Writing for the web is not rocket science but it is a bit of an art form. As well as having a flair for the English language you need to be able to get to the heart of a topic and communicate in a tone appropriate to the company or brand you represent. Add to this that you need to have a basic understanding, at least, of search engine optimisation and it all starts to sound far trickier than just putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys, to be more accurate).
So, we’ve pulled together our top tips for writing effective blogs, in the hope that they will guide you through the process of how to write a great blog for your website.
Ask yourself five important questions – The 5 W’s
Who is this content for?
Understanding who your content will be consumed by is central to creating effective, relevant content. This is where keyword research and analysis into trends can provide a lot of insights into what audiences really want to know about. You should also look at your Analytics to see what content has been most popular to date. Even better, talk to your audiences and ask them directly what they want to hear more about.
What is the purpose of this piece of content?
You need to identify a topic for your content, which is original and relevant to your offering and audiences. Start with a topic of interest and working title and draft ideas (they don’t need to be pretty at this stage, but at least a few of them will be the foundations of your final piece). Then start to gather supporting content from reputable sources and structure your ideas into a logical flow.
Why is this content useful/interesting?
Beyond knowing who your audience is, having a clear insight into their needs, drivers and goals will ensure you create truly useful and insightful content, which positions you as a thought-leader. When you challenge yourself to always consider “why am I writing this” it ensures you are always focused on the end reader, as well as your business objectives (i.e. is the piece relevant to your brand and offering?).
Where will this content be placed?
You are most likely creating content for your own website, but if it is for a third-party you need to consider the opportunities and limitations of these platforms and their brands. In addition, you should start thinking about how you will push your content out to your audiences, i.e. social media, email marketing, newsletters, etc.
When will this content be shared?
Maintaining an up-to-date content calendar is key to managing your content marketing. All content distribution should be planned around the times at which your audiences are most open to interacting with your brand. Furthermore, there may be content that is topical, which should be prioritised over more general content.
Once you’ve answered the above you need to think about optimising your content for search engine marketing (more on SEO copywriting and optimisation in our blogs over here). Key considerations:
- Originality – make sure your content does not duplicate from elsewhere (both on your website and elsewhere)
- Relevance – conduct keyword research (use a range of tools not just Google Keyword Planner) and trends analysis to identify if you’re talking about your topic in the same way that your audiences do
- Digestibility – make your content easy to scan and consume
- Accessibility – use language your audience understands, link content throughout your website and push it out through your marketing channels
- Optimisation – use a descriptive and compelling title, alias and meta description. Also make use of appropriate headers, anchor links and alt tags
- Be correct – make sure you cover the basics and thoroughly check spelling and grammar
We’ll be writing more top tips on writing for the web and optimising content in the coming weeks, but do get in touch if you have any questions about content marketing or our SEO services by emailing [email protected].