It’s been a while since we posted about the importance of blogging for business. Even we got a little lax in posting regularly for a while, and believe me we saw a pretty noticeable difference in traffic as a result of it.
If you’re not blogging yet, it may seem a bit daunting at first, between actually writing the posts, trying to increase your traffic, etc. However, a blog is vital. It helps build credibility, a more personal relationship, and it provides your clients with important information.
How to get started
So you’ve added a blog to your web site. You have a few ideas on the post you’d like to write, but have no idea how to put them in a blog format. There’s an easy, fool proof, step-by-step approach that can help you format any idea into a great blog post.
These rules are the very basic, but you can add on to them and incorporate your own creative style.
- An eye-popping title.
This it the first thing people will see, and it determines whether or not they will even read the post. I think keeping your titles short helps the message remain clear, while getting the reader’s curiosity peaked. A lengthy, descriptive title (anything upwards of 10 words) will deter the reader. If they don’t know what the post is about simply by glancing at a short title, forget it.
Now that you’ve got their attention, it’s time to go into a little detail. Elaborate on your title. Explain what the problem is, who is involved, but most importantly, why it matters to the reader. You can write an extremely compelling blog post about a new type of dessert cheese, but if your audience is mostly lactose intolerant, it’s not going to work. If you don’t think that this article is appropriate for all of your readers, but most, specify. Tell them who exactly should be interested in this article, so that you don’t waste anyone else’s time (and frustrate them for wasting ten minutes reading a blog post about cheese). Then, suggest a few solutions. These should all be things you will address later in the post.
In case your audience isn’t fully on board after your introduction, a compelling image will pull in all the stragglers. Make it relevant and eye catching.
Address the possible solutions you suggested in your introduction. Why is one better than the other? Provide tips to help your readers work their way through this problem. If you are describing how to use a new website, take screen shots, so that readers can follow step-by-step.
Remember in grammar school when they taught you to end an essay by restating the introduction? This is a little bit like that, but with some slight differences. Make the article relevant again by reminding them why they started reading in the first place. Present the initial problem right next to the best solution, so that readers will say, “oh wow, this was so useful in helping me decide which cheese to use at the party!” Prove to them just how important this blog post was, and that those ten minutes spent reading were significantly helpful.
- Ask a question.
If you want some feedback, or simply to spark some discussions between readers, end your post with a question. Even if they don’t comment, asking a question requires the reader to think critically about the post, further solidifying its importance in their minds.