If you’ve been keeping up with our daily writing updates, you will have seen the huge demand for bloggers in every niche. Health and beauty. Sports. Business. There’s all sorts of companies out there who know the value of a well-written, well-targeted blog. And you can write it for them.
But for those people who are still dipping their toes into the world of freelance writing, knowing how to write a blog can be difficult. It’s not just a big blob of writing, waiting to be read. There’s a style, a technique, and a knowledge required to put together the best blog possible.
In this guide, we’re going to give you the top five essential tips for the first-time blogger.
Content. Content. Content.
Why do people read blogs? They want information. They have a million questions and need a good, reliable person to answer them. If you want your blog to be popular and if you want your blogging skills to be recognised, you’re going to need to provide high-quality content. And the quality of the content is not just for your human audience, but your artificial audience, too.
In the old, wild days of the internet, climbing up the Google Paige rankings was a different ball game entirely. Back then, stuffing a page with certain words and phrases would make the search engines rank you right at the top. But things are different now. Google’s artificial intelligence technology is being used to determine the quality of the content on your page.
This is done in a variety of ways, most of them secret. But the amount of time spent on a page before clicking back, for example, is just one way in which Google can measure whether you’re providing a top-notch blog, as well as spelling, grammar, and so on. When you’re creating a blog on any subject, you should know it inside and out. You should be able to provide the answers to the questions people are always answering. You should put quality content above all else.
Do you know SEO?
In the previous section, we touched on the way in which Google indexes and presents search results. If you’re new to the world of blogging, you should be aware that one of the main objectives of any blog is to climb the search result rankings and get as high as possible. This is called Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short. It’s a complicated business.
As this is a beginner’s guide, we’ll keep things simple. Essentially, the aim of SEO is to make your blog (and website as a whole) as presentable to Google (and other search engines) as possible. Things can get very complex, especially if you’re using Google Analytics, but the real aim is to tailor your content to fall in line with what people want.
This will mean writing about subjects your audience is already searching for, replicating phrases and words which bring them to your website. But it’s not just the text that needs to be optimised. Minor details such as image descriptions, properly formatted URLs, correct use of heading tags, and optimised page descriptions can all make your blog more appealing to Google. If you’d like to learn more about getting started with SEO, HubSpot offers free introductory courses.
Know your audience.
Writing blogs for clients can be tough. But it’s important to get as much information as possible. When you’re writing for a business that isn’t your own, you should know that the client probably knows his customers far better than you do. This knowledge can be vital for making the blog successful.
When you’re in the planning stages, discuss the subject matter with the client.
- What are the most commonly asked questions among customers?
- What are the in-demand products and services right now?
- Is there a single piece of advice or information you think would benefit every customer?
This information can form the backbone of a great blog. It becomes a resource, helping customers as well as bringing a whole new audience to the website.
And that brings us to research. If you’ve looked through the daily Find a Writing Job updates, you’ll notice that the subject matter is broad. When you’re writing for a business, you need to do your research. You need to sound authoritative and avoid obvious mistakes. It’s important to know your audience and write for the market at hand. To do this, you need to do your research.
If you’ve got dreams of becoming a writer, it can be easy to overlook the visual aspect of your job. But there’s far more to writing a great blog than just words. You need to think about the aesthetics of your work.
In the world of blogging, short sentences are often key. We’re not writing a novel, so there’s no need to overwrite. Keep it simple. Likewise, picking a great picture is important. When viewers are casually browsing, a relevant and high-quality image can grab their attention. Also, think about how to divide up your text. Short paragraphs, bullet points, and numbered sections can all help keep the audience’s attention.
When you want to write a great blog, make sure it looks fantastic!
Perhaps the most important advice is to practice. Sure, everyone tells you that about every activity. But there’s a reason: it’s true. The more you blog, the more you’ll become familiar with the style, the format, and – most importantly – your audience.
If you’ve got access to the behind-the-scenes stats on your blog (or your client’s blog), you can monitor the page views, the comments, and the various figures surrounding every post. This feedback helps you improve. You’ll begin to learn what subjects strike a chord with an audience and how best to attract them to your site. Practice, practice, practice.
And there’s not much more to it than that! Getting started in the world of freelance blogging (or even personal blogging) might seem daunting. But it’s definitely worthwhile. As you begin to improve and as you begin to find your audience, the rewards will quickly rack up. If you’re a first-time blogger, why not get started today?