A DO IT YOURSELF GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
In case you haven’t heard, blogging is back in a big way. The humble blog has become a powerful tool wielded by small businesses looking to grow an audience online. It’s content marketing 101 and you can do it yourself with a bit of know how. Below are our blog writing tips for beginners. It’s a do it yourself guide for small businesses to help you get started. I borrow from David Perell and even bring in some wisdom from Kurt Vonnegut. Who knows, it might help you write an effective blog post for your small business!
Consider who will actually be reading your post. Define your target audience, where they are on their journey, and solve a problem for them. If you zero in on the needs of your audience, you’ll give your post real direction.
No post covering blog writing tips for beginners would be complete without talking about keywords. The days of keyword stuffing are long gone, but keywords still count and a bit of research goes a long way. Don’t get hung-up on finding the perfect keywords, instead think of it as a tool to define your subject matter and keep your post on point. Don’t be a slave to the algorithm, maaaaan
Find out what is winning in the search engine and write something better. Find the top 3 posts on the first page of the SERP for your topic and analyse that content. Look at what you can do to create a resource that will provide more value to the redears. It won’t guarantee you a better rank but it’s something to aim at.
Writing a blog post can seem like a hefty task. If you have a plan you’ll be efficient. The more efficient you are, the less hefty the task and the more likely you are to keep doing it. David Perrel knows about the writing process and his 10-step guide has helped me define my process. You don’t need to adopt this particular one, but it’s a good place to start. David Perrel is a well of wisdom when it comes to writing. Follow him on Twitter.
Having a basic structure in mind when you start will help you organise your ideas and make your post flow. There are a million blog post templates available, and each is the one. Start with something basic, fine tune as you go and make it your own. We use SEMrush and have refined their blog post template over time to create one that works for us.
According to Grammarly, you have about 15 seconds to grab your reader’s attention or they are gone. An intro should clarify the purpose of your post, and how it will proceed. Establish your tone by giving the reader a little bit of you. Maybe tell an embarrassing anecdote… or not.
Sure you are, but a couple of cool pics will elevate any post. Bring in a personal touch here too. Whip out the smart phone and take a pic of your own mac feat. cup of coffee and moleskin journal at your chic home desk you hip mutha…
The mighty infographic is also a swell addition. It helps the reader see the bigger picture, placing the elements of your post (or those pertaining to a particular section) in context. If you’re technologically inept like me try Canva. It’s free (basic features) and incredibly intuitive. If I can, your cat could.
A blog is where marketing and creative writing intersect. Or it should be. You’re probably not Poe, but it’s still writing and the most rewarding part for me is getting creative. Embrace your inner writer and while you’re at it steal from the ones you love. I mean borrow. I borrowed from David Perell to write this. He did say “originality is over-rated” though.
What does that mean, though? It’s about the utility of curation. I haven’t told you anything about blog writing that you couldn’t find somewhere else. I’m curating ideas that have worked for me, remixing and putting it all together as a useful (hopefully) resource.
One BIG caveat – can you stand by the ideas you curate? Do you believe it? You better. Also, don’t forget to pay tribute to the people that brought you those ideas.
Don’t try to outsmart your reader, show your expertise by simplifying complex ideas and providing solutions. Substance matters and bumping up your word count only counts if it’s worth the words (my readability score just dropped 5 points with that sentence). Speaking of readability, run your post through the Flesch-Kincaid test to determine your score.
Does your blog post answer a question or solve a problem? When we search online, we are looking for answers. Your business blog seeks to provide those answers. Answer it well and you start becoming an authority. Keep doing it and you build trust. Build trust and you sell towel racks, or whatever. You can inform and entertain, but don’t leave out the inform part.
Leaving your personality on the (web) page is a fine way to hone your tone and create a style that’s all your own. Copywriting doesn’t need to be lifeless. Even the name Copywriting is boring. You’re interesting though, so reveal something about yourself. Kurt Vonnegut said:
“These revelations tell us as readers what sort of person it is with whom we are spending time. Does the writer sound ignorant or informed, stupid or bright, crooked or honest, humorless or playful–?
Kurt Vonnegut’s full essay entitled How to write with style is part of a collection called How to use the power of the printed word. Stop reading this and go read that.
How does that help?! Well, it’s a powerful thing to have in mind as you write. Writing is a bit shit sometimes, like when you get blogger’s block. If you get stuck it probably means you don’t know the particular subject as well as you thought you did.
This is why writing is so powerful. If you’re a brand looking to gain trust, you need to position yourself as an authority by proving you’re an expert. Writing is a way to develop your expertise.
So there you have it, our blog writing tips for beginners. The best part about the current trajectory of blogging is that the tricks and shortcuts are overrated and quality is king. A blog is an effective way to connect with your audience and a means of building a real following. Stop trying so hard to impress Google, and start ranking with your target audience. Better blogging everybody.