No matter if you’re a published journo, someone who loves to write or your company’s chosen wordsmith, if you’re challenged to shift your skills into the blogging sphere, you need to be across certain rules in order to master the art of successful online content creation.
I engage with many experienced journalists on a daily basis, and it is surprising how little even the most seasoned writers seem to know about the difference between writing for print publications and blogs.
Coming from a magazine background, I quickly had to learn how to adapt my writing style to make it work for blogging. It’s not hard, but if you want to meet your briefs, it has to be done.
And because I know that the struggle is real, after all I witness it every day, I have decided to publish this guide on how to write a successful blog post that ticks all the boxes.
1. It’s all about catchy and easy digestible content
While you can get away with lengthy features and wordy explanations in magazine articles; blog posts, especially within the B2B marketing world, have to be much easier to grasp, and faster to read. Blogs, especially B2B blogs, are rarely consumed outside working hours, and if they are then they are skimmed on the train journey to work or during a lunch break. Assume your readers are on the go, busy and don’t have the time to sift through sentences that stretch over three to four lines at a time. If you can’t engage your readers within the first sentence, you’ve lost them forever. So make it punchy, personal and add a story, readers love that stuff.
2. Break it up with sub headers
Breaking your blog post up into sections, giving each a relevant headline, makes it much easier to skim and lets your readers decide which part of the story is relevant to them so they can skip ahead if they want to. If you look at this blog post, for example you can grasp the main points without actually reading each segment, and that’s exactly what you want. You need to be able to make your point, even when people are not reading what you're saying.
3. Make a (bullet) point
Another way to capture your reader’s attention is the use of strategically placed bullet points. I have to admit, I am not a big fan of stuffing a blog with these, but sometimes, when you are referring to a myriad of stats, it’s really the only way to do so without disengaging your reader.
4. Links, links, links
Like any story, the more you can back up what you are saying with facts, stats and industry opinions, the more credible you’ll seem. When you are writing for the online world, you need to be able to provide evidence of all your sources through link-backs. Firstly, relevant links within your text help with SEO but not just that, they can really elevate your story from the average industry blah-blah to being a piece that gives food for thought. Links show that you’ve done your research and are happy to give readers the opportunity to engage with the topic further elsewhere. Now you’ve made the jump from engager to educator. Best practice also suggests to link sources behind buzz – and keywords rather than the source names.
5. Tone it!
Blog posts can be much more conversational than articles published in industry magazines and newspapers. It’s all about creating a balanced mix . While many companies like their blogs to take a newsy, magazine-like tone, there is much more of an artistic freedom to branch out and change things up with blogging. Personal experiences, anecdotes and opinions often work a treat.
Of course there are many more tips I could give you, but these are really the top 5 that will help you on the way to becoming a master blogger. And while all these points are important to create outstanding, share-worthy content that will delight your client and editor, never forget, you're nothing without a catchy headline.
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