Written by Geoff Iyatse
There is no doubt that blogging helps to improve engagement and communication between your business and your customers. Many business owners have recognised that fact, and they have been quite successful at dedicated business blogging. The result is increased traffic to their websites or blogs, increased awareness of their services or products, increased positive perception (depending on how well managed the blog is) and, ultimately, increased sales.
However, blogging can be time-consuming and if writing does not come naturally, it can be such a chore that it is easy to abandon it altogether.
To enjoy the benefits listed above, one has to learn to be patient and be willing to master the art and science of creating an interesting blog.
Here are tips that can help you to write a better blog:
Understand your audience
While it is tempting to start a business blog, it is also important to understand your audience - who they are, where they are, why they will be interested in reading your articles, what their pains are and others.
For example, I found it interesting that comments on a popular food blog show that the audience are primarily women who are looking for new ways to spice up the family dining sessions at home. That insight is a great point to plan a blog.
What is your premise? To help you dig deep, you can start to researching what others within your industry are blogging and the response their posts are receiving. This may not often give you the whole picture. A blog may be receiving lots of traffic but little or no comments. It does not mean people are not reading the blog. However, that can form a great starting point to help you carve your niche.
Understand what makes your target audience tick. Are they looking for something humorous to take them through the day? Are they looking for something serious to help them to solve a pressing problem? Are they looking for insider information in the industry?
Understanding your audience is just a first step to getting blogging right.
Plan a calendar
In an ideal situation, it would seem beneficial to create a blog calendar that can last the whole year. For many, however, planning kills their creativity and excitement.
This is not to undermine the importance of running with a calendar, which can help you to research ahead of your posts, ensuring that your posts come through as confident and authoritative.
The structure of a blog
Like all forms of writing, a blog should be long enough to capture the idea you want to pass across, yet short enough not to bore your readers. On the average, between 500 and 800 words seem alright for a thought-provoking business piece. It could be longer or shorter depending on the nature of your post.
It should also have a theme and message. A well-written article should have an introduction where you subtly introduce the theme of your post; the body, where you express points to support or drive your message further, and a conclusion that wraps things up and points your reader to the direction of taking an action.
It is also wise to keep your article simple and straight to the point. If you notice, we spend an average of 40 per cent of our time online these days and with so many other details competing for our attention, you have a hard task keeping your audience engaged.
There is also the need to format your blog well. Always double-check for spelling or grammatical errors. Ensure that there are white spaces between paragraphs. This makes the posts easier to read. Break long paragraphs. To add extra spice to your blog, use images.
These little details help to keep your audience engaged.
Be mindful of links and keywords
A great way to optimise your blog posts is to introduce keywords. When people search for information online, they make use of keywords. Those keywords are what you need to introduce in your blog posts. Positive reactions and results may not happen overnight but with diligence, you may reach your target of your blog ranking higher during searches.
In conclusion, blogging can be a great value-addition to the success of any business. Dedicated efforts usually pay off. However, if you cannot sustain blogging for your business, there are dedicated writers who can take on the responsibility of managing your blogs. Do you have a tip or two to add? Join the conversation on Twitter.