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Do's and don'ts for writing super awesome blogs

Do's and don'ts for writing super awesome blogs

Every time you publish a blog, you create a new URL with fresh content, which in turn creates a new opportunity for your website to be discovered through search.

Benefits of blogging:

  • Blogs provide original content for your social channels
  • Blogs drive more traffic to your website than static pages, such as an about page
  • Because your blog topics will be related to your industry, product or service, the traffic generated will be high quality: people most likely to buy
  • By providing free, educational content, blogs build trust with your audience and establish you as the authority in your field

How often?

That depends on your resources and how much time you can commit to a consistent blog schedule. liquidfish blogs twice a week, but even blogging once a month is better than nothing at all. No matter how often you blog, make a content calendar to keep track of due dates, topics and assigned team members.


Do

Get inspired
Surround yourself with what you love. I have written copy inspired by the movie Tommy Boy, the TV show Arrested Development and the band Twin Forks. I love pop culture. I also love websites like MarketingProfs and Hubspot. Before you start writing, go to your happy place. (Happy Gilmore. See?)

Choose a topic
Seth Godin said, "If it's noticed, it's marketing." In context, he was referring to what consumers notice, but marketers also need to notice. To pick a topic, explore what makes you think. What do you see, experience, read or hear that causes a reaction or response? What is interesting or new? Keep it relevant and valuable to your industry and people.

Find your voice
Whether your topic is company culture or the latest Google algorithm change, write like you talk. Simplify even the most complex topics.

Create an outline
Start with the meat and potatoes, and then fill in the rest. An outline doesn't restrict you to writing in order. It's just a reminder of what the blog needs, so nothing important gets left out.

Make your content digestible
Everyone loves lists. (Have you heard of Buzzfeed?) Lists break information into small bites, so readers can get to the main points quickly. If your blog isn't written as a list, use subheads to separate paragraphs or ideas. Use bullets. Use pictures — but don't use copyrighted images. Invest in a Shutterstock account or use original photos or artwork.

Read and revise
Read for flow, errors and clarity. Change anything that could confuse readers.

Pick a good title
Ask yourself these two questions: "What words would my readers type into a search engine to find this blog topic?" and "What words would make my readers want to click and open this blog?" If your blog is actionable, pick a title that uses phrases like "how to," "steps" or "tips." Bonus "do": Keep your title around seven words, give or take.


Don't

Worry too much about word count
If your topic takes 1,000 words to explain, use 1,000 words; if your topic takes 100 words to explain, don't use 1,000 words (or vice versa). Quality is always greater than word count.

Keyword stuff
Blogging regularly about relevant and useful topics is good for traffic, but overstuffing your content with keywords isn't. Search engines won't buy it and neither will readers. Instead, be authentic. Be human.

Write about something you don't care about
Writing will feel like a chore if you're not invested in your topic. Don't bore yourself (or readers). Revisit your happy place, find a new angle or start from scratch if necessary.


MELISSA COWANJuly 16, 2015