Another year has come to an end, which means many business owners are gearing up for a new year of blog writing and blog strategy. Whether you’re tuning up your strategy or starting from scratch, it’s important for any industry to focus on blog writing technique.
Although a natural knack for content writing certainly helps, this doesn’t mean that you can’t learn a few tricks of the trade this year.
The truth is that even the most well-planned strategy will fall flat without top-notch content writing skills. There’s no better time than now to set some serious writing resolutions, and these are the top 6 ways you can make your blog a ridiculously good read in 2017.
1. Don’t Force the Flow
When you’re starting to write a blog and you can’t get one idea to connect to the other, don’t force it. Not only will this result in a subpar blog posts, your audience can sense the struggle from a mile away. As you craft your blog posts, it’s best to let your mind relax and let the words flow through your keyboard. If you need an outline to help you along with your ideas, that’s perfectly OK.
The idea is to create a cohesive blog post that makes sense from start to finish, with each paragraph relating to the one before it in one way or another.
But how can you easily create flow in your blog writing without stumbling? These ideas can help get those words from your brain to your fingertips:
- Use transitional words such as however, furthermore, and additionally. While this may seem like an elementary approach, the truth is that is highly effective for writing a great blog post that connects the dots for your readers.
- Keep your wording clear and concise. Sentences with too many words are often confusing—not to mention hard to read. Keep your wording crystal clear by sticking to shorter sentences. You also don’t need to get overly fancy in terms of vocabulary, unless you are writing to a specific audience who is expecting advanced terminology or jargon.
- Vary your sentence structure. Words paint a picture, and you want to take your readers through a scenic trip with peaks and valleys. This means to combine short and long sentences throughout your blog post while clearly communicating your message. There is no need to get overly obsessive on this technique, but keep it in mind as you work your way through your next daft.
- Use sub headers, bullet points, and graphics for visual cues. The truth is that 65% of people are visual learners. To create the best flow possible, take advantage of visual aspects that make your blog well-organized. This can range from charts and infographics to simple sub headers and bullet points, as you see here in this blog.
2. Create Your Own Identity with a Unique and Powerful Voice
If you have yet to think about or identify your voice for your business blog, now is the perfect time to start. Your blogging voice is the way that your audience identifies you through your blog writing. It’s your personality and the way that you tell a story through the written word. It should be exclusive to your brand and completely authentic.
However, creating an identity through your blogging voice isn’t something that you just throw at the wall and see what sticks.
You want to put some thought into this approach so you can capture the right tone and feel for your blog every single time.
If you aren’t sure where to start, there is no need to panic. You can create an original blogging voice with a few simple exercises:
- Describe your personality (or have a friend do it for you). We want to use positive traits here, since this is important for establishing trust and building a connection with your audience. For example, I’d describe myself as straightforward with a dash of playful. I like to get down to work, but I want to have fun while I’m doing it (yes, that’s actually possible to achieve).
- Write like you talk. If you’re still scratching your head on describing your personality, let’s back up for a minute. Think of how you speak to customers face-to-face and attempt to replicate this as you type away on your keyboard. While it may not be exact to the tone of your voice in person, it helps you create a mold for your new and improved blogging voice.
- Combine writing styles that you admire (but never directly copy). Whether you’re currently blogging or you’re still on the fence, hopefully you read a few industry or marketing blogs from time to time. Think about your favorite blogs that you frequent and try to find a common theme between them. What is it about these blogs that bring you back every week? Do you enjoy the author’s no-nonsense approach, or do you find yourself admiring the way he or she combines humor with educational material?
- Add your energy to achieve personal flair. Just because you’re blogging for business doesn’t mean that your writing should be dull and dry. Put a little emotion and imagery into your wording—use terms that will dazzle, delight, and inspire your readers rather than lulling them to sleep.
- Give it time. While it sounds great to simply pick a blog writing style and run with it, this isn’t always the case. The truth is that even the best writers take a lot of time to completely master their blog writing voice and excel at it through every blog post. It will likely take a bit of time—possibly months or even longer—to hit just the right note. But don’t let this discourage you. It’s the perfect opportunity to mold a brand new online identity while setting yourself apart from the competition.
3. Feeling Low on Energy? Step Away from the Keyboard
Feeling frustrated? Out of ideas or can’t write your way out of a box when you sit down at your computer desk? While this might sound counterproductive, stepping away from the keyboard can be one of the best ways to get your blog writing back on track.
Understand that energy levels vary, especially when it comes to your blog. Writing takes a lot of brainpower (believe me, I’m speaking from experience) and it can be downright exhausting to churn out high-quality blog content in one sitting.
If your creative energy tank is running on empty and writing a blog post feels comparable to climbing Mount Everest, take a break.
Get up from your desk and do something else—seriously. I prefer to engage in something that doesn’t take much mental effort, as it only drains my energy levels even more. I’ll typically go exercise or run a few errands to get out of the office.
