You’ll have read many times on this site and almost undoubtedly have seen it on other sites and heard in conversation, but great content has a huge impact on modern marketing. Content plays a key part in numerous forms of marketing execution, stemming from an impactful website, to social media delivery, to direct marketing and more. Yet a lot of organisations, of all sizes, don’t fully capitalise on one of the quickest and cheapest forms of content creation… the blog post.
Writing a blog post has become one of the defacto forms of content delivery as most recognise its power in supporting so many different forms of marketing outreach. Most marketers know that blogging can have a huge benefit to essential things like SEO…. and in turn traffic… and in turn conversions and/ or sales, yet despite this, many organisations still don’t do it regularly. Most marketers know that a good blog post can provide a huge amount of value to their ability to put out great social media posts… and in turn traffic to their website…. and in turn conversions and/ or sales, yet despite this, many organisations still don’t do it regularly.
Noticing a theme in this? Whilst the majority of marketers know that there’s value in creating and sharing valuable blog posts, a lot still don’t take the time to do it effectively.
The 2 most common reasons/ excuses for not blogging tend to come down to firstly, it takes too much time to do and secondly, they don’t know what to blog about. In this feature we’ll discuss a few of the key methods that can be very easily followed to get you blogging on a regular basis with the least amount of time, yet with the most amount of value.
When it comes to writing a blog post there are typically 4 types of blog style which define the purpose of the content, as well as the expectations of the typical reader:
- The “How To” Guide. Very simple, yet very valuable to the designated audience, this blog post is designed to give the audience a guide or tips on how to do a specific task. This very article you’re reading would be considered as a how-to guide blog.
- The List or “Top 10” style post. This type of content has become even more commonly used in recent years due to both the desire for easily absorbed content from audiences and also the way SEO operates. An example could be something like “The top 10 best ways to write a blog” or something like our top 10 tips for email marketing.
- The “Slide Share” or “Photobook” style post. This type of blog post will tend to utilise imagery as a key element of the content and will be displayed in a way that often has much less text within it and uses the imagery as the primary display – the audience will tend to click through captioned images on a specific subject.
- The “News Jacking” blog post. In this type of post it is quite simply designed to capitalise on a current powerful or key news story and augment it with further information. The key fact to remember with this type of post is that time is truly of the essence and speed of delivery e.g. how quickly you publish it in order to capitalise on the time of the news story, is essential.
Now you’ve thought further around the style of post you’re going to right it’s time to think about blog post creation and what you’re going to write. There are a few key steps you’ll want to follow in order to write a great blog and do it in the optimal amount of time.
Step 1 – Focus on your audience
There’s no point in writing a blog post that is completely irrelevant to your target audience as firstly, they won’t read it and secondly… they won’t read it.
As we’ve said in many of our other articles, understanding your audience and learning more and more about their demographics, interests, method of engagement and what they want to know is vital. If you know what your audience is interested in and what type of information they will value, you can ensure your content is relevant. Be sure to build a customer or audience persona and regularly refer back to it.
Step 2 – Decide on your subject and give it a title
Now it’s time to define what subject your blog post will be on and decide upon a basic title for it. Make sure you feel comfortable with the subject matter and feel you know enough to explain it in conversation – you can always research specifics on the subject as you go, but you’ll want to at least have a basic understanding. Don’t focus too much on the title for now; a working title will do just fine for the time being as this can evolve once you’ve written the content itself. Perhaps start with something like “Why write a blog post” so you can start writing your content – by the time you finish and re-read your content you might end up with “5 Steps to Writing a Great Blog Post”.
Step 3 – Introduce your post.
Once you’ve locked in a provisional title, start by writing down a strong and compelling introduction to the subject you’re going to write about. This part of the blog post is what will compel people to want to read the rest, so be sure to give this plenty of attention as it really can make our break your blog post success. It doesn’t matter how great the main part of your blog post is if no one reads past the first paragraph!
Focus on getting the reader’s attention and clearly explaining the purpose of your post. There are many ways to do this such as adding a powerful statistic related to the content, a quote from someone linked to the story/ news or event adding in a touch of humour. Think of some of the following questions when you’re writing your introduction:
- What will they learn from reading it?
- Why is it relevant to them?
- Is the tone going to connect with the audience?
- Does it stand out?
Step 4 – Define the flow of the post
This step is often neglected by a lot of would-be bloggers, but it can be the most powerful too in your arsenal when it comes to helping you to not just write great content, but do it in a time-efficient manner.
Write down the key points you want to cover in your blog post and map them out in a way in which feels logical and ensures you both clearly detail your message, plus make it easy for the reader to absorb. You’re not trying to write the entire post here, you just want to have the key points – which you can just write as a list/ bullet points if you prefer – as a start, middle and end for your content.
Step 5 – Get to writing
Believe it or not you’ve done most of the hard work already with the previous 4 steps so actually writing the overall post should be more straight forward. Start to work through the flow of your post and add in content and information as you go, adding notes or highlight areas you want to come back to. If you want to research more information on certain things to add extra value or insight then make it easy for yourself to reference back to them later on. Don’t worry if you don’t know the answer to everything once you’re into the flow of writing, it’s usually easier to just mark these and then come back to them a little later.
If you don’t like a word or a sentence that you’ve written, don’t be too hard on yourself or be too tempted to delete it and start over. It can often be best to just write a first version of what comes to mind and create an initial blog post that you can then read back to yourself (or ask for someone’s feedback if you prefer) and then modify and change afterwards.
We promise you that if you follow this process and these steps you’ll be well on your way to writing great content more easily and in less time than you thought possible. Don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes a little longer to start with though, if you’re not used to writing this way, as you’ll find with a little practice it’ll become a faster and easier process each time you do it.