Do you ever go off track when you’re writing a blog? Do you wonder if your target audience will find what you’re writing about useful?
Writing a blog with no clear purpose is frustrating for you and your reader, that’s why I’m sharing the 10 point checklist that we use at Write Business Results to make sure that your content is of a high standard and well worth the click!
If you churn out substandard blogs or make them tricky for your reader to consume, you risk them going elsewhere.
Given that adding a blog to your website can increase traffic by as much as 434 per cent, and that 77 per cent of internet users read blogs, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s worth knowing how to turn yours into a feast that keeps your followers hungry for more.
The 10 point checklist to help you create top-quality blogs
- Does your content answer the “so what” question? Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client; will they understand why what you’re writing about should matter to them? Your readers need to quickly grasp why what you’re saying is important. Make sure you answer the “so what” question in each point that you cover, not just once in the article as a whole. If you don’t, your content has wasted an opportunity to add value and bring your reader one step closer to working with you. (Sourced from techjury)
- Is your headline click worthy? Your headline has to entice people to read the content. You can use a free online tool such as HeadlineStudio to rate your title. Ideally you want your headline to gain a score of 70 or above because that means it’s search engine optimised (and people are already searching for keywords that you’re using). If you’re writing great content but have a boring headline, you’ll likely miss out on potential new business.
- Have you proofread your blog? Unless you have dedicated proofreaders, like we do at Write Business Results, it’s worth using software such as Grammarly to check your content. It can’t guarantee 100 per cent perfection, but it’s a start! Spelling or grammatical errors in your business content could put a dent in your credibility. Check out our blog Why A Proofreader Will Help Your Work Stand Out For The Right Reasons.
- Is the font easy to read? Elaborate or playful fonts might be beautiful to look at but if your reader has to make too much effort to decipher the words, they’ll probably opt out. For longer pieces of text I recommend using a font such as Garamond or Times New Roman (double spaced, size 12), so that the words stand out. Make it easy for your reader to access your work so that they hang around and get to know, like and trust you.
- How clearly defined are the paragraphs and subheadings? It’s hard to digest a massive lump of prose. Make sure you break up your text into smaller sections and use subheadings that pack a punch; now your reader can skim read, pick out the salient points, and take on board what you say.
- How readable is my blog? When you create your content you are writing for a global audience, some of whom might not speak English as a first language. Write as though you are speaking to a 10-year-old to increase ease of understanding. Vary your sentence structure. Use long sentences to explain concepts in depth, and use shorter ones for the readers who might be a little less patient.
- Does your blog answer the questions your ideal clients frequently ask? AnswerThePublic is a great online tool to help you include the keywords that people are searching for in relation to your industry or niche. This helps you direct traffic to your website and generate new business.
You could also use your social media channels or an online poll, such as Survey Monkey, to ask your target audience what they want to know more about. When you deliver what people ask for they see you as the go-to person in that field.
You might also like to read our earlier blog Why Understanding Your Reader’s Awareness Level Is The Key To Impactful Content.
- Is your blog well structured? It’s easy to get carried away on subjects that you’re passionate about, but if you want to craft blogs that generate new business you need to lead your reader on a journey. Let them know why you have written the blog for them, share what they need to know, and be clear on the ways in which they can move forward from wherever they are now (how).
Imagine the topic of your blog is a gift box. What’s inside the box is the real gift, but you still wrap it up beautifully and add a tag and a bow. At first the recipient (the reader) will be intrigued by the beautiful packaging, and, if they like the look of it, they’ll be desperate to rip off the paper and get what’s inside (in a blog, this is often a solution to a problem). When you write a birthday card most people sign their name at the bottom; in your blog this becomes a call to action. Make it easy for people to take the next steps because this supports you to grow your business and gives your reader value.
- If I’ve included images, are they relevant? Most blogs have a header image to attract the eye, but if you are including images throughout the blog make sure they visually represent your message and are in keeping with your personal brand (or branded) so that people easily recognise that it’s you and associate your wonderful content with you.
- Does my blog include backlinks? When you link back to previous articles that you have shared, you optimise the exposure of your content and nurture your crowd; both of which are likely to help you generate new business going forward.
It’s worthwhile checking the settings to make sure that any link you include will open in a new window. Otherwise you risk losing the reader by taking them away from the article that first captured their attention. If you link to external articles (not written by you), make sure they’re relevant to your target audience but not direct competitors; nobody wants to signpost their prospective clients elsewhere!
Which of these 10 points have you found the most helpful today? Do you have any you’d like to add? Why not hop over to our Facebook community and share?