Digital marketing

How to Write a Blog Post – 20 Tips

28 February, 2020

If you think that blogging is just fooling around, you are very much mistaken. Marketers use this channel to attract additional traffic and form a loyal target audience, which in the long run benefits conversion rates and increases sales. Yet there is one thing to remember. A blog should be smashing. It must grab readers’ attention. Today, boring copy-paste text is absolutely useless.

What You Should Pay Attention to When Writing

Wikipedia says that a blog is an online journal, in which text, video, and photo materials are regularly published. However, there are no restrictions on who can blog. This can be anyone from a single person to a large online store.

Blogging is also used to promote business on the web. Here are some of its key advantages:

  • A blog helps to improve your ranking in search results. Of course, you will have to work on SEO, but it’s definitely worth it. Properly added keywords won’t spoil your text and can significantly improve the search position.
  • Text materials (especially if they offer something new instead of copying your competitors) + photo and video attract people. You form an audience that gets used to reading your publications.
  • Your blog shows you are an expert in a specific field. This makes you more valuable in the eyes of potential customers.
  • You can redirect the traffic to other necessary website pages.
  • Blogging contributes to brand awareness if you publish some materials mentioning your brand.

About the creative part, we will talk a bit later. Now, let’s go through the general requirements to blog formatting and style:

  • Impeccable grammar. No one likes reading texts with grammatical mistakes. This may even cause physical discomfort. A blog is one of the ways to communicate with your audience. Just imagine a person that uses a lot of jargon and poorly accentuates words. Would you like to talk with them for hours? Fair enough, the same relates to the text.
  • Stick to one style. Your blog is not a place for regular experiments. Once you create a recognizable style, try to adhere to it. If in one publication you use a concise title, in the second post, add a detailed one, and in the third – make a bad joke, this may confuse readers. Such an approach creates a feeling that website owners aren’t really caring about their blogs.
  • Monitor trends. Nobody is interested in outdated materials.
  • The subject of your blog must be related to what you offer. In case you run an online store of spare parts, review the latest tech novelties, write about testing them, or publish industry-related news. Something like “how to select PC configuration for different budgets” would work great. A marketing agency can describe various successful case studies or current and upcoming marketing trends. The main rule is: Write about something you are good at.

These recommendations look simple and may seem quite trite. Nevertheless, this doesn’t make them less valuable.

How to Create an Interesting Blog Post

Below, you’ll find a short step-by-step guide explaining how to write an attention-grabbing blog post. It’s a universal manual that will be helpful to both a marketer and an online store selling sports equipment. Let’s assume you have already found what interests your audience and planned the general structure of a blog post.

Come up with an attention-grabbing title

Do you remember the saying that first impressions are half the battle? The same with titles. A dull title may discourage your website visitors from continuing reading your blog post.

Regardless of the field you work in, a header should meet a set of universal requirements:

  • It must be concise and clearly state what people can learn from the article
  • Avoid making it too official and dull
  • Clickbait titles don’t always work. You’d better not to use them, especially if you’ve just started a blog
  • Don’t fool readers – this also applies to everything you write in the blog
  • Create an intrigue
  • Don’t use difficult to understand metaphors. Not all people can understand them, which may cut your audience

The length of the title is a point at issue. On the one hand, Google crops long headings, which is bad. Users don’t see everything you wanted to say. On the other hand, recent Backlinko study showed that long titles attract more attention than short ones.

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Pay attention to these headings. No unnecessary or meaningless words. The titles provide the perfect minimum of information to get readers interested and encourage them to continue reading the post. If you suffer from a creative crisis, peek at the headings of your competitors. Don’t copy them. Just find some inspiration and ideas.

Think out an introduction

This is the first thing readers see after the headline. That’s why the introduction should be carefully written and edited. Working on this part, make sure to:

  • avoid complex ‘multi-layered’ constructions; opt for simple and easy-to-understand sentences;
  • remember that the primary goal of an introduction is to tell readers what’s next. It’s a hook, which readers must like;
  • adapt emotions to the style of the blog post.

