Getting Started – Writing Blog Posts

Image

So you're staring at a blank screen, wondering what to write about for your first blog post. Where do you start?


The truth is - blogging can be a very different experience from one person to another. There isn't a one rule fits all here. Some bloggers are focused on lifestyle and blog every other day, some share company projects/portfolio as and when they happen, and some people update their blog once a fortnight when they have spotted something in the news that will spark discussion. Some companies even employ content creators to write their blogs for them every day (just look at Buzzfeed). The central idea of a blog is this - to drive traffic to your website and help your business grow. But how you write your blog posts is instrumental to this being a successful venture for you. Here are a few quick tips to get you started (with a follow up blog post on creating content coming in the near future). 

1.) Think of posts ahead of time. 
I tend to sit at my desk all day, making websites and doing graphic design for my clients. I always tend to have a document open to write down my random ideas when the thoughts pop up. Maybe I'd stumbled across a website when looking for inspiration that made me think of how far websites have come since the 90's. Maybe I'd seen a bunch of spam emails that were all keeping in the same theme and wanted to do some research and write about it. Maybe I wanted to to show off how much work we'd done that month. At the end of the day, all of these ideas came in at random times and got added to the list, which meant I had them to hand when I had time to write them out. This is especially important if you're thinking about writing a blog and haven't started yet. I would recommend writing about 3 posts before publishing the blog, so there is a little more content for your customers to look at rather than just the 1 sad lonely post - it always leaves a better impression. 

2.) Think about subjects - do they relate to your company?
Everybody has Facebook/Twitter to share their personal experiences and interests. This comes naturally to us as we are talking about ourselves so it is coming from the heart. However, talking about our company or issues surrounding our field of work require a little more thought. You need to think about your target audience - what would they like to read? What do you think interests them? Have a look at other bloggers in your industry and see what they are talking about. For example, accountants might blog about political and economy related issues, such as the new Budget or inflation, aligning themselves with current affairs in the news and bringing their expertise/opinions to the table. Or a health food blogger might talk about her home made recipes, what sustainable food she is growing in her back garden, the most popular natural soaps on the market or a top ten on organic milk. Writing about topics that interest your target audience starts with researching your competition for ideas. Don't just talk about things that interest you personally - think like your audience. For example I have been asked how to write a good blog post, so I do some research about how to write a blog post, then write a blog post about it. That's inception for you. 

3.) Write like a human, not like a robot. 
The tone of voice will obviously shift from formal to informal depending on the kind of business you run, but the key thing here is to sound like a human being. People do not want to read content that is very copy and paste, or sounds like a research paper. You need to think along the lines of having a polite conversation with someone, drawing them into the debate by sparking a friendly perspective or offering free advice. Imagine your customers are getting to know you as a first impression, but also some of them are following your blog as they are interested in the articles you write about. You have an audience now, and you can write more than the prescribed short paragraph than Facebook offers you. 

4.) Write for SEO
If you write a blog, Google indexes your website more often. The more your site is 'updated', the better this is for SEO in the long tun. It can be as often as needed - weekly, fortnightly, monthly or daily if you like, but just know anything is better than a dormant website. Unless of course you are running Google Adwords. 😉