Here’s How to Craft an Effective Blog Post

Crafting an effective blog post is a proven method for generating traffic to your website. With so much information online, an engaging, relevant, and well-written blog is invaluable to getting noticed. There are three points to remember when writing a blog post: be useful, keep it simple, and avoid self-promotion. Whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned marketer, use this article as a guideline for stepping up the blog writing portion of your content marketing strategy.
Be Useful
The most important thing to remember with content creation is to write about things relevant to your target audience. The best place to start is by considering the questions they might have about your products, services, and expertise. Focus on one question per blog post, and try your best to answer each question in a helpful way. Think of your blog as a resource for current and prospective customers, and provide practical advice that can easily be put to use. If your business is selling children’s clothes, for example, then your target audience is most likely females in their twenties and thirties… write things they’ll want to read! Though it’s not directly related to your product, you could try writing a post discussing ways to help get children to eat more vegetables. Darren Rowse of Problogger.net says it this way: “…it is essential that you are aware of your reader and that you create content that will add something to their lives. Give them something useful.”

Keep it Simple
Once you have a topic your target audience will find useful, starting writing! More often than not, business owners aren’t natural writers. But you don’t need to be a great writer to create great blog content. The most effective blog posts are conversational, rather than stuffy with big words and technical jargon. Write your post as if you’re speaking with your audience face to face. Think on the level of your readers and write naturally.

In addition to keeping your writing style simple, consider the length of your post. Bloggers debate ideal length; some argue that several short posts are more effective for SEO, while others say that short posts don’t benefit the reader. The general consensus is that neither extremely short nor extremely long posts are effective. Rowse advises keeping posts between 250 and 1,000 words. The trick is to be concise and avoid rambling. Ultimately, the purpose of your post should dictate its length.

Avoid Self-promotion
Blog posts aren’t meant for selling your product. If a potential client feels he’s being sold something, he’ll move on. Leo Babauta from Zen Habits says, “You need to consider your reader, and center the topic of your post on your reader…What problems does he have in his daily life that you can solve?”

Instead of using your blog to talk about your company, use it to discuss topics that are valuable to your target demographic. In the end, these types of posts will better benefit your bottom line by allowing you to gain Thought Leadership among potential clients. The basis of Thought Leadership is about becoming an authority on topics relevant to your target audience. You want to be considered an authority that your audience can turn to for answers to all their questions; if this is true, they’re more likely to turn to you when they’re ready to buy.

Blog writing is more strategic than simply jotting down a few ideas and hitting “publish.” But don’t be overwhelmed. As long as you remember to be useful, keep it simple, and avoid self-promotion, then you’ll be on your way to many successful blog posts.

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