Blogs, blogs, blogs – what are they good for? Absolutely everything. In the digital marketing world, it’s just common sense. Without them your website will be updated less regularly, more difficult to find through Search Engines, and your Social Media accounts will be seriously lacking content. But blog writing can sometimes be more like bog writing if you don’t know what you are doing. As always, FireTap is here to help you! We’ll teach you all about how to keep people interested in your blog – just read on…
Your introduction is vital
If you are still reading this, congratulations! You’re part of the 62% of people who actually finish the introduction of a blog and continue to read on (statistic from Slate). But are you part of the 5 out of every 100 people who are unwilling to scroll down to keep reading?
People tend to switch off if they are uninterested- feeling talked at rather than talked to. Ask questions, start conversations, give them significant advice that they can try to apply to their lives. Give them a meaningful experience that makes them connect with you. That is what this is all about.
Automatically engaging people is rather tricky, but there are some things you can do to make the whole process a lot easier. The main thing to remember is to be personal. Ask your reader a thought-provoking question, quote someone interesting, tell them a statistic they probably do not know or even tell them a fun little anecdote that gives them an idea of what your blog is going to be about. Enabling your reader to form an emotional bond with you through the use of first (I, me) or second (you, your) person can make them feel more involved and engaged. It may seem slightly emotionally manipulative, but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.
Who do you think you’re talking to?
Who is your audience? Who is reading your blogs? Who do you want to be reading your blogs? Make sure you are staying relevant to the age, gender, ethnicity and location of your desired audience. This should help you narrow down the type of research you should do and the type of language you should use. As clever and as funny as you may personally find a certain reference, if nobody else understands it then there really is no point. Are they British female millennials studying art? Making a sly reference to the first ever Chinese Grand Prix is probably not the way to go. This is where keywords come into play; ensure you are using keywords that are appropriate to what your target audience is searching. Otherwise, they may never find you.
If you are uncertain about whom exactly your target audience is (or you want it to be anyone and everyone) creating a Buyer Persona is a good place to start. Targeting all the wrong people in your blog, attracts all the wrong people to your website. Consider who already seems interested in your product or consider who the most likely consumers of your product might be… if this seems impossible creating a survey can be truly beneficial. People love free samples and to be asked about their opinion, because people always have opinions. On everything. All the time.
Know the difference…
A blog post is not the same as an article. Think of Blogs as your fun-loving, quirky cousin and Articles as their mean twin who calls Wednesday Addams their inspiration.
Blogs should be full of opinion- fearless and shameless, but not reckless. Keep in mind that your readers are people, real people, influenced and influential people. Extremely controversial topics should be avoided, unless that is what your business is about. Keep any horribly offensive thoughts to yourself, if you can. At least try. For me.
Your blog is definitely being judged by its cover…
Blog readers are the people who browse the internet all the day long, the ones who have slightly shorter attention spans than article readers. The first thing anyone will notice is the overall aesthetic of your blog. While you may think pretty pictures will solve all of your problems, they will only solve some of them. Here are other tips to get your blog looking its best:
- Headers and small paragraphs. Blogs should be broken down into small chunks. Headers are an excellent way to do this. Try to steer away from robotic, boring and overly long subheadings… ‘This can help you save money if you put a lot of time and effort and energy and really care and do all the right things and–’ keep it simple and to the point. Your subheading should encourage your audience to read on. This should be followed by paragraphs that do not daunt your reader. Short and sweet is always a treat. If your paragraphs are starting to look too long break it down, redraft, figure out what you are trying to say and how much of it is redundant. This is not an essay; keep it simple, relaxed and accessible.
- Format for emphasis. Italicise, bold and underline any important points to draw the attention of a reader. This is a helpful tool to ensure that the many skimmers on the internet can easily find the information that is important to them. Consider user experience- the way your reader feels looking at your blog and where their eyes are being directed. Keep them focused.
- Listing. ‘__ top tips to___’ should be bullet pointed or numbered. What you use is completely up to you! Find what you prefer, what makes more sense to you. Go with what feels right. It is your blog and yours to arrange how you please… within reason.
Structure… trust me on this…
Do not be afraid to play around sentence structures. Simple, compound, complex- experiment and find what feels right for you, but never stick to just one. As the great Gary Provost once said…
- This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.
This is your blog, your thoughts, yours. Write a draft and rewrite it completely, rearrange paragraphs until it makes sense, make puns and then decide they are too ridiculous to publish. Just make sure you do publish, and make sure it is part of this ‘compelling content’ thing that everyone keeps talking about.
If you have questions or want our excellent team to help you develop your blog don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling us on 020 7842 5983 or making an Online Enquiry.