How to Write a Great Blog That People Will Actually Read
Blogging Has Changed: Here’s How You Keep Up
In the good old days of the internet, a blog was little more than an online journal. It was a place to record your thoughts, your desires, and was mostly the ramblings of angsty teens.
Today, however, blogs have changed. While many are still in diary form, they’re largely used by companies to help promote what they have going on in an informative and fun way as they build trust with their target market. This content, when done correctly, helps with SEO and ultimately shows those visiting the site that, “Hey, this company knows what they’re talking about!”
But it’s not just pounding out some thoughts and hoping for the best. Writing a great blog takes thought, time, and follows a careful plan to encourage people to read it.
It Starts with a Headline
Roughly 80% of internet traffic read nothing more than the headline. The other 20% will click and at least read a portion of the article. A small handful will read it in its entirety.
If your headline sucks, doesn’t intrigue, or falls flat, you’re missing out on a ton of great traffic that could benefit your business. If you become an expert headline writer, you can bump that 20% up even higher.
So how do you write a killer headline? Use some powerful words, and create that intrigue without sounding like clickbait. Powerful words include:
There are actually quite a few that you can work with depending on your topic, check out Sumo’s list of 401 powerful words to get your creative juices flowing.
Alright, you have your power words on deck, now it’s time to play around with them. The first headline that pops into your head is often not going to be the best one. If you’re going for truly powerful, killer, scroll-stopping headlines, you need to create at least 10 variations. Often the best headlines are thought up after the rest of the text has been written.
So, write, create the headlines, and then sit on them for a day or so. Let your subconscious mull them over. Then, choose the most powerful.
Like School: Intro, Body, Close
Now that we know our headline probably sucks, let’s write the rest of this thing before going back and writing a better headline or 10.
Remember when you were writing essays in school? They followed the format of: tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them. Take all of that garbage nonsense, and throw it out the window. Nobody writes like that outside of an academic setting, and nobody wants to read any of that.
But you still need to follow a loose guideline so that everything flows. Introduce the topic, such as, “Hey internet people, blogs are a great way to gain trust with your audience…” Keep in mind that long intros, intros that give incredibly basic information (like the one I read recently when looking up why my tummy was upset after eating started by introducing that food is what fuels our body… WOW!), and intros that don’t pertain to the topic mean that your reader drops off quickly.
After your introduction, hit them with the content. If you have studied SEO at all, you have learned that you need at least 150 words… or 300 words… no, now it’s 500… 1,000 MINIMUM! Take all that SEO garbage, and throw it out the window.
You need enough words to get the point across. If you can get the point across in 150, don’t stuff it with filler that will drive your audience crazy. Use however many you need.
Finally, tie up any loose ends with your closing paragraph or two. This is where you give them the call to action (scroll down to the section about a call to action to learn about that). If you’re closing without a call to action… why?
Headings are Absolutely Important
If you have ever read a scholarly article, you know how daunting they are. Huge blocks of text that run on for pages. Unless it’s required reading for a class, or something that you absolutely must learn from that writer, you’re going to see that block of text and nope on out of there.
Headings, like the one above that starts with “Headings…” help break up the monotony of text, give the search engines something to look at, and let the readers skim over parts of your content that they already know.
For instance, perhaps you knew about headings, so you were able to skip right over this section and ultimately read about keywords or the call to action.
But when it comes to SEO, you have to just a little further. Putting the headings in place is great, but then classifying them is necessary. You want an H1 up at the top, and then break up your sections with either H2 or H3. You can keep it going if you want, but most blogs will be best served with just 2’s and 3’s.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about… well… skip on down to the call to action (it’s after the section on calls to action).
A Bit on Using the Right Keywords
There’s a bit of finesse involved when you’re writing content for your blog. You absolutely want to write for the reader, and not the search engines. But you also need to rank your website for particular key terms.
Your list of keywords, and their alternatives, needs to be in the front of your mind when you’re writing. And those words should be stealthily woven into the content so that the reader can’t quite determine exactly what you’re trying to push. I did this so expertly, I bet you can’t even tell which keyword phrase I have used in my blog about how to write a great blog.
When in doubt, or when you can’t make it work, write better content instead of trying stuff a word in there.
Hit Them with a Call to Action
Now the section you have all been waiting for! I’m half tempted to actually just leave this blank. But, I guess I can’t write the best damn article on writing the best damn blog without including the best damn part.
You hit them with some great information, and now you’re wrapping it all up. Your reader needs to know how to get in touch with you, what your offers are, or how to buy your product or service. The tricky part, however, is knowing just what action you want them to take. And it all depends on who is reading.
If you’re targeting new prospects, you likely want to give them a soft action they can take (i.e. We show you exactly how to build a car literally from scratch, just check out our page “build a car literally from scratch”).
If you’re re-targeting old prospects that need a gentle nudge to become a hot prospect, give them a mid-range call to action (i.e. Download our free guide on how you can literally grow wings and fly!).
If you’re after those hot prospects that are about to convert into clients, they get a call that gets them on your calendar (i.e. Spots are filling fast! Don’t miss out on experiencing 10,000% growth this year; schedule your free 20 minute conversation now!).
As with most of your CTAs, you have to test them out. Monitor them, track them, and see what gets the best response. If they’re falling flat, then you need to put some more time into this.
Scott Sery is a Copywriter and Blogger and Does this For You!
It’s almost over!
I just need to get out my call to action here so you can easily get in touch with me so you don’t ever have to write another blog as long as you live.
If you’re running a business, do you really want to take the time to write blogs? Wouldn’t that hour (or two, or three) be better spent perfecting your business or handling the influx of clients that having a professional writer will bring? I’ll go ahead and answer those rhetorical questions for you: No and Yes.
Let’s chat about your goals, and get some kickass content onto your site. You can email, text, or hit me up through LinkedIn or Facebook to learn more about saving time by letting me write great blogs for your company.