How to Write Better Blog Posts (That Actually Convert)
It’s not a secret anymore that blogs generate a whole lot of website traffic, improve your SEO game, and are generally considered a must-have for businesses these days. According to a Hubspot article, marketers who prioritize blogging see 13x more return on investment. 47% of buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before talking to a sales rep. 43% of B2B marketers say blogging is their most important type of content.The list goes on. That said, statistics aren’t everything. Starting a blog won’t automatically generate new leads and bring customers flocking to your product. You need to have genuine, unique content that people actually want to read.
The good news is that it’s easier than ever for anyone to start a blog and get that traction building. However, with the increased popularity of blogging, the jargon that goes along with it has also ballooned. With all the SEO-this and Keyword-that advice out there, blogging can be intimidating and downright confusing.
It shouldn’t be. When you get down to it, blogging is all about sharing insight and information with your potential customers. It’s a way to build trust, a personality, and create value for your company. With that in mind, here are some concrete pieces of advice for you to get back to the basics and write blog posts that convert.
Write for people, not search engines.
First of all, you definitely should do your research when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). There are lots of great, plain English articles out there on the basics of how to optimize your blog to rank on search engines like Google. When writing your articles, you should also consider keywords you want to target.
BUT…when you’re performing all of these research and data-driven practices, keep in mind who you’re writing for: the potential customer. You aren’t creating content just to fill up web space. It’s out there for someone to actually read. It sounds obvious, but think to yourself when you’re writing: “Would I want to click on this? Would my customers want to read this? What skills or knowledge or emotion am I gaining from reading this?” If you’re only writing for keywords and SEO, your article will likely come out overstuffed and unengaged.
Don’t get too bogged down in picking out phrases and topics you think would perform best in search results that you lose the sense of why you’re writing the article in the first place. The article might look nice — it might even sound nice — but if you’re missing depth in favor of strategy, your copy won’t convert.
Look for things in the news, but don’t force it.
Another tactic when writing blog articles is to look for current events and find ways to tie them back to your business, since people will likely be searching for queries related to that event. It’s a useful strategy, but remember, just like with keyword strategizing, you’re still writing for people. Don’t force a topic out because you think people will search for it.
You might be able to connect your business to the latest cute face Prince George made in public or a new Apple release (and more power to you if you can!), but don’t try to force your business somewhere it doesn’t fit. Don’t stretch the metaphor too hard. Instead, look for news related to what your business is about.
Use your keywords wisely (and deliver on what people actually came for).
We’ve all been there. We see a recipe online and click on the link, only to have to scroll through a pages-long recap of the author’s summer in Venice before we actually get to the pasta sauce we were looking for.
There’s something to be said about sharing details selectively and making sure your audience gets what they came for. In your marketing research, you’ve likely found that most SEO authorities recommend targeting a number of “long tail keywords.” Let’s say, for instance, you run a donut shop. If you try to rank for the word “donut,” you’d be up against heavy hitters like Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’, and Yelp and Google search results. It would be much easier to rank (and convert) if you target a really specific query like “blood orange glazed donut holes” instead.
The same concept applies to blog articles. That being said, don’t overstuff your article with a bunch of long tail keywords. First of all, search engines are smart enough to pick up on that now and it can actually harm your placement in results. Secondly, don’t use the keyword if that’s not actually what you’re delivering in your content. If someone searches “how to write a better blog post,” they’re probably looking for advice to write a better article.
Share shamelessly. And remember that it’s a long game.
It can be frustrating to send your content out into the world and wait on the results. We feel you. Just remember that it doesn’t happen overnight. Even if you post at optimal times, curate your hashtags, and target your followers, it can take time to build a real audience. That’s why it’s so important to focus on quality and stay real.
As for getting your content out there, share it everywhere and tailor it where you’re sharing it. You can repurpose your content to make it suitable for LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter. etc. Don’t just copy/paste. Use the strengths of each medium and figure out which demographics you’re targeting on each site. Figure out how to make your posts visual on Instagram and how to condense them for Twitter readability.
So, by all means, optimize your SEO, do your research and figure out a data-backed plan for your marketing strategy. But don’t let the data take over at the expense of the quality of the content. Let’s say that you are successful with your SEO and rank number one on Google for your chosen keyword. That’s great. But, even if you generate a ton of traffic, your post won’t convert if the content isn’t good. On the other hand, let’s say your article isn’t necessarily number one, but the right customer sees it on LinkedIn, reads it and tells 5 friends about it because of its value. Which scenario is better? That’s for you to decide.