One of the keys to successful inbound marketing is writing great content. It’s fine to say that, but writing awesome blog content doesn’t always come easily or naturally. It’s kind of like saying that the solution to weight loss is to eat less or to exercise more. It’s not that easy for everybody.
1. First of all, Preparation is Important
Take a good look at your customer personas and decide which one of them you are writing for. Ask yourself what will they get from reading this piece of content and what will you get out of writing it. Establish a goal for each post. A goal can be as simple as clicking a call-to-action at the bottom of the page.
2. You Need to Nail the Headline
This one is numero uno. The big cheese. The show-stopper. Your headline is the attention grabber. It’s the sole snippet of content that is going to engage your reader in the first place, be it on your website, on another website, through email or via social media. The headline needs to make a claim and back it up with authority. For example, let’s say you’ve written a post about the best cheeseburger recipes, which of the following headlines do you think would garner more attention?
10 Really Good Cheeseburger Recipes
Our 10 Favourite Face-Melting Cheeseburger Recipes of All-Time
3. Choose What You Want to Write About
There’s all kinds of ways you could go with your post. You could write a how-to post to educate your readers, or an instructional piece – perhaps on how to use a certain feature of your product. You could also write a research-based post that blasts out the facts on why your business is important, or even a good old fashioned rant (done tastefully). A good idea that can help you brainstorm topics is to start thinking about the problems your customers run into on a day-to-day basis and think “hey, that would make a good blog post.” Start keeping a bank of these ideas for future reference incase you run into the dreaded writers block.
4. Reduce & Revise
A good length for a blog post is around 600 words. 250 words is the minimum that search engines need to really validate your content and rank it. It’s also tough to produce impactful content in only 200-300 words. On the flip side, if your word count is getting up and over 1,000 words, you’re asking a lot from the reader to keep their interest.
There’s a couple of ways to go about this. Remember that we want to make sure we’re publishing quality content, so revising content and paring down the filler to the juiciest nuggets are what is going to make the most impact. If you’re really having trouble trimming your post down to a more digestible length, consider chopping it up into several blog posts that you can publish over time.
5. Add Relevant but Awesome Visuals
A killer visual combined with an attention grabbing headline is what will really help engage the reader. Finding the right visuals can be done in a number of ways. There are plenty of stock imagery websites out there with loads of great photos – even free ones that you can take advantage of. There’s also Flickr photos. These are licensed with the Attribution License via Creative Commons, meaning that the owner allows you to use them as long as you attribute the original owner in your work. Another way to incorporate visuals is to create charts, graphs, or infographics that support your work. If you can provide your readers with information in a variety of contexts and forms but still keep it concise and impactful, it can help them learn much faster.
Last but not least, there’s video. Embedding video from Youtube, Vimeo and other video-sharing sites is now ridiculously easy and ensure that the reader spends even more time on your post, provided it is relevant, quality content.
Keep in mind that if you aren’t excited about your own topic then it’s going to be difficult to provide content that your readers will enjoy. Passionate writing is interesting, and the goal should be to pass that inspiration and passion on to our readers.
Hopefully, this 5 step guide provides you with some inspiration toward writing your own awesome blog content. The next step is to optimize, promote and measure your blog, all of which is covered in our free guide: