I recommend to every one of my website clients that they start blogging with their site. When we build a site, it always includes content management software. It’s a much more valuable website that way, and we always try to provide the best value we can to all of our clients. Outside from that sales pitch, I recommend them all blog because it’s ridiculously effective marketing in terms of search engine visibility and in terms of earning your market’s trust as a company.
Typically, the first response is a deer-in-headlights look. They don’t know how to blog, they don’t know what to blog about, and like most everyone, they’re afraid of their creativity being judged. I understand all of that completely because it’s what happened to me when I started. Normally, I offer a couple of content suggestions along with a few other tips. Those other tips may have a benefit for you. So here are 5 quick tips on how to write a quality blog.
Come up with a topic that directly benefits your target client base.
You offer a specific service that you’re trying to sell. Your blog – in the ideal case – would be for those people who would prefer to do it themselves. They would prefer to create what you sell or provide your service for themselves. For example, you’re reading my blog article about blogging so you don’t need to pay someone like me to blog for you (super meta, don’t you think?).
When you offer your client base tips on how to put you out of business once they don’t need you, you prove you’re not out to con them in to a sale, and they’re more likely to trust you and buy from you in the future as a result. Besides, the content (when you use that method to choose content) is much easier to write about. After all, it’s what you do daily.
Come up with a catchy title.
It sounds totally stupid to say it that way, but there’s a degree of foolishness in not taking a cue from the viral media articles (aka clickbait) that exist. These people who write these articles title them in a way that captures people’s attention. It’s really easy to emulate it with your topic. If you clicked this from social media, you did it because of the catchy promise to improve your blog. It’s effective on a psychological level.
This is a good one because most people, when they start out on a blog, want to sound like an encyclopedia or follow the rules of their high school English class, or generally want to do things that aren’t appealing to read. Nobody is, at the beginning, ever really sure how to write. As it turns out, it’s really easy to write a blog. It’s not an encyclopedia. You have the opportunity to speak as if you were entertaining while informing, because you are.
Deliver real value.
This is true with every bit of advice I give about everything. Just because you’re teaching someone to do your job, there’s always a temptation to make it sound tough and create doubt in the reader’s ability, making them feel like they can’t do it. That’s the wrong way to write your blog. You should offer enough information to create real value and improve upon what they’re already doing and what they’d like to be doing.
You have the opportunity to speak as if you were entertaining while informing, because you are.
Break up the text.
This is way less obvious than it seems. In fact, I screwed up for 2-3 years before I caught on. Use enough pictures, quotation blocks, and other “text breaks” to visually disrupt the flow of text. This allows people to process what you’ve written in a way that doesn’t feel like reading a text book. The fact is, more people read USA Today than read the Wall Street Journal. That’s simply because nobody feels like a genius, and you don’t have to feel like one to read USA Today. There are more pictures and larger font. The text is broken up in to small, digestible chunks. The Wall Street Journal is way more text, and that feels like it’s too intelligent for the average person. It’s off-putting, and fewer people read it.
Really, it’s that simple to write a decent blog that people are willing to read. My last tip, which is less a tip than it is an overall rule of business, is to pay attention to what’s working and what’s not. Eliminate what’s not and do more of what is. Simple, right?