Crafting a relevant and engaging blog post takes practice and requires an understanding your readers’ needs. Once you have these, you can then aim to make the blogging process more streamlined.
When you’re writing a blog post, it might seem logical to start from the top to the bottom because that’s the order we normally read in.
However, in the 6 steps below, we’ll recommend an alternative process to write blog post that will save time and give you a more focused approach to writing blog posts.
1. Write The Blog Post Title First
The title of the blog is the goal of the blog post. By the time someone has finished reading your blog post, they should have gotten exactly what the title said they would get. When creating a blog post, writing the title first is effective because you are beginning with the end in mind. When you write the title first, you’ll know exactly what you need to write in the blog post.
If your title is “5 Marketing Tips for B2B Technology Startups”, then you know that there will be 5 subsections in the blog post, and that each section is a tip. If the title is “8 Steps to Developing a Marketing Plan”, then there will be 8 sections in the blog post with each section containing a step.
When writing your blog post title, be as specific as possible, for example: 5 Marketing Tips for B2B Technology Startups is better than 5 Marketing Tips. The more specific your title is, the more clear it will be to a potential reader what they can expect from the blog post, and the more likely they will read the post or click the link if it’s been shared on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
2. Write All The Subtitles Next
Once you’ve written the blog post title in step 1 above, you might be tempted to go straight to writing the content. However, instead of jumping straight to the content, write subtitles for each of the sections that will be discussed in the blog first.
By writing subtitles before writing the content, you’ll know exactly how you’ll be organizing your blog post content and what you’ll need to write. After you write your subtitles, read your completed subtitles and make sure that they match what you promised to deliver in the title.
For example, if the title is 5 Marketing Tips for B2B Technology Startups, then sample subtitles could be:
- Develop a functional website
- Create a marketing plan
- Establish buyer personas
- Start a company blog
- Pick social media channels selectively
Subtitles should act as a summary of a section, so that if someone only read the title of your blog post and the subtitles, they should still get what your blog post was about. Subtitles also allow readers to scan the blog and identify sections they are interested in reading if they have a limited amount of time or attention. Without specific subtitles, they won’t know what they’ll get if they keep reading that section and will end up not reading at all.
3. Fill in the Content for Each Subtitle
After you have the blog post title and the subtitles, the blog should virtually write itself. Within each section or subtitle, start the section off with introducing what it is or why it’s important, before going in depth. Then, where possible, within the content, include:
- Images, diagrams or screenshots
- References to stats or facts and the source
- Internal links to other blog posts
- External links to relevant resources
To make the blog readable, keep the content under each subtitle to 1 to 4 paragraphs and 3 to 6 sentences per paragraph. As you fill in the content for each subtitle, ensure that your content matches the subtitle promised.
4. Write an Introduction
By this step, the meat of the blog post is complete. The last section we need to write is an introduction before jumping into the first section of the blog. The introduction should let the reader know why it’s important so that they continue reading the blog post. An easy way to write the introduction is to provide an overview of why the topic is important, it’s advantages or implications.
For example, if the blog title is “5 Marketing Tips for B2B Technology Startups”, then in our 1-2 paragraph introduction, examples of what we could mention includes why marketing is important, why it’s especially important for b2b tech startups, and common marketing challenges that the tips we’re providing will overcome.
There are a number of websites that offer great free stock photos.
5. Include a Call-to-Action
Once the reader gets to the bottom of your blog post, the reader has engaged with all the content of your blog post, and it’s likely they’re open to consuming more of your content and to connect with you.
The bottom of a blog post is a great place to try to capture them as a lead. Suitable calls to action can include:
- Banner ad to a white paper that’s related to your blog post
- Link to a monthly newsletter sign-up
- Social media follow or like
6. Add A Blog Post Image
Images in blog posts add interest and increase the likelihood readers will continue reading your article. The image doesn’t have to a be literal representation of the blog post, it just needs to be reasonably related.
For example, the image for a blog post about “8 Steps to Developing a Winning Marketing Plan” doesn’t have to be a picture of a document; it can be an image of an office, a trophy, or even a pen & journal.
We hope these tips will help you build and grow your company blog.
For more tips on how to build and grow a company blog, follow us on Twitter at @vapartners or on LinkedIn for daily tips on inbound marketing and content marketing.