Blogging and marketing have shared an increasingly successful co-existence as business moves further towards an online domain. Together, they become a fantastic multi-dimensional tool for interacting with and assisting clients, creating leads to potential customers and of course generating effective SEO. However, sometimes blogging is pushed back on the to-do list of a marketer’s already overloaded schedule. Arthur St Digital’s team has extensive blogging experience for a diverse range of clients and offer these useful tips for business owners and marketing managers looking to get on top of this essential element to add value to your operation.
While blogging is a relatively open ended exercise with few limitations, the planning phase is still highly important if you intend to send out relevant information to benefit both the business and its target public.
Firstly, you must determine the businesses audience. Knowing your target is vital and the earlier you work out who you are writing for, the easier the entire blogging process becomes. Ask yourself – what does the reader want (and need) to know? What information will interest them to keep reading? What do they already know? Knowing what NOT to write is equally important.
Also, there will be times when the topic doesn’t entirely interest you. This will test your resilience to write pertinent content and not sway towards producing generic information. Copyblogger founder Brian Clark says “don’t focus on having a great blog, focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.”
Extensive research of the topic and the businesses industry is an obvious step in the planning phase. A solid base knowledge is critical, as an informed reader will easily recognise amateur information. While original content is compulsory, observing what competitors write can help you in generating a piece that stands out among the rest.
Once you have mapped out your blog and chosen a working title (as it will often change throughout the writing process), it is time to piece it together.
An introduction can make or break a blog. Focus on captivating the reader within the first few sentences so they easily recognise the intention of the content. This may be as simple as addressing a problem the reader may have encounter/ed, interesting news or useful, relevant information.
The body of your blog contains the bulk of your content. Be sure to stay on topic and avoid using bland corporate lingo – you will quickly lose the readers attention. Any problems that you pinpointed earlier must have a corresponding solution. It is easy to hit roadblocks during the writing process. Look back on your planning and research phase and make it happen!
There are fragments of PR in content marketing regarding the way we must organise our content. While it’s not as critically structured as a media release, a blog/article must be formulated and presented in a reasonable manner to effectively engage and inform the viewer. You may alter your piece throughout its development to help it flow and improve its focus. Knowing when to effectively use lists, bullet points, paragraphs, links, imagery and visual cues is a skill that comes with practice and experience.
The conclusion of a blog is an excellent opportunity to include a call to action. Direct them to what your business wants them to do next without hounding them for your business. Summarise the information presented in the blog and you are on the home stretch.
Proofread. Proofread. Proofread.
Professional blogger/marketer or not, there are no excuses for grammatical and formatting errors. Presentation is key, and any reader noticing faults in your blog, no matter how minor, won’t take you (or the business) seriously.
Finally, be creative, enthusiastic and have fun! Your writing will often reflect your mood and the results will show.