Having a blog for your business is pretty much a must these days. But since every business has one, what can you do to stand out from your competitors?
The key is to understand that the way blogs are read and used today is vastly different than it was 10 or even 5 years ago. Today, people aren’t likely to find your blog and read every. single. post. Instead, they’ll probably find your blog through social media or through an organic search on Google. They’ll spend, on average, 8 seconds deciding whether or not your post is answering their search query or giving them new information that can help them make a decision.
So, how can you craft a blog post that gets a reader’s attention and keeps them on your page for longer than 8 seconds? Here’s our guide.
How to write a blog post: A 5 step strategy
1. Pick your audience
Very rarely is a blog post a good fit for every type of audience, and a lot of writers and businesses make the mistake of trying to fit a piece of content to suit everyone who might possibly come across it. This is pointless. It’s better to have a smaller, niche audience who will fully engage with your blog post than a wide audience who will bounce from your post before you can reel them in.
2. Get to know your audience
Once you decide what audience you’re targeting, it’s time to get to know them, if you don’t already. As a business owner, you might be targeting certain types of clients, or maybe you’re addressing fellow entrepreneurs. Either way, spend some time researching your audience to see what their needs are and how you can address them.
One way to do this is to spend time crafting audience personas. You can do this by conducting customer development interviews or sending out surveys to your clients to find out what information is most important to them. While this can take longer to research, it is also a more long-term strategy to make sure you’re targeting the right blog topics for your audience.
3. Know your competitors
One way to get to know your audience is to research and understand how your competitors are reaching them. You can do this easily by opening an incognito window and performing a Google search of your query. Then, read through the top results, since these are the resources Google thinks best addresses the problem your reader is trying to solve. Make notes about what they include as well as what unique viewpoint you can add to the conversation to make your post even more relevant and interesting to your audience.
4. Write and edit
See how far down the list writing your blog post is? If you don’t have a writer on your team, you can use your notes/outline from steps 1-3 to pass off to a content agency or freelance writer to take the reins and draft the blog post for you. Expect to go through a few rounds of writing and editing.
Make sure your headline is SEO optimized. Use SEO tools like Google Adwords or Moz.com to find out the best headline for your blog post. Having an SEO-optimized title will help it rank organically in Google to increase the number of views it gets from organic searches.
5. Publish and track
Finally, you’ve reached the point of publishing your blog post. But don’t expect to hit “publish” and walk away forever. To effectively use content as part of your marketing strategy, you’ll need to track metrics like how many views it gets, how it ranks on Google and how often it’s shared on social media. Tracking metrics of all your blog posts can clue you into the topics that are the best received so you can target your content strategy.
If you aren’t sure how to begin your blog, let’s chat. Contact us to see how we can help you set up your blog or take it to the next level!