If your goals are to:
- Attract a target audience
- Get the attention of influencers that will help you grow your audience
- Rank highly in search engines (grow your authority)
- Earn trust, likeability and a reputation as a Authority
- Share you point of view and/or
- Inspire an action –
Then read on! You’ll find some good stuff that you can use to help you with those goals.
Most blog writers produce blogs that suffer from 1 or more of the following:
- The blog doesn’t help readers to accomplish a want that they have
- The blogs aren’t entertaining
- The content of the blog isn’t designed (or isn’t valuable enough) to be shared or referenced (which is important for SEO)
- The look and feel of the blog does not create a positive impression or experience that draws the reader closer to you and creates loyalty, trust, or likeability.
The Process for Writing Great Blogs
Blogging is not a black art…in fact it’s closer to a science than an art. And like any form of science there are trusted protocols – or inquiry pathways – to get desired results. These are:
- What are the unanswered or poorly answered questions that your audience is asking, and can you provide great answers to those? Here are some ways to identify those question/answer opportunities:
- Survey your readers
- Conduct in-person meetings or interviews
- Informal conversations
- Keyword research, especially questions
- Do you have access to unique insights? That could be research, data, experiences or insights. Here are some sources of unique insights:
- Insider interviews
- Proprietary data
- Multimedia talent. Maybe you have someone, like we happen to here at Moz, who has great talent with video production, or with audio production, or with design of visuals or photography, or whatever that might be in the multimedia realm that you could do.
- Special access to people or information, or experiences that no one else does and you can present that.
- Can you relate personal experiences in a way that will resonate with your audience? Can you can craft a compelling story and a headline that resonates with people? Can you craft the blog in a way that entertains and reads in a way that connects deeply? Does the experience, once shared, enlighten people so that they can be better for having read your blog? If so – this will be a valuable piece of content.
- Is there a topic that is “hot” in your field or trending around which you can offer a unique insight or point of view? Unique points of view are valuable and interesting (or inflammatory, or wrong, or just a great conversation starter!) and they work well on the social networks if you are willing to distribute the blog on platforms like:
- What can you identify from keyword research? What are people searching for around my topic? There are a bunch of tools for this – Google Trends, Google AdWords or keywordtool.io.
- Can you forecast what the next big thing will be for your audience and community members? Helping people see the future can make you pretty popular! Here’s a couple of ways to identify the next trends:
- Convene a group of opinion leaders in your industry and have an open discussion about what the future will look like.
- Pose the question on social media.
- Get really crazy and invite guest bloggers to write what their vision is – and then see if you can guest blog on their site.
Do’s and Don’ts
Here’s some guidelines to help you be a credible, trusted – and successful Authority-based blogger:
- Use headlines that will resonate with your audience: There are a bunch of tools on the web that will help you generate titles based on your topic. CoSchedule has a terrific headline analyzerthat scores your titles.
- Post Often:Updating your blog at least once a week with new content is a great target. Posting more often can be beneficial…but whatever you decide for your posting schedule be consistent with it.
- Use Keywords Strategically:Gone are the days of keyword stuffing. Stick to one or two specific keywords and let them flow naturally in your writing. Those keywords should appear in your title, subheadings and first sentence.
- Stay the course:Blogging, like all other inbound marketing techniques, takes time.
- Use Graphics:Graphics catch the reader’s attention and improve retention.
- Write in length:Typically, long-form blog posts of at least 1500 words do better in the search results than short-form posts. However – write for the audience, not the search engines.
- Proofread:If editing isn’t your strength, set aside your post for a few hours and come back with fresh eyes; it’s easier to see mistakes and typos after giving yourself a break. Before you publish your post, ask someone on your team to give it a once over to make sure you didn’t miss anything obvious.
- Share on Social Media:After you publish your blog posts, share them on all of your social media platforms.
- Be positive: upbeat and positive blogs increase your chance of a post getting shared on different channels.
- Design counts: A clean and simple readable design that’s optimized for both desktop and mobile viewing is a must.
- Don’t ramble: Make sure that what you write adds value for your audience and is relevant for your community.
Download our 10 x 10 Trust Building Matrix exercise that we use to help our community leaders develop a list of topics to blog about. If you have questions or get stuck ping us – we’d love to help.