A quick check on major websites confirms something in common: news and blog articles.
From Westpac and CBA to Nike, Apple, Samsung and Coca-Cola, offering blog content is something they’ve all been doing for years.
In this article, Nodifi explains the benefits of blog content and details on how to write a blog post in 5 simple steps.
Blogs have the ability to be emailed and shared, liked and reposted on social media. They can offer insight to the creator’s products and services, offer explanations, news and tips, and above all else, show readers [potential customers] your subject matter knowledge..
In terms of blog content, brokers have a raft of options including; interest rates, interior design, how-to guides (i.e., first home buyers and investment properties), providing the ability to target a huge range of demographics.
Posting strategic content aimed at specific audiences is a proven way to promote brand awareness and attract people to your website, products and services.
Google PageRank (GPR)
Another reason for producing blogs is to help boost a website’s visibility on relevant search engine results. For example, if someone were to search for ‘car finance’, ideally you’d want to be placed on the first page of search results (or close to). Producing a blog titled ‘How to Get the Best Car Finance’, is an example of content that can help elevate a website’s page rank for relevant search terms.
* “car finance” searches on Google total up to 100,000 per month in Australia.
Other reasons include
- Building rapport and engagement
- Creating opportunities
- Telling your story
- Validating expertise
Optimal dimensions of blogs
- Topic and content should be understandable within the first few sentences.
- Length should be short enough to cover all points with no long-winded explanations (too long, and it might be two or more blogs)
- Blogs should avoid reading like an advertisement or promotion.
- Subheadings, short sentences and minimal block text help with readability.
- ‘Keyword stuffing’ (unnaturally ‘stuffing’ blogs with too many keywords) can negatively impact search rankings.
- Copying content from other sources can also be detrimental to search rankings
How to write a blog post in 5 steps
A blog article can easily take several hours or more to complete. When investing that much time, make sure;
- You are not only knowledgeable about the topic but also have a genuine interest
- Your audience can take something away from the blog (professional insights, tips, interesting (true) stories, etc.)
Choosing a topic interesting to the writer is crucial. Engagement data often shows that blogs written with enthusiasm by creators with genuine interest rank far higher than those just written for the sake of adding content.
Blog plans typically contain the topic and subheadings in order of best flow. A conclusion or summary at the end helps tie everything together.
It’s in the planning phase that creators list their keywords too. Google Keyword Planner is a great tool to help select optimal keywords.
Step 2: Headline and introduction
A short, catchy headline is crucial for attracting readers. Most blogs are read on smartphones so screen space is limited. Use a title analyser to check out a few ideas.
Introductions are another critical part of blogs. Ideally, introductions consist of 3 – 4 sentences with a short, medium and long word count. Introductions should have a hook to entice readers to continue.
They might start with a curious or even controversial fact, quote or question, then a second longer sentence further pushing a problem based on the fact or question. Thirdly, a solution or answer.
Another introduction strategy is to provide the end of the blog first, without giving away too much. This way, readers feel enticed to read on.
‘Recent client, Anna, now has $240 extra per week. After years of paying too much in multiple loan repayments, Anna finally took the plunge and came out on top.
Refinancing helps more Aussies save more money than you may realise. Here’s how.’
The above introduction gives the conclusion but doesn’t explain how. This technique entices readers to find out.
With a simple plan organised and a catchy headline and introduction, actually writing the blog should come easily.
There’s no right or wrong way. Some prefer writing out a draft in one sitting while the topic and information is fresh and front of mind. Others prefer to chip away at each section over time. Either way, it’s the end result that counts.
Note that if time is a concern, leaving and returning to a draft requires rereading parts in order to refocus which can slow the process down.
Another technique is to write down what you can and revise, edit and add sentences after an initial draft is complete. This helps avoid getting stuck on paragraph introductions and other intricacies.
If you’re using other online sources for ideas and fact checking, note that Google scans text for plagiarism. Too much and it can negatively impact your search results ranking.
Take inspiration from other sources
Check and recheck grammar, punctuation and spelling
Use high-quality images
Share your blog via email and social media
Copy-paste from other sources
Add cliche jokes or humour that only some demographics understand
Fight with any commenters who may dislike your post
Write just to impress readers / promote your business
Attack or criticise other blogs, people or ideas
Grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors are a huge let down in a blog post. These mistakes can dramatically reduce the credibility of your knowledge.
‘According to expert say a credit score is most important’
‘According to experts, credit scores are a crucial part of the application process.’
It’s easy to see which one of the above has more credibility.
Another important quality assurance check is for general understanding. When writing a blog, it’s easy to add quirks, references and humour that, at the time of writing, make perfect sense but confuse other readers.
A good idea is to leave time (overnight for example) between finishing a draft and returning to edit. This way, you’ll return with a fresh set of eyes.
Try to avoid large blocks of continuous text as this can become difficult to read and take in.
Step 5: Images and metadata
Depending on the blog topic, images don’t need to be exactly inline with the content. For example, a blog about saving money doesn’t have to have a cliche image of a piggy bank.
Professional and high-quality images that evoke an emotion relating to the blog content are a good bet. For example, a blog about saving money might show a young family enjoying a holiday – the emotion being the freedom and happiness of enjoying life with more money.
Using intriguing images are great for getting attention, especially on social media.
Metadata consists of a title, keywords and a description.
Meta title: displayed in a browser tab, they are also read by search engines.
Keyword focus: these words or phrases act as a signal to search engines (like Google) to show what your content relates to.
Meta description: describes and summarises the contents of a blog or page for the benefit of users, search engines and shared links. They are displayed directly under the post title links on Google search results pages.
These should be different from the actual title, short and to the point.
Creating blogs on topics of interest is often a rewarding experience with a lot of benefits.
This blog (Nodifi’s ‘How to Write a Blog Post in 5 Steps’) followed a similar pattern:
- Catchy introduction
- Reasons for blogs (keywords, brand awareness, etc)
- Steps 1-5: The How
- Summary (with example)
Total length: 1,325
Total time from planning to publishing: 5.5 hours
What do your clients often struggle with? What are some of the common questions they ask? Blogs that offer help and guidance are a great place to begin.