How to Write an Engaging Blog Post
Whether you work in a small business or whether you’re part of the marketing team of a multinational corporation, unless you have a copywriting team, writing blog posts can often be your responsibility. Whilst it might seem like all you need to do is put together 750 words and get it up on the site, this actually requires a considerable amount of time and effort. It’s not just about getting words on the page, it’s about creating something people are actually going to read and engage with. It’s this engaging content that drives people to visit other areas of your site, move further down the marketing funnel and turn into a sale or a lead.
First and foremost, why should you worry about posting blogs? Here are a few reasons:
- They humanise your brand
- They help to establish a relationship with your customers
- They drive traffic to your website
- They increase your rankings within the SERPs. Thereby helping to position your brand within the industry and in front of potential customers.
With the above in mind, every good blog post should be focused, engaging, and have value by way of being informative. Blogging can be daunting in the beginning. But practice makes perfect, here are Verb’s 8 essential tips to help you to write great blog posts.
Tip 1: Target Market
Know your target audience and be consistent with your ideas and content.
Who are you and your website looking to attract: students, self-employed people, or women aged 19-25? Use the data from your Google Analytics account and put yourself in the shoes of your target audience to try to ascertain their interests. You can also find out their interests from your Google Analytics data.
If you’re a beginner, spend some time on research. Look up popular blog posts to see how they engage their readers. What makes them successful? What sort of subjects are they writing about. what’s trending right now?
Tip 2: Engage Your Reader
Before writing you need a good topic idea and from there, a great title.
In terms of topic ideas, start broadly with the subject area of your web or blog site and then branch out from there. If your site sells luxury student accommodation then how about a blog post advising students on managing their finances? If you’re a clothing brand, fashion trends are a great place to start.
Try mind mapping, or just jotting down a quick list. You can never have too many topic area ideas to write about. The more you have the more consistent you can be with blog posting, thus increasing exposure and customer engagement.
Don’t stress about having a niche topic to write about. If you have a great topic idea that not many people have covered then take advantage of it. But many topic areas will have been written about several times before. Originality can still come from how you approach the topic area and write about it.
Once you have picked a topic of interest you need a title. You need something that grabs attention and prompts the reader to click so keep it short and catchy.
Tip 3: Plan for Success
Now you need to expand and structure your blog. If you plan there’s less chance of repeating or contradicting yourself which can undermine the quality of your blog posts. You’ll know what you’re doing, so writing will be faster too. Furthermore, a plan will let you know if you have enough to write about. A blog should be 750 – 1,500 words long to allow you to include keywords and to talk about the subject in depth. Google likes blog content that is rich with information and this generally means blog posts that are longer in length.
Pages that have higher word counts rank better than share content. If time is an issue, it’s better to write one informative blog post than 5 short blog posts which don’t go into depth on any of the subjects they cover.
While planning, you may come up with something original that adds a personal touch to your blog post. If you, or someone in your team, has had a unique experience that is relevant to your blog post include it, as it adds value to the content. This will help your post stand out and in turn, the reader is much more likely to remember the blog post and return to your site.
We’ve used clear subheadings and indicated in the introduction that there will be 8 tips. This is so the reader knows what to expect. Numbered lists are great because they provide value to the reader. Use subheadings for clarity, focus, and to facilitate smooth progress throughout the post. Keep them short and clever, something that adds value to the post by prompting the reader to read on.
Tip 4: Introduction is key
Start with something captivating. Think of it as a good film teaser, don’t give away everything. Your introduction shouldn’t be too short, it should be long enough to encourage readers to keep going.
A good way to start is with a rhetorical question, or highlight a fear that your target audience may have in relation to the topic area. Remember, whatever you point out in your introduction, make sure you address it in the post.
Tip 5: Keep It Simple
Flowery language cannot cover up a lack of valuable content. But if you’ve done research and planned, valuable content shouldn’t be an issue and will flow naturally. If anything, you will struggle to fit everything into a blog post. Perhaps you can split your blog post into two blog posts if the article is getting very long.
Remember those long complicated academic articles or books you’ve had to read? Your blog post should be the opposite of that. It might seem obvious but people on the internet are likely to have been staring at the screen for a long time and are looking for a good, quick, simple read. Using long complicated words will only disengage the reader. The longer the blog the more important that simple language is used. Use a mixture of short and long sentences to add pace and keep readers engaged.
Use command words for confidence and clarity. If you don’t have confidence in your own blog, why should anyone else?
Tip 6: Examples & Relatable Metaphors
Engage your readers senses if your topic area allows it. Use relatable metaphors, images and examples every now and again. For example, if you’re writing about food talk about home cooking which can evoke some endearing smells and images from the reader. If you’re writing about student finances, ask your readers to envision themselves in a position of stability where food and a financial deficit are the least of their problems. Use pictures of smiling, relaxed students.
Tip 7: Start Well, End Well
End with something motivational coupled with a call to action that relates or links back to your website or business area. A call to action prompts the reader to do something. It can be as small as linking to your previous blog posts, or the website in general. Phrase it in a way that makes it beneficial for the reader.
Tip 8: Double Check
Proofread and check over the post. Make sure the grammar is right. When you read it are there smooth transitions and no sudden stops? Are some sentences too long, is anything repeated? Remove anything contradictory and add italics for additional emphasis wherever necessary.
Need someone to take care of writing copy and blog posts?
Contact us to discuss writing your copy for your website’s landing pages or blog posts for your news / blog section. We also offer content ideation, creating content calendars for you to take away and give to your own copywriters, so they can write engaging, interesting, and informative blog posts.