If you’re looking to start a blog or have an opportunity to start writing for your company’s existing blog, but you aren’t a writer by trade, it can be a daunting task to overcome.
So often I hear from clients that they don’t know where to begin on content creation for their business. When you work for a company that wants you to share your insight, you have an amazing perspective to your business that no one else is privy to. Whether or not you realize it, that perspective is a content gold mine. Whatever you do, whether you are an executive, a marketing assistant, a sales person, or even the maintenance person at your organization you have experienced pieces of your business that are unique, provide value and have the ability to answer questions that customers or potential customers need to know.
So, now that you know you have a bevy of wanted and needed information at your fingertips, the question is…where to begin? Below are 6 steps to get you from A to Z when it comes to creating a blog post.
#1 Pick a topic that is relevant to your business and decide how you will construct your post:
Once you decide what you want to write about, there is a strategic path to putting that idea into readable and enjoyable content.
For example, we know that people prefer content that is in one of the following categories:
Positive - Write something informative that shares the benefits or showcases the right way to do something.
Negative - Write something informative that shares what a reader could be doing wrong and how to fix it; for example, ‘Common Mistakes of…’.
Comparisons - People love to compare things. Give them a piece of your business and compare it- X vs. Y or for example, Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing.
Lists - (Like this post!) Share content that prepares the reader with what to expect. 6 Steps to creating a blog post, or Top 5 reasons you should do THIS.
Newsworthy - Did something big happen in your industry and are people talking about it? Give your two cents on the subject and share how it relates to your business. This is also a great time to ask for feedback on how your readers are dealing with the news.
#2 Include a beginning, middle and end:
Each blog post should have an introduction where you explain what the reader will get, a middle or main content area where you give them the “get” you described, and an ending where you can sum up your main points. My motto is always KISS - keep it simple stupid—there is no need to include anything else (unless you want to!)
#3 Include at least one photo:
According to Jeff Bullas, articles with photos receive 94% more views than those without photos. With a statistic like that, why would you not include a photo?!
#4 Include links when possible:
See what I did in step #3? I sited a source and linked to it. That way if you need confirmation that I’m sourcing from an expert, you can decide for yourself with the click of a button. Another nice thing about including links is that people are usually thrilled when you link to them - it gives them something that is called an Inbound Link- and search engines really like those. It also opens up their little space on the Internet to a whole new world of readers. If you give people links in your posts, maybe they’ll return the favor by giving you an inbound link and showcasing your blog to their readers.
#5 Include a call to action:
Once your beautiful post is all buttoned up, written and ready to be posted don’t just click publish. Include a call to action, or a CTA, that gives readers the next place to go. Tell them to subscribe to your RSS feed so they always receive your posting updates, share a link to an awesome case study on the subject you just wrote about, or ask them to like you on Facebook to stay current with all your social media happenings. Whatever it is, give them direction on what to do next.
#6 Include an author bio
One of the many reasons people like to read blogs is to connect with other like -minded individuals. In order to help facilitate that real relationship over a virtual medium, include a short bio at the end of each of your posts. This one to three sentence blurb should include your professional background to show how you’re an expert and some information about you as a real live human being. After all, the world isn’t always about work! People want to do business with people they like - let them like you!
Whatever you do, don’t take the above tips as anything more than that - just tips. Writing should be fun and if you are enjoying the creative process it will more than show in your work. After all, people want to read to be informed, entertained, and to create a connection to a real person. So if you’re personality isn’t shining through because you are so bogged down by the steps and tips, take a break and then regroup on what’s most important - the message.
Another post by Nadine Nocero on Content Creation or Inbound Marketing: Vine: The latest Social Media Craze
Image courtesy of stockimages via FreeDigitalPhotos.net