Blogs are one of the most popular forms of media, so there is no shortage of them giving advice on everything writing-related. But sometimes too much information can be confusing. What do you do when every blog tells you something different?
In the minefield that is writing advice blogs, you need to find someone you trust and who knows what they’re talking about. Our Writing Tips blog gets more than five million hits every year, so we know a thing or two about writing blogs. Let us take you through our top tips for writing business blog posts.
7 Tips to Writing Blog Posts
1. Decide What Type of Blog You Want to Write
The first thing you will need to decide is what type of blog you want to write. Is your aim to write a how-to or instruction blog? Or do you want to persuade the reader to buy your business’ products or services? You need to decide this early because the language used in these two blog types is completely different. Instruction blogs should use simple and easy-to-follow language, usually giving direct commands or advice, while persuasive blogs should use more emotive language.
Using the wrong type of language in a blog will be jarring for your readers, so taking time to consider what you want to achieve before you start will greatly benefit your writing.
2. Define Your Customer or Market
Chances are you already have a good idea who your target customer or market is, but it’s important that you use language that reflects this demographic. If your target market is over 60, there is no point talking to them about the struggles of being a millennial in the twenty-first century because it won’t resonate with them and might even put them off using your products or services. Click to read more on creating customer-centric content.
When creating content for your customers, keep your audience in mind. Making use of character profiles, with names, occupations, and likes and dislikes, can help you focus your writing on the person you hope to influence or help. You’ll likely already have these from your market research, which is one less thing for you to do.
3. Create an Outline
Once you have decided what type of content you want to write and defined your market, you need to start thinking about what it is you want to say. This can be the hardest part, so, initially, just get your ideas onto paper (or screen, if you are technologically inclined). At this stage, it doesn’t matter how cohesive they are; you can refine them as you go. There are several ways to develop a constant stream of blog ideas. You could try mind mapping, which has many benefits, including creativity.
Then you can organize these ideas into a more structured form. In this outline, you can include your topic statement (the point you want to make) and any supporting evidence. You can do this for every point you want to make. Creating an outline before you start writing will keep your content focused, help avoid repetition, and make the whole process much easier and more enjoyable.
4. Do the Unexpected
In the ocean of blogs, it’s vital that you stand out. The internet has been around for nearly 40 years, which means that there are likely several, if not many, blogs on the topic you are covering. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t write a blog on that topic, but you will have to be creative about how you write it.
As humans, our brains are hardwired to notice patterns. Psychology Today says that this is the very basis of evolution. So, breaking the pattern or doing something outside the norm is memorable. For example, when writing a list-based blog, choose an unusual number. The more perceptive of you will have noticed that there are seven points in this blog. We are so used to seeing lists of 1, 3, 5, 10, or multiples of 5 or 10, that when something different is presented, it catches our attention. And that’s what you want to do: capture your audience’s attention.
Of course, this only works for list-based blogs, but there are plenty of ways you can find a unique angle for your blog.
5. Quality Over Quantity
It might be tempting to churn out blog after blog after blog in the hope that one will catch your audience’s attention, but this can actually hurt your brand image more than it helps it. Readers much prefer content that is well-researched and well-written. Obvious factual errors will destroy any credibility you have been trying to build.
Not only does poor writing make you look like you don’t know what you are talking about (and who would trust someone who doesn’t appear to know what they’re talking about?), but producing ineffective content is expensive. So, focus on crafting quality, actionable content that truly helps your audience with their struggles and that will build their trust.
6. Proofread Your Work
In a similar vein, you must ensure that any writing you put out is grammatically correct and error-free. When you are creating lots of content, it’s easy to allow mistakes to slip through. But nothing destroys readers’ trust more than a spelling mistake that a basic spellcheck should have caught.
Everything you write should be proofread to check for spelling, syntax, and grammatical mistakes. It’s a good idea to get someone else to proofread because the writer often reads what they think is there rather than what is actually there. This is sometimes called writer’s bias. You could have a dedicated person, or you could outsource to a proofreading service (like Proofed). Whatever you decide, make sure your work is error free, or you risk losing clients.
7. Practice Makes Perfect
Writing is a skill, and one that is challenging to master because it can be so subjective. There are grammatical rules that you should follow to make sure your writing is readable, but sometimes these rules can be broken to achieve a certain effect. Knowing when to break these rules takes time, however. And, as with anything else, practice makes perfect. There are great resources that can help you and your team improve your writing skills, but nothing beats practice.
Writing regularly has other benefits too. Nesslabs.com found that writing (about any topic) can improve your happiness, resilience, gratitude, and communication skills. So, in addition to having great quality content, your staff will likely be happier.
Ready to Scale Your Blog Output?
Writing is not an easy skill to master, but, to paraphrase US President Theodore Roosevelt, nothing worth having comes easy. Blogs are an especially difficult market to break into because it is so crowded. The best way to break through the noise is to create relevant, quality, actionable content. To learn more, check out our guide to help you create and maintain your business blog.
Thousands of businesses, from award-winning startups to Fortune 500 companies, have benefited from partnering with Proofed. Learn more about how we can help you scale your content production process by scheduling a call with our team today.