How to Write a Blog Post for Your Business
You haven’t written a post for your blog in two weeks. Better write something quickly then. Two hours later you hit ‘publish’; you managed to cram planning, researching, editing and several drafts into TWO HOURS. You can relax for another couple of weeks until writing the next one. Sounds like you? Perhaps this post should be titled ‘How NOT to write a blog post for your business’… If you are completing a blog post within a couple of hours, chances are your material won’t be attracting your target customer.
Blogs are a marketing tool vital to your business because they build a relationship between you and the customer. As opposed to some other types of web copy that is designed to sell, blogging is less about the hard-sell and more about customer engagement. What’s more, regularly creating informative blog posts tell your customer that you want to connect with them and answer their questions about your product, service or the industry in which you are working. To ensure that your blog posts help market your business in the way that you want, follow these tips for writing a good blog post.
Who knew that a grammatically correct and useful piece of published work needed to be planned in advance? To be honest, before I started out as a copywriter and not just a blogger (I’m joking about the last bit), I’d never planned a blog post before writing. Despite studying English literature and then completing a university degree where we were taught time and time again about the importance of first, second and final drafts, I did not plan a blog post before writing. An acquaintance of mine then told me about the importance of planning a piece of writing (he’s a journalist so he definitely gets it). Once this expert writer had explained to me how planning could improve my writing, it became something that I did without fail every time I started a new blog post. Your planning process may start with brainstorming topics, thinking about a word count, and about your audience. It should most definitely include a schedule. For example, on Day One you will define your target market and find out what makes them tick. On Day Two you will choose your topic and research it (more about that later). This will avoid any last-minute, half-hearted writing and instead ensure that your blog posts are written when you have the time and the energy to stay focused. Don’t be tempted to try and hash this out in a couple of hours; your customers deserve more than this. I encourage you to read up on how to plan; the BBC Teach website has great advice on planning your writing, as does Spellzone. Writing a blog post is a process (a word journey, if you will). From my own experience as a copywriter, from concept to pressing that ‘publish’ button, a blog post will take me anywhere from 8 hours to 3 days to complete, depending on the topic and client’s needs.
You may feel like an expert in your subject, but can you prove this by showing your research? Research, and being able to show that you’ve done the research, helps your customers trust you because you are serious about your topic.
Instead of writing, ‘networking can help your business by increasing awareness,’ support it with, ‘Balance Small Business supports this view by highlighting that networking is a great way to find opportunities for expansion’. Find your favourite medium from which to research. It could be the internet, magazines or books. Always link your citations back to the source with hyperlinks if web-based, or reference with the author’s name if print-based. Don’t be put off by the amount of information out there. With practice, you’ll find your favourite method of carrying out research and your favourite type of resource. Research takes time, so don’t rush it.
You’ve planned your blog post and researched your topic. Now comes the exciting bit. Time to start writing! And by writing, I mean writing at least two drafts; this means a first draft and a final draft. You will need to edit the first draft several times before arriving at the elusive final draft. I recommend that you invest in a thesaurus because repeatedly Googling ‘another way to say “interesting”’ can become boring. When you do write, write where you won’t be distracted. There’s nothing quite as off-putting as your two-year-old bouncing over to ask you where his Lego is (you both know it’s down the toilet where he left it). Whilst writing, keep reminding yourself of the aim of your blog post. Are you trying to create brand loyalty? Entice more sign-ups to your newsletter? Then check your writing to make sure that it is working towards your aim. A good tip is to re-read your draft as if you were a potential customer; what would you want to do after reading this? Would the text maintain your interest long enough to read until the end? Putting yourself in the shoes of your reader will ensure that your writing is written engagingly.
"A word after a word after a word is power." --Margaret Atwood
So, the important tips to remember when writing a good blog post for your business is plan ahead so that you don’t end up rushing; research your subject and your desired customer; and write some drafts so that the final draft is grammatically correct and in aligned with your marketing aims. This may only turn out to be a 600-word blog post, but those 600 words could mean more sign-ups, more sales, and ultimately, more success.
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