You’ve thought it all through. You know why blogging is going to be great for your business, and who you want to reach with your content. You’re buzzing with ideas and you’ve planned them all out in your editorial calendar. The only thing left to do is to write your first blog post!
But how do you write an effective business blog post? Easier said than done, right? Even when you have a plan, sitting down to write a 500 word (or more) article can seem a daunting prospect, particularly if you’ve not really done any creative writing since school (which was certainly the case with me)!
We’re going to take it one step at a time. A perfectly crafted blog post doesn’t just fall out of your brain all at once; it’s created in stages, and gradually becomes more refined. The more you do it, the easier it’ll become, I promise!
Here is the process that I follow to write an effective business blog post:
Start with an idea
Every blog post starts with an idea. Your buyer persona, or client avatar, should always be at the forefront of your mind – remember that your aim is to answer a question or solve a problem for them. Before you start writing, give the article a working title so that you can stay focused on this key message throughout the writing process.
Create a rough outline
From your original idea, develop a basic structure for your blog post. What will your main points be? What is the overall message? Organise your points into a logical order, ensuring that the message is clear throughout and the points flow well from one to another.
Write the meaty middle part
Once you’ve got an outline, I’d suggest writing the middle part of the content first. Depending on the format of your blog, this might be your list, how-to tutorial, case study etc.
The reason I like to work on this before the introduction is because the content is generally more matter-of-fact and therefore easier to write. Whereas the introduction requires a bit more creativity to communicate the theme and purpose of the post in an engaging and entertaining way.
By getting the main chunk of content done first, you’ll feel buoyed by your progress and motivated to see it through!
Create an engaging introduction
Your introduction sets the scene for your content. It should grab the reader by honing in on the problem you are about to solve for them and explain why it matters. The introduction is your opportunity to build a human connection by showing empathy for your readers’ situation, so don’t be afraid to include anecdotes from your own experience.
Optimise for search engines
Once you’ve got the basic article written, it’s a good idea to pause and double check that what you’ve written is search engine-friendly. Is your target keyword phrase contained within the post title and the first paragraph of the article? Remember, it should also naturally occur once or twice throughout the content. Have you identified relevant phrases that you can link to previous blog posts or external websites? This is something Google likes to see.
Optimise for humans
SEO is important, but if your content is not attractive to humans then it’s not worth publishing it! Now is the time to refine your blog post title, to make it catchy and intriguing, as well as descriptive. Make sure the article itself is formatted well so that it’s easy to digest; use short paragraphs and break up the text with sub-headings and images.
Lastly, inject a bit of personality into your writing so that it entertains as well as educates; try to imagine that you are explaining this information to a friend!
Proofread and edit
Now it’s time to read the post from top to bottom and check for spelling and grammar errors, typos and punctuation corrections. It’s probably a good idea to ask a team member or friend to check it for you – when you’ve been staring at the same text for hours during the writing process, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees!
You might also ask them to check the flow of the writing, and tell you what the key message was that they took away. Does this match up with what you intended?
Include a call-to-action
Next, think about what you want the reader to do after they’ve consumed your content. What is your call-to-action (CTA)?
- Do you want them to download your free ebook?
- Read another blog post on the same topic?
- Join your Facebook group?
- Book a place at your event?
Your CTA is your biggest opportunity to convert a casual blog reader into a lead, but what they receive in return should be valuable and helpful.
Include an opt-in box at the end of your blog post (all good email marketing systems, such as Mailchimp or ConvertKit, will provide you with this facility and should explain how to set it up), or a simple link will do the trick!
That’s it! A basic process for writing an effective blog post for your business. Take it one step at a time – tackle it over a few days if that makes it easier! The key is to just get started 🙂
If you’ve got any questions, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer them!
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