In this article… 


Blogs are a fantastic way to raise the visibility of your company or product. Regular posts keep your content at the top of search result pages and customers engaged in your company. Make sure your blog is delivering the best possible content with these guidelines and tips.

Keyboard with a Blog Button on it

Image via Flickr by Got Credit

What Is Blog Writing? 

Blog writing is a form of online journaling or record keeping. Originally, these records were called “weblogs,” which evolved into the shortened “blog.” Blogs used to be almost exclusively used by individuals interested in gathering their thoughts and ideas online. Now, blogs are used by companies large and small to provide valuable information to their target market. 

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Importance

Blogs are a fantastic way to capture the attention of potential customers. Their format allows companies to provide information and research in addition to products and services. In today’s marketplace, consumers are concerned with transparency and value. Providing valuable tools focused on keywords and search queries is a great way to bring interested customers to your product. 

Types

Blog posts can take many forms. Here are the most common styles of blog posts: 

  • How to do a task: Explain how to complete a task in a series of clearly explained steps. 
  • List of resources: Provide a list of resources related to a keyword or keywords.
  • Sourced items: Provide a curated collection of items, usually resources, ideas, or products to make the customer’s life easier. 
  • Picture slideshow: Generate a slideshow of images with short text accompanying each picture. 
  • Re-blog: Share a reliable source’s content that relates in some way to your company’s goals. 

How to Start a Blog

Here are the steps necessary to start your blog and make your first post:

1. Define Your Audience

The first step in creating a successful blog is defining your audience. Consider your target market. What are they interested in? What information are they seeking out? Use the answers to these questions to focus on the topics and resources you discuss and share on the blog. 

2. Set Up Your Website

A website will host your blog. Some companies choose to purchase a domain and create a brand new website. This is a great option if you are particular about the layout and look of your blog and also have the technological skills to code all those specifics. If you are looking for a simpler way to get your blog online, consider using a web hosting service. Many companies specialize in providing pre-made, personalizable formats that do not require any coding knowledge to maintain. 

3. Brand Your Blog

Align the look of your blog with your company brand. Keep colors, fonts, and other design elements consistent. You want the blog to be an extension of the brand and match all other elements seamlessly. Consider the text you incorporate on the blog, as well. The blog’s tone should reflect the brand and match other company writing samples. 

4. Select Your Style

Once your blog is online and appropriately formatted, select the type of blog post you want to use for your first post. Begin by thinking about what will most excite your target audience. Make sure you have the content knowledge and resources to make your first post robust and entertaining. 

5. Create an Outline

Outline your blog post to make sure you include all the necessary information. Your outline should consist of the headings and subheadings you plan to use. This will help you break up your writing so that it is not overwhelming for you or the readers as well as keep your writing focused. 

6. Fill In the Outline

Once your outline is complete, it is time to do the actual writing. Fill in your outline with paragraphs, bullet points, and lists to keep your audience interested. Keep paragraphs short and easy to skim. Add images or page breaks to separate large chunks of text. 

7. Choose a Snappy Title

Review the blog post you have just written. Use the content to establish a fun, engaging title. Make sure the title accurately describes the blog post but leaves the most important information a mystery so that intrigued readers will click and read the full post.

8. Pick a Picture

Include an image at the top of the post to add color and interest to the page. Make sure to use images appropriately by searching for pictures in the public domain or using your own work. If you use someone else’s photo, be sure to give them credit somewhere in the post. The image you select should be bright and directly related to the content of the blog post. 

9. Proofread and Format

You should always proofread your writing. Often, it can be useful to step away from the blog post for a little bit and then approach it after a break. This way, you will be able to see any errors quickly. Some writers like to read their blog posts backward to catch errors. Look for incorrect grammar and make sure your content makes sense. Check your formatting at this stage in the process as well. Make sure fonts, headers, subheaders, and colors are consistent throughout the article and that all aspects of the blog post correspond with your overall blog branding. 

10. Add a Call to Action

Once your reader has finished the blog post, they should know what to do with the information you have provided. Include a clear call to action in the form of a link or directive at the end of the blog post. For example, imagine your company sells furniture hardware, and you wrote a blog post about how to refinish a dresser. You might link to the dresser knobs you sell on your website. 

