If you want to increase engagement with your website, then blogs are a must for your business. Just like social media, blogs are a fast-growing part of the marketing mix because they offer an informal way of communicating with potential customers, and they give companies a chance to chat around their main subject or product range. Readers interact better with blogs because they have a conversational, magazine quality about them that makes them more relaxed and accessible and much less intimidating.
But how do you go about writing a blog? What tone of voice should you use? And how can you make your blogs more attractive for your readers? Here are a few top tips for blog writing that will increase your readership and ultimately create more business for your company.
A promising start
The first, and perhaps the most important, part of your blog is your headline. The headline needs to capture their interest straight away, either making them curious about the content or, better still, offering them something they need. If your headline is weak, then your readers may not go any further, and all the work you put in after that is wasted. The headline above indicates not only the blog’s features (top tips) but also the benefit for the reader—better blogging.
A strong, intriguing intro
It may sound obvious, but the job of the introduction is to introduce the article. You need to talk in general terms about the subject at hand so that your readers will be able to see if the blog is about something they are interested in. Just like with a headline, your readers will make a decision very quickly whether or not to read on, so you need to grab their interest fast.
A good way to encourage people to read on is to pose some questions that your blog will answer. This is a shorthand way of telling people what they could learn if they read on. People are busy, and time is precious, so you need to show what is in it for them if they give up their time to read your piece. In the above intro, we ask several questions and tell the reader clearly how they will benefit from finding out the answers (i.e., they can increase their readership and create more business).
Use subheadings to break it up
No one wants to read a huge block of text. Life is just too short, and people can’t be bothered. So make sure you don’t write a long, unbroken essay, or it may never be read.
Keep your paragraphs and your sentences short, and use subheadings to break up the text. Subheadings are also useful for retaining readers, as they can scan the subheadings before they read to see what is in store for them later in the piece. Your subheadings should reflect the answers to the questions you asked in the intro.
Talk to people, not at them
Tone of voice is crucial in blog writing. Part of the success of blogs is their chatty, friendly tone, so try to relax as you write. Think of a blog as a conversation with a friend. Even if it is directly about your business, you should still keep it light and informal. If your readers feel they are being sold to or marketed, they will switch off very quickly.
Write as if you are talking one-to-one with your reader, and never forget that they are a person, too. Far too much business copywriting gets lost in corporate speak, jargon and buzz-phrases that you would never use in an actual conversation. Even if you are aiming at top-level people, it is important to remember that they are still just people like you and me.
Images add interest
They say that a picture paints a thousand words, and they can certainly enhance your company blog. Pictures not only illustrate your blog with appropriate images, making it look more attractive, but they will also make your blog look less wordy and intimidating.
You can find free-to-use pictures easily using a Google search. Simply click on the tools tab, select ‘usage rights’ from the drop-down menus and click ‘labelled for reuse’. Any images you see now can be used without payment, but you will need to credit the owner and quote the licence, such as ‘CC BY 2.0’.
Videos are engaging
Adding video content can also help to engage your readers and explain more complex ideas. For example, the Go Pro website is packed with videos, often from users of the system, while movie apps often feature trailers that explain the film more clearly and concisely than a written review ever could. Similarly, the page for the soon-to-launch FoxBet app has several videos that explain what is coming and excite and engage the reader in ways that text would struggle to do.
Internal and external links
You can add credibility to your blog by inserting links into the text. You should try to include at least one internal link, which will take your reader to another part of your site that they may not otherwise have visited. This can help show readers the range of products and services you offer without spoiling their trust by using a direct sales message. You can also help to inform your readers by linking out to trusted sources that give them more information. You should use external links sparingly though, as these will take readers away from your website, and they may not come back.
Guest blogs for back links
Google loves sites with incoming links from other quality websites, so try and get your blogs published elsewhere if you can, with a link back to your site. Guest blogs are generally welcomed, as they help sites to build content without the effort of writing it themselves. Most will be happy to allow a backlink in exchange for quality content that builds their own site.
Discover your inner blogger
Above all, it is important to remember that blogs are a totally different style of writing to what you may be used to, and they should be approached as such. Using your standard, formal, business-like company style will not work here. A blog is the written equivalent of putting the kettle on and sitting down for a chat—and you’ll be amazed how many business deals are done by doing just that.