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The introduction should be brief. The chances are that you won’t manage to write this section at the first try. It’s usually rewritten several times.

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If the publication is long, add a table of content after the introduction. Readers will appreciate such convenient navigation. In case they decide to continue reading later, they won’t have to scroll 10-20 seconds to the necessary place. This makes the readers less likely to leave the page.

Get to the main part of the blog post

Ideally, you have to write at least a draft in one sitting. This reduces the chances you’ll miss some important thoughts and makes the text more coherent and integral.

Since your future post may be extensive, it’s better to:

  • Create a plan and structure of the blog post. This is the skeleton you need to extend with easy-to-follow text;
  • Write a draft that doesn’t require major edits in 3-4 sittings maximum;
  • Don’t publish the article immediately after finishing it. Wait a day and reread it. Most probably, you’ll find some minor flaws. As an option, you can also ask your colleagues or friends to read the text;
  • Avoid too large paragraphs and long complex sentences;
  • Use bulleted and numbered lists;
  • Highlight the most important phrases in italics or in any other way;
  • Use subheadings to structure the text. This makes the article easier-to-read and helps you to share your ideas. Divide the article into separate sections and name each of them.

To make sure the final version is good, check the written and edited text for spelling and syntax errors.

Pay particular attention to the conclusion. In addition to briefly summarizing the content, you can also give advice or motivate readers, if it’s appropriate.

Add Images

Reading plain text, no matter how interesting it is, users start losing focus. That’s why images are essential in long publications regardless of the subject.  Especially, when it comes to the results of research since such images also have an informative purpose.

Here are some other benefits of images:

  • They allow you to break the text and make it easier to read. Besides, readers often start with pictures, so it’s important to pick them properly
  • Images contribute to building trust with blog visitors. If you insert a relevant picture with a funny joke, this will bond you with the readers and remove the overly formal tone
  • They help to convey the information. Diagrams and various types of graphs are easily perceived visually but hard to describe with text

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Humor is almost always appropriate. Even if you write a research post, you can make jokes to enhance the mood of readers.

SEO optimization

A blog post is, first of all, created to tell something, not only for SEO promotion. However, you shouldn’t fully refuse from search engine optimization. Try to find a happy medium:

  • Optimize the text with keywords
  • Use different spelling variations of keywords; search algorithms consider them in search ranking
  • Add links to other website sections. This will allow you to redirect readers to the necessary pages. Check whether all URLs are active. Broken links irritate visitors and can make them close the website
  • Add alt tags to images before publishing the article
  • Add description and title

All these tips don’t affect the readability and, at the same time, help to increase the ranking of the web resource.

Call-to-action elements and pop-up forms

With the help of CTA elements, you can ask readers to like your publication, leave a comment, or subscribe to blog updates. Don’t overuse this tool, but we also wouldn’t recommend neglecting it completely.

If you don’t know how to use a call-to-action, try a sure option. Entice readers to share the post on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn at the end of the publication.

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Pop-up forms are used to attract the reader’s attention. For example, when visitors try to leave a page, you may show them a favorable offer.

In B2B, it might be to use these as one of your lead generation tools and offer a download on your blog. The whole idea is to capture the email addresses and follow up with an amazing content funnel and email series to show customer appreciation and warm up these prospects.

Yet the excessive use of forms is counterproductive – They may be irritating.

Don’t know what to write about? Here’re 20 great ideas

One of the most challenging tasks is to pick the right topic. Any blog post is, first of all, written to attract the target audience, so its subject should be interesting to a wide range of people. Below, you’ll find great ideas. Choose any of them and start preparing a post for your blog.

Answer to a popular question + case study analysis

This type of blog posts has double benefits:

  • They are interesting to read;
  • People can use them as guidelines. If you detail the step-by-step solution to any problem (for example, how to perform an SEO audit), blog visitors will know what factors affect SEO, what are the benefits of optimization, and what are the stages of website evaluation.

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To make your point, it’s better to use a specific example. At plerdy.com, you can find blog posts containing detailed case studies, such as SEO Audit Check List based on Google Store Website.

