You’ve got your steaming hot matcha latte right next to you, and your laptop is all set up. You have the most amazing (and motivational) instrumental track playing through your headphones.
You are so ready to create the best blog post ever.
So you open up a new Word document, your fingers are hovered above the keyboard, and…
The ideas are there. The words are bouncing around inside your head. You know your readers will love what you’re about to write.
But you just don’t know where to start!
Well, no worries, we’ve got your back. We’ve prepared a simple, easy-to-follow guide that will get you writing the most amazing and engaging blog posts in no time!
Words: Adriana Thani
Before you begin
Before you start writing fantastic content, though, there are some key things you need to identify so you can be sure your blog post is relevant, meaningful, and interesting. Nailing down the following will make your blog post successful even before you write the first word.
Know your audience
If you imagine your blog post as a phone call with a friend, how would you describe the person at the other end of the line? Make your description as detailed as possible. What’s their age, gender, location? What are their hobbies and interests? Most importantly, what are their most common issues and problems that need solving?
When you answer these questions, you’re creating an audience persona that will help guide you when creating your blog post. If you’re finding this part a bit tricky, there are online tools and templates that can help you create customer or audience personas, like Hubspot’s Make My Persona tool.
Have you already identified your key audience in a business plan or content strategy? Simply use that information to guide you! If you’ve got several key audiences that would find your content beneficial, find the areas where they overlap – it may be their demographics, location, or even interests. If you can hone in on that commonality, you can essentially create a secondary audience to speak to in your post.
Find your format
There are several formats you can use for your blog post, but some might be better suited to your chosen topic than others. Here are some examples of popular blog post formats:
- Instructional “how-to” posts
- Numbered lists
- News commentaries
- Product reviews
- Check lists or cheat sheets
- Myths VS Facts
- Customer testimonials or case studies
- Sharing your successes (and failures!)
- Product sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes
- Comparison posts
Which format you choose will depend on what you want to achieve with your blog post, and what best showcases your brand’s product/service, and identity.
Identify your brand voice
Whether you’re writing your blog post from a personal perspective or on behalf of a brand, you need to identify the voice you’ll be using for your content. Knowing your brand voice is important in terms of keeping your content cohesive across all your platforms, and is especially important in long-form writing such as blog posts.
A consistent brand voice is part of your overall brand identity, and is something you need to define in the early stages of brand-building your brand. So if you haven’t already done this, get to it now! To find your brand voice, you need to answer several key questions: How would you describe your brand in 3 words? What are the emotions you want your audience to feel when they interact with your brand? If your brand was a person, how would you describe them? What sets you apart from your competitors? Sprout Social have a great guideline that you can follow to discover your brand voice.
Choose an interesting topic
Brainstorming blog post topics is so much fun once you’ve nailed the other factors we’ve mentioned!
There are numerous online tools that can help you find topics that have been proven to be successful. In fact, tools like BuzzSumo and UberSuggest do exactly that – searching for a keyword on those websites will allow you to see the most popular online content for that keyword! If you’d like a list of content ideas based on general topics and keywords, HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator is pretty great too.
You should also consider repurposing or updating old content or content from your other content platforms, including your social media platforms. If you’ve done an Instagram Live, write a blog post describing the key points from that session. If you have a post that has done really well on your Facebook Group, consider using it as a basis for a blog post.
Another easy way to generate content that is unique to your audience is to write a blog post that helps them solve a specific problem or issue that they’re currently facing. You can find this out through research and also by simply asking your target audience directly!
5 Steps To Writing An Engaging Blog Post
Now that you know who you’re writing for, who you’re writing as, as well as the format and topic for your blog post, you’re only 5 simple steps away from writing an intriguing and engaging blog post!
Step 1: Craft a captivating headline
Think of your headline as a roadmap for the rest of your blog post. You need to write it down before you set off on your journey of writing this post, otherwise you’ll just get lost (and take your audience into the woods with you!).
The key things to remember when you’re writing a good headline is to keep things simple, catchy, and emotive. You also need to be specific – your headline needs to clearly identify what the blog post is actually about!
