Have you ever wondered how to write a great blog post?
There are hundreds and thousands of articles already published which give strategic insight into how to write a good blog. Whether it’s for personal benefit or for your business, writing a blog isn’t necessarily hard.
But do you know the difference between a good blog and a great blog?
If you’ve read our recent article “How to make your blog the hardest working page on your website” then you’ll know that we firmly believe in making your blog work as hard as it should. After all, thanks to social media engagement and SEO techniques, your blog should be continually driving traffic to your website long after its initial publication.
At Gatekeeper Communications, we pride ourselves in having a purpose for everything we do; in our view, the worst thing a blog can do is make you question why you read it in the first place.
As experienced copywriters, we’ve been writing blogs, articles and press releases for many years now. We’ve worked across a variety of sectors and have worked locally and nationally, in an in-house team and within an agency environment. Over the years, we’ve learnt that great writing skills are transferrable; it doesn’t matter what you’re writing about, it’s the tools of the trade that matter.
Here are our thoughts on how to write a great blog post.
What’s the point?
It may sound like a defeatist question, but this is possibly one of the most important questions you can ever ask yourself when it comes to marketing and copywriting.
We’ve read countless blogs and articles which don’t seem to go anywhere; they ramble on without giving away any opinion or thought. If your reader is left thinking “why have I read this?” then your blog isn’t working in the way that it should.
Before you hit the keyboard and start writing, try to think about how you want to structure your blog post. What are you going to talk about – do you need to give any background information? Are you trying to share your own opinion? Are you trying to pinpoint your customers to a product or service?
Once you have decided what you want to talk about, you need to break that down into further subsections.
Subheadings are an extremely useful tool when it comes to blog writing. Not only do they break down lengthy pieces of text, but thanks to H2 tags, they are also extremely influential when it comes to search engine optimisation.
When we’re writing a blog post, we try to think of my sub-headings first; after all, if we know what points we want to make, then we can make sure that the copy flows together cohesively. Everyone has their own writing style; our fabulous colleague Emma Plummer at On Point Content has her own secrets to writing creative content!
Are you sharing anything new?
Once you know what you want to write, you need to think about what you want to say. This may sound daft, but they are two completely different things.
Writing about a topic relevant to your sector may sound simple, but you always need to ask yourself, “am I sharing anything new?”. Good blogs can share the information which has already been written; great blogs can create entirely new content.
It’s always important to research your blog topic before you start writing. If you feel that you’re rehashing something which has already been written before, then perhaps it’s best to write about something else. Or perhaps you may need to find a creative way to spark a new angle on an already established topic.
For instance, if you want to write about something topical which is relevant to your sector, why not interview your staff or stakeholders to find out their views? This way, you can join in the conversation with entirely fresh content unique to your organisation.
Don’t be afraid of having an opinion
Content marketing is all about demonstrating your brand personality.
In today’s crowded market, it’s increasingly important to show your audience who you are, and what your values are. Customers increasingly like to engage and relate to brands, so you shouldn’t be afraid of saying what you really think.
When Gillette released their controversial “We believe: The best men can be” advert, debates took place across social media on an international level. There was a huge split in opinion; many felt that they were absolutely right with their messaging and tone of voice, whilst others threatened to boycott the brand entirely. Whatever your opinion, the advert achieved over 2 million views in the first 48 hours alone. Six months on, the viewing figures have now exceeded 30.5 million views and their message is still memorable.
Gillette’s example shows that it’s fine for your audience to have a strong opinion about what you’re trying to say. In fact, we would agree that you want people to have a reaction to your blog post – the last thing you want is for them to immediately forget that they’ve read it.
A little bit of humour is fine
OK, you don’t need to fill your blog posts with cheesy jokes or silly puns. But equally, you don’t want to bore your readers either. Great blogs are those that tread the fine balance of being informative whilst remaining entertaining and lively.
In our view, blogs are the perfect place to showcase your corporate personality. They can be used to highlight your success, share your knowledge and showcase your individual team members. They can be a mix of academic, informative articles or light-hearted posts focusing on your team’s most recent bake sale.
If you’re unsure how to get the fine balance between entertaining and professional, why not give us a call. We’ll advise you on how to get the right equilibrium for your audience and help you to write a great blog post.
What’s your final call to action?
At the end of every blog post, you need to direct your audience somewhere. You don’t want them to simply switch off and move onto somewhere new. You need them to be able to act and do what you intended them to do.
There is no set rule for what your call to action should be; it’s entirely dependent upon your blog subject. You may wish for your readers to give you a call or send you an email. You may be directing them to read other blog posts or articles that you’ve published. Or you may be asking them to follow you on your social media channels.
We’d always recommend mixing up your calls to action. This way you’re using different blogs for different purposes and changing the ways in which they engage with your audience. Over time, you can start to review them and use your analytics to see what is working and what could be improved upon.