Posted by Hiren Vaghela
December 20, 2014
This is a guest post and it doesn’t reflect the views of BlurbPoint.
What was once a hobby has now become a lucrative career. It’s no secret that blogging has grown exponentially over the years, and now it has become a key tool in growing your business. Be it a small startup or a multi-million dollar corporation, business blogs are here to stay. Today, I’ll give you some tips to make your blog work for your business.
Choosing a platform, setting up the theme, these are all elements of the foundation. If you need help starting a blog, I’ve got you covered, but for now we’re here to build it up and make it last. When it comes time to build the eternal walls of your business blog, this guide will place you on the path to success. Welcome, to the ultimate beginner’s guide to business blogging!
Things to Consider When Starting Your Blog
Creating a business blog is possibly the best decision you can make to grow your brand and your company. Far too often, a company is known only by their faceless product, and not by their story and the value they give to their customers. A business blog works for your company in a number of ways:
1) It helps you gain an online presence
2) Blogging creates strong relationships with your customers
3) An About Us page gives you a chance to tell your story
4) You have a space to keep your customers informed
These are just some of the many ways your blog can grow your business. Of course, these things come from providing great value through outstanding content.
Before you can fill up your blog with writing, you first need to understand the structure of a great post. If you’re concerned about having the chops to write great content, don’t be, because this five-piece structure I’m about to show you will have you writing great posts whether you started writing ten years ago, or just yesterday.
Of course, having a great writer on staff with personality and knowledge is certainly beneficial, but ultimately anyone can create a great post by following these simple steps:
1. Forge Your Headline
The headline is the first thing your readers will see when they enter your blog. It needs to pop, it needs to grab their attention, and most of all it needs to tell them that you have the answer to their question. Writing effective blog headlines is an art in and of itself, but it’s one you can master with relative ease.
When writing your headlines, try to pose a question or offer the “how” or “why” of a given subject. For example, How to Write Effective Headlines shows the reader that you intend to guide them on a journey to answer their question.
2. Grabbing Attention with Your Introduction
Right away you need to capture the reader’s attention. Present the problem that your piece is addressing straight away, don’t fluff or dance around the subject. The ideal introduction should only be a few hundred words long and should address the topic immediately, then provide an overview of how the article will provide an answer.Define the structure of your article and give the reader some expectations that you will soon shatter.
3. Bring on the 5 W’s
The body of your piece should address the age old mantra of writing: “Who, what, where, when, why?” Your content should seek to answer these questions, and as you do this, there is one other step to consider. Here you’ll want to provide examples of each step or piece of your content.
For example, I can reference the above section and tell you why business blogs are important, but reiterating the fact that they connect you with your customers, and provide a face to the name of the company, thereby creating an emotional bond that makes them more likely to return to you and your product.
4. Provide Summaries
This part is simple, and it should come towards the end of your content. Here you’ll give your readers a short recap of the content’s main points and give them a nice wrap up before you finish the article on step five.
For this article in particular, the points to take away thus far are that business blogs can massively benefit your company, and that any writer can create great content by following the above mentioned structure in addition to the step below. This won’t guarantee outstanding content, but it will provide a structure that works for each post.
5. Finish with a Call to Action
Possibly the most important part is the end, because it offers you a chance to leave the reader with some final thoughts to take with them. Wrap up each post with a final actionable step that your readers can employ. Whether it’s asking them to submit questions and comments, or providing them with a link to your product.
Remember that everything in your article should be something they can do today, but ultimately you want to leave them with a clear vision of what to do next. We’re not quite done here, but if we were, I would tell you to employ the above structure going forward in each post you create.
A beautiful way to look at creating content is to utilize the “Curse of Knowledge” concept put forth by the book “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die.” The curse is described as follows:
“The better we get at generating great ideas—new insights and novel solutions—in our field of expertise, the more unnatural it becomes for us to communicate those ideas clearly. That’s why knowledge is a curse.”
The subject was brought up in a fantastic article by Jeff Bullas, where he discussed its implication in creating content that never fades or alienates readers. Essentially, the curse occurs when we reach a certain plateau of knowledge that is littered with complicated terms and concepts that we find naturally understandable, but most others do not.
There are several characteristics that create this kind of content for your blog, they are as follows:
1) Keep it Simple
2) Break-through Expectations
3) Stay Away From Abstract Ideas, Keep it Concrete
4) Provide Credibility
5) Appeal to Reader’s Emotions
6) Tell a Relevant Story
Next time you’re putting together a piece, consider these characteristics, and how you can incorporate them into your ideas and your concepts.
A business blog is meant to grow your company, but it can also benefit it in several other ways. Remember to create content that is well structured, and embodies characteristics of a timeless resource that can constantly be referenced. Thanks as always for reading, and don’t forget to tell me about your tips in the comments below!
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