by Sarah Sherman
To blog or not to blog? That is the question.
You want to. You think you should. You know it’s good for web traffic.
But before you cozy up to the keyboard to let the creative juices flow, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of how to become a really good blog writer so you can reach your overall business goals.
A blog can serve multiple purposes. Firstly, it can be used to share facts about your business to further educate and inform your consumers. What do you do that could be better explained through a blog deep dive? Use your blog to expand on the lesser-known sides and details of your services.
Secondly, but no less important, a blog is a powerful tool best kept sharpened when it comes to search engine optimization, or SEO. When a consumer is Googling terms related to your business, how high on the list of results will you appear? Your blog can assist in garnering a greater number of hits for a greater number of terms on your website.
Ready to get started? Let’s cover a few blogging basics.
Keywords: A Blog Writer’s Best Friend
Research and brainstorm keywords related to the blog topic you’re passionate about. When you’ve put together a substantial list, use it to choose a keyword to focus on for each post—for us at Owl & Pen, we might choose something like “copywriting for creatives.” You can also have an SEO expert research and create a list of suggested keywords for you (we have a trusted partner available for this if you need a resource).
Try to include the keyword in your title, the first paragraph, and then also at least two more times within the blog post. This will help Google find your blog post when people search for that keyword or phrase. (Bonus point for incorporating your keyword into one of your subheadings.)
Another helpful strategy is to include links. If possible, link back to another post you’ve written in the past or a relevant place on your site to increase traffic even further. Also link to one relevant source outside your own blog—definitely not a competitor’s site, but rather a national magazine article, an expert’s blog, or a supportive research study.
How to Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines
Crafting a creative blog headline can be a mind-bending challenge for many. Writer’s block abounds and frustrates us all from time to time.
Headlines need to be catchy enough to grab the reader’s attention, so much so that they’re compelled to read further.
So, how do you do that? Research and development! Search blog headline formulas on Pinterest. Try “The 5 Best Ways to _______” or “Confessions of a ________.” Don’t be afraid to emulate some of the creative and effective phrasing you see others using (without word-for-word plagiarizing, of course).
You can check out this site to score and choose potential headlines. (See what I did there? It’s my outside link!)
Then, keep chunks of text short (2-3 sentences per paragraph) within the blog’s body and use subheadings to divide each post into sections. Attention spans are short and for ideal readability your sentences should be, too—this is not a college dissertation.
Your blog voice should stay consistent with your brand. Are you conversational? Casual? Professional? Informative? If you can nail down your tone of voice, your brand consistency will drastically improve. (Internal link: check.)
The Often-Forgotten but Most Crucial Step
Share, share, share! You wrote a blog, for Petes’ sake; now don’t let it just sit there sad and unread.
Your followers need you to tell them it’s there and it’s AMAZING! So amazing that they’ll suffer from a severe case of FOMO if they don’t check it out right away.
Share your new blog posts across all of your social media platforms in creative ways and via email. You can also send them to relevant podcasters, journalists or other folks who might be interested in sharing your work or interviewing you about your experience. Tell the world!
Becoming a blog writer may seem scary and even daunting at first, but it can truly be the most exciting and creative page of your website. Need some help getting things off the ground or reenergizing a stagnant blog? We LOVE words! Let us find the right ones for you. Shoot us a message here and let’s chat.