Blogging is one of those words that either results in eye rolls from business owners or lots of questions about whether blogging is still worth it, why blogging matters and how to do it well.
But blogging can be great fun, doesn't need to take lots of time and can be a great way to engage customers and share your little brand.
If you're needing some convincing, here are some quick reasons why it can really matter:
Blogging (if part of your website) updates your website regularly with content that is relevant and searchable. Google likes this
Blogging means you can introduce niche topics to your website that people are searching for - providing important SEO for your website.
Blogging is a great source of content that you can break down into shorter posts and social content again and again
Blogs hang around for a long time, meaning that the effort you put is worth it.
Blogs help you build relationships with customers - you ask an expert, an inspirer or educator.
Let's get to what makes a great blog post - to help you craft something easily and with more confidence.
Focus on purpose. Understanding why you're blogging is a great starting point. Is your blog about being inspiring, is it sharing some expert knowledge or will it a place for campaigning or opinion pieces? This will not only help you with your topic list but also give readers clear reasons to read more.
Start with great titles. Once you know the purpose of your blogging, then it can be a great start to brain dump lists of possible topics and titles. This will no only help you continue to focus in on your blog's purpose but also prepare you for some batch writing when you're ready. Title with '5 Ways to...' or 'Top 10 Tips for...' can be popular ways to create a sought after title.
SEO research. Take it one step further but checking out topics that people might search for in browsers. Check out 'long tail keywords' to discover sentences and words connections that might link nicely with your topics. Google Ads Keyword research, Google Trends. Moz.com, Semrush.com & AnswerTheQuestion.com are all good options.
Structure matters. Blogs need a good structure to help the reader scan or follow the topic through as well as help with your SEO. For example, you might think about sub headings that would break your blog post down or using bullet points for an easier read. It's also useful to create an introduction to the topic underneath the header title to engage the reader early and encourage them to read the whole article.
Create a journey. Not only are you already creating a journey through the blog with sub heading and structure, you also want to make sure you're adding in 'calls to action' that allow your reader to take the next step in the journey. This might be to purchase something, sign up to your email, grab an offer code or find out about your services etc. Buttons, hyper linked words & linked images care all great options.
Images! Great pictures or graphics (infographics might work here?) are a real asset to a blog post. It helps with engagement and tells more of a story but it might also help when sharing your blog in other spaces like social media. If you're a Pinterest user, you will also want to ensure you've got at least one image that is 'Pinterest friendly', i.e. a 2:3 ratio, portrait image.
Word count? There's lots of data out there about the ideal length of a blog piece - some say up to 2500 words and other data says keep it short with about 800. The most important thing is that you use structure & images to keep the reader engaged throughout the blog and that the word count is appropriate to the topic. For example, if your blog is '5 Quick Tips for the Perfect Cake' then you might want it short & sweet. If your topic is an inspiration piece about how to meditate effectively, then you might take a reader through a longer process with little activities or examples.
Create a conclusion. It's a good idea to somehow bring your blog to a close or gather all the ideas together with a dollop of final wisdom, inspiration or next steps. This might be a great call to action too.
Link to other blog posts from you. As you build your blogging confidence, why not link to other relevant blogs posts you've previously written to help the reader really get to know your brand and you but also go on an extended discovery journey that keeps them engaged.
Promote your blog! This is often the forgotten bit. You may remember to share a blog on socials once, but remember your blog can be used repeatedly to share in different spaces, from different perspectives and over time. If you wrote a blog about Summer salads last summer, can it be shared again on socials this Summer with a twist?
Remember that you can talk blogging in the Forum with your fellow members. Ask questions, share your own successes or challenges or test out topics with us!