Blog content is an essential part of any business content strategy. Blogs are a powerful tool to distribute information to engage, inspire, educate and persuade your audience. Your company’s blog content can range from being very informative all the way through to being entertaining and surprising. But, your blog content doesn’t have to just be salesy or about showcasing your product or service. A blog can also communicate very important issues whilst still being authentic and genuine.
Here at Saltoria, we understand that for many business owners your to-do list is simply overwhelming. We get that operational priorities take over your schedule and that it’s sometimes hard to think about creating engaging blog content. When time and resources are stretched your blog content has to bring real value for your customers – otherwise you risk creating a negative impact for your brand or simply frustrating your audience.
We want you to create compelling blog content that is super useful, relevant and exciting for your customers to read. And that works for you and your business goals!
Therefore, we have rounded up our quick top 10 tips on how to write engaging and effective blog content.
1. Make sure you plan your blog content
Sure, there are rare times where you get in the zone and you feel super inspired and you can create a blog from scratch just by typing away. However, we all know that this is rarely the case. The best blog content is planned and researched carefully and has a clear purpose and a clear objective. Even a quick rough plan is useful as it helps you create a structure and saves mini mistakes along the way.
We encourage you to think about the following:
- What’s the main objective of your blog content?
- What’s your main headline?
- What’s your focus keyword? (hint: it’s ‘blog content’ for this blog!)
- What are the main points you’d like to cover? (3-5 max).
- How many words are you aiming for?
- How many headings/paragraphs?
- How many images or videos would you like to include?
- What’s the main call-to-action?
- Who is your target audience?
- What would be a suitable intro and conclusion?
There are many more factors you may want to consider – however these 10 points are a great starting point if you’re in a rush and you want to get started right away.
2. Be memorable!
You might just want to ‘get something out’ as you haven’t posted anything on your blog for a while. However, we encourage you not to do this! Quality content over quantity of content is always best. Your content needs to be purposeful and useful for your audience.
- Are you saying something new that your customers haven’t heard before?
- Have you offered a new angle to a popular topic or tricky subject?
- Does your blog content genuinely offer useful insights that might inspire your reader?
- Are you educating readers about something they may not be an expert in yet?
- Or, are you simply entertaining them and helping them escape the fatigue of the working day?
It’s easy to say – but remember your readers are busy and may often be viewing many things on many devices. In other words, you need to pull their attention away from their other distractions and ensure that what you’re saying is more interesting than others.
3 . Make sure you’re on brand
Even brands that haven’t got an ingrained tone of voice approach have a brand personality in mind when they’re creating content. Make sure all your content matches your brand personality and fits in with your company mission, vision and values. As a small business owner it may be too easy to get caught up in your own individual views and ideas – but we encourage you to always check yourself – is this something you think the company should share or you as an individual?
Over the past few years there has been some huge stories that have both shocked and saddened many of us. We saw many brands feeling compelled to have their say and we often saw rushed content that didn’t match with brand values and felt out of place (and in some cases disrespectful). To clarify, you don’t have to be part of every conversation and you don’t have to be ‘showing’ everything you believe and do at all times.
If you’re struggling to know if your blog content is ‘on brand’ we suggest you ask yourself these 3 simple questions:
- If your brand was a person could this blog be a credible TED talk?
- Would all colleagues in your business be confident talking about this blog to customers?
- Does your gut tell you that this blog adheres to your business objectives?
4. Use your layout to your advantage
Whilst this blog is all about writing engaging and effective blog content – we also need to remind you that the layout of your blog is essential too. Most importantly, we must remember that everyone accesses and understands information in different ways and the majority of your readers will be scanning your content whilst doing 5-7 other tasks. Above all, it’s also good practice from an accessibility point of view to consider a good layout.
Some important factors to consider:
- Are you using white space to your advantage? Lots of dense text can feel overwhelming to the reader. White space helps the eye differentiate between the main points of your blog content.
- Have you used different style devices to break up your text? Headings, bullet points, tables, pulled-out quotes and short paragraphs are all great ways to keep visual momentum for the reader.
- Is the blog itself clean and fresh? Do you have distracting banners or adverts surrounding the blog content? Try to keep things simple and clean for the reader.
5. Keep momentum
It’s important to keep the reader interested at all times. Are you telling a clear story with a beginning, middle and end? Can you round up the main themes into a neat listicle for easy reading (scanning!)? Could you break up the text with visual aids or catchy headings?
- Firstly, think about your word count. Your blog doesn’t always have to be super-long in order to achieve its goal. Your blog should be at least 300 words long though.
- Secondly, consider the length of your blog. If your topic is quite a long one – could you have a part 2 follow-up blog? This will keep the reader interested and hopefully get them to come back for more.
- Thirdly, offer the reader something new. Is your topic especially useful, relevant or exciting?
- Be concise and pithy with your copywriting. Are your sentences short and pithy? Are you using short paragraphs to help aid the reader too?
