Unreliable, boring, repetitive blog content can harm your business. If you are simply trying to score in Google rankings without offering useful, valuable and engaging content, you’re wasting your time because after the first click, your potential new customer, disappointed with your offering, won’t come back for more or follow other links on your site. The other side of the coin is that Google will actually penalise sites with duplicate content.
Tips on writing good content
Compelling, short titlesA compelling heading stands out and tempts your visitor to read more. Would you really feel compelled to read a blog titled: "About web hosting"? Or would your eyes glaze over and your mouse move to click on: "Web Hosting meltdown - Customers Reeling"? Web surfers have a short attention span so keep titles short and catchy.
Reason and purposeAt school, you were probably taught about writing an Introduction, Argument and Conclusion. The same applies to blog posts, but you may want to use the end as a call-to-action, e.g. get your reader to sign up for a service or read more about your product.
Be uniqueThere’s a significant amount of repetitive information on the internet, so you need to make your blog stand out. Some ideas:
- Try a new take or angle on other blogs; for instance, when promoting something, include disadvantage, drawbacks, etc. and then positively address the issues you’ve raised.
- Inject humour into your posts; humour makes blogs shareable.
- Include images to break up text; information overload is a serious digital issue.
- Challenge your reader with different views on a subject.
- Engage with readers; invite readers to comment or direct them to your social media pages.
Audience-friendlyNever patronise your audience but don’t talk down to them either. A CEO doesn’t mind a little technical background to put your story into perspective, but he doesn’t want a Networks 101 lecture which he can easily, and correctly, recognise as an attempt to pad a blog.
Grammar and spellingYou don’t want your competitors laughing at you. If you can’t spell or take the trouble to find a writer who can, chances are your services are sloppy too. No, you’re not a bad person if the language of your content is not your native tongue, but potential customers will err on the side of caution and go elsewhere if they suspect you’re either a cheapskate or am an amateur.
Mobile-friendlyMake sure your content is formatted for mobile devices. Today’s fast-paced lifestyle means that many potential customers are reading your blog on their mobile phone during a spare moment, on the train or while eating breakfast.
Trending topicsKeep your content relevant to your customers’ concerns right now. This means keeping abreast of news in your industry, your competitors and hot topics on social media. See “Be unique” above. If, for instance, you provide a gardening service and there is a drought in your area, address the problem of water shortages and provide tips for saving water and unusual ideas about water-wise gardens.
VisualisationUse graphics, images and diagrams to create visually pleasing blog posts. Infographics can often tell a story in a far more engaging way than text-heavy posts. Think of the hugely shareable nature of images on social media like Facebook.
EngagementThis goes under the headings “Titles” and “Purpose”. You can engage your readers by posting relevant questions that make them think or ask them to comment on your blog or click a link. People love to be asked their opinions, and they enjoy learning about themselves. You could even use interactive quizzes and competitions to elicit responses from visitors to your blog and get people sharing your post.
BrandingThis goes under the heading “Audience”. While your blog content should be unique, there should also be a thread or theme that runs through them, one that reflects your business and philosophy. You shouldn’t try too hard to write every post intending it to go viral but rather to satisfy the needs of your audience; the best recipe blogs out there is a good example of this.
ConclusionThe style and character – the tone of voice - of your business are reinforced in your blogs. It makes sense to learn the above writing rules of thumb and practice until it becomes instinctive to cut long titles and test your blog on your phone before publishing. Formulaic styling and formatting are also quicker and easier, so you can concentrate on providing useful, valuable and engaging content.
Further readingFor inspiration, check out eBiz’s list of 2017’s most popular blogs and Forbes’ list of wildly successful blogs that earn the most outlandish incomes.
Next, read about tracking tools that can help you monitor your brand and the success of your literary endeavours.