Blogging is good. But feeding it with quality content, adapted to the expectations of your audiences, is even better… and it allows you to take full advantage of the benefits of blogging: gain visibility thanks to SEO, increase your volume of traffic, develop your notoriety, demonstrate expertise, place CTAs for conversion, etc. Except for that publishing relevant and effective content, which allows you to achieve the objectives of your content marketing strategy, is not as simple as you might think. Fortunately, it is a matter of method. Because writing a “good” blog article can be learned!
What is a blog post used for?
Writing a blog post usually takes an average of four hours. Of course, you need a decent reason to devote so much time and resources to it. What could this reason be? Share information with your audiences, provide advice, express ideas, communicate about your company and its news, offer analyses… And, more generally, forge direct links with readers, who are all potential customers.
From a marketing point of view, a “respectable” blog post also fulfills a performative function: blog content must attract attention, tickle curiosity, generate interest, and ultimately drive action. Once finished reading, the Internet user must have obtained answers, but he must also have in mind the name of the company that distributed it that’s why a blog post can’t be written anyhow, by anyone, to talk about anything. This is why a thorough knowledge of the rules of writing for the web is essential.
68% of Internet users believe that a blog brings credibility to a website. But they also claim that the first factor of this credibility lies in the quality of the content offered. This means that posting frequently is not enough to achieve your goals and reap the rewards of your marketing efforts. Above all, you have to know how to produce this type of content.
(In this blog, we start from the idea that you previously have a blog in place and that you are familiar with the use of your CMS, so we will not be interested in the technical aspect of the blog, but only in the design of it. ‘An Post.)
How to write a blog post?
1. Choose your focus based on your audience
Like any web content, a blog post should have something to say and address a specific category of readers. Start with the “who” before looking at the “what”: for whom do you want to publish on your blog? What is the profile of your typical person who reads, and what issues should your content address?
The answers to these questions will guide the choice of themes to develop and subjects to deal with. All you have to do is dig into these topics and write a blog post for all of them, making sure that all the content forms a coherent whole likely to correspond to the expectations of your marketing personas.
Keep in mind that a blog post is never isolated, but is part of a content marketing strategy. It is only one part of a large puzzle and, for this reason, must always be placed in its context. Indeed, blogging alone is not enough, you have to develop a global strategy and ensure that each publication is a step on the stairways that will allow you to achieve your goals.
If you’re having trouble choosing topics, here are some ideas:
- Take advantage of hot topics relevant to your industry;
- List the questions that your customers ask your salespeople;
- Analyze the requests made by Internet users when they seek statistics on your field of activity;
- Take a appearance at what competitors are offering;
- Take up topics already covered by modifying your approach (angle, format, target audience, etc.);
- Update old content, for example, if new information has appeared.
2. Choose the right format for your blog post
A blog article can take many forms: informative or topical post, feature article, guide/tutorial, list, FAQ, customer case, testimonial, editorial (opinion piece), survey, infographic report, storytelling, and wikipedia editing services…
We note that the formats favored by bloggers are tutorials (“How-to articles”), lists, and news posts.
These different possibilities meet different needs. The right choice depends a lot on the subject selected, the target identified, but also on the maturity of the intended reader – that is to say on his position in the sales cycle. Because we don’t necessarily produce the same type of content for a cold contact, who is just starting their purchasing process, and for a hot prospect who only needs a flick to take action.
In marketing jargon, this process is materialized in the form of a “funnel” or “conversion tunnel” which applies the AIDA model: Awareness (awareness), Interest, Decision, and Sales (sales).
This model is commonly divided into three major stages: the top of the funnel (Tofu for “Top of the Funnel”) which corresponds to awareness, and the middle of the funnel (MoFu for “Middle of the Funnel”) which corresponds to the consideration phase, and the base of the funnel (Bo Fu for “Bottom of the Funnel”) which corresponds to the decision phase.
In content marketing, we consider that informative or topical articles, guides, storytelling or FAQs are more suitable for entering the funnel, while customer cases, testimonials, or in-depth articles are more suitable for entering the funnel. the needs of prospects who reach the end of the funnel and are ready to convert.
3. Plan your article content
The goal of this step is simple: save time when writing your blog post. It’s not about coming up with a detailed plan, but rather about organizing your content into parts and subparts, and distributing the ideas in such a way as to produce a coherent and relevant whole. Overall: a subsection = an aspect of the problem, and a paragraph = a key idea. The aim is to ensure that your ideas flow logically.
All this, keeping in mind the presuppositions of writing for the web: pyramid structure (the most important information first, the others later), editorialized and worked subtitles to capture attention, balanced sections, etc.
This phase is the perfect time to think about a working title. This helps you give a precise direction to the subject matter. For example, a title such as “X steps to write an article” immediately makes it possible to imagine a division. There will always be time later to refine it, or even modify it completely so that it is better suited to the content.
4. Write your blog post
It’s time to move on to the writing itself… and it’s a real challenge! Indeed, a blog article is not just an austere medium intended to convey an idea: you must give substance to your content, and allow it to exist for the reader while ensuring that it responds to both your marketing objectives and the expectations of target audiences.
It’s a real balancing act that awaits you. There’s nothing worse than monotonous, boring, poorly written content. Do not hesitate to assert your pen, to give volume to your text, so that it is pleasant to read. The quality of the information provided is not everything: Internet users are also sensitive to the way. At the same time, you should remain understandable and give preference to short, straight-to-the-point sentences.
The introduction alone is a tall order. It should grip the reader’s consideration and make them want to read on – if you lose it at this point, you’re done. It should also summarize how the content will answer a given question or issue. Finally, it should provide enough information for the reader to have a good idea of the content, but without saying too much either. Our recommendation is to write a “beta” version of your introduction, then come back to it once your article is complete to perfect it – without forgetting to also touch up the title.
Finally, take the time to check your sources. The credibility of your blog post, and therefore of your business, depends on it.
5. Proofread and format your article
It is essential to proofread your draft article several times, and especially to have it proofread by eyes other than your own. The goal is not only to unearth errors and misprints but also to obtain feedback from collaborators who can gauge the consistency of the content and the relevance of the information. It is a question of answering two crucial questions: does your article keep the promise made in the introduction? Does it achieve its marketing goal?
Then comes the time to lay it out. This step consists of…
- Set heading levels (h2, h3, etc.);
- Put in bold the expressions and terms that seem important to you;
- Loosen up the formatting, ensuring that the paragraphs are not too long;
- Insert CTA buttons;
- Integrate images, including the one that will be displayed as one.
Remember that image content can generate up to 94% more views than other content!
6. Optimize your blog post for SEO
Everything is ready… or almost! Before you finish, you have to think about the SEO optimization of your blog article. This is an integral part of the process, insofar as the levers of natural referencing will allow your content to be displayed in a good place in search engine results, a sine qua non condition for it to benefit from optimal visibility.
As proof: bloggers who search for keywords to place in their articles show better results, as shown in the graph below.
Remember to position these keywords in the body of the text (the average density to be achieved is 1%) and in the meta tags (title, meta description, “alt” attribute of images). Don’t forget to create internal links by working on your link anchors, and to ensure the mobile optimization of your page!
If you have monitored all these steps carefully, you have certainly written a excellent blog post. Cheer! All you have to do is promote it effectively.