Are you thinking about writing a business blog but don’t know where to start?
Are you worried that it won’t make sense or that people won’t like it and you or your business will be shown in a negative way?
I hear you!...
In this article I will show you the 16 steps to create a great business blog that will showcase your knowledge and expertise and help give your brand a positive boost.
Sounds like a grand statement right?
That’s because I used to feel exactly how you do now until I started to write blogs. In spite of my experience and love of writing, putting myself out there to the world was difficult for me too. You see, I am a perfectionsist and my stomach would churn at the thought that someone might not like or agree with what I have to say.
But over time, I have realised that for every one person that doesn’t like it, there are hundreds that do and my tips and advice have helped many business owners to grow.
I now have a ‘system’ that I use each time I write and I am going to share it with you today.
So buckle up and let’s get started.
1) Know Your Audience
You need to be able to relate to your audience and this is impossible if you don’t know who they are. You wouldn’t stand up and speak to a room full of 9 years olds the same way as you would a room of corporate executives (on most occasions anyway), so really getting to know who you want to reach out to is the first step.
2) Do Your Research
Even if you have extensive knowledge of your industry, you still want to do your research.
What are your target audience struggling with right now?
What are the questions they are asking?
I use a great site called answerthepublic.com to find out what questions are being asked online. Simply type in your keywords and see the questions people have been searching online then base your blog on answering one or two of them. Here is an example.:- My keywords are ‘Facebook for Business’ and here is the results I received. There were 72 questions being asked and they are segmented into different areas i.e. How, What etc. Try it, it’s a great tool.
3) Attention Grabbing Headline
Your headline is what will sell your content and getting this right can be the difference of 1000’s of readers and hiding in a dark room.
Include keywords that you want to be ranked on Google for e.g. Business Blog and give it a punch. I play around with many versions and I use http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer to see which has the better score. This is a great FREE tool, although you are asked to sign up to access unlimited headline checks. (still for free). It’s very simple to use, just type the potential headline in and get a rating from words used, to the length of your title. Anything green (score of 70 or over) is good. I aim for minimum score of 72 but if you can reach the 80’s that’s even better. Here is an example of what I was playing with for this blog. As you can see, the final blog title scored 72
You then get a breakdown of the word balance, allowing you to play around with it and include more of the ‘missing’ word types
And finally you will see an analysis of the headline length.
4) Relatable Introduction
Keeping a reader’s attention is far easier if they can relate from the beginning and know what they are going to gain by reading your blog.
I always start with a pain point question which includes the keywords I want the article ranked for on Google.
‘Are you thinking about writing a business blog but don’t know where to start?’
Then explain how you are going to answer that question in the article. This not only tells them the benefit of reading the blog, but also demonstrates that you can relate to their issue.
5) Create High Value Content
You’ve taken the time to research what your audience is asking, now its time to give them the answers.
Avoid being vague. Nobody wants to read a wishy-washy article that doesn’t really tell them anything.
Your blog should be both interesting and relatable. If the reader can relate to you and what you are saying, they are far more likely to share your content and follow more articles you write.
When giving statistical information, always back it up with the source and a link to a reliable source that stated it. This will give credibility and increase trust.
6) Segment Your Content
No-one wants to open an article and see an essay with no break points to take a breather. Segment your content into bite-sized chunks, keeping your sentences and paragraphs short. This will make the content easier to digest.
Single line paragraphs really stand out so use them with important points.
Give each section a heading, so that the reader can see how the article flows, enabling them to jump to the relevant section they are looking for.
7) Make It Visually Appealing
As well as segmenting your content, adding images and font variations helps to break up the visual appearance. Use different fonts for quotes or bold for key points. But don’t go overboard or it will just look messy.
Remember – if everything is in bold, nothing is in bold
8) Use The ’10 minute’ Rule
An ideal blog will be between 300-1200 words ( I know I know I am going way over on this one, but rules are there to be broken occasionally).