You don’t have to share all your secrets. Keep some of them to encourage visitors to ask for your professional help. Apart from the informative role, the blog must also attract potential customers.

The history of your industry

This method always works flawlessly. Write an informational post that describes the history of your field. You may also include some interesting facts or mention your company at the end of the post. Tell readers how you came up with the idea to launch your business and how you plan to innovate the industry.

If you are sure that the story will be interesting, you can break it into several parts and publish a series of blog posts. Remember to add images to the text.

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To find inspiration, view such publications in the blog at timesheets.com. They tell the history of clocks in a series of posts, which grow from a simple article into small research. Note that users may already know something about the topic. Study several sources, structure the text, and add more photos to make the materials easier to understand.

Article about your benefits

In the majority of business fields, you will have to withstand fierce competition. Consumers have already got used to familiar brands and are often indifferent to new ones. Publish a post about the things that differentiate your product from competitors to tell the target audience why they should choose you.

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No need to openly advertise. Use a neutral style without criticizing your competitors. Just compare the products with the focus on your strengths. Make sure that after reading the article, customers willingly decide to start using your services.

You also shouldn’t turn such posts into instructions. It’s better to provide links to other relevant publications in your blog.

Usually, this type of article has headings like “50 benefits…” or “40 differences from…”.

Analysis of mistakes and recommendations on how to fix them

People are interested in others’ failures. Use this to pick topics for your blog posts. Outbrain conducted separate research, confirming that negative headings, which point out at someone’s mistakes, are more often clicked than positive titles.

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Such posts are popular for several reasons:

  • They are surprising. Readers are used to positive headlines. Something like “SEO optimization is dead…” or “Why you can’t write quality content…” works like a wake-up call.
  • They allow learning from the mistakes of other people.

But remember that your goal is to attract the attention of blog visitors, not to bring them down. Never turn your blog into the source of pessimism. Publish such controversial posts occasionally to complement standard topics. As for the content, instead of focusing on the mistake, you should also show its consequences and mention how to avoid/fix it.

For example, you may tell a story from your past. Share what mistakes you made back then and how you dealt with them.

Uncommon approach

If the country the market of which you target is going through significant changes, try to use this in your blog. For example, you may analyze the marketing techniques used by candidates during the presidential election and evaluate their marketing efficiency.

Election campaigns and everything related to them are usually on everyone’s lips. You will gain new readers that will appreciate an unusual approach to topic selection.

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It’s just one of the options to guide you. Keep up with current events in the country and use “hot” topics if possible. This approach is particularly effective if you are engaged in marketing, SEO analysis, and website usability.

News posts

Regardless of your industry, there is always lots of news. This is an excellent occasion to make a separate post, list the main events, and explain how the changes may influence your business field in general.

You can write about anything, like:

  • legislation and tax changes
  • testing new technology and devices
  • search algorithm changes that impact website ranking in search results
  • popular trends

Such posts can be published regularly, for example, once per month or week.

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There is just one requirement – materials must be relevant. Only fresh content can attract readers. Keep your finger on the pulse and remember to look for information in international sources.

Guest posts

Such articles are a great way to attract new readers. The point is that you publish a post written by a renowned industry expert in your blog.

Most likely, this expert will share a link to the publication with their audience. As a result, you can get a portion of new visitors to expand your existing readership. If the content is quality and relevant, some of the visitors will subscribe to updates to be converted into customers in the future.

The only problem is to find someone who agrees to leave a guest post. Unpopular blogs have almost no chances to attract reputable experts. They will refuse to risk their reputation and spend time on a blog with a couple of dozens of subscribers. At the same time, guest posts from unknown experts are useless. Nobody will read them.

Use this idea only if your blog already boasts some achievements and you have a chance to cooperate with someone renowned.

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Preparing the post for publication, make sure to mention that it’s a guest post. You can do this in the heading or by indicating the author.

Try to play on contrast

To perk up your target audience, you can make a post that compares your product with something absolutely alien at first sight. For example, how can karate help with website promotion?

