Do you want to improve how you write a blog for your business?
Here are 21 tips on how to improve your blogging skills and create clickable content that your audience will love. I’ve included some valuable tips and the best tools to help you optimize your content, make it Google-friendly and get it in front of your target audience.
THE 21 STEPS TO BLOGGING INFOGRAPHIC
There are 21 easy to follow steps that will improve how you write, rank and get more traffic.
21 TIPS ON HOW TO WRITE A BLOG
My father always used to lecture me about getting the foundations right, getting the research or work done so you know what you’re doing.
While that was good advice, I often ignored it and learnt the hard way (luckily no serious damage was done only some minor accidents, e.g. a treehouse that fell down with friends and me in it).
His approach did make sense though, despite my impulse to just jump in and do things.
If you want to learn how to write a blog then you need to understand your customers.
Moreover, when you write a blog you need to add value through your writing and think of ways you can help your target audience.
One of the most common mistakes it to blindly leap into blogging and gush out all the knowledge you’ve stored up over the years.
There is no doubt it’s valuable, but you need to position it correctly and put into context so that it is also relevant to search engines. That way, you will get more traffic, more click and more leads.
However, it does take time to get it right and for your content to be on target with your customers. You need to be prepared to make mistakes and learn from them.
Let’s begin, here are 21 tips to help you write a blog for your business and get better results.
HOW TO WRITE A BLOG: THE 21 STEPS
STEP 1. TARGET YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER
When you just exploring how to write a blog, you can easily spread yourself too thin. That leads to diluted content and ultimately you’ll get frustrated at the lack of traction with your audience.
Also, you will not get the results you are looking for – staying focused is critical.
- write down who you key target customer is just one e.g. if BtoB: size of business, number of people, turnover, their sectors, geography…
- narrow down your marketing to niche market/market segments – think long tail here.
- Use marketing personas to build out who you are targeting and give them a personality.
- Use any data you have to support your marketing persona e.g. age, demographic data.
- Check with others in the business e.g. sales, customer service – that the persona(s) are right.
STEP 2. FIND THEM ONLINE
Understand where your customers spend time online and you will be able to listen to them and connect in the right places.
- Write a list of the channels/forums/communities they use e.g. key Linkedin groups.
- Look at the demographics e.g. Pew Interest, but then dive deeper.
- Listen to what question they have on Quora.
- Frind out what’s trending on Reddit.
- Search for popular Facebook groups.
- Identify popular Pinboards.
STEP 3. SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
- Choose 1-2 tools and get to know them really well. A budget for them.
- Here are a few social media tools.
- For a deeper dive into social media listening use social media tools such as Keyhole.
STEP 4. UNDERSTAND THE JOBS AND PAINS
When you are trying to master how to write a blog always put your self in the shoes of your customers. Listen to their problems – what information are they searching for, what service problems do they have, is their misunderstanding about a product or service, do they have wishlists…
- What are they trying to get done?
- What are the steps they go through?
- What decisions do they need to make?
- What information do they need to make decisions?
- Write a list of the most common problems, gaps in information and issues.
- Prioritise your list.
STEP 5. IDENTIFY HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR AUDIENCE
This is where you need to be realistic and match what you intend to offer as a product or service. Ideally, you match your services or product with how you can help your customers solve a problem and/or get a job done, e.g. better, faster, at a lower cost. Or do you you help them improve their skills, knowledge, ability to make money, be healthier, fitter, find love…
- With the list of problems highlight the ones, you are confident that you can write about and which match your business.
- Draft a list of ideas around each problem – this will be used later
STEP 6. REVIEW THE COMPETITION
Take into account what your competitors are blogging about, what topics they focus on.
- Identify their key topics e.g. categories on their blog page.
- See what posts have been popular and assess why.
- Identify how you can be different / better than them.
- Use Ahefs (site explorer) or SEMrush to take a deeper dive into a competitors site.
STEP 7. IDENTIFY HOW YOU CAN HELP THEM
What do you stand for and why should people follow your – what is the core message that will attract and be relevant to your audience.
- Develop an easy strapline that helps people understand what you’re about.
- Build your message into your blogs and communications.
- Download my brand playbook (pdf) to help you put together and keep your brand tidy.
STEP 8. SET YOUR GOALS, OBJECTIVES AND METRICS
This is the critical part. If you are going to invest in blogging set your self some clear goals for the results. What do you want to achieve (be realistic) and what business benefit will it deliver e.g. 5 leads per week.
- Use SMART objectives (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed).
- Be sure you can measure them.
- Produce a spreadsheet and plan out your targets by week/month and then your results.