If my spark for writing hasn’t returned after a couple hours, I call it quits for the day and start fresh in the morning.
4. Add Pizzazz with Punchy Words and Phrases
While this may be more of an advanced blog writing tip, this is a technique that truly sets your content apart from the competition. It is incredibly dull to use the same words over and over again, and it quickly makes your content quite forgettable.
This is where adding a dash of punchy words, phrases, and pizzazz comes into play. This is one of your blogging resolutions that may take some time to master, but it’s important for establishing your voice and appealing to your audience.
But how can you approach this technique, and where do you even begin?
Use playful words and phrases like sugar. The goal is to make your blog posts alluring, like a decedent cupcake with your favorite toppings.
- Use vivid examples on generic topics. If you’re stuck blogging about boring topics day after day, fun examples can breathe new life into ho-hum topics. It helps bring your writing to life while boosting your credibility.
- Add extra spice with descriptive verbs and nouns. What would life be without words like dazzle, delight, pizzazz, and bamboozle? While this may just be the word nerd in me, I love to weave fun and colorful words into my blog posts when appropriate. It adds dimension to your blog and keeps your readers highly engaged.
- Always add alliteration. Well, not always—but alliteration can make your blog writing a lot more fun and interesting. Alliteration is the technique of using the same letter or sound of closely connected words. Example: Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
- Make metaphors a star player. Metaphors can add a lot of oomph to even the most basic business blog. They are great for adding life to ordinary language, and Aristotle claims that metaphor usage is a sign of genius.
5. Long Form Content: Aim for Roughly 1,500 words per Post
With today’s competitive content marketing landscape, you simply can’t afford to whip up a 300-word blog post and call it a day. Not only is it quite difficult to add value for your readers by using three or four paragraphs, it also won’t do much for you if you are trying to enhance your search engine rankings.
Long form content is a blogging trend that isn’t going away any time soon. The length of a typical blog post is getting longer by the year, increasing from 808 words in 2014 to 1054 words in 2016.
Why is long form content such a hot commodity? Your readers are looking for actionable and educational blog content that helps them to solve problems. They want a resource that is essentially a one-stop-shop for getting the information that they need. There are numerous advantages for using long form content on your blog, including:
- Higher search engine rankings. A study by serpIQ indicated that the word count on blog posts had a direct reflection on appearing in the top 10 rankings for a specific keyword. The best-performing posts typically have at least 2,000 words or more. Backlinko’s 2016 study of 1 million Google Search results indicated the number one ranking article had at least 1,890 words.
- Better social media engagement. Not only does long form content have an impact in terms of SEO, but it can also help you gain more traction on Facebook, Twitter, and beyond. QuickSprout determined that blog posts containing more than 1,500 words received 68% more tweets and 22% more Facebook likes than posts with fewer than 1,500 words.
- Get more backlinks. Long form content is also beneficial for business owners who need more juice in the backlink department. BuzzSumo’s 2015 report explains how long form content gets more shares and backlinks. This study overviews shares and links of over 1 million articles.
We’re not here to sugarcoat things for you; writing long form content is tough work. While there isn’t necessarily a magic number that you must hit in order to get the most out of your blog writing, there are ways that you can make the mission a little less overwhelming:
- Start with a primary focus. What is the main focal point of your blog? You have a lot of words to write, and you don’t want to ramble or go off topic in order to hit a specified word count. Always keep your primary focus in mind so you can stay on track for the end goal.
- Make an outline. If you’re writing a really long blog, you’re going to need an outline. Focus on the key takeaways of your blog and the main points that you want to communicate to your readers. A blog outline typically begins with an introduction and anywhere from 3-5 sub headers, depending on how in-depth you go with each subject.
- Break your writing time into batches. While some experienced writers may able to write a 2,500-word blog post in a few hours, this is a tough task for the average business owner. One of the ways to tackle the overwhelm is to break up your writing time into batches. For example, if you want to write a blog post that is 1,500 words long, you can write 300 words per day for 5 days.
- Don’t make it all about word count. While longer is better in 2017, you shouldn’t focus your entire blog strategy on word count. This can actually result in a lot of stress and pressure as you feel that you need to hit a certain number every time. Even though you’re a thought leader in your industry, you’re also human. Cut yourself a break if you don’t hit your desired word count with every post, and never sacrifice quality for a number. Quality is always the most important in the end.
6. Hire a Blog Writing Service
You know that blogging is important, and you’re ready to implement it into your 2017 content marketing strategy. If you feel like you bit off more than you can chew, hiring a blog writing service can help you meet your content marketing goals as you focus on running your business.
The truth is that blogging is both an art and a science. In order to succeed at blogging for business this year, you need to be creative, dedicated, and motivated to give offer the best quality content possible without missing a beat.
And that’s how you write a ridiculously good blog post in 2017.
Want ridiculously good blogs for your business? You’ve come to the right place. Contact Busy Blogs Plus for your free New Year blog consultation.