Whether you call it a blog or a news page, presenting new information to your readers is an essential function for your business. More importantly, it helps your business get found online. Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the other search engines love fresh content. It helps with your organic placement (although organic rank takes time…and anyone who tells you differently is lying to you). Here are three blog writing tips to help you get started.
Blog Writing Tip #1: Check Out What Your Competitors Are Doing
Understand that we use the word “competitors” in a loose way. By that term, I mean those who are in your industry and who have the same or a similar audience as you. What are they are they writing about? What’s on their FAQ page? You can look for comments, but don’t worry too much about it if you don’t see any. Readers don’t engage quite as much on blogs as they did a few years ago (although they still engage on other platforms such as Medium, Yahoo News, and other article websites). Your goal is to find the topics discussed by the movers and shakers in your industry to get a general idea of what you should be talking about.
You’ll find that this tip is particularly helpful if your business is brand new and you have no idea where to start or if you’re completely and totally overwhelmed. And if you are overwhelmed, remember that you don’t have to write everything all at once. And that you can also get help.
This is not about plagiarism. If you steal exactly what your competitors write about, I have some bad news for you…the search engine gods will eventually find your domain and penalize it by shoving it way down the search engine placement rank (SERP)…if it even shows up at all. And it just makes you look like a jerk. It shows no original thought…and even if your potential or actual clients ever find out you did it, it doesn’t truly show what you’re capable of doing. And if your competitors find out? You could get into legal trouble…which is no bueno.
Blog Writing Tip #2 – Think from the Reader Perspective
I could get really deep into font choices, spacing between the letters, spacing between the lines, linking strategies, and lots of other things…but you may have noticed that our three blog writing tips are pretty simple. Why? Because I am putting tip #2 in action. I am thinking from the perspective of our reader. If you’re reading this and you’re a business, I am making the presumption that perhaps you are fairly new to writing a blog. WordPress makes it pretty easy to set up a blog. Coming up with ideas and writing the blog? That’s not always the easy part…especially when you’d rather focus on running your business.
I also know that there are people who want to learn how to create their own blog content. To do that, you must start by thinking from the perspective of the reader. What is it they really want to know? What is the really need to know? Where are they in their journey that made them come to your website in the first place? What did they look up in Google (such as blogging tips for beginners) that got them to land on your website?
So, for example, with this particular article, it’s blogging tips. I thought about what I needed to know *cough cough* 15 years ago when I first started blogging that really wasn’t available. Back then, there weren’t many resources for people who were new to the process. I amassed a rather large following on several blogs that I started, but learned everything the hard way. Most of those blogs related to parenting or current events. I knew how to play to my audience to keep them subscribing and coming back. (The blogs were not monetized.)
If you’re a health and wellness coach who has experience with hypothyroidism because you live with it, for example, think about what your readers would search for…and what they would want to know. Why would they want to come to your site? What are they looking to learn? Why would they want to subscribe to get your content? You don’t need all the answers right away, either. Just write down a few ideas while always keeping your reader in mind. Consider all of the times you’ve clicked on a well-ranking link that you thought would explain something and you were disappointed when it didn’t have the information you thought it would.
Blogging Tip #3 – Choose the Right Words for Your Audience
I write content for a lot of attorneys. They aren’t my only clients, but I do find myself working with attorneys across many practice areas. Some work with the general public and others work with corporations. I mention that to make a point: it’s important when you’re blogging to choose the right words to engage with your audience.
A personal injury lawyer must use down-to-earth language in their blogs (whether they like it or not…and some do not like it because they feel it somehow cheapens what they do) because their audience is made of Joe and Jane Average who generally has an automatic distrust of attorneys that must be bypassed. Joe and Jane Average are also usually intimidated by attorneys and have little to no experience with them. This usually isn’t the best time for an attorney to show off their education and legalese. It’s a time to build trust.
Yet, an attorney who primarily works with corporations (with perhaps the exception of brand-spanking-new small businesses who may not have much experience dealing with attorneys) needs to build trust, but they can also use a bit more legalese if they’d like to do so…corporations are more familiar with it. They have an expectation of “Look what I can do” (less Stuart from MadTV for all you 90s teenagers…except I know some of my lawyer clients reading this who were 90s teenagers definitely enjoy the reference – you’re welcome!) versus overcoming the “All lawyers are evil and bad and will take advantage of you” persona heavily indoctrinated into the public.
Word choice absolutely matters. If you’re using Yoast in WordPress, you’ll see something called “Readability.” That’s not quite what I’m referencing. Readability is how easy your text is to read overall. While that’s important, it’s not what I mean. I’m strictly referencing word choice for your audience. I know that for some readers of this, word choice, you’ll decide, won’t matter. You’re are, of course, fully allowed to make that decision because it is your content. Just keep in mind that depending on your industry and your target audience, it can matter. It can matter just as much as every other aspect of your design and graphic options.
I hope this helps. If you have any questions about blogging, please reach out. Businesses can schedule a free consultation through the Black Moth Media Facebook page. If you’re a freelance writer or editor, you can book time with me here.