How to write a blog that your audience will share?
A blog helps your business/start-up get quality leads and customers. However, the top challenge for B2B content marketers is to write a blog that is engaging. There are mediocre blogs everywhere. And if you are reading this blog, the harsh truth is that:
Your readers are just not finding your blogs useful.
In this blog, we will discuss how to write blogs that are SO useful that users don’t just read it but also share it with their friends and colleagues.
Make a case for your topic
Creating content and sharing it online is the backbone of every marketing strategy (including paid advertising). Content marketing is everywhere – from your social media copies, emails, website content, blogs to the script of your video ads and the PR communication of your brand – everything falls under the umbrella of content marketing. For those of you who wonder of the effectiveness of content marketing, here is an interesting statistic from the Content Marketing Institute’s blog:
“While content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, it generates more than three times as many leads.”
Content marketing is cheap as compared to paid advertising making it a very important channel for bootstrapped start-ups who cannot invest in paid advertising. A lot of people confuse blogging with content marketing. However, blogging is just a subset of content marketing. In this blog, we will tackle the challenge of writing blogs that support your content marketing strategy.
Did you know 1,440 blogs are published on WordPress every 60 seconds?
Yes! 1,440 blogs a minute! With competition for user’s attention getting fierce every day, how do you write a blog that stands out?
How to write a blog: Follow these 5 steps
Every business worth it’s dime has a blog page which is often poorly managed and shoddily composed. Most start-ups and young businesses write a blog just for the sake of SEO – they identify keywords and write content around that. The problem with this approach is that it s completely wrong. The irony is: if you write a blog to rank on Google, your blogs will not rank on Google. The most important factor for a blog to rank on top of search engine page is relevance. Hence, the correct way to approach blogs is finding a topic that your audience wants to read about and then writing blogs that will help solve these problems.
That is what we are trying to do with this blog. We are trying to help our audience write better blogs. So let’s understand how to write a blog that your readers would find useful and consequently share.
Step 1: Define the purpose of the blog
Why are you writing the blog in the first place? And just FYI ‘because I have to publish a blog this week’ is the wrong answer.
You should write a blog because you have something to share with your readers; something that they will find useful. If you don’t have something useful to share with your readers, then you can bring in an influencer who might have insights to share with your audience.
This will form the base of your blog. Based on this purpose, you can then go on to write a blog that will help your readers. And if your readers find your blog useful, they will share it with their friends or peers.
In the introduction part of the blog, make a case for your blog topic explaining the purpose and detailing out the importance of the blog. The first paragraph itself should hook your readers and keep them engaged. This is how we started this blog as well (scroll up and check for yourself).
Step 2: Research thoroughly
Harry S Truman said, ”There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.”
There are content writers out there who are much more knowledgeable and much better at writing content than you. And there is enough content available on the web on every topic that you can think of. It is a rare possibility that you will teach anything new to your readers. However, that shouldn’t be your target anyway. Good bloggers don’t necessarily invent new ideas every day. They take the already known facts and theories, and put them in the right context for their readers.
For example, there are hundreds of blogs on creating social media strategies but we recently published a blog on ‘the social media strategy you need to follow in 2018’. Now this blog is just using the theories that experts have shared in individual blogs over the year 2017 and we have combined it and put it in context of 2018 for our readers.
To be able to provide the best knowledge to your users, you need to do some thorough research from the best sources (don’t just read the top ranked articles on Google). This research will help you develop new perspectives and learn new trends. Combine this with your own experience. The resulting blog will give your readers a good blend of expert knowledge plus personal context for their business.
Step 3: Create an outline for the blog and get feedback
Your research will help you structure the blog. Before you start writing a blog, create a brief outline on the contents of your blog and get feedback on the same. Your outline should contain the headings of your blogs. Below each heading, write down the major points you will cover. Remember the following points while structuring the blog:
- Note down the major insights you are giving to your users in the outline
- Each heading should contain a quote or an image or an example to engage the users
- Structure your blogs in a way that is easy to understand; mention the basics first and then ease into the difficult concepts
- Make sure your blog contains a few actionables.
Actionables are action items that your readers can directly act upon. For example, if you write a blog on ‘tips to improve email open rates’, one tip would be to use A/B testing. But telling the user to do A/B testing is ‘gyaan’ and actually explaining to him/her how this can be done, is actionable. This will enable the readers to actually conduct A/B tests. Make sure your blogs contain such actionables.
- The content should be in sync with the purpose of your blog. Your blog should fulfill the promise you made in the introductory paragraph.
For example, at the end of this blog, if you can say ‘I now know how to write a blog that readers will share’, then our purpose of this blog will be achieved. If you don’t feel like this, please drop us a comment below so that we can do better the next time.
Once you write an outline for your blog, share it with your peers and get feedback. You can also share it with someone who belongs to your target group to get better feedback. If they find certain part of the blog redundant, it is better not write about it. This feedback will help you write crisp blogs that are helpful to your readers and don’t bore them.
Step 4: Write the damn blog!
Everything is now in place and you are ready to write a blog. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when you write a blog:
- Optimise your blog for a keyword
- Write a catchy headline that accurately summarises your blog’s content
- Use images/videos or any kind of media that will keep your users engaged
- Your blog should have an introduction(where you make a case for your blog), a middle part (which will contain all the important insights and content) and an end (or as we like to call it ‘In Conclusion…’)
- Mention important statistics that black your claims and give reference links to the same
- Give the blog a personality! Don’t keep it formal (or boring) and don’t try to be too casual
- Add hyperlinks to your website or other blogs published by you; add CTAs that push your users to leave comments.
- Edit it, proofread it, keep it aside for a few hours, and edit it again
And that’s it – your blog is complete. Time to publish it!
Step 5: Share it here, there and everywhere
Once you have published your blog, it is time to start sharing it with your users. Write a good copy to share your blogs on social media channels. Share your blogs via emails. Tag relevant people and include relevant hashtags in your post. Distributing the blog is as crucial as writing it. So don’t shy away from distributing it and just put it out there!
To write a blog that readers will find useful, you have to be very focused on the purpose of the blog. Every single element of the blog – the title, your research, the examples cited, the conclusion – should help serve the purpose of the blog.
If you have any other tips to help write a blog which will be share-worthy, do mention them in the comments below. If you write a blog using our strategy, do share it with us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to read it and give you a shout out.