The statistics on the value of including a blog on your business website are clear. Gain new customers, increase sales, and enjoy free advertising through social media by writing and maintaining a blog that gives potential customers information that they are looking for. Website traffic increases exponentially.
What keeps you from beginning your blog, even when you have heard about the possible advantages to your company? Writing is really not that easy.
Take heart, you need not be an expert writer to develop a blog that will bring traffic to your site and build customer loyalty through online interaction. Your blog content is about far more than your writing ability.
Write about topics that you are passionate about
When you write about matters that you are an expert on and can get excited about, it will be obvious in your writing. Spell check, grammar check, and other editing tools can cover a multitude of writing sins, but nothing can solve for boring content.
What questions do customers frequently ask you? What is hot industry news affecting your business? What products and services are you considering offering? How about sales and promotions?
Answer these questions about your business and you will fill your blogging schedule for weeks. By that time, you will have your readers’ comments and questions to guide you to new topics.
Understand blogging basics
While you do not need to be a professional writer, there are some basic tips that will ensure that your blog is attractive and readable.
Catchy headline. Give your readers a reason to click on your article. Use key words and numbers or offer solutions to common problems that inspire people to read on.
High impact introduction
The same studies that demonstrate how much a blog can increase traffic also reveal that readers give your article about 10 seconds to captivate them. Pack your introduction with teasers that make them stick with you.
Subheadings and short paragraphs
Nothing turns off online readers like long blocks of text. Use subheadings that make it easy for readers to find the information that they are looking for. Short paragraphs break up text for easy reading, even on a mobile device. Bulleted and numbered lists also catch the reader’s eye.
Stick with your topic If it helps you stay on course, create an outline of your article to organize your work. If your article rambles from topic to topic, readers will become confused or bored. Keep track of those tangents you are tempted to travel on and use them for future posts.
Call to action
Develop your blog into an online community by asking your readers for feedback on each article. Ask them about relevant experiences or their opinion on the topic, and make sure that you respond to each comment that you receive.
Start with summaries
If you’re not sure where to start with your blog, begin with summaries of information or news. Create a Top 10 list of your product offerings or seasonal tips. Write an opinion piece on popular industry news. Develop an article that answers the most frequently asked questions by customers. You can cover many articles with this kind of information to build up your skills and courage to move on to more creative pursuits. Be sure not to directly copy someone else’s work. When you quote another writer, give them credit while adding your own insight.
Don’t be afraid to use your own voice
Your writing should be conversational and inviting, so don’t worry too much about stuffy writing rules like dangling participles. You should be able to read your article out loud and feel comfortable with the way it sounds. If it is awkward when said aloud, edit it.
Some writing rules can liven up your writing without removing your personal voice. Replace boring verbs with more active ones. For example, instead of saying “walked,” use “stroll,” “stride,” or “strut.” An active voice is usually more enticing than a passive one. To test for passivity, try adding “by pirates” (or zombies, ninjas, or your favorite fanciful character) to the end of your sentence. If it is still a proper sentence, you have used a passive voice. Change it around to have your sentence subject doing the action. For example, “The blog was written (by pirates)” becomes “I wrote the blog.”
Writing your blog articles is only half the work. In order to attract readers who will become customers, you need to promote your articles. Share links on social media platforms, encourage readers to sign up for email subscriptions, and participate in related blogs to drive traffic to your own. Provide easy sharing buttons that allow readers to share your articles with a single click.