We all read at different speeds but according to www.readingsoft.com, the average person reads at 200 words per minute with a 60% comprehension. Try taking the test yourself on their site. I scored 196 wpm with 73% comprehension.
Keeping your blogs to a maximum of 1200 words (on average) allows the reader time to digest the information and images in 10 minutes or less. Much more than that, and they will look at your article and think ‘I’ll read it later’ and then never come back to it.
Once you have shared your tips and advice you will want to summarise with a short paragraph highlighting what the reader has learned and what difference it makes to them. E.g.
‘Now you have the top 10 tips to increase your Facebook fan engagement that you can action right away and enjoy building relationships with potential customers on social media’
10) Call To Action
Every blog should have a call to action at the end. What do you want the reader to do next? Do you want them to read another article of yours or download a ‘Freebie’ in return for their email?
Adding a button or hyperlink makes this action a natural and simple step and will increase the likelihood of them doing it.
11) Ask For Comments & Shares
As the old saying goes ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ so ask readers to comment on your blog with their experiences or what point is most useful to them and ask them to share your content with their community.
12) Blog Image
Now that you have completed your blog, it’s time to create a feature image. This will then be displayed when you share the link to your blog.
If you have a WordPress site this is quite simple as you add it as a feature image in the bottom right of the post page.
Find an eye-catching image which is relevant to your topic but don’t make it too busy as you want to add the blog title and your logo/website URL to it.
Ensure that the keyword stands out and add this keyword to the ‘Alt Text’ of the feature image.
Beware – Don’t just take images from Google images as you may infringe copyright. For a list of free stock photo sites that you can use for commercial use with no attributions CLICK HERE
13) Review & Edit
Once you have written your masterpiece you will want to review it and make any edits necessary.
I always leave this until the end before I click ‘Publish’ so that I don’t lose the writing flow. If you can, ask someone else to proof read it too as they will look at it from a different perspective and may notice typos or confusion statements more easily.
14) SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
This can be a daunting area for non-techy people. However, if your website is on a WordPress platform you can get a FREE plugin called YOAST SEO which does most of the hard work for you.
It works on a simple traffic light system. If you are ‘Green’ then all is good. If you are yellow/amber or red then it needs more work.
Getting your SEO right can be the difference to being found on Google search and staying hidden, so just remember to ensure your keyword is placed in the following places:-
- Focus Keyword (YOAST)
- Within the URL of the post (slug description in YOAST)
- The meta description (YOAST)
- The Headline of the Blog
- The first line of your content
- In the ‘Alt Text’ of all images added to the blog
15) Market Your Blog
Once you have hit the ‘Publish’ button you want to spread the word EVERYWHERE!
Post links on your social media channels, in groups you are a member of (as long as the admin rules permit), in a newsletter to your email list and even when you attend networking meetings.
If possible, find an influencer within your industry that is happy to read and share your content. With their huge following and endorsement, this can take your brand awareness to a whole new level.
16) Repeat The Process
If you really want to dominate your industry, you will benefit from writing regular blogs, preferably at least once a week.
Adding regular blogs to your website not only helps your Google Ranking, it also acts as a showcase of your expertise and you will start to gain a regular following that look forward to your next article.
Creating an editorial calendar can help you create a proper strategy to your approach but that’s a whole separate blog (I’ve already broken my own rule regarding length of blog)
Phew – so there it is, my 16 step ‘system’ to creating a great blog. You can follow them and start creating your own great blogs and showcase your expertise to the unsuspecting public.
Which tip did you find most helpful? We would love to hear in the comments below
If you are looking to take your new writing talent one step further, why not check out our article ‘How To Create An eBook To Promote Your Business’ and create a great lead magnet to increase your email list.
If you have found this article helpful in any way, please tweet and share. After all…. Sharing is caring!
This is Suzii, signing out till next time. Have a great day everyone!