By DJ Heckes
Have you gone to write a blog and found yourself suffering from blogger’s block? Sometimes it can be difficult to find the time to create content for a blog. When developing your content, be sure to apply these 7 tactics.
1. Clear & Effective Targeting
The first and foremost rule for creating effective content for a business blog is to completely understand why you are Blogging. Be sure to have a thorough understanding of your ideal customer’s (your reader’s) profile in addition to your core message as it relates to your business. When you have a clear idea about who you are writing for, it is much easier to write. This allows your blog posts to be on target and have a purpose. This will also keep you from meandering off into subjects that may be irrelevant to your target audience.
2. Know What Your Readers Need or Want
It makes good practice to always write content with your reader audience in mind. Write a blog as if you are answering a question “what is in it for them?” Readers are constantly asking themselves whether a blog is worth their time to read and you want your blog to be “yes” to that question. You’re more likely to keep readers interested if you take the approach of speaking as if “walking in their shoes.” Be sure to address readers’ major concerns and/or issues. If you don’t know what they are, be sure to ask!
3. Edit Often
I see many blog posts that start off with generic lead in sentences such as, “Earlier in the week, the other day, I was thinking about…” A blog post should not be thought of as writing an essay and it is definitely not poetry. When writing a blog, be sure to get to the point quickly. Follow the simple rule we all learned in school “KISS = Keep It Short and Sweet!” This means you can actually write less and say more. Start off with writing short declarative sentences and omit all unnecessary words.
4. Create Keyword Focused Headlines
Write compelling headlines using strategic keywords that pertain to and are relevant to your topic. Keywords are often touted as “gold” by search engine optimization experts who charge a lot of money for their services.
Begin by putting yourself in the shoes of your ideal reader. If the reader was searching Google for information or solutions to a problem, would he or she find you? Compile a list of all the key words or phrases the reader may use to search for you, your business, and solutions. Think of the keywords and key phrases that you want to use frequently in your blog. When writing a headline for a blog post, use these keywords. These key words will alert the search engines, as well as your reader about what’s important in the post.
5. Write Strong First Sentences
Optimize the first paragraph by using the same keywords used in the post headline. Make your point right away, instead of leading into it. Use clear keywords for search engine optimization in your first sentence of the first paragraph. Secondly, summarize them again before you close the blog post. Make it a habit of always closing by asking readers for their comments.
6. Keep Your Blogs Short with Plenty of Space
When writing, try to keep the paragraphs short. Each paragraph should be one or two sentences at most, and then break for a new paragraph. White space can be your friend. Often, one sentence can be as effective as a paragraph. Create lots of white space between paragraphs in your blog. Remember, most readers are in a hurry and like to scan their content. Computer screen text is harder to read than text on paper. Make it as easy as possible for readers to grasp your message quickly.
7. Use Bullet Lists for Information
Use bullet points as much as possible. This makes posting much easier:
• to scan
• to read
• to understand
• to retain
Research indicates that readers prefer blogs to be easily digestible and summarized for them. It’s easier for readers to remember a message if you’ve given the message in a list of three to five items. Many online writing experts recommend keeping a bulleted list to an odd number of bullet points.
There are many ways to ensure great blog posts. These seven tactics above provide a good starting point and a checklist to help you stay on track to create content that your readers will consume and that will lead them to want to take action.