Search for “blogging best practices” on Google, and you’ll be flooded with results recommending ideal word counts for SEO, the most effective keywords, and how frequently you should post to your company’s website. This blog post isn’t a guide for all that.
This is a guide for business owners who haven’t stared at a blank page or put more than an email together since school. The Solutionistas at Origin Smart Marketing have found one of the largest obstacles in starting a business blog is the act of writing itself. We’re here to help you get through your writer’s block and get started.
It all starts with a big IDEA
Think back to your last meeting with a client or prospect. What were some of the questions they asked you about your product or service? What pain point or challenge did you help them overcome? Who else is in your target market?
Take a moment to jot down a few thoughts on each of these questions. Each thought represents a potential blog post topic (or in the case of the last question, audience for your post). Start with the topic you know the most about or is the easiest to research.
Once you’ve got your topic, jot down how you help solve the challenge, relieve the pain point, or answer the question. Keep your target audience in mind to focus your notes on what your client needs or wants to hear. Consider looking online for stories or statistics to round out your notes.
Save the blog post title for last
Blog post titles are the first things your readers (and Google) see, which makes them prime real estate. We recommend writing your title after you write your blog post. That way, you make sure it accurately reflects what’s in your post. It also gives you more time to come up with a catchy, engaging title.
Hook ‘em in with a story . . .
We’ve all heard the old marketing adage stories sell, facts tell. Start your post with a story that illustrates the question you’re answering or the challenge your clients face. You might start with something like “I was in a meeting with a prospect the other day who asked . . .” or “My latest client had a big problem: . . .” Use your brainstorming as inspiration for your hook.
But while you’re spinning your tale, don’t forget your main point. While stories are a great way to kick off blog posts, make sure your post topic doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
Use subheaders to organize your post
Once you’ve introduced your topic, use subheaders to organize your blog post and help you stay focused. Your subheaders and the content below them should concentrate on a single point, item, or question. Pay attention to the order of your subheaders, as they are big factors in how well your post is organized. If you’re explaining a process, for example, be sure your subheaders follow the steps in order.
Start writing (or typing)!
Now that you’ve decided on a topic and organized your post, it’s time to start writing. Try to resist the urge to edit as you go—it’ll distract you and prolong the writing process. Add transitions words such as “first,” “however,” and “therefore” to make your post easier to read. Keep paragraphs to three or four sentences max.
Don’t forget the most important part . . .
The call to action! Blog posts should focus on helping your readers solve a problem or learn something valuable, but that does not mean you can’t ask your readers to do something. Good blog post calls to action ask readers to contact you to learn more or ask a question. They may also ask readers to download a free eBook or other resource.
That’s it, rusty writers! We hope our guide helped get your creative juices flowing. But if you still have a bad case of writer’s block, give the Origin Smart Marketing Solutionistas a call. We can help you work through it and come up with a plan. Shoot us an email or give us a call at (763) 498-9168.