Great blog posts don’t just happen. Your blog should engage, inform, communicate, and sell. It needs to sell you, your services, and your products. Your blog posts need to prompt your audience to spread the word and keep them coming back for more. And the quality needs to burst out every time (which is why we use a 15 point quality checklist on every blog we write).
What is a blog?
A blog can be many things. Maybe a personal diary, or a collection of thoughts. It may be a place where you share your ideas and passions with the world. It could be a way for you to collaborate with others. It can be public or private. It might be motivational, informational, or positioned to encourage an action by the reader (perhaps a purchasing decision or newsletter sign-up).
Why use a blog?
Most commonly I am asked to write blog posts for businesses and individuals who wish to extend their reach to a particular target market.
What are the elements of a good blog?
A good blog will generally follow a single theme or topic, or perhaps a series of interconnected themes. For example, we write blogs regularly for niche retailers, travel sites, investment companies, personal finance companies, and management consultancies among others.
You should have an editorial calendar, and we help many of our blogging clients to construct this. An editorial calendar helps keep you on topic and topical. Some of our clients figure out a calendar several months in advance, to coincide with trade fairs or special offers that they may have coming up, for example. Others work month-by-month. Always, though, the calendar will be flexible, to adapt to timely events and happenings.
Content should be easily scannable. See how we’ve used subtitles with different font, and also highlighted key words (different to keywords) in bold text: makes it easier to read, doesn’t it?
An image should be added to make the post more visually interesting. That image might be accompanied by a couple of keywords, and perhaps a link to relevant content. Sometimes we use royalty free images for clients, and other times the client will provide images for us. It may be that we use images already present on their site, for example when blogging for retail companies.
You don’t want a blog to be too long. Word count needs to be targeted around 500 to 600 words; more than that and the reader begins to lose interest (it’s not a novel you want to write, after all). Occasionally a blog post will warrant 1,000 words, though most really don’t.
Links to internal content, and external sources, are great to increase reader interaction on your site and help with search engine rankings.
Now we’ve mentioned SEO (search engine optimisation), let’s put this into perspective. You’ll build up a bigger and more loyal following by writing great content and targeting your audience through social media marketing rather than by concentrating on stuffing your posts with keywords. Search engines, such as Google, are continually changing their algorithms anyway. What is good for SEO today is obsolete tomorrow, but quality content lasts. Yes, you should pay attention to keywords, but they certainly shouldn’t be top of your list for great blogging (however, you should consider a keyword in your title and the first line or two of your blog post).
To find out more, hire our writing services, or request a free content consultation, click here to contact us today.