Blog posts and other articles are an important part of SEO strategy, but it’s not just throwing some words up onto your blog page; you need to know how to write the best website content.
Good content writing is also needed for interviews, landing pages, emails, product descriptions, case studies, opinion pieces and, at the end of the day, all written communication that is used by a business.
For a better understanding of how blog posts fit into your business marketing scheme, then read this alongside the companion piece designing content for your marketing campaign.
That article was more focussed on the why, this one is about the how.
For now, we’ll focus on blog posts but may return to some of the other content styles at a later date.
Here, we are going to look at the main considerations of blog writing:
- Why you are writing it
- What you are trying to say
- How to say it
Elsewhere, we will also discuss how to:
Blogs drive business. They are an opportunity for your business to inform, guide, advertise or send out almost any message you wish.
At the same time, they are important searchable elements for your website SEO and understanding some of the basics of how to write the best website content is essential for crafting a well-written blog post that will achieve all your aims.
How to write a great blog post
1. Understand the purpose of the blog post.
What is its aim? Is it to raise brand awareness, rank high on Google (which isn’t the same thing), to educate, to support an ongoing marketing campaign?
Although they most often are, not all blogs are written with SEO in mind; they may be a support act for your customer service department, part of your ‘Help Page’ strategy or simply a way to cater to the whims of your existing customers to meet a common request for information.
In other words, a blog post won’t be great if it doesn’t achieve the one thing is it needed to do.
2. Have something to say
Next – and this may sound obvious – but a most important consideration when writing a post is to have something to say.
It’s often not enough to have some knowledge on the subject. Unless you are simply compiling a list, such as ‘Top 10 cameras under £1,000’, then aside from facts you also need to have an opinion or some understanding of the impact/relevance of your chosen topic.
Always keep in mind that you are writing for your audience, not yourself. What will they want to read about? What will they find helpful, interesting, or informative? Have your audience persona in mind all the time when writing.
So, the post needs to be interesting, get attention and then deliver on its promise. This means not only do you need to understand the purpose of the post but also understand the topic as well, which leads us to the next point:
3. Do your research.
Unless you are already a complete expert on the topic of choice, you will need to research and educate yourself on all the relevant aspects of the subject that you need to cover to meet the brief. And this takes time.
You will not often sit down and knock out a quick article in 30 minutes unless you are already well-versed in the matter. Even then, it will usually take longer by the time you take into account structure planning, writing (rewriting) and checking.
That is – if quality matters. Anyone can write 500 words in 30 minutes if the quality is not an issue. But is it representative of your business, then quality does matter.
If it is written for SEO then quality really matters! Google and other search engines assume quality to be an important ranking factor. For further discussion on this, read SEO principles for the next 20 years.
4. Be unique
And as we have already said, you need to have something to say – and this is because your post will often need to have something unique to say, not just repeat what has already been said elsewhere. This will partly depend on its purpose (point 1) but is essential when it comes to guest blogging (see below) and most blog purposes.
So take some time in your planning to formulate what you think about the subject, what you want to say about it and what you can contribute to the conversation that is fresh.
5. Plan your blog post properly
As they say, ‘proper planning prevents poor performance’.
Plan your keywords, plan your content and its structure, plan your titles – and do all this before you start writing.
When talking about delivering speeches, Dale Carnegie famously said: “Tell the audience what you’re going to say, say it, then tell them what you’ve said.”
Whilst arguably not always good for a speech, it’s great advice for a blog post.
In the introduction, tell the reader what they can expect to be reading about; this will pique interest unless they stumbled across your article by mistake.
Then proceed to tell them everything in the article.
Then tell them it again in a conclusion at the end. This will sum up and act as a reminder of any particular point you wanted to make sure the reader walks away with from all your hard work.
Designing your structure can make the writing task that follows a lot simpler because when you do sit down to write, you are now following a path you have already constructed.
Sometimes, it can be quite a treat to just sit down and free flow write as things come to mind, and you can be amazingly creative by doing this, but a majority of blog writing will not benefit (unless it is a creative writing exercise, of course).
6. Write, check and check again.
Once written, check over the post. If you have time, sleep on it and read it again the next morning with fresh eyes. Use spelling and grammar checking tools if you need to; read it from the point of view of a reader and not the author if you can.
Does it make sense? Does it retain interest? Does it make all the points you want it to make?
Interest is in the topic but also in the style of writing. Is the tone of voice correct for the platform or business you are writing for? Your flow of words generates reader interest too. Your flow should vary. Not just all short sentences. There should also be some longer ones which vary the attention and rhythm required from the reader – this helps keep attention alive and is an important consideration of good writing.
Re-read the above paragraph for examples of both short and long-form sentences. In most cases, you want a written flow that is natural, and not stilted or formal.
As much as possible, you should write in an active voice as opposed to a passive voice; this is another point that makes your prose more interesting to the reader.
7. Use amazing images
Finally, when you come to publish your article onto the blog, pepper it up with great images and infographics.
Try to keep your image selection relevant, keep it high quality and where you can, keep it bespoke.
At one time, ordering bespoke stock images was a costly process, but this is no longer the case and some companies can provide amazing quality for you at very budget-friendly prices (for one example, scroll to the end of this article).
You’ve spent time and effort on crafting your quality article – so don’t skimp on the visual quality.
Once you have reached this point, your blog article should be ready to post.
Today, blogging is an essential part of marketing – and marketing is an essential part of the sales process.
Sales, in turn, are what drive your business.
And if you need quality images for a blog? Talk to Splento today and surprise yourself by finding out just how budget-friendly high-quality can be.
So whether you are a regular writer or just an occasional article contributor, always keep in mind how to write the best website content you can and continue to do that each time.
This post is one of a series of articles published in support of Splento’s Ready for Work (R4W) programme. This was initially a successful four-week programme run in July 2020.
As of September 2020, R4W v2.0 – a six-month full training and work experience programme – has been created and submitted to the UK DWP for approval to be a part of the UK Government Kickstart Scheme. Further announcements will follow once approval has been granted. For more details, read The ultimate guide to the UK Kickstart Scheme.