Know you should be blogging in order to build your business?
But you’re daunted by the thought of it and don’t know where to begin.
A well design blog demonstrates your expertise and guides people towards your business’ products and services.
Here’s our 60 second guide for first time bloggers that will help you kick start your article writing.
The first step is to make sure you’re clear on who it is you’re writing for. It’s no good just jumping in with random articles in the hope someone will read them. To get the best level of engagement we much know our audience well, what pains them, what they think about, what they spend their time doing, their loves, likes and dislikes. Getting this right will pay dividends because we’re going to be writing on exactly the subjects that are going to peek their interest. The key to success here is finding your niche.
- City-based window-box gardeners
- Fiction kindle reading rail commuters
- First-time non-technical business owners
- Reluctant middle-aged female dieters
Ultimately we’re going to want our readers to become our customers. So we need to think about the products and services they are going to buy from us. If we have a good understanding of what specific needs our products and services fulfil, then we’ll be able to create articles that talk about those needs. Our goals should be clear and measurable. They are going to drive your blogging plan.
- To have 100 new customers purchase my 30 day trim down diet plan in January
- To have 250 people come to my free business builder seminar during the Spring
- To have 1000 new subscribers to my blog in 3 month’s time
Now choose the topics that you’re going to talk about. The important thing again, is not to be too broad in your subject matter. You need to stay on-subject so that people know what you’re all about. There should be one central theme to your blog and just a few topics.
- Theme: Window-box gardening. Topics: Seasonal gardening, Fun for children, Showcasing readers’ boxes
- Theme: Weight loss for the middle-aged woman. Topics: Menopause, Dieting for the Family, Diets for working women
4. Blog Name
A common trap is to just name your blog ‘News’ or ‘Our Blog’. You need to give your blog a real name such as ‘The Digital Strategy Insider’. Don’t make the name too cryptic, we want people to know what it’s about.
- The Diet Motivator
- The Aspiring Chef
- Tails from the Farm
- The Old House Herald
Now we need to create a plan for the coming weeks and months that sets out the timing of our article. This will help us determine by when we must have everything ready. Ideally you should allow 2-3 weeks to put articles together, this will ensure that you are following your plan and that your articles are prepared and will go out on time. Your plan should set out the publishing date, type of article, format, topic, call to action and headline.
If you care about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) then you will need to ensure your articles include your chosen keywords and synonyms. It’s important to try to include your keywords in your article title and at various points in the body of your article. Good keyword selection will improve your ranking. Why not look at using Google Keyword Planner to research the popularity of phrases.
You going to want some attention grabbing headlines, that’s going to grab your reader’s attention and entice them to read more. Headlines need to tell the read what’s in it for them. If it doesn’t then it’s missing a benefit. Good headlines should be specific, intriguing, simple, urgent, and of benefit to the reader.
- How 500 people lost 7lbs in 7 days
- 10 secrets to give your neighbour’s window-box envy
- A simply way to diet on cake-day at the office
- How you can get 1000 subscribers a week without writing new articles
Choose the format of your articles. These could be text, video, animation, slideshow or image.
The writing of articles can be a big blocker for many people. After all, not everyone actually likes writing. If this is you then why not try recording yourself talking about the topic with someone else. You could do it in an interview style where you’re asked questions about your topic. The best written articles are often those in a natural spoken style. Another option is to simply commission someone else to write them for you. There are a number of websites offering article writing at very competitive rates.
It’s important not to rush your articles out once they are written. Take time to consider how they will be laid out. Breakdown large blocks of text into smaller, bite-sized chunks. Use images and graphics to illustrate the point in your article. Design an attention grabbing feature image that will pull of people to read more. You can find many free images on website such as Pixabay and Pexels. Don’t just pop onto Google and start downloading images! Use sources where you know you have permission to use them.
11. Proof Read
Get someone else to read and review your articles to make sure they read well before you publish them. If you don’t have someone then commission someone to do it for you. Planning this well in advance makes it possible to get a number of articles reviewed at the same time, costing you less.
12. Call To Action
The last thing you’ll need to do before putting your articles live is to prepare your CTAs (Calls To Action). This may be an invitation to sign up to receive your blog via email and in return they can download a digital document that you’ve written. It may be an invitation to one of your upcoming webinars, or simply an offer on one of your products. The important thing it is make the CTA relevant to the article they are reading.
That’s it you’re finished. The only thing that remains is to schedule the publishing and sharing of your articles.
Congratulations. You’re now ready to start your business blog.
Nick Amis is CEO and founder of Entapris, and provides support for businesses and entrepreneurs in developing and implementing their digital strategy. He graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in computer science.