Looking to kick start your blog? You should be! Producing quality content is a great way to connect with your customers and create more business for your company.

We’ve already posted one article on the benefits of writing on the web, now here are  some best-practices for writing your own thoughtful, engaging content.

Authenticity and Audience

Authenticity is an essential part of publishing original content. What makes you different or unique? What message are you trying to convey, and how do you want to convey it? Identifying your style will help you maintain a consistent brand; legitimizing your content and your company.  

Understanding your target audience is also important. You don’t want your hard work to fall on deaf ears, so you should create content that your core customers will identify and interact with. Staying true to your identity will attract dedicated followers.

For example, if you sell orthopedic inserts, your articles could focus on how those inserts improve the quality of your customer’s lives. A story about a customer who used your inserts while hiking in the White Mountains would intrigue readers while simultaneously promoting your product.

Your blog’s purpose is to drive search traffic to your website and customers to your business. Your content should sell the customer on choosing your brand, moving them through the marketing funnel to the point where you will sell the actual product.

The article about the hiker is selling an experience your inserts can provide, or at least facilitate. If the consumer is interested in your article, they are more likely to seek out your company and purchase your product. Again, knowing your target reader for any given post is key – the story about hiking will be aimed at a specific kind of potential customer. Get to know the persona for whom you are writing.

Editing Your Content

Gone are the days of looking up words in your trusty Funk & Wagnalls. Most platforms include automatic spell checking – but don’t get too complacent! Many of the automated spellcheckers will gloss over minor grammatical mistakes, like typing “fro” instead of “for.” We’ve all been the victims of our “smart” phone’s poorly autocorrected texts.

If your website or article has even one glaring spelling or grammatical error, users will distrust your content. One study in the UK found that 59 percent of consumers would not use a company if they had obvious spelling or grammatical mistakes on their website. Proofreading and editing your content before publishing is essential.

Looking for a more creative way to phrase certain words? Try using a thesaurus to find more engaging words. Using free online resources to strengthen your content will improve its quality, resulting in more positive reviews and lengthier interactions.

Another great tool for boosting your blog posts and articles is the Associated Press Stylebook. If you’re unsure about your voice online, or if you want to make sure your article will be perceived as professionally written, the AP is a great place to start. The style guide provides detailed examples and instructions for web publishing. For first time posters and seasoned bloggers, the AP is a handy tool to ease doubts over grammar and usage.

And of course, you should be concerned with search engine optimization. Use keyword research tools such as SEMRush, SpyFu or Google’s tools to understand which words and phrases related to your post currently get the highest search volume.

Sweet, Sweet Brevity

Be brief! When writing on a topic you’re enthusiastic about, it’s easy to “word-vomit.” Passion is wonderful, but unchecked enthusiasm results in wordy content. This makes users “check-out.” On the other hand, not writing enough will leave users dissatisfied and disinterested.

Sadly, there is no magic word number to aim for in each post. While you’re writing, imagine that you are telling someone a story – if you talk for too long, they’ll get bored. You should tell them enough that they are interested in what you have to say, but leave them wanting to find out more.

Brevity will help you attract users, while quality content will keep them. Finding the balance between the two is a trick that comes with experience, practice and observation of your metrics. Google Analytics can tell you how long your audience is spending with each of your posts and this will give you great insight into their stickiness.

Use Your Resources

If you still have questions about how to create your own content, don’t be afraid to ask the experts! There are a lot of helpful articles online about writing blogs. If you’re looking for tips on how to write an eye-catching headline or strengthen your content, research what the professionals have to say.

Familiarizing yourself with comparable samples within your industry can also be helpful. Reading blog posts from competitors will show you diverse marketing styles and strategies employed in your field. Note which ones get the most engagement and try and figure out why. Studying their work will help you decide which strategies work, and which ones fall flat. This will help you develop a strategy for producing quality content of your own.

Take Away

Cultivating a quality blog is a great way to promote your business. Putting a little bit of time and effort into creating engaging articles will draw in more customers and boost your company’s profile.

Check out our post next week for tips on creating content for social media!