Blogging has become the cornerstone of content marketing. When done right, a business blog can drive several marketing goals, from improving website traffic to getting more customers. So what is a blog “done right”? It is an engaging blog. An engaging blog post doesn’t just provide information. It provides an experience: through useful content, visual appeal, and a tone that resonates with the reader. Read on to understand the elements and strategies of an engaging blog, so that you can harness the power of blogging for the growth of your small business.
Developing engaging blog requires an investment of time and effort, but knowing the benefits can help to motivate you. A business blog that adheres to best practices can do the following:
• Drive traffic to your website
• Position your organization as a thought leader
• Improve customer relationships and builds confidence in your brand
• Gives your business a voice
An engaging blog helps a business to obtain and retain customers and shows your target audience that you’re valuable beyond your primary business offerings. The next section will help you to determine what an engaging blog might look like for your business.
There are a few standard practices to adhere to when writing your blog posts. Follow these basic guidelines when beginning on your path to having a killer blog.
First and foremost, sound human! People browsing the internet aren’t necessarily looking for textbook-style answers to their questions. Being relatable and using a simple, friendly tone will keep your readers coming back for more and be more likely to engage with you through comments and social media.
Think about whom you’re writing for and tailor your style to appeal to that audience. Read your blog posts out loud to see if it’s sounding the way you’ve intended. A lot of the time, hearing your words read out loud will tip you off to potential issues. Basically – you don’t want to sound like a corporate robot!
Part of connecting with your audience is finding a common ground. Sharing stories that support your overall point will reach readers on a more personal level than simply droning on in a matter of fact way. It also boosts your credibility. Having anecdotes to accompany your advice or opinions shows the reader that you’re speaking from a place of experience.
Telling stories also helps your audience view you as a person and not just a company. It’s been found that people are more likely to do business with a company where they feel they know the owners and the people who work there. Creating a personality for your blog by using anecdotes where appropriate brings you a step closer to connecting on a personal level with your reader.
Keep your readers coming back for more by providing a wide range of blog topics. Of course, they must be relevant to your business, offerings and the overall purpose of your blog – but changing it up frequently keeps the audience (and you) from getting bored.
Part of knowing how to write engaging blog posts is knowing the technical aspects to consider. Content is key, but form is equally as important.
Readers have become savvy online article scanners. A person will spend only 10-20 seconds scanning your post before deciding if it’s worth sticking around for a read. Using headlines and, more importantly, subheadings will do more to pull your reader in than content alone. Be sure your headlines are intriguing and your subheadings providing enough information to clue the reader in on the content that follows but aren’t necessarily spoilers. Bottom line is people want to know they’re not going to waste their time reading an article that ultimately provides little to no value.
Fluff is a blogger’s worst enemy. Whatever point you’re trying to make, clearly make it within the first few sentences of each paragraph. If it takes too long for a reader to understand the purpose of your post they won’t stick around for long. This is perhaps one of the more challenging aspects of blog writing for beginners. It’s tempting to feel as if you need some sort of build up to suck readers in, but blog writing is not like story telling (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution). Blogs are essentially useful information with personality. Make your point concisely and quickly then move on to supporting details.
Most people read blogs because they’re looking for answers. Whether it’s a DIY project or a person in search of help sleep training an infant, offering actionable advice is the primary value you’re looking to provide your readers. Including a structured wrap up toward the end of your post is an easy way for beginner bloggers to make sure they don’t miss this essential blogging component. Once you’re an old pro, lacing these key takeaways throughout your post will come naturally.
Don’t underestimate the importance of blogging! Once you get the hang of it, creating content for your website will be a total breeze. Create good blogging habits from the start and you’ll be well on your way toward having a blog which creates measurable differences for your small business.