When it comes to writing blogs people want to read, it can feel like a dark art.
Why do others blogs stand out while yours is gathering dust?
This blog post has you covered. What blogging is and how to write blogs your potential clients want to read and how they can help you get more leads and clients.
- What is a blog?
- What is a blog post?
- Why blogging is important for a small business
- How often should you blog?
- What can you write about in your blog post?
- How do you structure your blog post?
- How long should your blog post be?
- How to use your blog post to get leads
- What is the best content to convert a reader into a buyer?
- How to drive traffic to your blog post without spending a penny in ads
…and so much more.
Let’s dive in.
What is a blog?
My favourite description is this one by HubSpot.
A blog used to be associated mostly with those sharing personal journals but today it’s a regularly updated website or web page, and can either be used for personal use or to fulfil a business need.
My blog is predominantly about marketing because the type of clients I want to attract want help with this.
You blog sits on your website and it’s where all your blog posts will be.
What is a blog post?
A blog post is a stand-alone page on your website that provides useful and helpful content about a sub-topic of what your blog is about.
My blog is about marketing but I’ll create blog posts about lead magnets, blogging, your marketing plan, content ideas etc.
Why blogging is important for a small business
The way your potential client engages with businesses has changed.
Something happens that you don’t know the answer to, what do you do?
You Google it.
From “Why is my washing machine making a loud grinding noise?”, “What’s the best bed for a small dog?”, “Best recipe for vegetarians”, “How long should I bake a potato for?”, “How much will a wheel for my bike cost?” to “washing machine Bosch v Beko”.
It’s the same for your audience.
Got a problem? Need information? Got a question? They Google it.
This stat just in.
Imagine what that number could be in the next 5 or 10 years? 80%? 90%?
Oh, my goodness!
You may now decide to ask yourself:
How are you helping your potential client’s make this all-important buying decision?
It’s more important than ever for you to create and share blog posts that:
- Answers your audience’s questions
- Builds trust between you and your audience
- Are useful and helpful
Be the business owner that helps search engines do their best
I bet there’s times you feel you’re at the mercy of search engines when it comes to being found by your audience.
The good thing is you don’t need to know the techy ins and outs of how they work.
All you need to keep in mind is the goal for Google and all other search engines (so you can get start to get better results for your blog).
Which is this.
To give the best answers and the best content that answers what the searcher has typed in.
How often should you blog?
Don’t hate me but this is an “It depends…” answer. It might seem like the easy answer but hear me out.
It depends on what’s best for your business?
If there’s just you and you’re the one doing EVERYTHING in your business then once a week is better than nothing.
Blog once a week to quickly build up a lovely library of useful and helpful content.
One blog post a week for 48 weeks = 48 valuable pieces of content
You’ll also have new content to keep Google interested in your website. They like it when you keep your website up to date with new content.
You’ll have new content to repurpose, share more than once on social media and you can share it with your email list too.
Why it’s a good idea to plan your blog posts
Planning and scheduling what you’re going to blog about, and when you’re going to write helps a lot!
As a business team of one, it’s not always easy to come up with ideas for your blog, write it and promote it every single day.
Planning your blog posts are the way to go. You save so much time AND they’re a fab way to help you attract more leads and clients when you align your blogs with your business goals and objectives.
When you have a plan and an outline for what you’re going to blog about you save so much time. No racking your brains for ideas or sitting looking at your screen with a cursor flashing impatiently waiting for you to start typing.
Once you’ve realised how much you have to write about and create for your audience, you’ll need a plan.
- When will you create your content?
- How often will you create it?
- Where will you publish it and share it?
- What else do you need in addition to your content?
- How will you track your results?
Blogging topic ideas:
What can you write about in your blog post?
It’s all well and good deciding you’re going to create eyeball grabbing blog posts, but what on earth do you write about?
Here’s some questions do get you thinking:
- What content will your audience find useful and helpful?
- What questions do they type into Google you can answer in your blog?
