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 In Blog Archives, blog writing & outreach, seo

Can you really narrow blogging down into 5 steps? Not so much, but you can give yourself a nice set of boundaries to play inside so that you can get maximum SEO results.

By far the biggest mistake we see people make when writing blog posts is approaching the topic like an editorial. Your company blog is in place to inform and attract customers. The best way to do that is with a format that gives people what they want, and quickly. Here are the 5 steps to making that happen:

1. Answer customers’ burning questions

The easiest way to write content that people will actually read, share, and comment on is to ask them. While flat out asking people is good, there are so many other ways to ‘ask’ without getting in front of someone. By finding other surveys and discussions inside your industry, you can often find the questions and answers you need to create engaging blog posts.

Look on industry news sources, competitor blogs, and question and answer sites like yahoo answers. Don’t make it hard on yourself by brainstorming and doing your own tedious research. Use what’s already out there! Here is a post we did recently on community engagement.

2. Write like an 8th grader

I remember explicitly being told by my english literature teacher in college that she thought my writing was too wordy, and I looked I was trying to impress someone. She said just write well enough to get your point across!

That’s why I recommend the traditional format of writing an introduction, 3 – 5 main points, and a conclusion with a call to action to wrap up the post.

As you become a better writer, it makes sense to be more original. In the meantime though, we are trying to do business here. All the best blogs on the net use this traditional format as a baseline for the bulk of their content. Like we always say around here…’do what works!’

3. Insert a picture that involves people doing your answer

As the web and our mobile phones become more and more visual, it’s important to include pictures and videos that capture the feeling we are trying to convey with our blog post. It is important to have something eye grabbing and colorful that makes people want to click on your post. More important than an eye grabbing photo though is to make it purposeful.

In this post for example, we wanted to convey the point that there is a pre-structured way to write blogs. This is reflected in our headline, as well as in the picture.

So take some time to pick a picture that makes your reader feel what you are writing.

4. Use the keywords you’ve chosen in your main points

Many of our writers when they started out had a problem “writing for SEO”. The problem is that they were trying too hard to write around the keywords. Try this next time you are creating a blog post.

Start with the keyword you have in mind and create your concept. Now use the info from point 2 above, and outline your main points, intro and conclusion. After that is done and your post is about 80% complete, go back and work in your keywords. If you are having problems with the main keyword phrase, insert something similar into each main point. This will not always be possible, but you should at least get the keyword phrase into the title and 1 – 2 points.

That is SEO writing in it’s simplest form.  Cover a popular subject, be concise and easy to skim, then insert some keywords – bam!

5. Share it someplace you actually spend time online

I see all sorts of posts about “74 places to share your content that will bring your blog new traffic”  There’s nothing wrong with those articles, only how people apply them. You should be familiar with some of the people where you share.

It’s like your favorite restaurant or bar. If you want to get referrals from a local establishment, you’ve got to be on a first name basis with the manager or bartender because you hang out there. Then the next time someone in the location asks the bartender if they know a good personal trainer, the bartender immediately thinks of you.

If you actually were a personal trainer then YouTube and Facebook would be natural fits. People often look up videos for workouts, and then talk about it all over their facebook wall. Which do you think is more effective?

Sharing a post about proper bench press form at linkedin on your profile, or a facebook page with other fitness minded people? (It doesn’t even have to be  your own page!)

So the moral of the story is similar to traditional ‘good marketing’ practices.

  • Put out good content.
  • Write it in an easy to consume format.
  • Share it in places that respect your opinion.
  • Use the words people are searching!

What is your biggest challenge when writing for your business blog?


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