Blogging is a fantastic marketing tool that is underused by many people. The reason is not because the technology is difficult or expensive. The problem is two-fold – people don’t know what to blog about and they don’t know how to write a blog.
There is a set structure you can apply to any blog post, however, which will make facing that balnk page or screen far less daunting and help your blog posts be effective and far easier to write.
If you think about a blog as being made up of 6 main elements –
- The headline
- The Introduction
- The body of the blog
- The conclusion
Your headline is one of the most important parts and often the hardest to write. It must be punchy and compelling and, like headlines in a newspaper or magazine, it will be the thing that people decide on whether to click on the link or read the blog.
Thinking of a snappy headline first can be one way to get over this and make sure you have a blog that someone will want to read.
Most people look to blogs for useful information. That is why blogs are often about problem solving. So your introduction needs to quickly set the scene and explain what the problem is a that you are about to solve. This is where you get your reader hooked as they empathise with the problem. So phrases such as ‘Have you ever tried to …’ ‘A common mistake made by …’ are useful ways of introducing the blog subject and purpose.
Good advertising copywriters know that after your headline, your sub-headlines (or subheads) are crucial. It is to do with the way we read, often quickly scanning down a page to get the essence of an article before deciding whether to read the whole thing.
Make sure you include subheads to break up the main part of the blog. Writing the subheads first can also help you get a logical flow to your blog, you then just fill in the paragraphs in between.
If you blog is in the format of a list or tips, you may not need subheads as the list or bullet points already break up the page.
By now you should be in the swing of things and the body of your blog explains the solutions to the problem you have set up in the introduction. Mixing paragraphs and bullet points can help the blog feel less dense and get across key points quickly.
Like any good story you need an end. Don’t just fizzle out but use a short paragraph which is reflective of the problem you have just solved. i.e. ‘So now that you know how to ……. you can make decisions about ….. without worrying that …….’
This is where if you do want to have a bit of self promotion you can, but keep it discreet and relevant to the blog post and don’t feel you have to do this with every blog post.
And, if you are stuck about what to write about in your blogs, check out our blog ‘No more excuses – 10 blog ideas for every business’