At Speak, we write a lot. Our content team churns out an incredible amount of work each week for an ever-growing list of eager clients. That being the case, a large portion of what we do relies on writing engaging, timely, and topical blog content. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, blogs are often an essential part of a strong marketing strategy. They provide relevant information about your product or service and give your brand structure. As professionals, we suggest blogs for a good portion of our clients.
However, in some cases, our clients are interested in writing blogs themselves, and that’s great! There’s nothing like fresh, original content, straight from the source. If you’re planning on writing your own blogs, here’s an easy way to approach what can sometimes be an intimidating prospect.
Deciding to Write A Blog
Before we get into the good stuff, I want to mention that a blog won’t work for every brand. If your product involves highly technical content that would be difficult for the average reader to understand, you might consider a different format for information delivery. However, even a company that has focuses on engineering like this client sees a lot of success by making complex information more accessible to other industry professionals by way of blogs.
When you’re deciding whether or not to write a blog, think about the kinds of business you are and if you would benefit from this kind of engagement. Ultimately, this will also help you shape the tone of your blog.
Setting Up Your Calendar
Once you’ve made the decision to pursue blog writing, it’s essential that you set up a sustainable workflow, and for most people that involves developing a content calendar. This can be as simple as keeping a notebook with a schedule in it, or as advanced as buying software to help you stay on track. In most cases, a word document will do. When I set up a basic blog calendar, I follow the format below.
Blog Writing For Beginners
Let’s talk about the blog writing process for beginners!
Insert resource links here that you might need for use later.
- The date column can be as granular as you like. If you plan on writing a blog every week, your calendar should reflect the week or date you’re hoping to get it finished by.
- What’s a blog without a topic? Insert your title into this column. It’s fine if this isn’t what your final blog will be called.
- Even if you think you’ll remember exactly what your blog topic entails, don’t forget to write yourself a prompt detailing what it is you wanted to discuss. Don’t let those good ideas go to waste or get lost in your schedule. Write them down now!
- Resources are optional, but depending on the topic you’ve chosen, you might not find that great website you wanted to reference later down the road if you don’t include it while it’s on the top of your mind.
Ultimately, the design of your blog calendar is entirely up to you. Whatever helps you see the big picture and where your content is headed will be the best option. A strong calendar helps pave the direction of your content so you can build a coherent strategy, and is a wonderful place to start.
In my opinion, choosing the topics for your blog calendar is the fun part. Here’s where you get to be creative and do a little digging. Pick topics that are relevant to your product or service first and foremost. If your brand focuses on beauty and lifestyle, you might consider picking topics that talk about different make-up products or discuss the process you followed to update your living room’s vibe. If you’re struggling to come up with topics, you might consider looking at what other bloggers are doing to attract viewers or look into a tool that helps you discover keyword opportunities that your competitors might be missing.
Making an Outline
It wasn’t until I began writing professionally for a living that I realized that all of my teachers and professors had been right about one key element of writing: Creating an outline makes writing so much easier, and I cannot stress this enough.
When writing your outline, think about questions that you had when you first started learning about your product, service, or brand. If you had those questions, it’s likely that someone else does too. Alternatively, build your headers around questions that you get asked frequently.
And remember: For best results, follow your heading hierarchy.
- One Heading 1 (H1) - This is the title of your blog. Don’t use this more than once.
- Heading 2 (H2) - These are your main headers.
- Heading 3 (H3) - An H3 is usually a subtopic of your H2.
- An H4 would sit beneath an H3 as a sub-topic, and so forth and so on.
Your headers aren’t just pretty fonts. They help Google and other search engines understand what your page is about, so keep them tidy and organized!
The content is the meat and potatoes of your blog. It’s where you relay knowledge and weave in keywords related to your topic.
Many people think that a blog is just a diary or a writer’s personal thoughts, but they’re not. They’re resources that go beyond what your normal webpage offers. A blog is an opportunity to share an idea in-depth with your audience, so give them the information they’re looking for.
It’s important to remember that not every blog will be a hit the first time around, and that’s okay. If you notice your analytics flatlining, consider changing your headers, changing dates, or consider replacing certain keywords. Content is flexible that way, and there’s always a chance to make adjustments and do better!
Don’t forget that you have an opportunity to send people to other parts of your site, or even other blogs. Alternatively, if you’re using an outside source that you want to give credit to such as a government-based resource, make sure to link to those items.
Don’t Steal Content
One final note here and it should go without saying, but — don’t steal content. It’s okay to take inspiration from another source, but copying and pasting material is a big no-no. Not only can it land you in hot water with the original creators, but Google knows when you plagiarize, and you may not ever make it in front of your audience as a result.
Provide a Call To Action
No matter what the purpose of your blog is, include a call to action (CTA) of some kind. Feel free to set up a CTA wherever they’re applicable, but at the very least you should have one at the bottom of your page.
- Sign Up Today
- Contact Us
- Read More
- Make An Appointment
- Buy Now
- Call Us
Give your viewers the opportunity to take any action that might lead to another conversion, even if it’s just looking at another blog.
Want Us To Write For You?
Writing blogs takes time and effort. If you’re contemplating blog writing as part of your marketing strategy, consider having our professional content writers craft compelling blogs, pages, social media posts, and other content to drive traffic and get more customers engaging with your brand. Writing a blog on your own can be rewarding, but we’re your creative content partners and can help guide you through the process complete with strategy recommendations and best practice techniques.
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