Have a quick search online and you can’t fail to notice that there are already a lot of blog posts giving you simple tips for a better business blog. Many of those tips will cover the overall writing and layout of a blog post, as well as how to make it visually attractive and well written. I’ve even written a few myself! (Check out 5 Sure-Fire Ways to Make Your Blogs Visually Appealing and How to Write Blogs Faster (without compromising on quality!) for example.)
However, there are things that you need to know about before you start writing your blog posts, that can help you write better business blogs - and that’s the purpose of today’s blog. So, if you want a better business blog, look to implement these 5 tips prior to writing your blog posts.
Your blog is never going to get off the ground if you don’t know who you’re writing it for. Here’s a massive hint for you - you shouldn’t be writing your blog posts for you! Yes, if you blog well your business will benefit (in terms of increased traffic and sales), but primarily, you need to write for your audience.
OptinMonster nailed it with their very first tip in their blog 7 Tips to Write a Blog Post That Converts - you need to know who you’re writing your blog posts for. It’s only then that you’ll be able to write content that is useful, readable and shareworthy to your target audience.
So take the time to sit and write out your ideal client avatar. Know them inside and out. Know what their problems are, what solutions they’re looking for and what they really need. Write blog posts that solve those problems, provide them with solutions and show that you care about helping them reach their desired end goals.
Need help defining your ideal client, but find most ‘ideal client avatar’ templates boring? Check out this video from Courtney Chaal of Rule Breakers Club, for a simple, yet powerful solution!
Your business blog needs to be following a consistent publication schedule, one that you can stick to. The more you post, the more likely your interaction, traffic and overall engagement will be, but you need to pick a schedule that suits you and your available time. It’s much better for you to commit to posting two blogs a month and sticking to this - instead of committing to a weekly blog and failing to maintain it.
If Neil Patel had to choose one of his 7 Guaranteed Ways to Make Your Blog Better, he’d pick his #7 tip: Increase your number of monthly blog posts. That’s why in his Ultimate Guide to Writing Blog Posts That Rank in Google’s Top 10 he states:
“It’s hard – if not impossible – to succeed at content marketing without creating blog posts on a regular basis. Every successful blog is built on a solid foundation of content, but it’s consistency that’s the real key to successful search engine rank. According to HubSpot, marketers who are consistent with blogging are 13 times more likely to get a positive ROI.”
In an ideal world and, as Neil suggests, you would increase the number of times you blog, as it will always increase engagement etc. But I do think this needs to come with a caveat; you need to weigh frequency up against what you can realistically maintain. It’s much better to start with a lower number of blog posts each month and get used to delivering on that commitment, before increasing your blog post frequency. So before you start writing, get clear on how often you’re looking to publish blog posts - and create a timetable to make this easier to implement. [To help, I’ve created a simple Blog Post Planner that you can use - simply fill in the opt-in form at the bottom of this blog, to receive it.]
As WordStream detail in their recent blog How to Write an Awesome Blog Post, it all starts with decent planning. Without a blog plan, you’re likely to flounder and fail at coming up with any blog post ideas, let alone getting any posts published.
The added advantage of planning your blogs in advance is the heavy lifting is completed before you write. I like to plan my intended keyword and blog titles first, followed by a breakdown of the intended tips or subheadings I want to cover, along with any other notes. This then gives me a skeleton to flesh out at the writing stage.
Why do this? Well firstly, when you initially think of the blog post idea, you have a lot of great ideas whirling around your head - ideas you’re going to forget if you don’t write them down! Secondly, it makes the actual writing stage a lot faster and easier for you, as you have an overview to follow. So now you have your timetable started (from tip #2), why not plan out your next 6-12 blog posts, to really give yourself a head start?
If you’re writing blog posts purely to fill a gap in your schedule, you’re fighting a losing battle. In order to have a successful blog, you need to write about things that matter to your reader. That’s why my first tip in this blog was to know your audience!
But what does it mean to give value? It means writing a blog post that is useful to your ideal reader. ProBlogger had a guest post that shows you How to Create Massive Value Content & Blow Your Readers’ Minds they go on to detail the different type of blogs you can write, that will be of value to your reader.
The initial blog post needs to be on a topic that is of use to your reader, but there are additional ways you can add even more value to your blog posts. Sharing useful resources (such as cheatsheets, PDFs, checklists etc) and links to additional reading material can help immensely - as can linking to videos, podcasts and other internal and external blog posts of interest.
You could even create content upgrades specifically for your blog posts or link to your existing products and/or services if they add value to the blog post topic. So decide what value you’re giving and compile a list of URLs and useful items you can link to and add them to your blogging plan.
Over on Smart Blogger, they have a massive 58 Tips for Transforming Your Blogs & Dazzling Your Readers. Tip #24 on their list is to hone your headline writing skills. And that’s a smart but simple tip to improve your business blog. The headline is what initially attracts your reader. It needs to appeal to them - either by raising their curiosity or tugging at an existing problem or issue they may have.
So how can you know if you have a good headline? There are some great tools you can use to help. I personally recommend CoSchedule’s Headline Analyser. It gives you a complete breakdown of your headline - the words you need to balance it, the type of headline it is - as well as advice on how to improve it. There’s also Advanced Marketing Institute’s Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer, which measures the emotional impact of your headline.
As a general rule of thumb, look to create an initial working headline. Some people even recommend writing several headline options and then pasting each one into a headline analyser to check how well it scores. You can then tweak as needed - ideally, you want CoSchedule’s Headline Analyser to go green!
Creating a better business blog isn’t just about knowing how to write a great blog post. You need to follow the above five tips to help you effectively plan your blogs, prior to writing them. This will ensure not only that you’re planning consistent content, but that it’s content that’s both relevant and of value to your target audience.
To make it easier for you, I’ve created a simple Blog Post Planner in Google Sheets for you to use. It includes sections for the type of blog you’re going to write, as well as the points you want to cover. It also has space for you to store both your internal and external link URLs, as well as space for that all-important finished blog URL - so you don’t have to hunt for it when creating your social media content! Simply enter your details below to receive it - remember, you’ll need to make your own copy (select ‘File’ and ‘Make a copy’) in order to edit it!