A guide to being the new kid on the blog.
You might think writing your company’s first blog post would be a piece of cake compared with everything else you’ve had to do on your route to becoming an entrepreneur. Surely jotting down a few hundred witty, informative words a couple of times a week about what you do will be enough to engage and convert your potential customers, right?
Well actually, that’s where you’re wrong. For some time now blogs and the communities that support them have come to define the success or failure of many startups; those who do not speak to their community are left trailing in the dust of those who listen to what their customers want and write engagingly and thoughtfully on those topics, while optimizing keywords and paying attention to how Google ranks web pages.
So unfortunately for you (but fortunately for your readers) the art of writing a good blog post has dramatically evolved in recent years, with readers expecting far more in return for their time than an ill-conceived or badly-written blog post. If you aren’t able to talk authoritatively and in-depth on a subject in your chosen field then you can wave conversions goodbye.
Readers expect information, they expect to be engaged and they expect you to tell them what their next moves should be. In this post I will be outlining the very minimum you need to do to be found by the right customer-base, to keep your readers on-board and to keep your customers recommending you to their friends and coming back for more.
1.) What is the goal of your blog post?
If you want to stand out from all of the other companies doing what you’re doing, you’ve got to think about what value you can offer your readership free of charge in each and every blog post. The key here is digestible but authoritative information. Position yourself as a leader in your market and an authority on your subject. That way readers learn to trust what you’re saying and can learn from your blog. Tackle questions that your would-be customers are Googling and give them the answers they are looking for. Don’t just write about company news or focus on selling your product; instead think about what your potential customers need to know and give it to them. Your reputation as an authority in your field will have far-reaching consequences when it comes to selling your product, without you actually having to ‘sell it’ in boring blog posts that no one will finish reading. Give the readers what they actually need to know and they will begin to see you as the voice in your field and the go-to company in your particular industry.
2.) What extra, or added value can you add to your blog post?
Now, once you’ve written your blog post on whatever it is you’re an expert on, think about what added value you can provide your potential customers. If you’ve written a list of the top ten best recipes with gluten-free ingredients, offer that list as a downloadable PDF, so customers can refer back to it as and when they need it, or print it off easily. Another idea might be to create a video of you cooking one of your recipes that customers can watch and learn from. The benefit of this extra content is two-fold: your customers feel valued as they are being given a lot of information at no cost. The benefit to you as the business owner is that you can make these downloadable files or videos accessible only when an email address is provided. That way, you can easily collect email addresses of potential customers (given to you freely of course) which you can then use for targeted sales emails, customer research or special offers.
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3.) Think about the formatting of your blog post
When it comes to writing blog posts, one theory is that longer content can perform better than short-form content. Google ranks it more highly, readers feel like they are reading something written by someone who really knows their subject and you as a business accumulate a huge backlog of content to be ranked by Google and discovered by more potential customers. You could even think about putting a few blog posts together to create a downloadable e-book for your readers (in exchange for an email address, of course). You should keep the following bullet points in mind every single time you write a blog post.
- Length (minimum 2,000 words to be considered a credible resource).
- Bolded and highlighted words (to draw the eye to the main points of your discussion)
- Short sentences (makes the text easily digestible)
- Text broken up with images (more likely to be shared on social media)
- Highlighted and/or Tweetable quotes (encourages engagement).
4.) What is your Call To Action?
Last but not least it is crucial to remember that every single blog post should always have a CTA (call to action). This is the action that you would like the customer to take when they have reached the end of your blog post. Readers actively seek this out, they want to know what comes next, so it’s important you provide them with a next step. What your CTA consists of is up to you. It could be a video the reader can download and watch. It could be a link to your product page. It could be a link to a related blog post that readers will find relevant to the topic they have just read about. It could be as simple as a question to start a discussion in the comments section of your blog post. Whatever it is, make sure you have a call to action at the end of every single blog post. The reader expects it from you and it is in your interest to provide it.
Do you have any advice for an entrepreneurs’ first blog post? Let me know in the comments below!
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