“Where the Internet is about availability of information, blogging is about making information creation available to anyone” – George Siemens
Blog nostalgia: A look at then and now
Blogging is the perfect content-creation tool to reflect on trending ideas about the times and popular culture we find ourselves in. This concept has been communicated since the early days of blogging.
In 1994, Justin Hall was fascinated by the dot-com bubble which the world found itself in. The explosive interest in the Internet was global and content worthy, thus Hall decided to blog about it. His blog review of HTML samples was so striking that it snowballed into the creation of multiple blogging platforms and essentially an ‘industry’ of its own.
Today, there are over 600 million blogs online, catering for every topic and reader on the planet. Blogging has become a profession of sorts. More importantly companies have realised the marketing value of creating quality blog content. 86% of content marketers include blogs in their marketing strategy, which suggests that there are definite marketing benefits. By hooking consumers with a blog, businesses are gaining new leads and reaching their strategic goals.
How do you go about writing a must-read blog?
Blogs have evolved substantially in format and design since Hall’s initial blog, but the crux of a it remains the same, to create a valuable piece of content that gives readers something worth reading.
To guide you through the process, here are 5 important factors to consider when formulating a blog:
1. Choose your topic wisely
New York Times Bestselling author, Neil Patel, writes on his website that great content is a combination of time, work, and formulating original ideas. It is already tricky enough to get a reader’s attention, so when you finally have it, do not disappoint them with content that has been regurgitated or copied. Rather, put in the time and effort to brainstorm topics and find new angles of how to approach concepts. This will ensure that you build a consistent audience who follow your blog posts because they are interesting and offer something special.
2. Bring on the research
If you want your blog to be credible and factually accurate then stay far (far) away from fake news and information provided by sources that are not trustworthy. 32% of readers rate accurate content as one of the essential factors that make up quality content. Considering that many consumers turn to blogs as part of their buying decision process, you must be on top of your game when it comes to publishing reliable information. Thus, when incorporating statistics, facts, and references into your blog (which by the way is non-negotiable) be vigilant with the sources that you use and avoid the outdated ones.
3. Don’t shy away from structure
Blogs might be regarded as an informal piece of written work, but that does not mean that structure is not applicable. Getting the structure of your blog spot on will guide your writing style and ensure that readers follow what you say with ease and interest. Start off by taking the lead with a strong and captivating headline and introduction that will grab your reader’s attention. Then, continue onto short paragraphs that discuss each of your points. Numbers, bullets and subheadings should also be used where necessary, and including a call to action in your conclusion is a MUST if the purpose of your blog is to generate leads or drive to a website link. Readers get bored easily so don’t waffle on with long blogs! 75% of readers prefer articles to be more than 500 words but less than a 1000 so the sweet spot is around 600 words.
4. Optimise for SEO
Digital marketing and blogging are a match made in marketing heaven. Mainly because blogs are strategically used to drive traffic to a business’s website as well as improve a website’s ranking on the search engine results page. To fully take advantage of your blog, optimise it for SEO by incorporating well–researched key words into your content and headings. By doing this and writing accurate, lengthy posts, SEO spiders can correctly scan and index your webpage. To further boost your SEO, consider including clickable links that are applicable to the concepts or pieces of information in your blog content.
5. Think visual
90% of bloggers incorporate images into their content, but only one in four bloggers attach videos to their blog posts. With video and animated clips being the current trend amongst digital content marketers, it might be a good idea to bridge the video gap by adding one to your blog. Whichever visual aspect you choose to include in your blog content, be it images, videos, illustrations, or infographics do not skip out on this! Visual content will attract more readers.
Ready, set… blog!
Blogging is here to stay. By approaching blogging from a fresh perspective, it is an incredibly valuable way to engage with your market. And with access to so many trending topics and design themes, taking your blogs to the next level is a no brainer. Just remember to keep it authentic, educational, and thought-provoking!
Probably the best advice we can give you is to hire digital marketing content pros to assist you with your business’s blogging needs. Contact us for mind blowing blog content that speaks directly to your customer.