Many individuals and companies are turning to blogs as a method to disseminate information about events, products, and services. Staring at the blank page and trying to come up with good ideas to write about can be difficult. Luckily, there are some easy-to-understand resources to help you learn how to write a blog that grabs the attention of the reader. When thinking about how blogs can drive customer engagement, it is helpful to focus on the form and the content.
Why Write Blog Posts?
Before deconstructing the technical aspects of blog post categories, it is essential to know why blog posts are an important part of content marketing strategy. Blog posts help to build brand awareness as well as trust. Catchy headlines, interesting content and consistent commentary can bring more visitors to websites and get people talking.
What Form Should Blog Posts Take?
Not all blog posts are the same. Look at some of the most successful blog posts on the internet to find the formats that bring in the clicks.
How-to blogs (like this one) instruct readers about captivating and innovative activities. These blogs give step-by-step instruction. By giving reliable advice, good how-to blogs can get repeat readers and increase traffic. When writing a how-to blog, it’s best to focus on easily understood directions for a popular task.
Lists give an itemized account of important people, businesses, or products — depending on the theme of the post. They provide an easy-to-read list that directs readers to embedded links. Lists can have as wide or as narrow a focus as the article calls for.
News posts allow for writers to utilize breaking news to get readers since digital is 24/7. The news post can take advantage of already-present interest to drive traffic through your blog post. One benefit of types of blog posts is that you can build engagement without necessarily talking about the same topics your blog posts usually focus on.
How Can Content Be Presented Effectively?
Different kinds of content require different focuses. The first thing that blog writers should concentrate on is the audience. Knowing the audience first allows for content to align with the interests of the reader. While planning a blog post, writers should lay out a clear idea of who might benefit from the information they are presenting. If the blog post is accompanying a brand, the content should either confirm the expectations of your audience or find new ways to frame content so that new audiences will be attracted to the brand.
Here are some other elements of blog posts that are important for driving engagement and gaining readership:
1. Write a Captivating Title Using Strong Keywords
When starting a blog post, most experts say that the title is the most important element. Nearly 60% of internet readers do not read past the title. The title should have all the information necessary to understand what the blog post is about (while being under 70 characters).
An effective title is not complete without proper search engine optimization (SEO) research. SEO is based around the concept of keywords, which are words that make a post easy to search for in search engines such as Google. Experts recommend using long-tail keywords: a chain of highly relevant and specific words instead of just one. For instance, say you have a website that sells shoes. You wouldn’t want to optimize your title around the word shoes because it’s way too broad and fits millions of other shoe-selling websites. On the other hand, red espadrilles are a much better keyword phrase because it is specific to a type of shoe. Not only would it have lower competition, but it is also a phrase someone looking for that particular shoe might type into Google.
When a post gets buried on the second Google search page, a huge amount of readers may not even see your post! There’s hardly a point writing the blog post if no one is going to see it. That’s why proper SEO research is essential.
Besides the main title, Metadata is the information under a title that users see on Google. These should be under 150 characters and give a catchy, easy to understand summary of the subject.
2. Use Hyperlinks
Studies show that well-placed hyperlinks or tags can have a positive effect on engagement. People like to click, so have hyperlinked keywords that direct readers to other pages on your website or within your company. Plenty of hyperlinks also have the effect of making articles seem well-sourced and researched and can build trust.
3. Include Images and Other Media
Sometimes, words are not the best way to convey information. Having appropriate and easy-to-understand graphics can be a great way to build engagement. Pictures, videos, and other media also help to break up text and nail down the tone and feel of blog posts.
4. Stay Focused and Concise
Blog posts are a great way to disseminate information. However, the post should not try to write a whole book about a topic. Try to pick a specific aspect of your subject and expand. Not only does this allow for precise copy, but it also gives writers the option to write more press releases on the same subject, taking different approaches each time. Here are some different focuses that a blog post can take (using an innovative new chef’s knife as an example):
- Different Audiences: one post about the knife could cater to professional chefs, while another could show the benefits of domestic use.
- Events: Is there anything special about the release of the knife? Does it differ from other products the company has released?
- Significant People: Do specific cultural icons use the product? Why?
- Application: Are there interesting dishes the knife can make in particular?
- Context: Is there an interesting story behind the creation of the knife? Does it have specific importance to a specific person or culture?
All these focuses can function in different ways, for different purposes. When selecting the angle, one can reference the different forms of blog post types referenced above. For example: when writing a blog post about the specific uses of the knife, it would be best to use a list-based approach. Or, alternatively, when talking about an event, it could be good to frame the blog post as breaking news, announcing the release of the knives or the reviews about them.
What Type of Content Creates Clicks?
So far, we have covered some of the basic choices that go into deciding which blog post form makes sense for different occasions. Remember, these categories are not mutually exclusive. And, while blog posts should not be over-complicated or dense, combining focuses or form can be best for getting the message across.
While it’s good to have an idea about how to present information and what angles and devices increase engagement and readability, writers still must decide on the kind of content for the blog.
It is always reasonable to understand why the blog post needs to be written. Is there a niche that needs explaining? Is there a product that needs unveiling to the world?
The following list shows some of the main reasons to write a blog and the type of content that goes into it.
1. Original Information
Is there a new trend that needs covering? These posts outline information about a topic that allows the writer to highlight his or her interests in the context of a bigger trend. For example, have you noticed that certain knives are selling in a specific way, and want to talk about why? This post gives the writer the opportunity to examine analytics about market trends and tie in the featured product.
2. Forefronts of Innovation
These posts take the expertise behind your company and use it to comment on the subject. These can take the form of reviews or fact-based opinions about a subject. They allow your brand to develop authority with the readers.
Testimonials expand upon the real-life experience of someone knowledgeable about the subject. They take user reviews and reader opinions into account and make the information seem relatable or down-to-earth. These blog posts are great if a writer wants to expand the audience by showing the real-world success of the subject or product within the target audience.
Roundups are almost always done in list form. If a writer has many different instances of success or events around a subject, the roundup can present all the different instances. Not only is this good for giving background information, but it also makes readers feel like experts. Having such a wide breadth on a subject furthers your credentials with the reader.
There you have it — some great tips to get started with blogs to drive shares, engagement, traffic, and brand awareness. To learn more about effective blog strategies, visit prREACH.com’s informative blog articles.