How to Write Better Content for Your Business Blog (and Do It Fast!)
Content marketing has long been one of the most important aspects of Internet marketing. And one of the best ways to provide excellent content to your target audience is by maintaining a business blog. In fact, a well-maintained blog can help you establish a reputation of being an authority in your chosen niche. The problem is that many business owners find the task of creating excellent content for their blog a bit of a challenge, whether for lack of time or the lack of talent.
The good news is that there are ways for you to get around these difficulties. Maintaining a good business blog may indeed be a challenge, but your efforts don’t have to be futile. Here are a few tips on how to ensure you capture your target audience’s interest with your blog content:
1. Target and Find Your Audience
When you write content for a business blog, understand that you’re not necessarily writing for everyone; you’re only writing for the people to whom the business itself is relevant. Your content, therefore, should be targeted to those who will most likely find it interesting. Write down the specifics of your target market—age bracket, gender, interests, etc. Once you’ve targeted your audience, it should be easier to find out where they usually spend their time online. Draw up a list of websites, forums, and communities they frequent so you can do further research on their needs.
2. Listen to Your Audience and Understand Their Problems
This is what I mean when I said you can do “further research” on your target audience. You need to find out what they’re talking about on the sites they frequent and what issues they commonly raise. Spend some time trying to put yourself in their shoes so you’ll understand what information they’re looking for online, what services they’ve been searching for but haven’t found yet, what they do and don’t like about certain products and services (particularly those of your competitors), and other important issues concerning them.
3. Determine How You Can Address Your Audience’s Problems
Go through the list of issues and problems your target audience has and then write down solutions that can directly address these issues. Be honest in assessing which solutions you can provide and which ones you still need to work on. You need to write only about solutions you know you’re capable of delivering.
4. Assess Your Competition
Understandably, your competitors are offering basically the same types of products and services as you. It would therefore be wise to check out what they’re writing about on their blog and website. This will give you an idea on how you can set yourself apart by writing about the things they missed or approaching the same topics from a fresh perspective.
As always when offering services and/or information, do not treat your blog as one that exists in a vacuum. Know your audience and your competition. Flickr photo by Y. Duarte
5. Develop Your Brand Message
Although you’ll be posting a lot of articles and covering a variety of topics, you need to have a core message around which your posts will revolve. Let’s say you run an online shoe store and you want to deliver the message that you only offer brands of the best quality. In this case, you’ll want all (or most) of your blog posts to be about shoe quality – what to look for in running shoes, how long you can wear high heels without hurting your feet, etc.
6. Develop an Editorial Calendar
A calendar will help you keep your eyes on your blogging goal. When you have a schedule to follow, you’ll be better able to manage your time and ensure that your blog isn’t taken for granted.
7. Write Killer Titles and Headlines
Among the very first things a person sees when they check out a blog post is the title/headline. If you don’t capture your audience’s interest with it, then it most likely won’t matter how relevant your message is. So make sure your titles/headlines are well-crafted.
Bear in mind that the content of your business blog should help you achieve the following:
• Establish your expertise in your chosen field
• Connect with your audience and build a lasting relationship with them
• Tell interesting stories
• Relate to your audience’s problems and experiences
• Offer relevant solutions
• Show your brand’s personality
Of course, a busy entrepreneur like you may not have too much time to spare writing blog content. Here are some tips on how to write faster:
1. Write Down Ideas
Set aside some time when you will do nothing but write down ideas for blog posts. Keep writing until you run out of ideas. Find inspiration in social media, niche-related forums, analytics, and even around your office. When you’re finally out of ideas, go through your list and rank your ideas according to which ones you deem most relevant and interesting. Map out these ideas on your editorial calendar.
2. Create an Outline
Take the first topic on your calendar and then create an outline for your post. This allows you to organize your thoughts and saves you from the time-consuming task of staring at your computer screen for hours planning how to begin your post. It will also keep you from rambling as you develop your content.
3. Let the Writing Flow; Edit Later
Don’t try to edit your work as you write. This often leads to backtracking and constant rechecking, and could easily break your chain of thought. If you’ve ever experienced this before, then you know this is a great way to waste precious time. Just keep writing until you reach the end of your outline, and then you can edit your post.
4. Write When You’re Most Productive
Do you know when your peak productive time is? If not, then it’s about time for you to find out! Your peak productive time is the time of day when you’re most productive. This is the time when you not only work fastest, but also produce the best results. Try working at different times of day to determine when you’re at your most creative and then schedule your writing around that time.
When you implement a well-defined workflow and map everything out on an editorial calendar, your chances of producing better content and writing much faster is significantly improved. More importantly, this practice will bring you a lot closer to the goal of connecting and conversing with your audience through your business blog, rather than simply lecturing to them. Remember that more than information, modern consumers appreciate the relationship you work hard to build with them.