- What questions are you asked the most?
Grab a cuppa and do some brainstorming.
What is the best content to convert your reader into a buyer?
Let’s look at how you and your audience use the internet to get answers and information BEFORE the decision to buy is made.
The searches early on tend to start with “Why”, “What is”, “How to” and “What to”.
At this stage of their search, they’re not ready to buy from you or anyone else. They’re looking for answers to their initial questions.
It’s your job to associate the problem they have with the solution you offer with your useful and helpful content.
What content will help them decide to buy?
This is where they have had a light shone on their problem and they’re looking for a solution.
They’re now weighing up who to buy from and it could be you.
You need different content for this stage.
The type of content you create and publish is still focussing on answering their questions, but now it’s about your product/service, your competition and/or your industry.
According to Responsive Inbound Marketing –
What type of questions will your audience be asking during their consideration stage and hoping to find a blog post that answers them?
The most common questions are around:
- Pricing and costs
- Versus and comparisons
- Best in class
I’ve written a blog that shows you how to use these topics and I’ve included some fab examples for you too. Read it here
How long should my blog be?
Oh no! Here’s another “It depends” answer.
To increase your chances of ranking higher in Google write long, high-quality, useful and helpful blog posts, of 1000 words or more.
When you write longer text, you’re helping Google to help your audience find you. A nice bit of teamwork there
You’re giving Google more clues to get to grips what your blog post is about and in longer blogs the more likely your keywords or key-phrase can appear.
How do I structure my blog post?
There’s plenty of ways you can structure your blog post and there’s certainly lots of types of posts but a basic structure to follow is:
- Call to action
- Share buttons
Let’s break all these parts down.
It needs to be a good one but help is at hand if you’re not sure where to start. You can use a fab free tool CoSchedule Headline analyzer. They share great tips on how to create blog posts titles people want to read.
Sometimes I write my blog post title first to keep me on track while I’m writing but I also write the title when I’ve finished.
A strong headline will have your keyword or key phrase you want your blog post to be picked up by SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
Have an introduction that speaks to your reader and let’s them know they’re in the right place because you’ve made it crystal clear you understand their problem.
These are a great way to break up your content and help you to cover the main topic of your blog post.
Another opportunity for your subtitles is they can help you to be found in searches for other related search phrases. In other words, what else could your audience be searching for that you’re talking about in your blog post.
Complete your blog post with your useful and helpful content.
Remember a good blog post is going to take you longer than thirty minutes. A useful and helpful blog post is better to aim for than a hastily written one.
Finish your blog post well.
Ask yourself if you’ve helped your reader.
Do you have other blog posts you can send them to they might find useful and helpful? Include the links to them as well as linking to it throughout your blog post.
Call to Action
What would you like your reader to do next?
You might want them to comment on your blog post, download your free lead magnet or book a call with you.
Use you blog post to encourage your reader to take action.
Give your reader the opportunity to share this useful and helpful blog post.
You’ll need a plug-in on your website. If you’re not sure how to do this speak to your website person on Google it.
How to drive traffic to your blog without spending a penny in ads
The last thing you want is your content to be used once and then sit there to gather dust.
- Create a post with a link to your blog post on your social media
- Share your Blog post with your email list
- Add the link to your blog page to your email signature
- Promote it on a podcast. Whether you have your own or you are a guest on someone else’s it can be shared in the show notes.
How to use your blog to get leads
Picture the scene.
Moments ago, your reader needed an answer to a question so they headed to Google.
They found your useful and helpful blog post.
They read it.
It REALLY was useful and helpful!
And included in your blog post is a free guide, checklist, e-book that’s relevant to the topic they’ve just read about that you will share with them in exchange for their email.
They pop their email into the sign-up box and Bingo!
Your blog post has gained you a lead for your business.
Give your audience blog posts they want to read.
- Understand what blog posts your audience will find useful and helpful
- See your blog as a way to build trust with your audience
- Your blog can play a major part in your client attraction strategy
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