Writing articles for your website is like a trip to the dentist. We procrastinate setting the appointment, we look for excuses not to go, but in the end, you always feel better when the task is completed. Here are our blog writing tips for next year to help build your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
- Set Goals
- Plan Your Format
- Create Images
- Keep It Simple
- Digitally Network With Links
- Stay Focused & Manage Your Time
- Just Do It
- Edit, Share & Share
1. Set Goals
We made this one plural on purpose because there are typically multiple goals for adding content to your website with a new article or post. Usually, you are trying to share your expertise with the end-user, but more and more studies show that people have their pet poodle’s attention span. That leaves us listening to our SEO advisors who tell us to publish content because of the old saying “content is king.” This second goal of staying relevant in your field may be the most important reason to continue writing and researching content. I typically brainstorm 2-3 new articles or topics for every article that I write. Focus on the keyword that you want to write about, create your headline, and move on to your next step. Don’t worry if your headline is wrong; the backspace key is one of the most commonly used keys on the keyboard. 😊
A quick Google search of your new headline will likely show that you aren’t as creative as you think you are. Researching a topic is the most important of my blog writing tips because it helps keep you current in your field. I typically spend 10% of my work week reading blogs, online message boards, and listening to podcasts. Sure I will still read a new book on the topic, and I enjoy going to trade shows, but in the fields of digital marketing and local search engine marketing, the news gets old fast.
3. Plan your format
Typically you will hear about short-form and long-form posts for blogs. I tend to error on the side of short-format posts. Typically people are reading your article because you are saving them time. You did the research portion for them and are presenting that information so it can be ingested quickly. This isn’t a courtroom on television, and you don’t need to build your case. Present the information in an upside-down pyramid format with the important info right up top. The rest of the fluff and supporting evidence can be saved for below the fold content.
4. Create Images
Ideally, you have a graphic designer who can help you put together an image that helps sell your article’s interest. Chances are, however, that you don’t have photoshop, but there are free tools online like Canva that can help you put together something simple to draw attention to your article. A decent image will be important later when you share your article via social media and other tools.
5. Keep It Simple
Remember the old acronym KISS (keep it simple stupid). This is over the top important for most writers. This isn’t applicable if you publish an article in a trade journal, but most blogs and websites are not that technical. During step one, you defined your goals for the article, and you should know your customers. If you are uncertain how your customers find your business or website, please contact us to set up a free consultation. We can help ingest your Google Insights and Google Analytics data to understand your customers and digital traffic better.
6. Digitally Network With Links
Don’t share links solely for your SEO strategy, but do it to help support your ideas and create a better user experience. Links that leave your website should open in a new window so that people can find their way back to your article when ready.
7. Stay Focused and Manage Your Time
Your time is the most important asset of your day, and this is one of my blog writing tips that will protect your shot clock. I pick a time of day when I can focus on writing and set a timer to ensure I don’t spend 12 hours writing an article in one sitting. My general rule is 1 hour of research and 60-90 minutes for writing. In addition to my time tracker, I also have an egg timer that sits on my desk to help me stay focused during my research phase. The timer is set for 10 minutes, and each time it goes off, I evaluate if the website I’m currently researching is directly correlated with the article I’m trying to write. If not, I shut down all of my browser windows and “reboot my research.”
8. Take Nike’s Advice To Getting Started – “Just Do It”
I remember my Dad offering me advice about setting goals, playing sports, and making other decisions growing up. His advice was to follow the Nike slogan and “Just Do It.” It is always easier said than done, but the first step to running a long-distance race is the most important because you have to get the ball rolling and build momentum. One of the first questions clients ask me is, “how often do I need to write an article for my blog?” There is no correct answer, but very few shortcuts to success actually work out. So if you pass the task to Brantley in the mailroom, the article will either not sound correct, or Brantley will be the next expert in your industry and have his own successful company.
9. Edit, Share, & Share
Take a break, then read & edit your own article. Share your article with a co-worker or someone you trust to take the time to read it and offer sound advice. If you don’t have someone that you trust to help edit your article, try out some editing websites like Grammerly. Publish and share your work. Share it on social media and with clients. Remember they are one of the main reasons you wrote the article in the first place! The links that refer back to your website will help build SEO strategy and reputation in your industry. Don’t get bothered if your article doesn’t get a million clicks and reads; the research portion alone is enough to help you stay relevant and continue dominating your industry.