STEP 9. DEVELOP YOUR STRATEGY AND TACTICS
Plan in the strategy that is going to work for you – how your blog content fits to your overall marketing plan and communications mix.
- What are the key resources and actions needed to achieve your goals?
- What are the daily/weekly tasks you are going to schedule?
STEP 10. BUILD YOUR BLOG
A good blog needs a good home. Invest in a WordPress blog that is going to fit your brand and be easy for people to engage with.
- Make sure you choose a responsive theme – the rise of the mobile consumer.
- Build in the styles and design features that can help your blog stand out.
- Blogs are increasingly becoming more visual so add in the styling that will help you produce a good visual layout – think more magazine than blog.
- Be careful to not add too many plugins or use bad ones that cause your website to become slow.
- Check your website performance – ideally, your page load time should be under 2s, and preferably under a 1s for your homepage.
- Check your page rating with Google page speed – ideally, you want 90 or above.
- Other places to est your site Pingdom Tools, GT Metrix.
As an example, my homepage my home page score for mobile:
GT Metrix results
I know I’ve probably overburdened the point. But Google does use mobile page load time as a ranking factor.
STEP 11. BUILD YOUR MARKETING SYSTEM
Your blog needs to be able to turn traffic into buying customers and to do that you need to have the right marketing functionality. Looking good is not enough.
- Build-in your key conversion points and methods to convert customers.
- Add in tracking e.g. goals so you can measure performance.
STEP 12. LINK UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
- Hook up your blog with your social networks so that people can easily share your content.
- Boost content that does well to encourage more links and sharing.
- Also, build your social profile into emails that you send out to subscribers.
STEP 13. SCHEDULE YOUR CONTENT
This is probably one of the most important steps. An editorial calendar will help stay focused and give you a good schedule to work to. It is even more important if you have more than 1 person in your business blogging.
- Be realistic and don’t forget to add in the other content that you are producing.
- Balance out your categories to make it more varied and interesting for your audience.
STEP 14. RESEARCH KEYWORDS
- Do your keyword research and focus on the long-tail keywords and phrases for your niche
- Use the right SEO tools that allow you to research competitors as well as identify keywords
- Optimise your on-page SEO as well for each post, e.g. use Yoasts WordPress SEO plugin
STEP 15. PRODUCE CLICKABLE HEADLINES
Your titles make the difference between a click and no-click a share and just a read. Spend time coming up with awesome titles.
- Think like a magazine editor here.
- Download my content marketing guide and use my list of formulas for killer headlines.
- Use AB testing tools to optimize headlines.
- To start with try these tools to improve your headlines and inspire some ideas.
STEP 16. WRITE YOUR BLOG
Write your blogs and rewrite them. Find your own personal voice and practice – it takes to develop a writing style that is right for you. Write as if you are talking to your marketing persona and helping them.
- Don’t be afraid – everyone goes through times of uncertainty and doubt when writing. It can be hard but bit by bit you will improve.
- Remember there is the only one you and that is unique and special use it to your advantage and intertwine the personal and business.
- End each post with a call to action or ask for people’s opinions.
STEP 18. PUBLISH AND PROMOTE YOUR BLOG
You have to promote your blog and ensure it is found.
- Publish to your main social networks and invite comments and feedback.
STEP 19. RESPOND TO COMMENTS
Comments are the gold of blogging and so actively invite comments and always respond promptly to them.
- Use a good commenting system such as Disqus
- Respond and be helpful, never rude. Remove any spam to keep your blog clean
STEP 20. TRACK YOUR PERFORMANCE
With each blog post, you move one step closer to achieving your goals. Track your metrics and review regularly.
- Use Google Analytics to track your website performance
- monitor traffic
- check the profile of people who come to your site
- track your content
- I prefer to use a tool like Cyfe. You can create bespoke dashboards and bring in Google analytics into one place.
- More web analytics tools
STEP 21. LEARN AND IMPROVE
Some blog posts will do well whilst others may not achieve the results you had hoped for. Learn from your spikes and dips and continually refine your editorial calendar to improve titles, content and how you reach and attract your audience. Importantly make sure you are turning your blog into tangible business results.
- One of the best things to do is stay connected with your customers and people in the industry.
- Don’t view everyone as a competitor. A lot of other bloggers can help you and each other.
- Improve how you collaborate with others.
- Have fun!
#22. DON’T FORGET TO ENJOY THE PROCESS, BE CREATIVE AND LEARN
This may seem obvious but have fun, enjoy it and if you are passionate about helping people and equally enthusiastic about your business your blog will do well. Experiment by adding in different media and help to make your business human. Your customers will appreciate being part of your tribe. How do you write a blog?
After taking into account this tips, you might want to track your shares, your SEO and how well each post performs.