Although we know the value of regular, fresh, informative content, the mere idea of blogging can be intimidating for a lot of people.
If writing blogs constantly falls to the bottom of your to-do list, then we’re here to help. Our top 33 tips will help you form your ideas, keep your mind focused on the task and produce brilliant, captivating content that will help boost your SEO, build traffic to your site and establish brand awareness.
Let’s dive in…
- Begin with an outline
If you find yourself staring at a blank page when you sit down to write a blog, you’re making your life harder than it needs to be. Start by creating a framework rather than launching straight into writing. This outline will be your guide to writing your blog and will make the whole process much easier as you tackle each part section by section
- Answer questions
Your reader will have questions, so set out by answering them. Why are you reading this blog? Probably because you are starting out blogging, and we promised to share our top tips! Provide a solution to a problem, and you’re off to a great start.
- Aim for 1500 words
This may be daunting, but studies show that longer posts attract more links, likes and shares. Ensure you are hitting a minimum of 500 words, but aim for higher, and then watch the likes roll in.
- Keep the format friendly
Bullet points and numbered lists will make your blog easy to skim through and more accessible for the reader. Big blocks of endless text are far less appealing to read.
- Make it evergreen
An evergreen blog post maintains its relevance over several years. Although responsive up to the minute blog posts can be incredibly effective, if you are stretched for time, an evergreen blog will give much more bang for its buck. These consist of issues that people consistently need help with (like this one), so think about how-to blogs and top-tip lists.
- Tell a story
Storytelling can be incorporated into every element of your branding, especially your blog. Keep the reader captivated by learning from the world’s greatest storytellers.
- Write to one reader
Imagine you are addressing your blog to one specific reader. This is a helpful exercise when you are faced with writer’s block or feel uninspired. What does that one person need help with? How can you share your knowledge with them? Write to an individual, and you’ll find your writing will flow better, and you’ll secure a more in-depth relationship with your audience.
- Don’t shy away from passion
You may be writing about a business, but that doesn’t mean your writing should be cold and stale. Show your passion for your work through the informal context of a blog; people respond well to emotion and genuine passion.
- Get your blog down, and then go back to edit
Jumping back and forth between writing and editing can make the process of writing a blog slow and frustrating. Try getting everything down first, and then go back to edit your work.
- Don’t focus on yourself
This is a common slip up in blog writing – don’t make it all about you. You are trying to connect to a reader, so try to understand what makes them tick and keep your focus on your audience, not yourself.
- Set a timer
If blog writing is falling to the bottom of your to-do list constantly, it may be because it is a time-consuming experience. It doesn’t need to be. Use a kitchen timer or unplug your laptop to create a sense of urgency. Having the pressure of a deadline works really well for a lot of writers.
- Be humble and honest
Ok, so you are writing a blog because you have knowledge to share, that’s great! But remember, no one likes a know-it-all. You’re not writing for your English professor, so don’t feel the need to show off your extensive knowledge; share what you know, but keep it human and genuine.
- Write for your audience, not for Google
It’s incredibly tempting to focus on keywords, titles and headings when you’re writing a blog in the hopes that Google will rank you for a specific keyword. This is not invaluable work to do. However, it’s not where you should start. Focus on your audience. Introduce keywords as you see fit, only once you have delivered a piece of content that works for you and your readers.
- Understand your niche
Once you get in the swing of writing, you might be tempted to tell the world about your enthusiasm for other topics – please try and resist! Your audience is with you because they care about your niche, so this must always sit at the heart of what you write about.
- Make commenting easy
It’s important to encourage comments, making it as easy as possible for readers to engage in the topic you are discussing. Requiring users to sign in, complete two-step authentication or pick out all the crosswalks they can see is just going to interfere with that process!
- Give your blogs punchy titles
Your title is your shop front, so ensure you draw readers in with exciting, intriguing titles.
- Maintain a regular schedule
Sporadic posting is one of the biggest issues with blog posting; if it’s not consistent, it’s not going to get the attention it deserves. Try and carve out time every week to create new blog content, ideally aim to write two a week for the best results. If you’re going on holiday, take advantage of scheduling tools to ensure your posting regime doesn’t slip.
- Know your audience
A crucial rule when writing – you need to know who you’re writing for. Is this content for prospective customers or long-term clients? Are they male, female, in the C-suite or working in junior roles? The more specific you can make the persona, the better.
- Use spell check
Before you hit publish, ensure you have checked your spelling and proofread your blog. Bad spelling will not only dent your credibility but will also damage your SEO. Double-check everything before going live.
- Let your readers help you form ideas
You need to write what you know, but it’s well worth trying to understand exactly what within your niche people are going to want to read. 51% of website traffic comes from organic search, so you need to be writing about things people are searching for your blog to perform well. You can use keyword research tools to help here.
- Set goals
Your blog is part of your business, so it’s important to set goals and KPIs, as you would with any other business endeavour. Setting goals will help you monitor your progress, which will also help you to understand what works and what doesn’t. Goals could be page views, comments, subscribers or any other metric that reflects your ambitions.
- Use a blog topic generator tool
If you are struggling to consistently come up with topic ideas, take a look at HubSpot’s blog topic generator. It’s an interesting way to get ideas based on a few keywords that you type in.
- Use an editorial calendar
Once you have a solid list of topic ideas, use a calendar to keep on top of your content. With two or more blogs going out each week it’s easy to get bogged down; even a simple excel spreadsheet can help. Include your publish date, keyword, topic, title, link to the working document and a column for every avenue you promote it on.
- Write blogs focused on case studies
People love learning from real life experiences, so consider writing about case studies that evidence your product or service working with real customers. It’s the best kind of social proof.
- Fact check
When you publish any content, your reputation is at stake. Go through your whole post and check it for accuracy before hitting publish.
- Post your blog on Monday or Thursday mornings
Peak times do vary by industry, and you will have the best insight into your target audience’s behaviour over time by looking at your website’s traffic signals with analytics; however, Monday and Thursday are proven to be the best days to get the most traction.
- Send your blog post to people that are mentioned
Referencing an influential figure in your industry? Be sure to share your blog with them. They might share it to their circles, expanding your reach exponentially.
- Pay attention to your foundation
Your first few months of blogging are an important time. Dedicate time to honing the basic skills of writing, SEO, and social media marketing, then these skills will work as a foundation for your success when you grow.
- It’s not writer’s block, it’s writers procrastination
Don’t use excuses.Take responsibility for your inability to get the blog written and use the techniques we advise to get your focus back and get the job done!
- Test your blog in different browsers
Ensure your blog looks great in every browser, and that it is optimised for mobile reading.
- Always reply to comments
If your readers are invested enough in your blog to comment, it’s important that you take the time to reply. It will promote a thriving blog community and will keep your readers coming back to comment again.
- Use data to reinforce your points
Good writing offers the main argument, establishes proof and then ends with a clear takeaway for your audience. Use data to introduce your main argument and show its relevance to your readers or as proof of your argument throughout.
- Have fun!
Finally, it’s worth remembering that a good attitude will make you a better writer. It will make the process more enjoyable and make your blogs more engaging to read. A positive attitude will turn blogging from a dreaded task to an enjoyable and creative part of your day-to-day. Good luck and happy writing!