Readers glance at the headline. In a second, they realize that something is wrong, come back, read again, and cannot understand what’s the catch anyway. As a result, people get interested and start reading. The rest depends on your style. If what you write is interesting, people will read it. One of Bidsketch’s blog posts compares business development with Jiu-Jitsu martial art.

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Note that contrasting 2 absolutely different things in a heading is not enough. You need to develop this idea in the article.

Analysis of top industry trends

Such posts require small research. This format is particularly suitable if you offer SEO, UX, or web design services. The listed industries are quite dynamic, so you can turn trend analysis into regular posts.

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Here are some examples of possible topics:

  • Web design analysis of top world’s hotels
  • Analysis of SMM promotion techniques in 20XX
  • Relevant contextual advertising methods for product promotion
  • Popular content marketing techniques
  • Current trends in e-commerce and online business

Such posts take more time than, let’s say, articles that describe a product and its benefits. You can make a bit more detailed introduction than usual, generalize the trends, and proceed with the analysis of specific examples.

Post that lists useful services

Such articles yield particularly great results for businesses engaged in marketing, SEO, usability, and web development. Since they widely use additional services in their work, it’s easy to create selections of tools that briefly describe each of them.

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For example, you can write about:

  • services that test website speed
  • services that help to pick a business name/domain name
  • resources with free quality images (Of course, it’s better to use your own images but you may also sometimes need stock photos)
  • services for opinion polls

This type of article won’t allow you to advertise your product. It has a different goal. If the selections are really useful, people will subscribe to your blog, growing your base of potential customers.

How customers use your product

An article describing use cases helps you to communicate with your target audience. You show potential customers how others use your product. A blog may include separate posts that detail your offer, but it’s not the same as practical examples. The seller’s words and real user experience provoke a different reaction.

Besides, customers may find an unusual way to use your product. Such stories generally make the publication more engaging, show that your offer is in demand, and are interesting to read. A post in Evernote’s blog is a great example.

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Speaking of shortcomings, it’s worth noting that this format isn’t suitable for businesses that just start to develop. They don’t have a broad audience, and, hence, tons of reviews. Use cases work better for well-established companies.

Take into account seasonality

The demand for products fluctuates. This usually needs to be considered in a promotion strategy. You should also remember about seasonality when preparing posts for your blog.

There is no universal recommendation. Everything depends on your business niche. If people purchase your product as, for example, a gift for Christmas, New Year, or another occasion, use this. Publish a related post closer to holidays to entice consumers to buy in your store.

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This approach is universal and can be used both in information and mainstream business.

Dedicate a post to unusual holidays

These posts have the most meaningful effect when you enter the international market or open branches in other countries. Each of such units may have a separate blog, in which a part of articles is dedicated to local holidays.

That’s how you show the target audience that you respect their traditions. Besides, this format is generally interesting to read. A blog is not only information about a product, but also exciting posts that allow you to communicate with consumers.

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In the article, tell people the history of a holiday and share ideas on how to celebrate it. If relevant, you may also mention your product in this context.

Conduct a tour around your office or production

This writing approach removes the fourth wall between you and your target audience. You tell the insider information about your manufacturing process or office. A short tour-style video would look good in such publications. You can create something like “One day from the life of our company” or show the entire production process of a product.

Of course, you shouldn’t disclose your production secrets if you have any. Yet the other information can be freely shared. YouTube videos with a CNC machine producing spare parts get hundreds of thousands of views. Your blog post can do the same.

This also relates to office-based businesses. Just show how you work and what challenges you face.

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The main purpose of such materials is not only to promote a product but also to grow a target audience.

Experiment and share results with your readers

Not every company can do that. Yet if the type of your activity allows conducting experiments that people find interesting, benefit from that. Social experiments are particularly popular. For example:

  • How a 4-day work week affects productivity
  • How procrastination affects employee performance
  • How to organize the work process more efficiently: transfer employees to remote work, allow free schedule, or strictly control hours.

