Ever since the dawn of LiveJournal in 1999, blogging has been an integral part of internet culture. Now that entire companies are based solely online, blogging has become an effective business tool as well as a social activity.
It’s not enough for your business to have a blog—it also needs to be interesting, relevant and well written. Here, I’ll show you three tips you can use to take your blog posts to the next level.
1. Engage Your Audience
If you don’t post about interesting topics in an interesting way, there’s no reason for anyone to read your blog in the first place.
To start, identify the general theme of your topics. Since this is totally reliant on your company’s industry, this step shouldn’t be too difficult. For example, if your company sells software to car dealerships, then your blog posts should center around automotive industry news and advice.
Or, if your company sells organic cosmetics, then your blog posts should touch on beauty industry news, brand spotlights and updates on the development of safer and healthier cosmetic ingredients.
Once you’ve determined the types of topics your posts will address, you’ll need to decide on a formula. HubSpot offers free templates for five different types of blog posts:
- The how-to post
- The list-based post
- The curated collection post
- The SlideShare presentation post
- The newsjacking post
Here at bizbuzzcontent, we like to ask clients to explore the following categories as well:
- Trend analysis
- Thought leadership
- Research highlights
- Case studies
- Fun (roundups, culture, off the cuff)
To keep your audience from getting bored, try to switch up the type of post you use on a regular basis. If your last two blog posts were list-based, you might want to try a how-to post or a curated collection post next.
Or, try using Answer the Public to find out what, exactly, people want to know about any given subject. For example, here are the results it generated for the keyword “writing:”
Understand Your Readers
While you likely have a general idea of who’s purchasing your products and reading your blog posts, it’s a good idea to create a few detailed buyer personas.
Essentially, buyer personas are fictional characters that represent your target audience. For instance, your buyer personas could include a college athlete, an upper middle-class mother and an athletic coach.
Some of the details that Shopify recommends considering when you’re building your buyer personas are:
- Education level
- Income level
- Favorite websites
- Buying motivation
- Buying concerns
To create your personas, you’ll need to access data on your real customers before using it to compile a few concrete characters. Then, either craft the persona yourself or use a generator (such as MakeMyPersona, Xtensio’s User Persona Creator, Digital Marketer’s Customer Avatar Worksheet or Filestage’s Buyer Persona Template) to bring your ideal customer to life.
At bizbuzzcontent, we ask clients to answer the following questions (and more) when building their personas:
- What are their most common questions when first looking at your product/service?
- What are their primary goals when working with you?
- What is most important to them, and how does your organization help to fulfill that?
- What are their greatest challenges, and how does your organization help to address them?
- How do they prefer to interact with you? Email, phone, face-to-face?
- What marketing assets have they responded to in the past? Why?
If you’re not sure where to start, or are having trouble answering those questions, start with a user story and work backwards from there.
Keep Things Fresh
Even if someone else has written about the same topic before, you want your blog post to stand out.
One of the best ways to accomplish that is by creating and adhering to a distinctive voice. Content Marketing Institute provides a few simple steps you can use to define your voice:
- Gather a representative sample of your content
- Describe your brand voice in three words
- Create a brand voice chart
- Get everyone onboard
- Revise as needed
If you’re lacking inspiration, try looking at other brands’ voices for ideas. For example, trendy underwear brand MeUndies uses a voice that’s casual, energetic and a touch sarcastic, while chic skincare brand Glossier uses a voice that’s concise, friendly and liberally peppered with emojis.
And, although it’s always a good idea to blog about current events, news and other timely topics, you’ll want to add some evergreen content into the mix to ensure that your posts remain relevant. If you’re a bit fuzzy on the difference between evergreen content and non-evergreen content, keep this is mind: a post titled “How to Survive the 2020 Presidential Election” will be rendered obsolete once the 2020 election is over (non-evergreen), whereas a post titled “How to Understand Political Debates” will remain relevant for as long as political debates are around (evergreen).
While there are many more tips for writing truly spectacular blog posts, I believe those three points make for an excellent starting point.
Do you have additional advice for writing top-notch blog posts? Let me know!