Written by: Khadija Craine
You have a website! Great! Next you need to find other ways to engage, create a buzz, and network with your audience. Why not create a blog? A blog is a great way to create exposure for your brand, get to know your audience, and it creates brand personality. Blogging gives your readers a reason to come back and it allows you to build brand trust and loyalty.
So here are a few tips to follow to create engaging blog posts that’ll put a face to your business and establish that connection with your audience:
First and Foremost, Provide Relevant Content
Most readers read blogs either to be entertained or educated. Establish yourself as a reference and resource for readers. Establishing yourself as a resource that helps your target audience enhance their lives will make them return seeking guidance, as well as refer others for guidance.
2. Headlines are Everything
Headlines pull the reader in and makes them want to know more. If a headline is boring a reader will move past it, and won’t think twice about it. Headlines should be attractive, short and sweet, and should include target words.
3. Keep it Short
Most readers will be viewing your blog post on a mobile device. Be sure to keep paragraphs sentences, and posts short. If a paragraph is more than 5 sentences long, it’s too long. Readers are impatient and if they see more writing than white space, they will move on and not finish the post. To keep their attention, opt for bullet points, incorporate subheads, or use numerically numbered topic headers.
4. Let it Flow
Your blog posts should keep a consistent flow. Make sure every sentence makes sense and that it flows into the next. Input power words and create a specific tone for the entire post. Tip: When you’re done with the blog post, go back and read your it aloud. If you read it out loud and think a sentence is awkwardly worded, your readers do too.
5. What’s the point?
Don’t make your readers read 3 paragraphs to figure out what you’re talking about. Try to put your topic sentence within the first 3 sentences of your blog post. Just like your headline, the topic sentence should be a intriguing and engage your readers.
6. Variety! Variety! Variety!
Write about things that your target audience will enjoy. Readers should look to your blog for guidance and advice but your blog should also teach your readers new things. You should most definitely write about things related to your business, but also vary your topic, it’ll help you reach a wider audience and increase interest in your blog posts.
7. Be Authentic!
People proactively relate to things and people that seem authentic. Your target audience often times will appreciate real sustenance made by real people for real people. Be yourself, and let your readers know your story. It establishes a bond between you and the reader. Providing personal stories can inspire, offer a new perspective, make people smile, provide information, and create a vibe for your brand.
8. Know Your Audience
Understanding your audience, will give you an edge over other blogs. Know what interests your audience, understand what they want to know, pay attention to the information they need, and align your content accordingly.
9. Plan Ahead
By knowing what your audience likes, you can map out what tools, strategies, and advice to create for them. Create a content calendar, so at any given time you know what your blog prompt and you’re not struggling with knowing where your next post is coming from.
10. Be Organized
To be honest, writing blog posts can oftentimes be overwhelming because of the massive amount of information you want to share. Sorting through all that information and conveying it in the best way possible can be tricky. Work to organize information into sections, lists, tips, or any other appropriate format. When breaking posts into sections, use those sections to write the content. This tip can help you stay on track, and put information in it’s best order.
11. Be Original
Make sure your posts are authentic and that they are in your own words and voice. Even if the idea isn’t yours, the post should be unique to the brand you/ your business represents. Write from a different angle or incorporate present day culture references. These anecdotes can be helpful to engage your audience with modern day examples. Just be sure to be mindful of your audience.
12. SEO Friendly
Make sure your content is searchable and relevant to targeted search engine users. Follow the basic SEO rules: keyword optimized titles, a good keyword ratio, keyword anchor text, and use the targeted keywords in the first and last sentence.
There’s nothing more relatable than providing videos and photos to go along with what you’re telling your readers. Providing visuals make content more appealing and helps improve the readability of the post. It’s useful to input images after every 250 words and include a video in the first few paragraphs so readers see it immediately. Include any visuals that will aide your message and engage your readers.
14. Mobile Mobility
Truth is, most of your readers will go to your blog from an external link located on a social network, so you have to make sure your blog is catered to mobile users. The goal is to offer as much information on the screen as possible so they won’t have to swipe, tap, or move to another screen. Also, try viewing your blog from several devices and adjust accordingly.
15. Last, But Not Least
Remember, why you wanted to write your blog post. Always end your blog with a call to action, something that asks the reader to complete a desired action. Rule of thumb, avoid asking your readers to buy things, instead tell them to check out your product and why it can help them with their most challenging problems.