So you've worked out you need a blog, and you've established the business priorities underpinning your posts...
Get down to writing... but before you do, start planning.
Plan your content by having a brainstorm. Plan the order of your blog posts by creating an editorial calendar. Then plan how you will share that content across social media.
Yes, but what makes a great blog?
Well, think about it like this. The internet is now flooded with words, so your posts have to really stand out if they are going to be shared.
It's no longer enough to come up with a few generic SEO terms and pepper your copy with them in the hope that readers will find your site. It's not that we don't use SEO any more. Of course we do... but you need to write really standout content in order for it to be shared.
Think of your customers as seasoned news editors. Increasingly, they've seen it all before... and they're tired of the same old stuff. Once a week I would have to pitch ideas to my newsdesk. If it had already been done, and I didn't have a new way of dressing things up, I was told 'No.'
Simple as that. There was no time for messing about in newspapers, and every word counted in terms of sales. The same reasoning should apply to your blog posts. Why write what's already out there?
Innovate. Do your research. Find out what your competitors are blogging about and come up with something new. Always bear in mind your customer personas. You'll have worked these out before you begin.
What are your customers looking for? What are their interests? What are their problems? How can you help solve those problems?
What you write about should directly tap into what's on your customer's mind. Your posts should refresh and entertain, inform and enlighten. Give the visitor to your site a positive experience, so they come back for more and share your blog posts on social media.
Aim to be an authority within your sector. Aim for thought leadership. And always remember to avoid too much industry jargon and technical stuff. It's boring. So very boring.
Plain English is not about dumbing down. It's about accessibility. And accessibility is about creating content people want to read. Remember to take yourself out of your organisation's mindset, and see yourself as a visitor to your website.
Would you stick around? Would you share that post?
These are tough questions, but they are worth asking. Be honest now, and you'll save a whole heap of wasted effort as you build your new blog.