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How to Write a Good Blog Post



We frequently recommend that our clients include a blog as part of their websites and that they publish posts regularly on a set schedule.

But we rarely get into the nitty-gritty of blogging.


Why Blog?

Blogging is important for several reasons. The most crucial from our perspective is that it’s good for SEO and content marketing.

Freshness continues to play a role in search engine algorithms – the search engines generally reward sites that are regularly updated. A blog is an easy way to provide fresh content.

Internal links also are a factor in search engine algorithms. A blog post can – and should – provide the opportunity to link to a couple of your most important pages.

Of course, there are added benefits to blogging. A regularly maintained blog can:

  • Develop and strengthen relationships with new and existing customers
  • Increase your brand awareness
  • Position your company as an industry leader

Taken together, all of these reasons make blogging a good idea.


What to Blog About?


 

Finding a blog topic can seem like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. There’s a wide range of information that can serve as the basis for a post.

Potential topics include obvious ideas like new products and new hires. But blog posts also can focus on:

  • Product of the Month – this is a good way to spotlight existing products.
  • How-to’s – these usually involve maintenance tasks but can also cover troubleshooting and installation tips.
  • Corporate events – these can run the gamut from plant expansions to open houses or charity sponsorships.
  • National/world days – SteelDay 2020, for instance, would be a good topic for any company involved in any way in the steel industry.
  • Industry news – raw material price hikes and impending strikes are just a couple of the ideas that fall under this category.
  • Industry surveys – these can be a great basis for observations on how the results pertain to your customers.
  • Exploration of product applications – this can include both unusual and routine applications.
  • Customer news – sharing the spotlight is a good way to highlight your care and concern for customers.
  • Year-to-date assessment – a look back at the previous quarter, six months or year can provide the opportunity to focus on how your company helped customers meet challenges.
  • Preview of next year – a good end-of-year topic that lets you highlight how your company is prepared to help customers in the future.
  • Tasks you wish customers would do differently (couched more along the lines of “how to succeed when you [fill in the blank]”)
  • Things that customers and clients should think about/do before/when placing their next order or RFQ.
  • Customer success stories – these can highlight difficult challenges you helped resolve for your customer.
     

Additional ideas can be found by regularly reading industry publications and other industry-related blogs.

Another great source for topics is your customer service and sales staff – what are the concerns that come up most frequently with new and existing customers?

Once you have a list of ideas, create an editorial calendar, matching a specific topic to each month. Knowing what you’ll write ahead of time takes a lot of the stress out of the process.


Preparing to Write



Many of us haven’t written much since our high school English classes. But the process doesn’t have to be daunting.

Your first task is to perform any necessary research – talk to the appropriate person, if needed, and take notes. Make sure to check your facts.

From an SEO standpoint, it’s also important to select a search term as the focus of your blog. To find a good term, check the keyword research provided by your SEO partner.

Now, create an outline. It doesn’t have to be a formal outline with Roman numerals – just make sure to write down your main topics, so you don’t forget anything.

Your next step is to write your headline, including your target keyword if possible.

This is also the right time to manage a couple of technical SEO tasks:

  1. Write a title tag. This is frequently the same as your headline.
  2. Write a description tag. This should be a short summary of your blog. It should persuade someone to read your post.

You’ll need both tags for your blog to be properly optimized. While the information isn’t visible to your own site visitors, the title and description tags will appear as your listing in search engine results.


Writing Your Blog Article



Now, use your outline to write the blog post, making sure to include your target search term a few times.

It’s important to remember that search engines prefer knowledge-based blog articles over promotional pieces. Whenever possible, you’ll want to first focus on issues that affect customers and explore possible solutions. Then you can explain why your company is the right one to provide the solution.

As an example, take a New Year Preview. You would first list challenges and opportunities the new year will likely bring – say the possibility of raw material price hikes or upcoming trade shows. Then you would provide advice on how your readers can handle the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities. After that, you can wrap up with an explanation that your company understands the issues and is poised to help your customers no matter what the new year holds.

Make sure your blog post is at least 300 words long. If you can’t get to 300 words, broaden your topic. There’s no upper limit, but your site visitors are unlikely to read all the way through a 5,000-word magnum opus.

Remember to include links in your blog article to appropriate pages of your website. As a matter of good SEO copywriting, it’s best to link from actual words in your blog post (like “SEO copywriting”) rather than simply from “click here.”

Include subheads – this helps break up the text for your readers and provides useful signposts for search engines.

At the end of your piece, be sure to include a call-to-action. Generally, this will be a suggestion that the reader contact your company for assistance with whatever challenges were outlined in the blog. Don’t forget to link the call-to-action to your contact page.


Post-Writing Practices



Once you’re done writing, you’re not really done. You should re-read the piece, looking for errors or for passages that could use re-writing. It may sound strange, but read your blog article out loud. This is a great way to catch stumbling blocks.  If you interviewed someone, ask that person to review the post for any factual issues.

After you’ve made the necessary revisions, your blog is ready to be posted. Hopefully, you have a web team that can handle this technical aspect of the process. If not, you should be able to find some good online tutorials that explain how to post blogs using your specific content management system.

As soon as the blog is posted, make sure to promote it with a short blurb and a link via your social media accounts. If you put out an email newsletter, also use that to promote your blog article. The more ways you can let people know about your post, the better.

Now, you can sit back and bask in the glory of your published blog. But don’t sit on your laurels for long – it’s never too early to start working on your next post.

Pilot Fish has been managing blogs and writing posts for our clients for years. If you’d like to take advantage of our expertise, contact us today by calling 877-799-9994, ext. 2102 or submitting this short form.

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