- Make sure you keep focus throughout the article too. Ensure all sections tie back to the blog title and fit with the overall blog objective. Going off on tangents won’t help anyone!
Check out our recent article ‘Copywriting tips for beginners’ if you’re new to blogging.
6. Use visual aids to captivate
Following on from our tips around layout and keeping momentum – we encourage you to use visual aids to your advantage. Visual aids are great as they help keep the reader interested and they add variety to a dense piece of written content. You aren’t writing an academic essay – you’re writing a piece of compelling copy that needs to energise and inform your reader. Visual aids are a great way to break up the text but also can help you relay tricky information too.
Blog content should be dynamic and include more than just text. Try your best to include relevant photos, imagery or graphics where possible. Even better – if you have video content that is a bonus and a great way to captivate your audience.
5 fun blog content visual aids:
- An informative and colourful infographic: Infographics are a great tool to summarise a lot of information or to simplify complex topics. They also look ace!
- Short DIY video content: Sure, you might not have the budget to get a video production team in every time you create a blog. But, you can still create engaging and dynamic videos without paying loads to a professional. Check out our recent blog ‘16 hacks for self-recording videos with a smartphone‘.
- Create gifs: Photos and graphics are great but gifs add movement and versatility to any blog piece. Use them cleverly and sparingly and they can be very effective.
- Real-life team photos: Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid using stock photography but where possible we encourage you to use real-life photography of the people that make up your company. Your staff represent your company and they are the life and soul of your brand – use them to your advantage!
- Animated videos: We have seen the rise in the use of quick animations being used in blog content. Animations can explain complex issues or bring old products/services to life and are a fun and dynamic way to engage your readers.
7. Don’t be afraid to use anecdotes and real-life stories
Whilst considering point 3 (!) we do encourage you to use storytelling to your advantage throughout your blog content. For example, with Saltoria’s blog – we often share a lot of insights or tips around marketing on a budget and being new business owners. We use our own experiences and stories to add life to these learnings. Short anecdotes or mini stories are great devices to add a human element to your blog content and further increase the ‘memorability’ of your blog content.
Check out our recent blog ‘5 things we’d do differently if we were to start our business all over again’ for some inspiration!
8. Make sure you have a plan for disseminating
We’ve all been there – you create a masterpiece of a blog and you’re super proud of yourself when you press the live button. Then a few days later you check the analytics and there’s been under 5 views! Unfortunately, it’s not enough just to create outstanding blog content and publish it on your website. You need to create a plan for distributing your content in order for it to reach your target audience and potential new customers.
Some ideas to consider:
- Use your current channels to your advantage. Ensure you’re posting it across all company social media platforms. Can you schedule it again a couple of times throughout the next 6 months with a slightly different angle or promotional graphic?
- Be committed to including your blog content it your regular customer comms. For example, make sure you include it in email newsletters and any other specific client updates.
- Share amongst your business network! Can you ask any of your partners or wider network to share the blog on their channels like their website, social media and newsletter?
- Get your staff to utilise their networks! For instance, encourage your colleagues to post it on their LinkedIn accounts.
9. Consider basic SEO requirements
The world of SEO can feel daunting and it can be overwhelming to consider absolutely everything that might help your blog content rank highly on Google. However, it’s really important that you consider the basic SEO requirements for a blog before you publish it. If you’re using a WordPress website the plugin ‘Yoast’ is incredible and prompts you to ensure you’re ticking off the basic requirements. It’s also important to consider your main keyword, an appropriate amount of internal and external links, sentence length and images.
We encourage you to speak to a SEO expert once you start developing your blog strategy as there are many important factors to consider and this is a very specialist area. Get in touch with us if you’d like us to support you in this area.
Some useful articles:
- 3 SEO tips for business growth (Saltoria)
- How to choose the right focus keyword (Yoast)
- 12 Essential SEO Tips for Beginners to Boost Traffic (Semrush)
10. Have ONE clear and compelling CTA
Once you’ve decided on the main objective for your blog – you need to decide what your main call-to-action will be. Ideally, you will have one clear call-to-action so that it’s really obvious what you want the reader to do as a result of reading your blog content. Do you want them to browse your product gallery? Do you want them to find out more about a specific service? Would you like them to book a consultation with you? Or do you simply want them to just keep browsing your blog content (recommended reading lists are great for this!)?
Ideally, your call-to-action will help you track the success of your blog too. How many enquires have you had? Have you had a boost in purchases? Have you seen a longer dwell time on your website? All these are great factors to consider when analysing if your blog has succeeded! What’s more – having one clear action for the customer means there’s a stronger focus and the customer is more likely to act how you want them to.
These are just some of the factors that we recommend you consider when creating new blog content. If you or your team would like extra support with creating compelling blog content we offer both copywriting and copyediting blog services and we’re here to give you lots of guidance along the way.
Why not get in touch for a quick chat to discuss your challenges and options?