If you find this difficult, you can start off by using headline formats that have been proven to be popular. BlogAbout is a headline generator that gives you common headline formats that you can adapt to your blog post content.
Step 2: Intrigue them with the intro
Now that your catchy headline has lured in your readers, you need to write an intriguing intro to make them stay! There are several ways you can capture your reader’s attention and leave them wanting more.
You can ask a question, and assure them that you’ll find the answer in your post. You can focus on writing something emotive by appealing to specific feelings and emotions. You can even hone in on the problem they’re facing by describing a familiar scene in which they’d face that problem. In fact, you might have noticed that this is exactly the approach we took when writing this blog post!
One thing to keep in mind when writing an intro is to keep it short. Long-winded intros might bore your reader, or even overwhelm them. Another thing to keep in mind is to clearly state the purpose of the article within the intro. It’s usually a good way to introduce the rest of the post too!
Step 3: Make it easy to read
When it comes to blog posts, keep in mind that you’re not bogged down by formalities like you’d be if you were writing a journal or newspaper article. There’s no need to be heavy-handed with technical jargon (unless that’s what your audience wants!). Generally, an engaging blog post needs to be conversational and easy to understand.
There are also several formatting rules you can consider using to make your post easier to read. Sub-headings are an excellent way to clearly map out your content, and are useful for breaking up the text. Research has shown that narrow columns are easier to read, so make sure your blog post doesn’t go across the entire width of your website.
Readers also tend to skip the ends of long paragraphs, so keep your paragraphs short and concise! In fact, keep your sentences short too. Run-on sentences can be confusing. Short sentences and even fragments? Totally fine in a blog post!
Step 4: Bring it to an epic close
When you write the closing paragraphs for your blog post, you need to ask yourself what you want your readers to feel after reading your article. Do you want them to feel hopeful? Motivated? Empowered? Joyful? Pick an emotion and use it to guide you when writing your closing paragraphs. Here’s a tip: it’s generally best to keep it positive and uplifting.
Lastly, you need to decide what specific actions you want your readers to take. Do you want them to follow you on Instagram? Do you want them to subscribe to your newsletter? Do you want them to contact you to enquire more about your product or service? A call-to-action is an excellent way to close out a blog post, and also conveniently allows your brand to remain front of mind as your reader moves on with the rest of their day.
Step 5: Edit, edit, edit!
Now that you’ve written an awesome blog post, make sure you save it, close the window…and leave. Don’t look at the article for a few hours or even overnight. When you go back to it for the editing stage, you’ll be looking at it with fresh eyes!
When editing and proofreading, make sure you use the first run-through as an opportunity to amend the tone as necessary. Frequently, writers are more keen on getting their point across rather than perfect the tone when writing that first draft. The editing stage is a great opportunity to refine your blog post, using your brand voice as a guide.
You should also make sure to cull or change redundant words or ideas. Using the same word over and over can get quite boring! If you’re stuck, use a thesaurus – it’s an easy way to keep your vocabulary a little more varied.
These days, there’s no excuse for careless spelling and grammar mistakes! Online tools like Grammarly, Hemingway app, and WordRake make it really easy to spot spelling and grammatical errors in your blog post. It’s really that simple to make your writing look polished and professional.
Lastly, make sure your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is on point. There’s no point writing an amazing blog post that no one will actually read. SEO is an important part of your content creation for many reasons, and when it comes to blog posts, it can mean the difference between having 10 readers or 10,000! LYF Solutions have a great SEO checklist that you can use to optimise your blog post. You can also use online tools like Yoast SEO and WP Meta SEO to check where your SEO can be improved.
Take it one step at a time
Writing an outstanding blog post isn’t a skill you master in a day. It takes a lot of practice to write an engaging blog post. But we promise that if you follow the steps we’ve outlined above, you’ll be able to write effective blog posts for your brand sooner rather than later.
So take a sip of that still-pretty-warm matcha latte, stretch out those arms, crack open that laptop, and get writing! Still think it all seems a little too overwhelming? No worries! We offer a host of copywriting services here at Content Savvy, including blog writing. Get in touch with us to find out more about our services!