You may have probably been think how to get started with blogging, or what to write about in your blog. How are you going to get started writing a blog post?
From our previous article about blogging, where we outlined reasons why your business should have a blog, you should be convinced of the business value of blogging.
It is a known fact that blogging is great for SEO and that the contents of the blog must be quality contents. Having a lot of contents is a good thing, but in the days where search engines are getting smarter and blog readers are becoming more selective, QUALITY CONTENT is truly KING. Quality content is a definite must-have for any website.
There are possible areas you could explore to get started in writing your blog posts but these creative efforts can be time-consuming especially if you don’t know how or where to start from. That is why we have written this blog post to get you started on how to start writing on your blog and we will also mention the few easy ways to generate the right contents for your blog.
Understand and Blog for your audience
This is the first single, most important point and the one that a majority miss out. You must have a clear understanding of your target audience before you start with your blog because the blog post is for your blog visitors and not for you. Your blog should be able to give tell visitors what they want to know. Your blog should aim to either solve a problem for your customers or provide fresh insights into your industry. Think about what you know about your website visitors and what will interest them before you up with any topic for your blog post. Before you start blogging – and in fact, before you even nail down a specific topic for a post – ask yourself this one simple question:
“Who will be visiting this blog and how will the blog posts help my visitors?”
Frequency of Blogging
Think of how often you want to blog. Will it be daily, once or twice a week? Opinion is divided on how frequently you should update your blog. But whatever case it may be, aim for a frequency that you can maintain. Fortnightly or weekly is fine. The key is consistency. Don’t start a blog and then abandon it halfway. “You blog as often as you want people to pay attention to you”.
Search engines like fresh content and the more frequently you update your blog (and by extension, your website), the more likely your website will climb up search engine rankings and also gain visibility for your target customers.
Create a Blogging Plan
The most frequent reasons often cited by most for not blogging is lack of ideas and time to start their blog. However, with a bit of planning, you can have enough ideas to keep it running for weeks or even, months ahead. Start by having a calendar that extends into a couple of weeks. Now brainstorm and jot down some topics to write about and insert them into this calendar that extends into the next couple of months.
Or you can look at the questions asked frequently by your customers and provide answers to each of them with a blog post. You can also reach out to others in your organization. Identify people who serve as your business’ primary sources of communication with the outside world – whether those in the customer service or sales department. Give them a pad of paper, and for one day, ask them to write down every single question somebody asks them. Ultimately, this will give you a really rich list to help you generate blogging ideas which you can insert into this calendar.
Create the Blog Sections
Once you have decided on how often you want to blog, it is now time to create the Blog Sections. By Sections we mean the different categories your blog titles can fall into. Think about the different sections the blog will have and what each blog section will cover.
For example, if you are into plumbing, you can have different categories for ‘plumbing tool’, ‘plumbing materials’, etc. Making a good section from the beginning will save you a lot of time later since all you have to do afterwards is to create the content for each section. It is easier to write 500 words to cover a section than trying to write 3000 words with no ending.
You may not necessarily indicate the sections of the blog post on the blog as categories but it should be there as a guide for you when you want to develop your topics. And this leads us to our next point which is to develop the topics you have written down.
Start With a Topic and Working Title
You need to pick topics for your blog posts before you even start to write anything. This topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you are a plumber, you can start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets. Then you might come up with a few different working titles – in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets”. A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.
Even though the title you started working with may not end up being the final title you will use, it still provides enough information so you can focus your blog post on something more specific than a generic, overwhelming topic.
Ask trusted peers or customers about what they will like to read about in your posts. The more choices you have in potential topics the better.
Create a Post Outline and Organize your Content
Now you have the blog titles and blog sections, it is now time to create a post outline. By post outline, we mean think about how you want the content to be written. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it.
Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information – for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the information so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms – sections, lists, tips, whatever is most appropriate. But it must be organized!
Observe this blog post you are reading, “How to start writing on your blog: easy ways to generate the right contents for your blog”. There are lots of contents in this post, so we broke it into a few different sub heading. These sub-sections now explains more about the information we want to pass across and also make the content easier to read.
Set aside time to write
Once you are done with the above steps, block off time when there will be no distractions and just start writing. Since you have already thought about your piece and how things will fit together, you will find it way easier to put down the words. If you’re aiming for 600 or so words, then 30 minutes should be enough time for you to whittle down your thoughts into a first draft, providing there are no interruptions.
As a guide, a blog post should be about 500 words at the minimum. If your post is longer than this, think about serialising it like we did. People tend to scan web content, so make every word count. Depending on the post length, you can have different sub headings ideally for every 120 words. This also makes reading easier especially for those that like to do skim reading.
Get More Information
Obviously if the information you are trying to express needs accompanying screen shots, quotes from others or some research, the process will become more elaborate. You can use your spare time in the day, during the time you commute, while waiting for your food to be served or before you drop off to sleep at night to do this.
Like tackling any new initiative, writing relevant and engaging blog posts does take practice. Practice with writing contents for the blog before publishing anything publicly. Ask reliable friends and colleagues to critique the content and style before putting it on the blog.
Blogs can be used as a very successful marketing tool. From our previous article here, where we outlined reasons why your business should have a blog, you should be convinced of the business value of blogging. Blogs help to foster a community around a brand, and provides an opportunity to garner immediate feedback. They are an excellent way to communicate with website visitors, customers and industry players. This is an audience made up of players vital to the success of a company – which is why it is important to get blogging right.