It’s estimated there are 2.7 million blog posts published every day, so obviously there’s plenty of people out there writing for blogs on a consistent basis. The actual blog writing process is quite straightforward but, like most things, not as easy as it looks. Anyone can have a blog, but knowing how to write posts that attract visitors, engage readers, and encourage sharing takes knowledge and skill.
Be they personal, business to business, or business to consumer, blogs are meant above all else to connect people. It’s the foundation of inbound marketing: creating content that is relevant and useful while addressing the needs of and building trust with your audience. So how do you write blog posts that build relationships?
5 Proven Blog Writing Steps
While there are no hard-and-fast rules (you want an individual style), there are certain blog writing steps that, if you follow them, will get your posts noticed and shared.
1. Know Your Audience.
The whole world is not your target audience. Even the most successful brands don’t capture 100% of the market. Create buyer personas, or character sketches, of who you want to reach. How old are they? Where do they live? What are their interests and hobbies? What do they do for fun? Whoever they are, keep them top of mind as you write your posts.
2. Write a Great Post Title.
A good title invites people in. It sparks their interest in what you have to offer that is useful to them. Sometimes your title will spark the body of your post. Other times, you may mine a great title out of the completed content. Don’t let crafting your title hold up the actual blog post writing. For inspiration, look at other blogs on the same topic and see which ones draw you in.
3. Write a Killer First Sentence.
Stuck for a great first sentence? Write the blog post first and come back to the beginning when you’re through. Often, you’ll find a terrific opening buried deep within your piece. Opening with a question is another great start – it’s personal because you’re addressing the reader from the get-go, and it makes him or her want to read on to find out the answer.
4. What’s Your Point?
Blog posts need a point. An interesting title and catchy opening will hook your audience, but you’re not just looking for readers. You’re looking for readers who convert. Make sure the blog post has depth and offers the useful and relevant information an audience is looking for.
5. Write in Short Paragraphs.
Visual appeal matters for a blog post, so make sure there’s plenty of white space. Three to four sentences are ideal and provide readers some visual relief. Forty-three percent of people admit to skimming blog posts. Make it impossible for readers to miss your vital points by using bullets, numbered lists, infographics, and images.
2 Bonus Blog Writing Tips
Remember, your goal is to take the reader on a journey, writing posts that engage and delight.
Don’t Be Afraid to Go Against the Grain.
While you don’t want to write in a way that’s inauthentic, don’t make the mistake of simply going with the flow – that leads to blending in with the pack. Look for ideas that are trending and then work to come up with a unique spin on them. Play devil’s advocate, for example. Find a way to make the post stand out from the mainstream.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Personal.
Look at popular magazine articles. They often begin with stories about people and their real-life situations. People like to relate to other people. Use personal anecdotes where appropriate, and be sure to stay true to that voice throughout all your posts.
These key blog writing steps will help you craft blog posts that get noticed, read, and shared. Put in the time it takes to create content people look forward to reading and the rewards will follow!