Blog posts and website content are your main online communication tools for connecting with clients. When people download an ebook, purchase a product, sign up for newsletters, share your content or engage in any type of online interaction, you’ve accomplished the hard work of relating to them in a meaningful way.
Here are 5 tips to write better blog posts that engage site visitors. All these tips, not coincidentally, are areas where I can help you excel. If you need assistance or just don’t have the time to deal with all your blog writing needs, contact me to help you achieve online writing success.
Publish New Blog Posts Regularly
Nothing says “We don’t care” more than a blog with its last post dated two years ago.
Many businesses were convinced years ago of the importance of maintaining a blog on their website. But as the months wore on, it became easy – way too easy – to let the everyday demands of running a business overtake the importance of consistently writing new posts for a blog.
An outdated blog is a death knell to earning new business. It’s equivalent to hanging an “Out of Business” sign on your storefront. It damages your credibility and makes people think you are incompetent in dealing with technology.
Regular blog posts show people you are capable and you care about them and your business. If you provide relevant, valuable information, people will return again and again to learn more. Regular blog posts help establish your authority as a leader in your industry.
Plus, regularly updated content is one criteria search engines value when ranking sites.
Write for Your Audience
Writing for your audience helps ensure you actually reach the people in it. Using language and keywords that people also use when they search online improves the odds that your site will be the one they click on.
Writing for your audience also means discussing topics they are interested in. You have to know your clients’ main concerns in order to address them. Get inside their minds and ask the questions they ask.
How much do they know about your product or service? Do they need online tutorials? Blog posts about the latest trends? If they want to be entertained, how can you do it best? Asking questions, keyword research, and brainstorming ideas are all part of a successful online writing strategy.
Use Plain English
Even if your field is a technical one, there’s no need to turn every blog post into a research paper. Again, writing posts using everyday language means adding keywords to your posts that people actually enter into search engines. This greatly increases the odds your site will be found.
Reading your post out loud is an excellent way to determine whether it is written clearly. Trust your instincts. If you stumble over a word or phrase, your readers will, too. Rewrite it. Often, this means rewriting it to make it more simple or more descriptive.
For some of us, the best way to explain something is to write the idea down in the same plain-spoken way it is rattling around in our brains.
Our words have jobs to do. They must convey meaning.
Dressing ideas up in fancy language can saddle them with heavy expectations, making the words fail at their sole, simple purpose of enabling communication.
Sometimes, however, the opposite is true. First drafts can be lackluster and dull. As long as it doesn’t add unnecessary clutter, introducing descriptive language such as adjectives and metaphors can boost perception and make boring writing come alive.
Knowing the difference and when to add or change words is an artful balance. (This is what I mean when I say, “Only the right word will do at Big Blue.”)
Use Correct Grammar and Punctuation
Such an obvious tip, I know, but you would be surprised how many blog posts are out there flaunting horrendous grammar and bad punctuation. It’s obscene.
Not knowing correct grammar and punctuation is not a crime. We all have different strengths and capabilities. Many business people are uber-talented at what they do, but they can’t spell, use commas correctly or decide the proper verb tense to use with collective nouns.
Struggling with grammar and punctuation is not a sign of low intelligence. But, publishing blog posts with improper grammar and punctuation IS a sign a poor decision-making.
Copywriting errors on your website make you appear uncaring and unprofessional. People don’t trust someone who doesn’t take the time to proofread and edit their work. Reread your drafts with a critical eye. If you don’t have the time, hire someone (hello) to edit your work.
Tell Readers How They Benefit
Not every blog post has to be a shameless sales pitch. But showing people how they will benefit with your product or service is the main reason your website exists.
Your blog posts need to focus on your clients’ needs and how your business fulfills them. Talk less about what you do and more about how you can help.
For example, you could say you are an accounting genius. Or, you can say you know how to save small businesses thousands of dollars on their tax returns. You can say you sell the best dog toys. Or, you can tell readers how many hours a dog toy will last with an aggressive chewer.
Details, details, details! They make writing more personal. They allow readers to form a mental picture of what it’s like to use your product or service, taking them one step closer to hitting that “buy now” button.
Do you have any ideas on how to write better blog posts? I am learning all the time and would love to hear from you. Check back here often for more writing and editing tips.