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Quick and Dirty Guide to Blog Writing
Posted on May 30th 2014
In the digital age of content marketing, a marketer’s greatest weapon is blog posting. Whether it’s managing your company’s blog, your personal blog, or guest posting on someone elses’s blog, creating original and engaging content is absolutely necessary.
Coming up with a constant stream of quality content can be a daunting task for even the most skilled marketer. Therefore, it is highly important to fine-tune your strategy at every step of the blog content creation process.
Before writing anything, a blog writer’s task is to come up with original and engaging ideas for his or her posts. While this might be a simple enough task at first, eventually one has to dig deeper to get the creative juices flowing – which can be a major stumbling block.
There are a few sources from which a content marketer can derive inspiration for blog posts:
The concept of “Newsjacking,” refers to linking your own product or service to recent news items in order to gain more visibility. This is a strategy that can be highly effective for the virality of your content.
The Needs of Your Target Market
Writing the right content at the right time, for the right audience, is crucial for any content marketer. In order to identify the best topics to cover in a given blog post, a marketer must keep his or her finger on the pulse of his or hertarget market. Check Google, social media, and message boards to see what people are talking about.
Similar to newsjacking, this strategy needs to be carried out with tact. If, for example, a well-known person passes away, this is not an opportunity to piggyback on the news for your own promotional benefit.
While there’s a tendency to keep one’s personal life outside of the professional work space, there is no better stories you can tell than your own.
Keep a List of Ideas
When a marketer feels a wave of creativity coming on, that’s the time to grab a pen and start writing. When the lean times come, it’s easy to go back to the idea list and find a relevant topic to cover.
Did you know that you only have an eight second window to get your reader to read past the title of your post? These days, people have little patience and a very short attention span, which is why coming up with a strong blog title is vital.
Here are a few tips for your blog titles:
Numbers and Lists
Research shows that a title which includes a number is more enticing to a reader than one that doesn’t. Interestingly, using an odd number will have even greater impact.
By putting the phrase “How-to…” in your title (the phrase “tips” also works), this will indicate to the reader that they will actually find actionable advice on how to do something. Everyone wants to learn something, don’t you?
When a search engine crawls your post, it’s looking for certain terms, or “keywords” that identify what the post is about. As a content marketer, you want to have your post come up at the top of the list when that correct term is searched for.
The goal of a blog title is to get your reader to continue reading. In order to do this, it’s important to use urgency to invigorate your customer base. This is especially true if you’re running a promotion, having a sale, or trying to drive attendance to an upcoming event.
Research shows that you are more likely to get attention from a reader if you pose the title as a “You’re Doing it Wrong” or “Why You Are Losing Money.” For one reason or another, people respond more to the negative. Just make sure not to go over board!
We have all found ourselves staring at a wall, at a total loss as to what to write about. These moments can be incredibly frustrating, and for a content marketer, extremely detrimental!
Here are a few ways to get around writer’s block:
Search keywords relating to your business and/or target market is great. By doing this, you will get an idea of what is being discussed and come up with your own take on the topic.
The social web is a great resource to find out what people are interested in reading about and social listening is the best way to do it. Go to the places your target market is active on, find the right LinkedIn Discussion Groups or follow relevant Twitter lists to learn what people are talking about.
Take a Break
You should take a break once in a while. If you find yourself struggling to come up with ideas, and reaching the point of frustration – stand up, walk away from your desk and do something else.
Plan in Advance
Humans tend to go through creative “spurts” in which they are overcome with ideas and motivation. During such times, a marketer must “seize the moment” and write out potential blog post ideas.
Do the following exercise: just write – no thinking, no planning; just writing. This will not only help your overall writing skills, but will give you a wealth of content to go back to when you are at a loss for new content.
This guide is obviously very basic, and I am sure there is much more to be said – feel free to add your own opinions at the bottom!
How to blog / shutterstock