Blogging is one of the key skills that I’ve picked up during my time at BlueSky, and whether it’s for our clients, or for ourselves, there are a few key principles that always hold true. Here are my tips for writing a compelling blog.
Writing a compelling blog: What’s your goal?
Before writing a compelling blog, it’s important that you identify your goals and objectives. For example, if you are a recruitment company, and your ultimate target is attracting more candidates, you should ensure that the content on your blog is geared towards this end.
Identify your target audience
Once you have your goals and objectives in mind, you’ll need to know who you intend to speak to. Without a deep understanding of who you are writing for, you won’t be able to tailor content for your readers. By undertaking thorough research on what does and doesn’t work for your readership, you’ll be off the best possible start.
Once you have your topic, you should brainstorm a few key phrases for SEO purposes. It’s important to be clear on these before you start writing, as it will help you pepper them seamlessly throughout the text. There are plenty of tools to help you find phrases which will resonate with your audience, such as Answer the Public.
A good headline can be a ‘make or break’ factor for a compelling blog post. Regardless of whether you write this before you begin drafting, or see what fits when you’re done – it needs to grab the reader’s attention. One particularly effective technique is posing a question in your headline. However, the process is an art, and will require trial and error until you figure out what works for your audience.
Short and sweet
In almost all cases, sentences should be kept as short as possible. Shorter sentences reduce the likelihood of going off on needless tangents. They also prevent readers having to read large walls of text. The same goes for paragraphs. The shorter the paragraph, the more likely your readers are to keep going.
Subheadings can also be helpful in this regard, as they help guide readers through articles. However, they are also great for SEO. Google uses them to help it understand content, and whether it’s relevant enough to appear on searches.
Once you’re done with your first draft, read it thoroughly and check for words that can be replaced to avoid repeating yourself. It’s important to be ruthless here, as repetition will detract heavily from writing a compelling blog post.
Cite your sources
It’s important to cite your sources properly whenever possible. Even if you’re relying on third-party information to write your blog post, choose wisely. Official associations, peer-reviewed research papers, and industry experts are all great examples.
This a step that should never be skipped. Proofing is not only beneficial for spotting typos or grammatical errors but also for getting a second opinion on the flow of the piece and whether it makes sense structurally. Reading your post out-loud will also help iron out any small mistakes.
The call to action is a crucial ingredient in a blog post. Whether it’s creating an account, visiting another page or purchasing a product, you need one for every post. Without this valuable section at the end of your post, a blog cannot be considered complete. You need to be directing readers towards an end that relates to your overall goals.
Another strategy which is helpful for SEO is internal linking. This is where you link to related posts within your own site. However, there’s no point sending readers to the same few pages over and over, so it’s important you have solid base of content before you do it. Finally, ensure where you guide audiences is relevant for engagement and SEO purposes.
Finally, a meta description is the small bit of text that appears underneath your link on Google. Using this space wisely is key, as in the split-second decisions that people make when choosing which link to click, this could be the factor that sends them to your site.
The right mix
Finally, make sure that you have the right mixture of evergreen content, and timely copy that ‘piggybacks’ current news and events. Evergreen content remains relevant over time, and continues to pull in visitors. However, current, topical material is also valuable – just as long as it aligns with your goals and objectives. The key is balance, which will keep your blog fresh and as compelling as possible.
Is your recruitment firm looking for PR, blogging, or social media support?