There’s nothing worse than pouring everything into a blog post that ends up performing poorly and, ultimately, fading into irrelevance. We all want to write meaningful content to share with our audiences—the question, then, is how? What is the secret sauce to consistently producing high-performing blogs that are valuable in measurable ways?
Regardless of the blog topic, there are a few steadfast rules for creating great content that inspires engagement. Before you write a single word, you should know that your topic sets you up to create content that’s useful, solves a problem, and inspires specific emotions or actions. This is your baseline.
Let’s dig a little deeper, though. Top performing blogs do more than just solve problems and inspire actions. We’ve taken notes of the 7 moves all the best blogs make. Read on!
Identify Motives—What’s Your Why?
Don’t start writing until you know why the content you are about to produce needs to exist. You need to establish your ultimate objective or ideal outcome for the post and then work backward from there.
Ask yourself: what do I want readers of this blog to do, know, or believe when they are done reading? Your blog may serve the purpose of:
- Providing resourceful information on an obscure topic
- Proving the authority of your company in your industry or area
- Showing your relevance by responding to a trending topic
- Growing your readership
- Converting new or existing customers
These are just a few examples—the list could go on. The idea is that you pinpoint your ideal end result first. This will allow you to tailor each blog post for specific goals.
Know Exactly Who the Audience Is
We’ve talked about creating buyer personas before, but it doesn’t hurt to hammer home the point—you need to know who you’re talking to when you write.
You don’t talk to your boss the same way you talk to your best friend. You tailor the delivery of your message depending on your audience. This has to be true when you write blogs as well!
Not only does defining personas give you better direction for what tone to adopt, it also gives you insight into the substance of your messages. When you clearly define your company’s buyer personas, you better understand what your people are interested in and, more importantly, what problems they need solved. The best way to connect with your audience is to meet them where they already are with what you know they need. Make this a priority when blogging.
Research, Research, Research
Did you know that Google’s current algorithm was born out of the need to understand citations and citation practices for academic papers? For this, citations serve a similar purpose to backlinks—Google knows that the more citation entries a paper receives, the more authoritative and relevant it is.
However, academic papers don’t score citations without putting in work. The papers with the most citations are often substantial evergreen resources that took countless hours of research and collaboration—and we should mimic this approach with blog posts.
To create content that contributes real value to people’s lives and stands the test of time, you have to do your research. This means that your content should be rich with clearly founded claims and statements backed by evidence.
Blaze the Trail
It’s easy to follow the crowd, which in blogging means mirroring the content you see on other sites from your industry. This gets the industry caught in a cycle of parroting that no one benefits from.
When other businesses in your field are taking this exact approach, you can stand out by contributing something new to the conversation.
Blaze your own trail! Say something original or offer a new perspective on an existing topic.
By the same token, if you want people to listen to what you have to say, you have to stay true to your area and level of expertise. Authenticity is magnetic, while customers can sense fakers from a mile away.
Don’t try to speak on topics you don’t have substantial knowledge to back up. Write in a way that plays to your unique strengths!
Offer Value by Answering Questions
Once you have established buyer personas, this should be the natural reaction. You should always be aiming to provide value for your target audience, and blogs are the perfect way to do this. Especially since most internet searches are made by users who are looking for something—a product, a service, or just education on a particular subject. You want to be the brand name that they see when they find a site that answers their question perfectly.
Over time, users will start to associate your brand with answers to their questions, which is a powerful force for building trust with your target audience.
To get there, you have to know which questions to answer and how to best answer them. Keep an ear to the ground so that you can engage the right people at the right time. Social media is a great tool for this!
Have a Feel for Appropriate Content Length
After choosing a topic and doing your research, the most frequently asked question is, “How long should my content be?” The answer is one that everyone dreads: It depends.
Studies show that long-form content, between 1,000 and 2,000 words, usually performs better, but your word count will depend on the blog topic.
Longer content tends to rack up social shares and does a better job of scoring links, but you should not stretch a small topic to 2,000 words if it means you end up talking in circles. Focus on writing concisely and clearly, fully explicating all your points, and see where that leads you. The more information-dense your content, the more valuable it will be for your reader.
Structure Words in a Readable Format
Nothing turns readers away faster than hitting them with a wall of text when they find their way to your page. Big, chunky paragraphs easily call back memories of textbook reading, which isn’t a great look for your brand.
Facilitate the reading by mixing it up! Make sure to write shorter paragraphs, include subheadings or H2s, add some bullet points here and there, and definitely provide some images. This will make your blog much more appealing and enjoyable to read.
Interested in Partnering with a Team of Content Experts?
At Uptick Marketing, we have a powerful group of writers and SEO-ers who devote their time solely to increasing ROI for our clients via great content writing. If you’re ready to get the visibility online that you deserve, contact Uptick today!