11. Optimize Your Post

Before you make your first blog post accessible to the public, optimize it appropriately. Optimization simply means that your blog post has been carefully curated to show up when people search for articles on your topic. Start by researching keywords and keyword phrases related to your topic, and make sure you include those words throughout your blog post. Link to sites or articles that have valuable information, and they may choose to link back to your blog in one of their later posts. 

12. Make the Post

After effectively checking your blog post for accurate information, grammar, optimization, and a call to action, publish the post. Until you publish the post, it will not be visible to anyone but you. Publishing is different than saving, so make sure your post is actually live by logging out and searching for your post’s title.

13. Publicize Your Work

Now that your blog is up, share your post on your company’s website and social media pages. Some marketers can help maximize your reach and lead potential customers to your new blog. 

14. Track Your Reach

Track how many people have viewed your blog post by using either the metrics included from the web-hosting service or a third-party tracking application. Use the information you gather to adjust your blog’s focus and your overall marketing strategy for the blog. 

15. Keep It Up

Gaining loyal readers can take time. Continue to make info-rich, timely posts about issues and projects your client base cares about. Share new posts and optimize every article to reach a broad audience. Over time, you will see your reach grow.  

Blog Post Template

Use a template to help you structure your first blog post. Here is a template for a how-to style blog post. Remember to include an image somewhere in your post:

[How-to article title]

[Hook: This short paragraph should grab the reader’s attention and explain why the content is valuable.]

[How to do __________]
[Steps: Explain how to complete the project with clear, ordered steps.]

[Template]
[Create a template if it would be useful for the reader.]

[Example]
[Create an example if it would be useful for the reader. Link to products or resources from your company.]

[Tips]
[Provide tips for successfully completing the project. Link to products or resources from your company.]

Example Blog Post

Use this example how-to blog post written from the perspective of a bread company to craft your own article:

It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time! 

It’s not the peanut butter. It’s not the jelly. It’s the bread that determines if your peanut butter and jelly sandwich will taste just perfect. Follow these steps to make the most incredible peanut butter and jelly sandwich of your life. 

peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Image via Unsplash by Freddy G

How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

  1. Select your ingredients
    Whether you prefer creamy or chunky peanut butter or grape or strawberry jelly, choose high-quality ingredients. This includes your bread. Check out our selection of delicious sandwich bread, baked daily and delivered right to your door, here. 
  2. Toast your bread
    This is the best way to improve your peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Pop your bread in the toaster until it is just starting to brown. Your peanut butter will spread beautifully and the jelly will melt into the bread. 
  3. Spread evenly
    Spread one piece of bread with a generous layer of peanut butter and the other with the same amount of jelly.
  4. Put it all together
    Put the bread together and slice it in half. 
  5. Enjoy the best sandwich ever
    Pair your sandwich with a tall glass of milk or beverage of your choice and enjoy! 

Tips for the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich

  • Try a sweet bread. We make a delicious brioche that’s great for a breakfast sandwich. Check it out here. 
  • Get creative. Try unconventional jelly flavors like mango and passion fruit. 
  • Make shapes. Use cookie cutters to turn your boring square sandwich into cute little stars or a big heart. 
  • Add some crunch. Put banana chips between the peanut butter and jelly to add a sweet crunch to your sandwich. 

Tips for a Great Blog

Make your blog post stand out with these tips. 

  • Research your audience. Know what’s going to appeal to your audience. Research your key demographic before you begin outlining and writing. 
  • Use excellent keywords. Use resources like Keyword Tool to find strong keywords for your blog post that will deliver SEO optimization. 
  • Hook your readers. Make sure your title is clear and catchy. You want to immediately interest your readers so that they will click on your post. 
  • Consider the format. Make sure your blog post is clear and straightforward. Keep your post to one format, like a picture slideshow or a how-to article rather than mixing multiple formats. 
  • Break up the text. Keep your writing easy to skim by breaking up large chunks of text with headings, subheadings, bullet points, and pictures. 
  • Find great images. Your pictures should be high resolution, bright, and engaging. Make sure your images relate directly back to the content of the blog post. 
  • Provide a call to action. Give your readers a clear directive in your blog post. Whether it’s a link to click, a number to call or a store to visit, your readers should close the article knowing exactly what they need to do to achieve their goal. 

With these tools, you will have an exceptional blog sure to captivate your target customer and increase your business. 

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