Understanding how blogging works is only one part of creating a strong content marketing strategy. The other is having amazing writing skills.
Not everyone has a knack for stringing words together in a way that is engaging, informative, and, sometimes, a bit witty. It’s a skill that comes with practice, but when you’re looking to boost your blog’s performance, you may not have as much time to polish your writing as you’d like.
Does this mean you’re stuck creating average blogs at best? Should you stop blogging altogether until your writing has improved? No – just keep the following blog guidelines in mind when you sit down to write your next post.
1. Find Your Voice
Every blog is a reflection of the brand it has been made for. Use your brand values and company culture to help you figure out the proper tone for all of your posts moving forward.
Consider your industry too, but don’t let this be the deciding factor of your writing style. It doesn’t matter if you run a tech company, own a small restaurant, or you’re launching a fashion e-commerce platform, your brand – not your products – is what truly sets you apart.
In other words, people are more likely to connect to your voice than your sales offers. Finding your voice is about expressing your company culture and showing authority. It’s about talking to your audience as if they’re a close friend, not someone you just met whom you’re trying too hard to impress.
2. Know Your Audience
Speaking of how you talk to your audience, you need to have a clear idea of who these people are. Think about the people on the other side of the screen for a second, and imagine you’re talking directly to them when you write.
Who are they? What are their personal interests and most immediate needs? Would they understand complex terms and stats if you presented them, or do you need to simplify the subjects you’re writing about?
The more details you can come up with to answer these questions, the better your blogs will be. It helps you create a personal approach, something that feels catered and thoughtful rather than generic or sub-par.
3. Focus on the Hook
Here’s a thought: you could have the most amazing blog written – with a clear brand voice and a certain audience in mind – but a horrible hook. If so, you’re going to lose more readers than you think.
To get someone to read your blog up until the very last word, you need to hook them in the first few sentences. There’s no way around this. A poorly-written hook loses interest; it practically opens the door for a reader to leave your site and find another blog to read.
Fine-tune your hooks by doing things like:
- asking a question
- making a big claim
- sharing a personal story
- using supporting data
Try not to use the same hook every single time you write. Instead, use these tactics interchangeably to keep your readers on their toes.
4. Use Supporting Data
Supporting data works great in a blog’s intro, but it’s necessary throughout the post. You can’t just go around making industry claims or referencing trends without the numbers and statistics to back it up.
This doesn’t have to be your research, either. Take some time to go through other people’s blogs, studies, and observations. Gather the data that is most relevant to what you’re writing about, then make sure you reference it when appropriate.
Note: your blog should still be yours. Make your own claims about the points you’re talking about and sprinkle in the data. Don’t rely on a bunch of statistics to carry the post.
5. Avoid Fluff
There’s stuffing a blog post with too many references or stats, and then there’s using fluff. Fluff is anything that states the obvious or repeats something you’ve already said. It adds to your word count – but at the cost of drastically diluting a post’s overall quality.
If it doesn’t need to be said, don’t say it. Get to the point and keep building on it with important insights rather than common knowledge.
6. Switch Things Up
This point applies to your collection of blogs as a whole. When someone visits one blog post, they’re likely to click on another or at least go to the main landing page of your blog if they enjoyed their first read.
Make sure every single post isn’t a listicle or a “how to.” Don’t keep writing about the same subject over and over, unless you’re building on a big topic and offering new insights each time.
More importantly, be mindful of writing each blog in some sort of outline. Your hooks should always have some variety and your conclusions shouldn’t include the same CTA each time, either. Try to diversify the total word count and the headers you use, too.
7. Create an Awesome CTA
A CTA is a call to action. It’s what you want a reader to do as soon as they finish reading your blog.
Are you trying to make a sale right away or gather more leads? Do you want to refer readers to another company or service, or lead them to a certain product page of your own?
Either way, you have to continue the conversation. The last thing you want is to lose your audience after working so hard to keep them engaged. Once they get to the final point of your blog, you need to lead them elsewhere on your site to continue the buying cycle.
8. Make Sure Everything Flows
The best CTA’s are the ones that feel natural. You want a user to feel almost like they were already headed to wherever you tell them to go. This applies to the blog as a whole, too.
Everything needs to flow from one point to the next. This means avoiding fluff and switching things up, as well as using your voice, as mentioned above. It also means making sure your grammar is impeccable and the lengths of your sentences are varied throughout.
Establishing a flow comes down to keeping things fresh. Every sentence needs to hold onto and build on the attention you’ve worked hard to capture from your readers.
9. Relax and Take Writing Breaks
Of all the blog writing tips out there, this one may actually be the most important. You can only write so many great blogs in one day, and you’ll be hard-pressed to write just one if you put too much pressure on yourself.
So, relax. Take time to focus on other parts of your business and fuel your creative side. Maybe step back from work altogether for an hour or so.
This will do wonders for your writing and your productivity as a whole. When you loosen up, you allow your mind to rest and recharge. This lets you plug back in more focused and better prepared to write the best blogs you possibly can.
Blog Guidelines, Online Marketing Ideas, and More
Blogging doesn’t come naturally at first.
It challenges your writing style and makes you see your audience in a new light. Not to mention, writing a blog means you now have much more content to optimize on your site and through your online presence as a whole. It’s almost like managing another product entirely.
Thankfully, the blog guidelines above will help you start something people will want to read and keep them coming back. For tips on how to market the great content you write, click here.