What everyone should know about writing a blog post.

Ready to start using blog posts to help your business get found on Google?  

Know that it can help your marketing?

Not ready to put a tonne of time into something that won’t yield results?

If you have already read our article: The 3 Benefits of Blogging for Small Business Marketing then you will understand that writing regular news posts or articles (otherwise known as blogs) can be helpful for a number of reasons.  Writing them the right way can be crucial to getting that marketing return on time invested.

So how do you get started writing your blog post?

First you will want some inspiration – what do you want to write about?  

  • Have your customers asked you questions recently that you think it would be good to share the answer to?
  • Do you have a special event coming up?
  • Are you about to release a new product or service?
  • Ready to share a handful of customer testimonials?

If you are still struggling then there are a couple of things that can help you.

1) Go to Google and type in “How to” followed by something related to an area that you provide your customers advice in.  Does Google come up with an auto suggestion?  Are there any there that could be helpful?  Try the same technique by type in your business area for instance “plumbing” what are the suggestions Google adds?  These suggestions are based on Google’s collected knowledge of what people search for and therefore a good place to start when you are looking for topics related to your business.

2) Buzzsumo.com this site will give you a list of the most popular articles written on any particular topic based on how many shares it received on various social media networks. It can also give you hints on creating a good headline that appeals to people.

What do you include in your blog post?

Here are the nuts and bolts of what you want to include:

  • A heading
  • Sub-heading(s)
  • Enticer paragraph
  • Short paragraphs with bullet points and bold / italicised writing to highlight key points
  • A call to action (what do you want them to do once they have read your article?)
  • At least 300 words
  • At least 1 x image
  • At least 2 x links to more information

Writing your blog post – how do you format it?

Here are what some of the experts say:

1) Craft an irresistible headline.

After all you want your article to get noticed so that it get’s read.  You want it to grab people’s attention and be shared on social media.  So spend time on getting the headline right.

Neil Patel of Quick Sprout said this about headlines:

One of the simplest ways to boost your conversion rate is by tweaking your headline copy. If you don’t believe me, just look at KISSmetrics.com, I was able to boost my conversion rate by 40% by simply adjusting the headline copy.

Check out this article for headline inspiration:

2) Entice them to stay.  

Let them know in a couple of quick sentences why they want to keep reading.  You can ask a question share a story or unexpected fact for instance… there are more examples here from Brian Clark:  5 Simple Ways to Open Your Blog Post with a Bang

Of course, if you are attracting the right audience to your website, then they will already be more qualified and interested in what you have to say…

3) Use persuasive words.

There are words that grab people’s attention more, and it makes sense to use them.  Think of those links that grab you and distract you when you are surfing the web… According to Copyblogger, the 5 most persuasive words are:

  • You
  • Free
  • Because
  • Instantly
  • New

It makes sense to use these words in your posts, but you can also use them in your headlines and sub-headings, also on social media.  Your goal as a small business owner is to get people to take action and come to your website, get in touch with you and become your customer (if they are the right fit for your business).

4) Use bullet points and short sentences / paragraphs.

Think about the amount of content people view on the web.  They aren’t reading everything in detail… they are often glancing over things, casually browsing or speed reading on a mission to find what they need.   Short paragraphs and bullet points breaks up the text and makes it more easily skimmable.  Ensure you highlight the most important facts with bold and/ or italics.  

5)  Use sub-headings.  

Post Planner define sub-headings as the “mini-headlines” throughout your post that organize your post & tell readers what to expect next.

Here are 3 techniques for writing subheads:

  • Express a clear & complete benefit
  • Use parallelism that advocates action
  • Try writing your subheads first

6) Use an image.

Your post could be full of great advice but images also hold a lot of appeal and add to breaking up the text / making your article more easily readable.   “Use a lead image on your blog post that will get noticed when the post is shared on Facebook, Google+ & LinkedIn.” says Josh at Post Planner  “Facebook provides a wide preview image in the news feed, which makes the picture even more important.”

Or, as Copyblogger says:  “Images are steroids for your headline.”

There are lots of ways to find images. Decide if you’re going to pay for photos or find stuff for free, add your logo for branded imagery (helpful if it get’s shared on social media) or get professional photos taken of your products, premise, staff, etc.

There are lots of inexpensive & free images on the web — but the pictures have often been used many times in other places.

7) Be You.

Many customers are loyal to small businesses because of their connection with the owner.  They enjoy doing business with YOU, a person, rather than a large business.  So don’t write like someone else.  Be you.  Keep it conversational, don’t worry about being perfect, just communicate with them.

8) Did you have a purpose?

What was the reason you set out to write about this particular topic?  Was it to help your customers?  Was it to let people know about an upcoming event or special?  Do you want them to take an action or let you know if it was helpful?  Perhaps you might ask them to share it with anyone they think may find it useful?

The above list was created for you from work done by Post Planner and Copyblogger.  Copyblogger also created the great infographic (below).  Let us know if there is anything you would add or change in the comments below – or if you have any questions!

Have a great day,

Get Online Australia Digital Marketing Team.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”] Essential blog post ingredients[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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