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The starting point is clear: the entire digital marketing strategy is doomed to fail if doesn't consider blogging as a critical component to its success.
Without a blog, how will your brand stand out in the intense battle of content marketing which has been going on for several years on the Internet? And for that matter, where will you put the all-important call-to-action to generate the desired inbound leads?
Now that we've established the importance of blogging, the question to answer is simple: how to write a blog post?
Let's be honest, writing a post for your business blog is a task that requires willingness and motivation. However, there' are countless lists of steps to take to write blog posts, one of those is shared by Hubspot, a developer, and marketer of software products for inbound marketing and sales company based in the USA.
Time to answer the question: how to write a blog post?
- Understand your audience.
- Identify a topic and come up with a working title.
- Write an intro and make it captivating.
- Organize your content in an outline.
- Write your blog post!
- Edit/proofread your post.
- Insert one call to action (CTA) or more
- Optimize for on-page SEO.
- Pick a catchy title.
Step 1: Understand your audience
No step can be taken until you know your target audience well. In practice, before you even start you must have a clear understanding of your target audience.
To do so you have to answer some questions:
- What do they want to know about?
- What will resonate with them?
Two simple questions that will help complete a crucial task: create buyer personas; the people you'll be writing your blog posts for. It may seem like a simple task, but it is absolutely essential.
Step 2: Identify a topic and come up with a working title.
Time to start, to sit down at the keyboard and to put one word after another, so to speak.
Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. It can be pretty general to start with, but as you do your research, you can expand the topic into more specific titles and approaches. For example, "How to choose a solid topic for your next blog post" could be the starting topic for a post that may end up with the title " A workflow for selecting a blog post topic".
Step 3: Write an intro and make it captivating
The idea is pretty straightforward: it's important to grab the reader's attention as early as possible, that is why you must invest in a great introduction so you don't lose the reader - the customer - in the first few paragraphs. If you can't keep the reader interested, they will stop reading before they reach the end of the post.
There are numerous ways of maintaining interest, such as including a good story or even a joke. In essence, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.
Once they are engaged, take the opportunity to describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having.
Step 4: Organize your content in an outline
Firstly, some advice from those who already have their posts published on a blog. Break the post by topic so that you know which points you want to cover.
This prevents the post from becoming complicated, especially when it includes a remarkable amount of information. The organization can take multiple forms: sections, lists, tips, whatever's most appropriate. But it must be organized!
Step 5: Write your blog post
A word of advice before you type the first word: Don't dread the size of the post, the important thing is that it is useful and well-written.
And now the long awaited moment: writing.
- Use your outline as a guide
- expand on all of your points as needed
- Write about what you already know
- Research to gather more information
- Refer to examples and data to back up your points
- Cite the sources mentioned.
Step 6: Edit/proofread your post
Don't hesitate to ask a co-worker to copy, edit, and proofread your post, as you are increasing the chance of spotting an error that has eluded you.
In this step, which we call proofreading, we do not only refer to the text of the post, but also to the highlighted image, the visual layout and also the topics/tags.
- The featured image
Make sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. Remember that you're also writing for social media, which values content with images. Visual aspect is key for your blog's success.
- Visual appearance
This may be obvious, but no one likes an ugly blog post. As well as paying attention to the pictures and images, be extremely careful with the formatting and organisation of the post.
It's through tags - specific keywords that describe a post - that readers browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Important tip: don't add an extensive list of tags to each post, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Thin of simple "topics" or "categories" and choose 10 to 20 tags which represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog
Step 7: Insert one call to action (CTA) or more
Experts in digital marketing refer to the vital importance of adding CTAs to your blog post. At the end of a post, the call to action indicates what you want the reader to do next subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, read a related article, etc.
CTAs are excellent for generating leads, but they are also a valuable resource for the readers that can get more content similar to the subject of the post they have just read through them.
Step 8: Optimize for on-page SEO
Have you finished writing the blog post following the seven steps? Time back, read it through and optimize your post for search.
It's easily done, don't obsess over how many keywords to include. Whenever there is an opportunity to do so, include them, but don't "annoy" the reader. If possible, make your URL shorter as well.
One thing is certain; Google will know if you crammed keywords or shot for some arbitrary keyword density.
Another aspect we'd like to highlight in this step eight: the metadescription. Whilst it's true that the meta descriptions are no longer a factor in Google's keyword ranking algorithm, they are still important as descriptions. Appearing below the post's page title on Google's search results, they provide searchers with a short summary of the post. They should not exceed 160 characters and should begin with a verb such as "learn", "read" or "discover", for example.
Step 9: Pick a catchy title.
Now it's time to choose the title of your blog post. There are several tips that can help you this task:
The title should be sharp, clear, catchy and powerful. In addition, try to optimize it by inserting some keywords - but don't overuse them, don't make it a long and tiring title.
Remember: Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.
Interesting blog posts? Find out how
Now that you have embraced blogging, the challenge goes beyond the constant production of posts that meet an inbound marketing strategy.
Meaning, the articles must be interesting. Here are some techniques you can use:
1. Tell a story
Telling a story is one way to make your post more captivating. Note that we are talking about short, simple stories. According to Neil Patel in an post written for the Hubspot blog: "Stories produce instant brain activation. When the brain hears a story, it engages in neural coupling, a phenomenon that makes the brain actually experience the ideas being set forth in the story. Even the motor cortex, the part of the brain responsible for voluntary muscular motion, is activated by a story."
2. Write in the first person
It's natural for us to speak in the first person, so writing should be the same.
3. Be clear
Be clear about what you have to say. Nothing more, nothing less; the secret is to use the right words.
4. Don’t make it longer than it needs to be
We're not talking about word count, because if the article is interesting, no one will notice the time they've spent reading. We're talking about writing what's necessary, without being long in an artificial way and trying to sound like an expert.
5. Don’t make it shorter than it should be.
Brevity is a virtue in writing, but don't take it too literally. Your article still needs to have a narrative.
6. Write short sentences
Shorter sentences help readers take pauses. And this increases the chance of them staying interested.
7. Break it up
Let's be frank: the content of your post may be very interesting, but if it's an enormous chunk of text, people will see it as a chore, even before they start reading.
Visual presentation matters, so the font, the kerning (spacing between characters), the spacing between lines, the paragraphs, titles, numbers, and bullets will help to make the text interesting.
In short, quoting Neil Patel: "Don’t try to impress us. Just try to get your message across clearly".
This text was not written by a native English speaker, but by a language lover. However, all our language services are always provided by native speakers.
AP PORTUGAL - Tech Language Solutions is a Portuguese translation company certified by the ISO 17100 International Quality Standard. The company offers a wide range of language services, which include translation (TEP), post-editing machine translation (PEMT), transcription, desktop publishing and subtitling, voice talent, software and website localisation technology, SEO and consulting. It invests enthusiastically in the development of partnerships and cooperation anywhere in the world where your organization may need a partner for the African, Brazilian and European Portuguese language.
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