Four steps to fantastic blog content

Planning what to write

This is the second article in our series on how small businesses can benefit from blogging. Today we’re looking at planning what to write about. We’ve split it into four stages to help you create a strategy for high-value blog content. We hope these tips will you the confidence to take your first steps into the blogosphere and begin writing and publishing your business blog.

You might be at a stage where you understand the value of a adding a blog to your website. You know that putting effort into a blog will demonstrate your professional expertise and help you to engage with potential customers.

Once you start blogging you’ll be able to:

  • catch the eye of prospective new clients with helpful tips and information
  • build trust in your industry knowledge and expertise; and
  • establish a stronger relationship with your regular clients

So your next question might be:

“But where do I start
– what can I write about?

Don’t start by thinking about yourself or your industry, but with your audience.

Step 1: Think about your audience.

Who are you primarily writing a blog for? Your existing clients? Potential new customers? Or both?

What are the people you’re aiming your blog at most likely to be preoccupied with? There’s a lot to think about here:

  • what questions might they be worrying about?
  • what problems do they need solving?
  • what help do they need?

For example, if you’re an accountancy firm working with small businesses, you should blog in a friendly and readable manner about the kind of bookkeeping concerns that are likely to directly affect your clients. An article about changes to personal tax regulations or employee benefits will certainly be much more interesting to your clients than say, an industry update on the latest FTSE 100 rankings of  the big 4 accountancy firms.

Similarly, if you’re an IT company who provides IT support to local businesses; your audience wants to read power-tips about how technology can help them in their day-to-day processes. Not tech-related jargon that’s difficult to understand.

Make sure what you write is relevant, interesting and helpful to your target audience.

“Nobody wants a ten inch drill.
They want a ten inch hole.”

Step 2: Now think like your audience.

Your blog needs to address your customers using language which appeals to them – the language that they use. Your customers are not experts in YOUR field – that’s why they need you. They don’t work in your industry and they don’t use the precise, technical terminology that you use. They usually have a problem that they need you to fix. But what words do they use?

Rather than guessing, there are ways to research and find out – we call it keyword research.

Your keyword research will reveal exactly the kind of words and phrases your potential customers will be searching for to find your website. These are the same keywords and key-phrases that you need to optimise your content for.

Here at Word it! Communications, we use a variety of online tools, such as:

to come up with keywords that are relevant to your audience.

Step 3: Getting your message across

Once you have your list of keywords and phrases, you will need to invest a little time drawing your audience in to your website by creating content around these search terms.

Aim for a friendly approach, easy readability and the kind of information that people will remember because it offers genuine value.

There are different ways to structure your blog post around your keywords, which will keep your audience’s interest and attention. These might include:

  • Case studies
  • Staff introductions/profiles
  • My top five… (occasionally referred to in the blogosphere as listicles)
  • How-to guides
  • Comment / opinion pieces (be careful – not too controversial!)
  • Product reviews

Step 4: Create a longer-term plan

Blogging requires a little dedication and personal commitment. A regular blog-writing schedule won’t just happen. Instead, without adequate planning and preparation, any number of urgent to-do items will eat into your time, putting your blog to the bottom of your task list.

At Bloom, we recommend preparing ideas for content and jotting down notes in advance, which you can add to your Content Calendar. This should tie in with things that happen in your industry (e.g. changes and events coming up), things that happen in the world (e.g. Christmas!!!) and things that will be happening within your organisation. These could be new employees, work anniversaries, and other things you want to celebrate.

If you already have a content calendar in place for social media, the two should complement each other. Blogs act as fantastic social media fodder. Sharing your blog on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn brings them straight to your website!

If you’re looking for inspiration for what to write about, or you need help creating a content strategy, speak to a member of the Word it! team today. It’s what we specialise in!

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Where should I post my business blog?

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Blogging for business; should I give it a go?
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