Anybody can write a blog post – yes, anybody – but writing a really good blog post is a little more difficult. The problem lies in understanding what makes a blog post so good that it will engage readers and bring them back time and again.
A good blog post has to be more than well written. Of course, well written blog posts are important, but what’s even more important is the content. A blog post has to be engaging, it has to be informative, it has to hold the reader’s attention, it has to make a difference and it has to call the reader to action.
The following seven steps should help you to write the types of effective blog posts that will allow your online presence to soar:
Step #1 – Understand your persona
Creating and developing the right persona is one of the most important aspects of running a successful blog. It is important that you appeal not only to the readers who are likely to buy your product or services, but also those people who may never buy from you, but will continue reading your blog and sharing its content with the rest of the world.
Remember, news of interesting, popular and worthwhile blogs can travel faster than the speed of light. The more readers you attract to your blog, the better your chances will be of having it become a success.
Step #2 – Be an expert
As you cultivate your persona, be aware that your readers must know and trust you as an expert in your field. Once you’re recognized as being an expert, readers will actively seek out your blog for advice and as a reliable source of useful information.
There are a few ways you can go about doing this… First, make sure that every blog post on your site is unique and written with transparent authenticity. Also, be sure to regularly update your blog with useful information. You don’t have to post something new every day, but you should be consistent with your schedule.
Don’t patronize your readers, but – at the same time – don’t expect that they have extensive technical knowledge about your industry. Some of the best blogs out there are those that educate readers on how to do something successfully. When readers feel that they’ve learned something useful, they’re more likely to return in the future.
Step #3 – Be clear and concise
Make sure that you get your message across to your readers in the clearest and most enjoyable way possible. Sometimes, a short, punchy sentence is all that’s required to grab attention and make an impression.
Some people will preach the rule that a blog post or website article must be 500 words – not too long to be boring, but long enough to be factual. That might work for some website articles, but when writing a blog, you need to tear up that particular rule!
Some of the most effective blog posts consist of a single, well thought out sentence – others may need 1,000 (or even 2,000) words to really convey your message. The rule is – there is no rule, just so long as your post is clear, enjoyable and gets the right message across to your readers.
Step #4 – Have fun with multimedia
Pictures are worth a thousand words – isn’t that the truth! This is especially the case with blog posts, where an embedded video, uploaded photograph or illustrated graph can go a long way towards helping make your blog posts more effective.
Images are a great addition to any blog post. Not only do they help to break up the text, but they can also help to get your point across in a very clear way. Remember, there’s nothing more disconcerting for a reader than to click on a blog post and see a screen full of words, words and more words!
Step #5 – Encourage interaction
Create interaction with your readers by asking for their opinion. People love to share their insight, so let them get involved in your blog. The more people that feel that they’re a part of your blog; the more they are likely to stick around.
To do this, be sure that your blog includes a space for comments after each blog post. If comments are left, take the time to respond to any messages that are posted. Your readers need to know that you’re a real person, with a real business, in the real world. Like so many other things in life, blogging is all about building relationships!
Step #6 – Use examples
Bring real life examples to your blog. If you’re trying to explain something complicated, simplify it with case studies and stories from product or service users. Don’t just tell your readers what something does – give them examples of what your products and services can do, and how they’ve helped others in the past.
To see just how effective this can be, take a look at the following “real world” example shared in our recent “Creative Ways to Use Your Website to Drive Your Business” post:
Step #7 – Check your tone
Make sure that your marketing content has the right type of tone. You may need to experiment before you know that you’ve got this part of it right. Writing a blog post should come from the heart. In fact, don’t even think of it as writing – think of it as talking about something you’re passionate about.
Writing your posts as you’d say them out loud is a great tip. When you’re thinking about the tone of your blog posts, think about your sentence structure, your choice of words, your use of punctuation and the format of your content. Letting your personality shine through makes your readers feel like they really know you – and if they feel like they know you, they’re more likely to trust you.
If all of this sounds complicated, don’t worry! Even the best, most experienced bloggers don’t get it right all the time. On occasion, you may think that you’ve written a killer blog post that’ll go viral in minutes – only to see it barely whimper before it disappears. At other times, you can blast out a short, off-the-cuff blog post that takes very little time or effort but goes on to be an immediate success.
What is important, though, is that you stick to a regular blog publishing calendar. With time and practice, you’ll eventually learn how to best connect with your audience in a way that results in both sales and business growth.