So you want to write a blog post?
Step one, tick, you have the will.
You might also have a bit of an idea. “I want to write a blog post about blogging and why you should have a blog.”
Step two, tick, you have an idea.
The next question to ask yourself is why anyone should want to read your blog.
There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of blog posts about blog posts. Yours will be one of them. We’ve shared tips on keeping a good, optimised blog, but how can you make yours more interesting and valuable than any other?
Which brings me to step three, nailing the purpose of the blog post.
The Mutant team writes blog posts on behalf of a number of B2B and B2C clients and we work with them to identify fresh angles to topics we know their target audiences are interested in. The key is to narrow down onwhat your audience is looking for online, and what fresh insights you can give them to assert your authority on the topic.
So, for example, if you were appealing to business bloggers, your post might be about how new blogging tools could boost the searchability of business blogs in 2014.
There you go – you have a topic that is interesting, newsworthy and that will demonstrate your own ability to think ahead and to offer guidance in this very competitive, and constantly evolving digital world.
Before sitting down to type out your post, figure out what you’re going to say. Old school mindmaps still work in the digital age and this is how I recommend you begin.
Step four is to write down the ideas you have around the topic and then organise them into sub-groups of ideas. These subgroups will form your paragraphs.
Number the paragraphs in order of how you want them to flow in the post – there’s your skeleton!
You’re now ready to put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – and move on to step five, telling a story.
Storytelling is not just the fabric of fairytales. As a blogger, you need to think of yourself as the Aesop of the business world – sharing messages in a way that resonate with readers. Rather than circulating a bullet-pointed to-do list, you want to be drawing parallels with your readers’ everyday life, painting pictures they can relate to.
In order for them to both enjoy reading your piece and walk away feeling like they have learned something, you also want to make sure you build a cohesive argument.
Start with an engaging opening paragraph – or introduction – that develops a rapport with your reader. You might like to start with something controversial “breakfast is not the most important meal of the day”, or with a question “despite what we have been raised to believe, is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?” Sometimes it works to paint a picture – “whether it was grandma serving stewed fruit and porridge on school mornings, or your mother handing you a banana as you rushed out the door, we’ve been lead to believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, new research shows that…”
Move through your points seamlessly, as if you were engaging your reader in a conversation, and make sure that every sentence you write contributes to the purpose of the paragraph, and that every paragraph reinforces the purpose of the post.
You’ll want to wrap the post up with a sentence that wraps up your argument and leaves the reader feeling pleased they made it to the bottom. You might also like to add a call-to-action to download more information or a contact (find out how inbound marketing techniques can boost your business here).
The idea of a blog is to both demonstrate your thought leadership and hold your readers’ attention on your website. Pepper your blog with links to other posts or pages on your site, or on other sites. This will not only offer your reader a chance to deepen their understanding of the subject, but also boost your SEO as visitors will be spending more time on your site.
Understanding the function of the blog on your site, as well as the purpose of your sitting down for an hour or more to write it should be clear right from the outset, and right through the post.
If you do it right, you should get to the end and find you sitting nicely between the golden 600-800 word count, and have created something that entertains, informs and boosts your brand’s presence.
I’m at 778 words now. Over and out.
If you’d like to discuss your blogging / content marketing strategy, or if you’d like help crafting riveting blog posts, get in touch with us at [email protected].
Human Writes Performance Installation at UN Geneva image by United States Mission Geneva is licensed under CC BY 2.0.