Posted on: 30 April 2020
A short guide on how to blog for business
Blogging is a great way to engage with your customers on your website, whether your target audience is Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Customer (B2C). You can use a blog to attract new customers, help improve brand reputation, share knowledge and expertise, entertain or educate your audience on some of the key things that are going on in your industry.
Take a look at some of these best practice tips on how you can write a blog that engages your customers.
How to write a blog post
Choose your title
To get your audience hooked on your posts, you will need to choose a title that will grab a reader’s attention to get them interested in the article.
Use some of the following words or phrases in a title:
- How to
- Numbered lists e.g. Top 10
- Do’s and don’ts
- The basics of
- The amazing…
- The new…
- Use a question e.g. how does (X) affect you?
Only publish unique content
Don’t be tempted to copy articles or content you have found elsewhere. The blog that you write should be unique and add value to the topic you are writing about. If it isn’t, customers are not going to engage with your content and may even struggle to find your blog using search engines.
For example, Google uses highly complicated algorithms to ensure users can find exactly what they are looking for by ensuring search results do not contain duplicate content.
One of the things that Google doesn’t like is copying and pasting information from other websites, also known as plagiarism. These are some of the things that Google considers to be duplicate content:
- If you work with 3rd parties, such as business partners or media agencies and they give you content to use which is already online.
- Content that you have written previously for someone else. Even though it is your words, it is appearing on someone else’s website, not yours.
- A piece of content that is already on another of your web pages.
- Something not completely in your own words i.e. you’ve taken large chunks of existing content verbatim and passed it off as brand new
To avoid being penalised by Google’s algorithm, make sure that any content given to you or that already appears elsewhere online is put into your own words or referenced. Remember to link a referenced article in your own blog.
Conduct keyword research
The words that you use in your article are what will help your content be found online. People who search for information online will often use the same words to find what they are looking for. These are known as keywords.
By using these keywords in your content, you will be making it easier for people to find your content using Google. Use Google Trends, a free tool, which lets you see some of the things that people are using Google to search for in your industry.
You can then plan the type of content that you are going to write by using these keywords in your content.
Keep an eye on word count
The length of your blog post depends on the kind of article that you are writing.
Best practice is that articles should be a minimum of 300 words, but can be much longer if you are writing about much more in-depth subjects. The length of your article should reflect the topic that you are writing about, for example, if you writing about some of the complex practices in your industry, your article can run into the thousands of words. However, an opinion article may be much shorter.
Link to other articles
Search engine algorithms, such as Google, like it when you link to other directly relevant resources on the web. A link can either take the reader to another page on your own site (an internal link) or a web page elsewhere (an external link).
Use hyperlinks to take your reader to different pages or resources such as related topics, product pages, or link externally to provide the reader (and the search engine) additional context about the subject you are writing about.
You should, however, be cautious to not over-link your article, only link where naturally appropriate, otherwise over-linking could be considered as spam to some search engines
The layout of your article is just as important as the type of content that you write. Making your article easy for your audience to read is essential in making sure that you keep their interest and attention so that they spend more time using your website.
Where possible, structure data with headings, use bullet points to keep the information short and to the point, which makes it easier for your audience to read. Use bold and italics to highlight key points in the text.
Use images to keep your audience engaged with visual content. The phrase “a picture says a thousand words” comes to mind, meaning that you can use images to make quick, concise points. Images will also help to break up a large body of text, making the article easier to read.
Be careful about using copyrighted images in your articles. Source images from reputable sources, such as Getty Images or iStock. Some of these could be free, but many of which you may have to pay for.
You may be able to use some images under the Creative Commons licence in return for attributing the content creator.
Also, consider the image “alt” text, this text should describe the image contents for users who cannot see or load the image. It will also help provide additional context for search engine algorithms.
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Source: Zywave inc - Succeed With Social Media: Blogging Best Practices
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