TRUE CONFESSION: Even career copywriters can feel daunted by the prospect of writing a blog. Stressing about choosing a topic with broad appeal and useful information is universal. And then there’s the process of researching, writing, formatting and editing. It can all seem overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips that can elevate your blog to pro status without all of that anxiety.
1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Here’s what that involves:
- Consider your audience members and research issues that are timely and relevant to them. Review industry news sources, search hot threads on social media – you can even use online tools like blog topic generators if you’re stumped.
- Compile a list of worthwhile subjects based on your research. Then pick the one you find most appealing. If you’re not interested in the topic, chances are it will seep into your writing.
- Create an outline. It doesn’t have to be detailed – just enough to keep you focused on the structure and content of your message without wandering off in the weeds.
2. WRITE A COMPELLING HEADLINE. Better yet, write 10 of them. Ideas often become more distilled and creative when pushed beyond your initial thought. Now that you have options, you can choose which headline will attract the most eyeballs. No clickbait allowed!
3. CREATE AN INVITING FLOW. People tend to scan blogs to see if they’re worth reading. But great info isn’t enough to keep them engaged. Your blog needs to be visually appealing and easy to ingest, like a fine culinary experience. This means:
- Keep sentences and paragraphs brief and to the point.
- Break up content with numbers, bullets, subheads, callouts, graphics and other visual enticements to increase interest and comprehension.
- Check out online blog formats if you want more help with your style but beware of selecting something that looks too canned and limits your originality.
4. INCLUDE A CALL TO ACTION. Do you want your audience to sign up for a newsletter, make a purchase, contribute to a cause or use your services? If your blog has done its job, people will respond. But you need to make a clear CTA.
5. EDIT AWAY! Once you’ve got your thoughts down:
- Take a knife to them. Cut all unnecessary words or abstract statements that aren’t essential to the core message.
- Add humor, emotion or metaphors to infuse your blog with energy and appeal.
- Read it aloud to test pace and rhythm. Revise any repetitive words, clumsy phrases, abrupt transitions or rambling thoughts.
- Check your facts! Don’t put your credibility in jeopardy by assuming your source is correct without proper corroboration.
- Writers are often blind to their own errors. So be smart and get a professional – or someone you trust – to proofread your copy. No one wants to be embarrassed by a glaring typo or grammatical faux pas. (TIP: Smith Kroeger has a superb editor/proofer on staff who’s available to assist our clients!)
Following these steps will get you going in the right direction every time. And remember, blogging is like any other skill: The more you do it, the better you’ll get. Happy blogging!