A blog. It’s just a place for people to write about their opinions on celebrity gossip or the news, for influencers to share pictures of themselves in cheap clothing, or moms to share their favorite arts and crafts or recipes… right? Sure. A blog can be all of that, but its primary function is so much more.
A blog allows the blogger (or in this case, business) to connect with readers as a way to share what they know with those searching for answers. It enables you to impart value and build trust. It’s this trust that leads to the loyalty you need to garner life-long customers. For a business, a blog can not only be the driving force that gets you new clients but a money-making machine that earns extra revenue each month.
And yes, you’re a business owner, not a blogger, but still, you understand you need a blog; you may even know what you want to say in your blog… but you don’t know how to say it. Below is a brief outline to guide you while constructing your next post.
PRO TIP: Before you create a blog post roadmap, it’s a good idea to have an outline of what you want your first (or next) few blog posts to cover. You can use steps one through three below to come up with this and create a month’s worth of posts. If you’re just beginning, come up with four things you want to write about, and decide which days you want to post them on your blog. In doing this, you’ll start to create a content calendar.
Think about your business. Think about areas of concern for your customers around your business. Think about how you solve each of those problems.
Say what you need to say. Say what you want to say. Don’t censor yourself; this is just a draft.
Now, read your draft. About what did you write? Is there one main idea that jumps out at you? If not, there needs to be. Your focus keyword should relate to the overall topic of your post. A post that focuses on solving your ideal clients’ problems. Make a list of a couple of keywords from your post. Choose the one that seems the most relevant as your focus, but don’t disregard that list of other keywords, you’ll need it later.
PRO TIP: Complete these steps four times to come up with your first month of blog posts for your Content Calendar.
When you write a blog, it shouldn’t just be one mass of words. Or even just a rundown list (although lists are essential). Your blog content needs to have guideposts (these signify where a reader is at in the journey through your post, how far they’ve come and far they have left to go). For a blog, guideposts are headings and subheadings that let readers and search engines know the topic of the next section.
Think of: the person who just skims content. You want them to know where to read the specific piece of information they’re looking for – IE, catch their attention to show how you solve their problem. The heading needs to jump out at them and scream, “YOUR LOOKING FOR THIS!”
So, how do you do this? Let’s start with your title.
Formatting goes with step four as your headings and subheadings are all part of the post’s format. For SEO purposes the rest should include:
1. A Heading (in H1)
This is the title of your blog post. You should only include ONE H1 tag per post.
2. Subheadings (in H2, H3, etc.)
With subheadings you should try to include part of your title for ease of SEO, but you don’t have to. For example, this post starts with “Your 12-Step Guide” but I keep my H2 subheadings succinct with just the step and number (step one, etc).
4. Bold and Italics
These are just another trigger for search engines to take a digital note of your post content.
Like I said, lists are essential. Not only do people prefer reading content that in list format, but search engines also prefer it, as lists are meant to help signify key topics in the piece of writing.
Don’t let this phrase intimidate you. It’s just a keyword-rich summary of your blog post. These summaries are what you see when you Google a topic, and the results come up:
Use the list of keywords you came up with in step three to come up with this description. It’s a good idea to have a phrase that includes your title as well.
Your blog needs at least one image (which should be a header photo), and one other type of media if you can find it. Media refers to images, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc. Why are images so important? One recent statistic cites that posts with images receive 94% more total views than those without. 1.
Make sure you’re adding an Image Alt Attribute to your image. This is written copy that appears in place of a photo if the photo fails to load. It describes what the photo is (not necessarily the intent of the photo). Used for:
In the example below, I would label this Image Alt Attribute:
“Black typewriter with paper.” OR “Old fashioned black typewriter with paper.”
Wrap the end of your post up with a CTA (call-to-action). It doesn’t have to be a sales pitch; it doesn’t have to be sales at all! Examples of great CTAs are:
Do a quick read-through of your post. Be sure to link anything that needs it (products, services, outbound links, etc.). In doing so, you also give yourself a chance to glance it over for grammar or spelling errors.
For any outbound links, you MUST cite sources.
Categories are general topics into which you can categorize your blog posts. Tags get more specific. For example, if you have a recipe site, a post for Chocolate Chip Cookies would go under the category Desserts. Your tags could be cookies, chocolate, maybe even gluten-free.
Your WordPress blog editor should have a section for this.
Always. ALWAYS. Edit your blogs before you publish them. The easiest way to do this? NEVER write in the actual blog post editor. Opt for Word or Google Docs etc. While they have built-in editors to check spelling and grammar, I recommend downloading Grammarly. Grammarly is more powerful than the typical spell checker, allowing you to set your audience, formality and tone. The best part? It now works with Windows and Google Docs making error free blog posts fast and easy.
We recommend sitting down and writing a month’s worth of posts in one session. At this point, you should have some idea of your Content Calendar, so let it guide you. If you have the time, take a day and write all the posts in on sitting. After, schedule them once a week throughout the month. The same time and day is the best option because, as you’ll learn, consistency is vital, let readers and potential clients and customers know you’re reliable.
Still have questions? Drop a comment, and we’ll work through it with you to find the answers. Or just email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
and congratulations on taking that first step of stepping up you social brand’s digital marketing.
Megan is the Founder and CEO of Take Note Digital Marketing.
Since 2009, Megan has provided social marketing services to small businesses, national brands, and influencers. Her comprehensive career as a manager, social media marketer, copywriter, and editor serves clients with a balanced perspective and a framework for intentional, precise execution.
TNDM applies her innovative, nuanced approach across the digital landscape, including app design/development, website design/development, branding, and more.
Megan received her degree in English in 2008 from the University of Kansas, Rock Chalk!