8 + 1 Essential Ingredients for Winning Blog Content
November 3, 2017
CONTENT. It’s a total buzzword these days isn’t it? But it’s easy to feel lost in the online storm! First and foremost, you may be wondering if it’s even worth having a company blog? Is it really going to make any difference? The answer, is a resounding yes!
Think of it this way. If you have a great business, most of you already know that it should go hand in hand with a professional website showcasing your goods and services in the best possible light. But that’s not good enough. Because you actually need the right audience to land on your site! And good online content is one of the best marketing tools to use to your advantage; used in the right way it should help generate more traffic, boost SEO rankings and pave the way for your business becoming a leader or authority in your field. Investing in a really good weekly blog post is all part of the bigger picture. But what makes quality content? And how do you go about writing persuasive and shareable copy?
Here’s a simple guide by Action Digital to ensure you’re pushing content that doesn’t just sound good, but generates more business!
1. Know your audience
First and foremost, content writing isn’t about making your words heard by as many people as possible, no matter who they are. Because that certainly won’t bring you business success!
If, for example, your company specialises in the construction of luxury properties, then your audience will come from an affluent background and have district lifestyle aspirations. You don’t want to make a connection with all property buyers searching for homes, you want to make a real connection with a niche market, and you need to use the appropriate language to reel them in and generate the right interest for your brand.
2. Become an organisational guru
Content writers often find spreadsheets a bore, but it’s one slightly mundane task that’s seriously worth it. We advise that it’s something you take the time to plan, at the end of every month, for the month ahead. Note down the titles of all upcoming blog posts and the key points you want to include and create a publishing schedule. Not only will this help with a clear-cut plan, you’ll also be avoiding repetition and you can go back to the spreadsheet once a post is published to look at what is driving traffic and what’s not. Make of note of the important stats (Google analytics can provide this), and month by month, you’ll be developing content with added value.
3. Get serious about keywords
Not something to be dismissed, the right keywords will drive targeted traffic to your website and help you rank more highly in search engines. To best understand keywords in an SEO driven approach to your blog posts, just put yourselves in the place of the user. What will they be searching for?
If you’re promoting the health benefits of yoga, and you are offering Ashtanga yoga classes in Bucharest, then obviously include the main short-tail keywords: ‘yoga’, ‘yoga health’, ‘yoga benefits’, ‘yoga Bucharest’, ‘Ashtanga Bucharest’. It’s a good idea to type ‘yoga Bucharest’ into a search to see what comes up to be sure you’re on par with competition. Then, you need to tap into what makes your company unique with long-tail key words which can be a phrase like: ‘Bucharest yoga with relaxing music’, ‘Astanga yoga for beginners in Bucharest’ and ‘Bucharest yoga in English’.
4. Forget everything you know about writing for print
Yes, that’s right. Writing for an online readership is poles apart from writing for a print readership. The sooner you digest this, the sooner you’ll be creating web content to get people listening…and talking! When a reader picks up a magazine, paper, or brochure, they usually have a bit of time ahead of them; they have made a conscious choice to engage in what we like to call the ‘ritual of reading’. But your web visitors are a bit like hunters, with no time to waste. What they are looking for when they use a search engine, are answers. And they want them fast.
Whatever your business, you need to make sure that your blog posts tap into your industry niche and include all keywords relating to the subject at hand within the first few sentences, explaining what you will go on to discuss. People will judge your post immediately. Forget traditional articles where you gradually lead the reader towards the climax. When writing a blog, the most important points come first. If a reader likes what they see, you’ll hook them, and they’ll read on. If they feel like they are wasting their time, you’ve lost them in a matter of seconds. Make them care enough to read on.
5. Surprise, intrigue, inform
In the digital era, attention spans have dramatically diminished, with the latest findings indicating that people generally lose concentration after eight seconds. And with the digital market brimming with companies publishing good content, you’ve got to differentiate yourselves to become experts in your field! So how do you make them interested in what you have to say? First, surprise and intrigue them with the promise of something UNIQUE!
If you’re creating the blogs for a travel site, provide insight into hidden places that they may never have heard of. It you’re trying to promote a health and wellbeing service, provide interesting health facts and statistics that the average Jo will have little idea about. Share case studies if it’s relevant to your field. Share ‘how to posts’ if it fits with the products you offer. Provoke them. Engage with them. Make them hang on to your every word.
6. Variety is the spice of life
We all get bored, don’t we? Be sure to vary the type of content that you publish. Long form content (over 1300 words) is great for SEO, but you don’t want to tire readers with long content in every blog post that you publish. Change the length and format, and vary the subject matter to generate as much interest as possible.
7. Use a strong headline
Forget ‘creative’ headlines in the traditional sense, like the ones you’d expect to see in a book or magazine. When writing a blog post, you need to spell out what your article is going to offer readers.
Say you are a company offering mountain climbing excursions in Greece and you want to write a brilliant blog post to share across your company’s social media channels. Rather than a title which says ‘Climbing New Heights in Search of Grecian Paradise’, go for something like ‘5 Stunning Spots You’ll Regret not Climbing in Greece’. Simple. Smart. Effective.
8. Keep it simple & eliminate ‘fluff’
Our advice? Even when you think your online content is concise and to the point, go over it and edit again to get rid of any unnecessary waffle. Even the best content writers can get carried away, but they need to go back and revise a draft over and over again to be sure it’s ready for the world to see. And when the ‘world’ does see it, their eyes want to be drawn towards key points – numbers, bullet points, subheadings; they all work like magic! Remember to keep sentences short, keep paragraphs concise and address your visitors directly with the word ‘you’ or ‘your’.
Action Digital provides a full spectrum of expert content writing services for its clients tuned into the specific nuances of each target audience, backed by Action Global Communications, a full service integrated PR and Communications Agency with a network spanning over 40 markets.