. Everybody has an ideal customer – that perfect customer that you loved working with. When you are creating your blog content, write it all with that one customer in mind, be aware of what your ideal customer wants to know but also what they respond to. Which blog posts have you received the most readers from? As importantly if not more, which blog posts have received the longest dwell time? This is how you know whether your reader is authentically engaging with the content.
The Importance of the One Liner
Start strong. Your title will make all of the difference as to whether people click or not. See the difference between these two titles?
“Blogging and why it is Essential for the Marketing Strategy of Small Creative Businesses”
“How To Write a Great Blog Post”
Short, snappy, effective, to the point and powerful. It all begins with a compelling title.
Know What You’re Saying
Map out your post in advance so that you’re following a rough plan rather than writing it ad hoc. This way you know your key points in advance and you won’t go off on a tangent.
Make It Snackable and Visually Attractive
Large blocks of text are really hard to read. Have as much white space as you can with paragraph breaks, sub-titles or bullet point headings so it’s easy to see, scan and digest in bite size sections. Imagery helps make your post more visually appealing.
It helps to be aware of SEO. I never put SEO at the forefront of anything that I do because I firmly believe in personality over impressions. I would rather keep my posts authentic and targeted and don’t want to shoehorn SEO phrases into it that might dilute my message. However, putting energy into your titles, knowing which keywords you want to be found for and working with something such as Yoast can be really beneficial for getting you found. And by all means, add in SEO search terms to your body copy, just don’t make it the main focus or you will be prioritising lead generation (but then potentially serving them poor content when they arrive).
Make It Evergreen
Be aware that you want this post to get a good shelf life and still be as relevant in two years as it is today. For example, a post about top trends in your industry is great but it will date within a few months, whereas a post about the fundamentals of what you know will last the test of time. Not all posts need to be evergreen. I’m a big believer in using topical posts alongside (talking about current issues, trends and also what you have coming up eg program-specific) but always be aware of the “sticky factor” – how useful will this post be to someone discovering your blog next year?
Tell The World
Creating a great blog post is not enough, you have to tell the world that it’s there. Make sure you promote it on your social media and your email marketing but don’t leave it there. Good content is well worth sharing and often your audience won’t see it anyway so promote it a few times and whenever the topic comes up in the future eg if you have written a blog post about lace dresses and then one of the royals gets married in a lace dress, bring up that blog post and tell the world a thing or two about lace.
It’s Not All About the Call
A lot of content marketers say that it’s important to always have a call to action but I disagree with this. Sure, by all means, have a call to action on some of your posts – that’s a good idea if it links to something you’re selling. For example, at the bottom of this blog I could link to my sales info for writing blog posts for my clients or a new course that I have coming up. However, every blog post does not need a call to action. Make your action point about building a relationship with your audience and getting them to come back. You don’t need to always try to get something from them or tell them how to give you money. I can’t stand it when I’m reading a blog and I’m bombarded by sales messages from all angles. Trust your blog to work for you without needing to enforce a call to action every time. If your posts are valuable enough, they’ll build an engaged readership regardless.
Keep It Like Clockwork
Lastly, keep it regular. Whether you blog once a month or once a week, twice a week or twice a day, keep it regular so your customers know what to expect from you. We can all be guilty of having the best intentions then sacking it off the moment something shiny comes along (Hello Instagram) but if you’re going to commit to your blog content, do just that – commit. Map out your post topics in advance, agree on your frequency (once a month is better than nothing) and get started.
Good luck and enjoy it. Blogging is great for showing people what you offer and demonstrating what you know. Have fun with it and get in touch with me if you want to show off your blog post @theferalwriter I would love to see it.