You’re excited about your budding business blog, and you have some pretty great things to say. But how do you get the attention of your target audience? Spark their interest—and keep them coming back—by incorporating the following five elements into each of your posts.
When it comes to your industry, you know that you know what you’re talking about. But your expertise needs to be conveyed clearly in your blog posts. Your readers should have confidence in you, both as an expert in your field and as a writer. So how do you inspire that confidence?
- Know your audience. Be aware of exactly whom you’re catering to so you provide the right information. For example, if your audience is landscapers, don’t include basic information like the definition of “flora.” You’ll alienate your readers and undermine your authority. Be familiar with what your audience already knows and what they are looking for.
- Add detail. Details and facts show that you’ve done your research. Readers will be much more impressed by sentences like “Space grandifloras about 12 inches apart” than “Don’t plant large roses too close together.”
- Use the right tone. Whom you’re addressing determines what tone you’ll use. If your blog addresses the average gardener, it will have a more casual tone than a blog geared toward botanists. And if you can take complex subjects and make them intelligible for the average online reader, you’ll really show that you know your stuff.
Much of the readability of an article has to do with how visually appealing it is. Readers have short attention spans, so make sure sentences and paragraphs are concise (2-3 sentences is a good rule of thumb).
Look for ways to break up the text of your article with headers, bullet points, bolded or italicized words, and even pictures. Sectioning your article into manageable chunks and giving visual clues about what is coming next will help readers move easily through your piece.
Readability is also affected by how well the writing flows. Create smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and sections. The reader should forget he is reading and be engrossed in the information.
It’s not uncommon to write a great title, pen a fantastic article, and reach a poignant conclusion only to discover that your article morphed somewhere along the way and now feels disconnected. As ideas come together, the article we thought we were writing often turns into something else. When you finish a piece, review it closely to make sure that the title matches the content and that each section supports the title/thesis.
Also be careful to keep information in the most logical, useful order for the purpose of your article. Set up your piece with the appropriate amount of background information, explain new or confusing terms, and keep related information together.
As unfair as it may seem, your grammar reflects directly on you and your company. Readers lose faith in an author who doesn’t understand basic grammar principles or doesn’t bother to proofread before posting an article. Even the most intriguing, informative, or humorous article won’t look like much if the grammar is poor or the piece is full of typos.
Conversely, articles that are error-free allow readers to focus on the information they are gleaning and to enjoy the article without interruption from misplaced punctuation or misused words. Readers will have more confidence in you and your company when they can concentrate on what you offer and not be distracted by errors.
Do yourself and your company a favor and carefully proofread each article before posting it. If grammar isn’t your strong point, find a grammarian friend to review your piece for you. Even if you do pride yourself on your grammatical skills, it never hurts to have someone else look it over. As a professor of mine used to say, every editor needs an editor.
5. Use Value
The purpose of your post can be to entertain, to inform, or to persuade, but whatever the objective, the post needs to be uniquely valuable to your readers.
Unique doesn’t always mean brand new. In fact, it’s rare to publish never-heard-before information. So instead of stressing about saying something completely original, consider some other tactics for being unique.
One approach is to ask yourself what you can include in your piece that others left out. Is there room for more detail? Can you make your posts more accessible or better organized than others’? If your post is better than the last guy’s, it doesn’t matter if your subject has already been written about; your version will be more useful.
Another way to create valuable content is to see a new need. Maybe everyone in your industry is talking about late winters affecting spring flowers, but no one has mentioned how the weather affects urban gardeners in New England specifically.
Finally, your style can add value to a piece. Perhaps the proper care of geraniums has been discussed to death, but you have a fun voice and personality to add. Readers will be drawn to your articles because of your flair.
Crafting a well-written blog post is worth the time and effort. What you say and how you say it reflects directly on you and on your company. So take the time to create authoritative, engaging, useful articles, and you’re sure to see more followers and more conversions. Tweet This
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