Utilize brainstorming techniques
Creative writers use brainstorming techniques all the time. There’s no reason you can’t adapt a few of them for your company blog posts! Next time you’re stuck, try Googling the competition and read their top posts. As long as you avoid plagiarism, this is a great way to get your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in your industry and gives your company the opportunity to step into the conversation. If you don’t find any content that relates to your niche, that’s okay too. You’ve identified a content hole – so fill it yourself and write the article you were hoping to see! Chances are, users have noticed this gap, too, and will be thrilled to read your post.
Sit down and write
The greatest enemy of productivity is procrastination. Will your post be good enough? Will it get the right number of clicks to please the higher ups? Perhaps you should grab another cup of coffee before you begin writing. Maybe a snack, too. And there’s an email that just came in that you should probably read… STOP. Turn off your desktop notifications, pop those earbuds in, sit down, and write. It’s okay if the first draft is choppy. You can come back to it later and edit it, or have a helpful coworker look it over for you. The key is to set aside distractions – including your own inner critic and that niggling sense that you should be totally connected in every way at all times – and just start to write. You’re going to be great!
Don’t neglect Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is one of the biggest mistakes content writers can make. No matter how great your blog post is, it won’t matter if nobody ever sees it. SEO can help prevent that. Choose a few keywords (your company should have a digital strategy team that can provide you with some ideas if you don’t already know which terms you should be targeting), and include them in strategic places. The most important of these are: the URL slug, the title tag, and the H1 tag. You’ll also want to write an enticing meta description, include alt text for any images you use, take advantage of linking opportunities, and pepper key terms into the body content of your post. One caveat: Do not force keywords into your content. Your readers will know. Google will know. And neither one will be happy about it. Readers will bounce away from your page at the first sign of “robotic” content, and Google will ding your overall SEO value, potentially hurting your rankings in the search results. And after all, that’s the name of the game: You want to use SEO strategically to help your post rank in the Google search results. The better your SEO, the greater your chance of getting readers to discover your post – and getting totally hooked on your content!
Choose a digestible, visually-pleasing format
So you’ve written a great post on an engaging topic that users actually want to read about, and you’ve optimized your content. There’s one more thing you need to consider: digestibility. Users don’t want to feel overwhelmed by giant blocks of unformatted text on a page. They don’t want to look at an outdated layout, or sift through endless words, trying to extract the meaningful points. So you have to do it for them. Utilizing sub-headings is one of the most effective ways to create a layout that appeals to readers. It breaks your content into short, digestible sections that make it easy for readers to quickly extract the main points in your post. Including a few attractive images can also help make your post more visually appealing. Finally, formatting your text and choosing a legible, attractive-looking font is key. Content management systems like WordPress offer easy-to-use interfaces that allow you to format a great-looking post in seconds – without any knowledge of code.
Promote your work on social media
Finally, don’t forget to promote your post on social media. Utilize LinkedIn Pulse. Post a link on Facebook. Tweet about it. By taking advantage of these social platforms, you can generate buzz for your content with minimal effort. However, take care not to inundate your followers’ feeds – that’s more likely to drive them away than to garner clicks. Space out your posts across multiple channels, and keep the 80/20 rule of social media marketing in mind.
If you follow these five simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to crafting the kind of discoverable, quality content that today’s users crave. Have questions? Insights? Let us know what’s on your mind in the comments below!