The Internet has made it possible for businesses everywhere to get their brand and product out there. However, as the amount of businesses go online for their marketing purposes, it becomes more important than ever to have content that stands out. One tool many companies use to connect with consumers—whether potential or current—is a blog. Blogs are used to share helpful information, subtly promote a business, and a place to establish a brand and voice. The best blogs are intentional; not thrown together. In fact, there are three key components every blog should have.
#1: Style and Voice
To create a style and voice, there needs to be consistency. One way to do this is with a style guide, or by using a set of instructions that remain the same throughout the topics. Some of the things that determine style are:
- Point of view – first, second, or third person
- General style – casual, professional, compassionate, instructional, or any other descriptive word that sets the tone you want to convey
- Your audience – Who is the audience for the blogs? An adult professional is going to want something different than a younger consumer, and those in a technical field may expect a stronger knowledge base from a writer than someone in an industry that is less technical
- Your other communications – A blog should match the style and voice of other communications, whether a website, emails, newsletters, or any other marketing content
One area often overlooked by people writing blogs is formatting. If you take the time to look at the different blogs out there, you’ll find that you’re probably more drawn to blogs that have excellently-executed formatting. This includes everything from images and graphics to headers, sub-headings, bullet points, bold and italicized words or key phrases, and other formatting tools that make a positive visual impact. If you aren’t familiar with H1 versus H2, or don’t know what a sub-heading is and why it’s effective, then it’s time to study up on formatting and how to incorporate it in a blog post. Think of it as the ideal way to get the reader to get from the top to the bottom of your post.
#3: Call-to-Action and Links
Both links and a call-to-action are a way to get a blog reader to do something—in other words, take action. Both are incredibly effective. A link should take a key word or phrase and either hyperlink it to an internal page on your site (like another blog post or one of your products or services), or an external site. With external links, the key is to make it something that has authority. Optimally, it should be a reputable source that backs up your content, or something that offers advice that supports your point.
A call-to-action (CTA) is a way to take the reader of a blog post to the next step. It urges them to look at what they could do next, whether that’s purchase a product or service, or just look for more information. Sometimes a CTA is just getting your reader to connect with you by asking them a question or encouraging feedback. For example, you could end a post about the three key components of blogs by asking, what key components do you think a blog should have? You CTAs should be simple, brief, and to the point.
Blogs are an excellent marketing tool, especially when done well. Add a few essential components to each post and you’ll be well on your way to making it effective.