These questions interest both business owners and average workers. If you start publishing such posts regularly, you are guaranteed to get comments, new subscribers, and the gratitude of your audience.

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To see a great example of research posts, check out Redbooth’s study on the impact of procrastination on performance.

Posts about legal issues

This type of content is relevant if your products or services are regulated by law. Such articles are very handy and may draw customers’ attention to legal subtleties. There are some crucial details that people ignore, and suffer from tons of problems that appear out of nowhere later.

Here’re some examples:

  • A business related to horticulture and gardening should make a publication with the minimum distance between a fence and different types of trees
  • A company that sells swimming pools may tell about applicable residential permit guidelines and any necessary permissions
  • A marketing agency may familiarize potential customers with the legal requirements for advertising

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You don’t have to include all the details. At least, give the main ideas and tell customers what they need to take into account. The rest of the information they can find themselves.

How to obtain the result faster

Let’s get back to the non-intrusive advertising of your product. Earlier in the blog, you talked about the benefits of the product and how it outperforms competitors. However potential customers still don’t understand what results they can get and, most importantly, when the first results will appear.

This may seem obvious to you, but try to take the place of your readers. They don’t have the intimate knowledge of SEO, for example, and think that the optimization process takes a few days. Your task is to set the right expectations, otherwise, customers will only be disappointed after buying your product.

In such posts, make sure to:

  • describe what you do
  • indicate how long each step takes (e.g. the duration of SEO, usability analysis, etc)
  • tell how much time is necessary to build a website promotion strategy
  • estimate when the first results should appear

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It’s a universal approach, which works anywhere from marketing to the cottage construction business.

Write a post about the formation of pricing

One of the first questions that arise in the minds of potential customers is “Why does it cost like this?” The situation is additionally complicated if competitors offer something similar (even with a worse quality or more limited functionality) cheaper. Many customers don’t gid into a comparative analysis of products. Pricing becomes a decisive factor for them.

Your task is to avoid leaving things unattended and create a post that details your pricing. Tell why the product costs a specific amount and, in case it’s a bit more expensive than the competitors’ offers, show that it has a better quality.

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Transparency in price formation makes readers trust you. The industry doesn’t matter. It’s equally crucial both in IT and construction.

Dispel myths

Many areas have deep-seated myths. Fighting them is hard but essential, and blog posts are one of the effective tools to do that. Even if a misconception works in your favor, it will harm you in the long run. Inflated expectations related to your product may result in future disappointment.

You need to show readers that they are mistaken. Of course, saying “this is a lie” is not enough. Make sure to link to research (if there is any) and information resources that justify your statements.

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Even if there are no harmful myths that may affect your sales, dedicate several posts to give readers an adequate idea of your product. Describe your offer, tell how your product/services can improve someone’s life, and never exaggerate the possible benefits.

Object to a popular opinion

Rebels always attract attention. Especially if they loudly disagree with the generally accepted belief. The public notices them and listens to their opinion. That’s exactly what you need for a blog post.

Just keep in mind that your position should be reasonable. If you say that 2 х 2 = 5, you’ll just make a mockery of yourself.

Сontrast your own opinion with different forecasts. Analytics and forecasting may be questionable, so it’s easy to justify any point of view. For example, if one of the prominent analysts predicts the crisis in the gaming system, you can publish a smart article that proves he’s wrong.

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The effectiveness of the approach depends on the popularity of the topics you want to criticize.

Conclusion

The blog is one of your ways to communicate with the target audience, so don’t underestimate it. If you make it right, the blog will bring you additional visitors that can later be converted into customers.

As to the rules of blogging, there are no limitations and you can pick any topic. Here are just a few general recommendations:

  • Be honest with readers
  • Don’t try to slander competitors in publications – it’s counterproductive
  • Enrich your topics. Blogs are informal, so you can use humor and sarcasm
  • Publish regularly. No need to add 5-10 post every day but at least 1 publication per week is a must

The rest is up to you. If you have charisma, a good style, and humor, you are guaranteed to find your audience.