Blog Writing 101
More subtle than an ad or piece of marketing collateral, a blog is a powerful way to position yourself or your company as an expert and convert prospects into buyers. How do you make sure your efforts don’t go for naught? I grabbed the following tips from OptinMonster, but the commentary is from me.
- Know your audience. This is true for any type of persuasive writing — understand who your audience is and what it wants before you start.
- Write compelling headlines. Will you read something if the headline is meh? Probably not — and neither will your potential blog readers.
- Add subheads to break the page. This isn’t necessary if your blog is short, but it’s a must for longer blogs. Subheads are a design element, making your blog easier to read. They’ll also drawn in readers who scan to decide if something’s worth their time — if they’re compelling.
- Use bullet points. As you’re experiencing right now, using bullet points is a great technique to allow readers to take in information at a glance.
- Add images. Yes, a picture — or image — is worth a thousand words. More importantly, adding images to your blog is likely to attract more readers.
- Optimize for SEO. Use keywords sparingly, where they naturally fit in. Neither the internet algorithms nor your readers will appreciate keyword stuffing — jamming in as many as you can.
- Add a clear call-to-action. Readers won’t know what to do when they finish your blog unless you tell them. Examples of good CTAs are visit our website, sign up for our next webinar and contact me to learn more — with the appropriate link provided.
One last thing, which I get asked all the time: How long should blogs be? I always answer, “as long as they need to be,” and probably no less than 300 or 400 words. Many SEO aficionados believe blogs must be over 1,000 words, and I’ve written many that are that long, but only if the subject matter warranted it. Now get out there and blog.
Even though on board and onboard differ by just a space, they mean different things. Onboard is an adjective that means attached or a verb that means to acclimate. On board is an adverb or prepositional phrase that means safely aboard a vessel or in agreement. Thus: Our boss was on board with our decision to onboard new hires on board a boat with an onboard computer system.
Stop Being Redundant
It’s easy to be redundant, but it detracts from your writing. Let’s start with my all-time “favorite,” since I see it so often: close proximity. Proximity means close or near to, so when you write close proximity, you’re actually saying close close. How about brainstorm together? Brainstorming is a group activity, so together is redundant. Here are a few more redundant phrases you probably see all the time: end result, free gift, revert back, unexpected surprise, and written down. Be the outlier, and banish them from your writing efforts.