Do you do this? You are at your keyboard and you begin to compose. Your fingers might hit the wrong keys and you see a typo…immediately you hit the backspace …back, back, back…and then retype the word. What happened to your composition or the idea forming in your mind? It has been derailed, delayed and in some cases …poof, it is gone!
Here is a better way to approach writing your business blog:
- Plan Ahead. At least a few days ahead of your appointed date to write your blog, decide on the target customer persona you want to write to, as if you were going to write them a letter. At this same time decide on the general topic area or question that you want to answer.
- Let it Stew. Keep that persona and topic in mind as you go about your day. You will be surprised at the resources, articles and even personal experiences you will seemingly magically come across that will help you frame your thoughts on the blog you plan to write. Make note of these ideas.
- Brief Outline. On the day that you plan to write your blog, outline a few points that you know you want to cover in this blog and perhaps if your blog calls for references or concepts that require greater exploration, assemble and quickly review sources and references.
- Write Without Editing. When you are ready to write your first draft of the blog try writing the blog draft, either by hand or with your keyboard, with the conviction that you are not going to stop the flow of your ideas by editing in any way. Allow your creative ideas and word imagery to unfold naturally without being stunted. Do this with the confidence that you will go back in your edit pass to add references, cite examples or other relevant sources. In other words – DON’T STOP THE FLOW!
- Don’t Stop Writing. Keep writing, without interruption until you have a sense of completion. If ideas are flowing it is good to keep going. Even if you feel you have gone long, what you might have done is written a good chunk of a follow-up piece that can be cut and pasted into a file to save for the next blog. BONUS!
- Take a Break Before Editing. Take a little break before you dive into the edit pass. Then re-read with your persona in mind. Did you answer the questions you thought the persona would ask on this topic? Are the answers clear? Edit accordingly. Next plug in any references or helpful sources (with hyperlinks if your blog is online). Re-read and edit for spelling, grammar and flow.
- Keyword Research. To maximize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) do a keyword review of phrases or questions that your persona might ask on this topic by using a keyword search tool. Select the phrases that most closely align with your persona and topic. Choose a few keyword phrases that score with low competition and reasonably high search volume. Look for logical places in your blog to insert these phrases. Note: If you have written your blog with your persona in mind you will probably have no difficulty in authentically inserting these keyword search phrases or performing a minor edit to an existing sentence to accommodate the phrase.
- Craft Your Headline. Consider your keyword phrases as you craft your headline. Remember, your headline is your invitation to your reader – make it compelling, inviting and searchable.
- Enhance with Images. Choose image(s) which will contribute to the blog topic. Images with your blog draw more readers.
- Post Your Blog. Re-read it and edit as needed. Be sure that it has an easy and readable format.Shorter paragraphs and bullet-ed or numbered text feels easier to read than dense copy. Log your keyword phrases into your SEO Widget. And, last insert your links. (For example, in this post I planned on linking to a How to Hyperlink tutorial, the Google Adwords Keywords Tool and cross-linking to a previous blog post on Creating Personas ).
So there you have it, a better way to write business blogs. Please comment with your own ideas, alternate approaches or questions. Let’s have a dialogue!