BLOG WRITING – quick ways to start your next blog
You want to write a blog that has both engaging content AND boosts SEO, but where do you start? Your blog title is the first thing readers will see, and should trigger them to engage with the rest of your content. Even great blogs get left unread if their title doesn’t inspire enough interest and with over 500 million blogs on the internet, you need to stand out. The two most important aspects for a successful blog are to get it read and get it ranked and below, we will lay out the top tips to do both brilliantly.
Types of blog post
The first thing to know is that blogging doesn’t have to be about writing dozens of paragraphs – a couple of paragraphs and some great photos, or a good list is perfectly acceptable. The second thing to know is that blogging is no longer your ‘online diary’. In the past, entries were expected to be chronological, but that’s not the case any more – you blog should be an interesting collection of articles. They can be varied in style and do not need to be in any particular order.
With this in mind, let’s look at our first trade secret – a list of ‘blog types’. As we said, a lengthy text blog is just one of dozens of options. Here’s a few more;
- give people something to work through that’s related to your chosen subject. For example, Marketing 101 might create a ‘blog writing checklist’ article, describing all the key elements of a blog.
- is there a tool, or a venue that you’ve used recently? Or an event / course that you’ve attended? Write about it, review it, recommend it (or don’t!).
- case study
- if you’ve done a piece of work that you’re proud of then write about it! Images and videos are great, but not vital.
- surveys / quizzes
- get to know your customers better and entertain them at the same time. People LOVE to answer questions about themselves.
- behind the scenes
- draw back the curtain and show your workings. You’ll be surprised at how much people love seeing things that you think are just a mundane part of your job/business/industry.
- video/photo blogs
- if you’re the creative type, or in a creative industry then maybe this one is for you. Even if you’re not, why not create a playlist of videos that you think your reader might find useful. They’ll appreciate your efforts.
- interview / profiles
- I bet you’ve got cool colleagues – interview and write about them. Talk about their skills, what they bring to the business, they’re favourite things to work on. If you work alone then interview yourself, or interview a partner or customer!
- solve a problem
- find out some of your customers problems and solve them.
- people love lists – in fact, you’re reading a listicle right now… do a bit of research and list out your findings. You can add links and descriptions, or just have the list. Here’s a listicle that Marketing 101 created for a client.
There’s dozens more kinds of blog types, those are just our favourites. We’ve put a longer list at the bottom of this blog.
Blog titles & content
Now you’ve decided the style of blog post, it’s time to think about your title and content.
Although you want to generate a buzz around your blog, it is important to refrain from over-promising and keep the title accurate. Your title should set the right expectations otherwise it will leave the readers felling unsatisfied. For example, if you make a large claim like “5 tips for losing 3 pounds in 3 days” the content should fulfil this promise. Avoid leaning into click-bait titles and keep it informative. You can still engage your audience by using strong language and appealing to their emotions, titles containing “love” or “hate” often resonate strongly. The use of alliteration in a title can often make it more memorable and immediately spark interest in the reader. The more fun your title has fun with words, the more your audience will enjoy reading it.
A blog should be creative and talk about your area of speciality, so generally it is better to not follow a template. That being said, there are some formulas that research suggests have a higher rate of engagement than others, and these can be adapted to your specific subject. Titles that use numbers such as “10 ways to…” or informative “How to…” headlines frequently receive more attention. Research also suggests that shorter, condensed titles get more engagement than longer ones.
Blogging for your audience
A key thing to consider when choosing a blog title is your target audience. Firstly, think about who you want to engage with and what topics would interest them. Then consider the type of address to best suit that demographic. Moreover, your title should match your brand personality, whether this is fun or luxury, you need to keep your tone of voice coherent.
Always conduct market research by looking at other blogs and seeing what titles are trending. It is also very beneficial to make a content calendar plan on excel to avoid repetition and build up your future blog topics consistently. This content calendar can be a good place to store inspirational titles for later. Other useful research can be writing multiple versions of the title and conducting A/B testing to see which will resonates more with your audience.
Keywords in blogs
Ranking is everything for blogs and to do this successfully you should try to embed key words in the title. These should not be packed in, but if they fit naturally this can greatly help SEO. To increase your blog’s reach it is vital to consider whether the title is shareable across other social media platforms. To do this you must see if it is readable and coherent in URL format. It should also be short enough to fit in a retweet and easy to spell.
The subject of your blog should be something your brand does better than others, highlighting why your service is superior to competitors without marketing this directly to customers. Make sure the topic is something you are extremely passionate about and this will come across to the readers. It is also important to take a unique vantage point on the subject, even if it has been covered often. Ultimately, a great blog subject should be harmonious with your brand and its target audience. Once you have followed these tips and developed a great title you will be ready to take your writing (and your business) to the next level.
If you’re too busy to blog for yourself, why not give us a call/message – we have great rates for content creation, probably more affordable than you expect! Give us a shout, we don’t bite (we do nibble…!)!
Blog type mega-list
- how to
- industry news
- current events
- regular (updates, news_
- beginners guides
- time-saving tips
- summaries (tv shows, events, projects, ideas)
- stories / anecdotes
- news / opinion
- controversial subjects
- expert advice
- vs (compare two things)
- guest blogs (ask a partner / customer to write a blog – then write one for them! Link between the two websites for great SEO benefit)
- resources / downloads