So you’ve decided that you need to create regular content for your business website and that a business blog is a great way to start (because you’ve read my post on the subject).
You’ve also thought of some topics, but how do you structure a blog post for the modern internet reader? Should it be like an essay? A newspaper article? A tweet (if you’re short on time)?
How do you make sure the right audience can find it, read it easily and then do what you want them to do?
Six point checklist
This is my checklist for making sure I’ve added all the key ingredients to make a blog post work:
- Know your audience. Think about who you’re trying to connect with and what will engage them (or put them off). Your posts shouldn’t be a sales pitch. It’s far more engaging to provide a service through sharing information, helping to solve problems and even creating a community.
- Use keywords. Spend some time researching which search terms your target audience is likely to type into a search engine to find you. Then make sure they appear in the title, headers, URL and imagery tags.
- Write for scan readers. Large blocks of text discourages people from reading your post. Help readers to absorb key points easily by using descriptive headers, bullet points, pictures and white space to break up text.
- Keep it short and sharp. It’s easy to ramble, so use a great headline to say what the post is about and then keep to the point. Save tangential trips for future posts.
- Make a call to action. Don’t leave your reader hanging, tell them what to do next. Invite them to leave comments, contact you, click onto a webpage, read another post. Your call to action should be all about convert readers into customers.
- Is your blog consistent with the big picture? – ie YOU. Does your post help people get a sense of who you are, what your business stands for (its brand values) and your “WHY”, as Simon Sinek calls it? Think of each post as part of an overarching story, or “journey” to help build a strong identity.
Past the first post
After your first one, you need to commit to regular posts to keep readers engaged. Set aside some regular time for writing or invite a willing volunteer to create content for you.
And don’t forget to measure the effect. There are plenty of tools to tell you how many people visit and read and share your post, how many enquiries it generates, and you can always ask new leads how they found you. Going forward, you can use this information to decide what sort of content generates the best results.