It is well known that blogging is a great way to boost search engine positioning but sometimes we don’t know what to write or how to write useful blog posts. There are so many blogs out there and many of them give great information so how can you stand out from the crowd? Does it matter what we write or is simply writing 300 words good enough? The answer is it definitely matters! High quality content that is helpful holds value and will attract readers. Writing fluff with a few key words will get a few clicks but quality content will make readers stay on your site (and keep coming back!). It is okay to have shorter posts as well, but really useful blog posts will establish your company’s credibility and trust. If your blog is pure filler with no substance, people may check out a post or two but they will not subscribe. With that said, we know we need to be posting epic content but what the heck do we write? I use these four types of articles as a guideline to write useful blog posts that will attract an audience and increase shares.
The goal is to be the go-to person in your industry and readers want to know that you really know your stuff.
Solving simple problems make for some extremely valuable blog posts. Writing useful content does not mean you have to give us the cure for cancer, it just needs to help your readers in simple ways. Think about the types of questions you google on a daily basis or the types of questions your clients ask time and time again. Chances are, they are pretty simple questions with equally as simple answers. Yet these bits of information hold value and prevent us from fixating on that question that popped into our heads the entire day. If you can provide answers to clients, readers, or potential customers, you will begin to establish yourself as a solid point of reference and readers will subscribe. Some great examples of problem solving blog posts include answering frequently asked questions, simple how tos (I literally just googled “how tos or how to’s”. See… our questions are #basic), or easy information that will be helpful to your audience.
Share a Few Tips
People love quick tips. Humans generally have short attention spans and don’t want to read a novel when finding information on how to increase SEO or how to market their business. By giving readers a few quick tips, you will increase the chance of them actually reading what you have to say. Some of the best ways to present tips are in lists or short paragraphs of seven sentences or less. Give those paragraphs clear headings (like the ones in this post) to allow readers to easily scan the page and find the information quickly. To increase clickability (no that’s not a real word), include an odd number in the title. 7 Easy Ways to Market Your Business will attract way more readers than Great Ideas to Market Your Business.
Even if they are the only person to read your post it will boost their confidence and begin to build important relationships.
Report the News
Stepping into the role of the reporter is such an easy way to create new relevant content for your blog. This does not mean giving your readers the daily weather report. Many of us attend events or conferences, listen to podcasts, read other blogs, and generally pay attention to what’s going on in the world. We take in all this great information but the problem is it’s easy to forget that we can easily turn that information into blog posts! The next time you go to a conference or attend an event, go as a reporter. Share the top 5 products from that trade show you attended or 10 things you learned from a great keynote speech. Writing about companies, products, or speakers is so good for your blog because it is relevant to what’s going on in today’s world. Maybe someone who couldn’t attend that conference or missed that great speech with want to read about it. If you can provide that information it will not only make your blog relevant but also incredibly useful. Event hashtags are a great way to get info out there and will definitely increase the number of new readers.
If you write a killer blog post about a company, product, or speaker be sure to reach out to them and share the article! Seeing that someone wrote about them will make them feel like they are getting their 15 minutes of fame. Whether 15,000 people read the post or not does not matter. Even if they are the only person to read your post it will boost their confidence and begin to build important relationships. Good relationships and a strong reputation is just as valuable as a large subscriber list.
The problem with praising everything you write about is that it will kill your credibility.
Don’t Be Afraid to Critique
When blogging or networking as a business owner, you want everyone to think your business is the bees knees. The goal is to keep all of our customers happy, create a positive buzz, and gather five star testimonials. Because of this, it’s easy to get stuck in a love fest when blogging or giving advice because we never want to come off as negative. The problem with praising everything you write about is that it will kill your credibility. Your customers and readers want to know what’s good and what sucks so by providing honest information you begin to build that sense of trust. By being honest, readers won’t worry if you are just endorsing a brand or product because someone paid you to do it. Your opinion will be valued and really taken seriously. The goal is to be the go to person in your industry and readers want to know that you really know your stuff.
Building a good reputation is a very important part of having a successful business or brand and we sometimes forget that our blogs are part of that. Having a blog is one thing but having a great blog full of useful blog posts sets you apart from the rest of the crowd. Next time you are writing a blog post, try out one of these methods and see what new ideas you can bring to the table. Have any other tips for writing useful blog posts? Leave me a comment below or tweet me your ideas!