Writing for a blog on a regular basis is essential for success on the internet. A static website is a sign of stagnation in the digital age. A blog turns a business into a dynamic, thriving, up-to-date resource for your customers. It is a window into your business’s world.
Use it to educate, inspire and entertain. The more value you offer, the bigger your return will be.
Here are 27 ways to help you create a blog that grows your business:
- Visualise. Make your blog posts user-friendly. Use images. Use headings. Add lists. Readers like white space. It makes it easy for them to read your content.
- Write web-friendly copy. Write to communicate. Shorter sentences are best. Cut the flab by removing words and phrases that add nothing to your sentences. Use strong verbs. They pack a punch and help you to avoid using the passive voice. Do not repeat yourself. (You might find this list of redundant phrases useful.)
- Define your audience. What do they want to hear from you? Make sure the tone and substance of your posts suits the audience.
- Use images and infographics. There is very little chance of your blog post being noticed and even less of it being shared if you do not use a good image. Use a site like Pixabay for free images.
- Understand your brand. A brand is not static, but you should remember that people follow you for a reason. What has your audience given you permission to talk about?
- Focus on the benefits. Most of us read blogs for entertainment or information. We want to know how to solve a problem or do something. Try to include the benefits factor in your posts. Give people something that they can use or that will make a difference in their lives.
- Inbox ideas. Create a folder for post ideas. These can come from conversations, listening to the radio, or watching the news. Often they come unexpectedly when you aren’t thinking about much. I frequently have great ideas when I visit the hairdresser and I cannot access anything digital in the middle of a treatment. Remember to write them down or email them to yourself.
- Mix up the length. Do not force the length of a blog post. When you’ve said what you want to say, stop. If you need to say more, continue. Different stories require different lengths.
- Work on your headlines. If they don’t appeal to your audience, they won’t click on your link. Think about the words you choose. You may want to read 7 Invaluable Tips For Writing Blog Post Titles. You can also use this free headline analyser.
- Write properly. Don’t kid yourself. Spelling properly and using correct punctuation and grammar are more important than you imagine.
- Make time to write. Focusing on this is important. Set aside time to write your weekly blogs in advance. Choose one of these formats if you are stuck for ideas.
- Create a blogging diary. If you blog every day, you could have a theme for each day. Mondays could be for more serious posts, Tuesdays could be for interviews or profiles, and so on. If you write twice a week, Wednesdays could be for ‘How to’ or ‘List’ posts and Saturdays could be for opinion pieces.
- Post frequently. Your goal in blogging is to show that you’re there. If you want to show what you know, you will have to establish yourself by writing about your subject frequently. This will give you a body of work that will show potential clients that you know your business.
- Be yourself. Don’t try to force a writing style. People will react badly to an insincere tone. This does not mean that you have permission to be unprofessional; it just means that you should write in a way that suits your personality. Don’t use words that you would not use when you speak.
- Write every day. Take 15 minutes to free write, or use a prompt to write a short story. You could write a poem or write a review. These 15 minutes should be a creative exercise and you will be surprised how much it will help you. Creating a writing habit is the only way to win the blogging game. It is impossible to be successful here if you are undisciplined. Taking a creative writing course inspires confidence in most people who want to blog, so it may be a good place to start.
- Ask a question. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. This does not mean every blog post should be an advertisement. It means that people will not do things unless you guide them and ask them to do so. If you write a post on writing prompts, ask them if they want to receive one every day.
- Build a mailing list. At the end of each post, offer a free subscription to a newsletter or mailing list where they will receive more notifications of similar articles. Most of your business will be created by forming lasting relationships. Use a service like mailchimp to create a list.
- Socialise. You cannot create a strong social media presence without a vibrant blog. If you have lots of posts, you will be able to share new content on all your social media platforms. (Read our Social Media 101 Series to learn about the different platforms.)
- Make friends. If people want to write guest posts for you, create a set of guidelines and allow them to submit posts. Offer to write a post for a blog that you follow. These options allow you to network and to create variety for your followers.
- Be aware of trends. Read other blogs in your industry to keep up with what people are sharing. You may find inspiration there or confirmation that you are on the right track.
Read novels. Businesses rely on storytelling techniques. The best way to understand human behaviour is to read. A steady diet of books gives bloggers the reserves to write stories. They also show you how to do it.
- Avoid blog speak and jargon. Write in plain language. Write about your subject as if you are speaking to people who don’t blog. It’s the content that matters.
- Be passionate. To sustain this endeavour, you have to love your subject matter. If you do, you will always have something new to say about it. Your excitement will shine through the blog post and motivate your readers.
- Have an opinion. People who follow you want to know what you stand for. It’s impossible to be neutral all the time. I often pick up
flak for my belief that it is better to plan when writing a book. This annoys people who prefer to wing it. There is an on-going battle in creative writing between the plotters and the pantsters. I don’t mind which method people use, but I do know which one I prefer.
- Create a poll. Ask your readers about a product or an innovation that may interest them. Remember to keep it short and simple, using a multiple-choice format. Use easypolls or pollcode or pollmaker to create your free poll. Use the embed code to share it on your blog or link it to your social media platform.
- Choose a blog design that suits your business. First impressions count. Make your visitors feel as if they have landed in the right place.
- Share photographs. If you attend events relating to your business, share them. People love to see the real you. Share other personal photos on social media platforms as well. Being relatable is a good thing.
Good luck with your blog.