If you have entered this post it is because, either you have already convinced yourself to write a blog, or you are considering it. If your case is the second, in this post we recall the advantages of blogs, which revolve around the construction of an online reputation based on quality content, something that in the case of companies and professionals reverts to greater benefits in the medium long term. If your case is the first, we fulfill what was promised in the previous post and we explain how to write a blog.
We have a lot to tell
Once we are clear that it is indeed convenient for us to write a blog, it is most likely that some doubts will assail us: «What am I writing about? Do I really have things to tell? How do I do it? It’s normal, but don’t panic: trust me, you have a lot more to tell than you think. And I can show you in a flash.
You have decided to write a blog for your business or for your hobby. Isn’t it true that if I told you to think about the questions that your clients most often ask you regarding your services or products or your sector or because of the most frequent doubts that people have about the hobby when What do you want to use for your blog, could you tell me many? And is it true that when they ask you, you have a lot of things to tell, because you know that field perfectly? Well, it’s about starting there, and pulling the thread.
From here comes the rule number 1 of how to write a blog: let’s write about what we know and what we are passionate about.
What is a blog and what is NOT?
So we conclude that a blog should be, above all, a place from which to share our wisdom, our experience and our passion. to people who have common interests with us. These people have probably reached us through a friend on social networks, or because they were directly searching for information on Google and they found us, so they expect a lot from us.
If we meet the expectations of these users, this sharing generates a relationship of proximity and trust with them. They will see in us a source of authority in what interests them and, if we are a company, they will take into account the hiring of our services or the purchase of our products.
A seduction technique
If we had to explain it based on a comparison of daily life, a blog is that way of seducing another person that consists of finding out what her likes and concerns are in order to talk about what she likes and try to help her. In this way we predispose it to other messages that we are interested in transmitting to it.
The opposite would be to try to get that person to listen to us based on harassment and demolition, being annoying and talking only about what interests us. This is traditional advertising, such as television commercials or the diptychs that they try to deliver to us at the exit of the subway on a nearby restaurant. For this reason a blog should NEVER serve as a mere notice board of our new services or products, our offers or our news as a company.
How should the contents of a blog be?
In order to establish that relationship of trust with the user that will place us as a source of authority and, if appropriate, will predispose him in favor of our products or services, we have to conceive ourselves , let’s be a individual or a company, as a means of communication about our sector or our products. That is why our content must meet, at least, 3 requirements :
- It must be RELEVANT – You have to answer the question: «Are we giving What was the user looking for when he clicked on this post? Are we responding to his demand? »
- They must be UNPUBLISHED – They have to answer the question: «Has someone explained any Do you see what I explain to you, in the way that I explain it? Will you find something new that you do not know? »
- They should be USEFUL – They have to answer the question: «Has the user learned something again after reading the article, will you find it interesting to share? »
It is important to plan a prior strategy , decide what line of content we want to do, with topics to be discussed, with what calendar, how we will relate them to current affairs and disseminate on social networks if necessary, and what We will invest time in responding to the comments that users can make us in each post (remember that it is interesting to enable comments to encourage communication between users and between them and us to retain our audience and generate more quality traffic to our website).
10 keys that can guide us to get started
Once we are clear about the objective of writing in a blog and what parameters have to govern the posts that we will write, we can start. And for this, we can be guided by the following keys:
1. Write about things of interest
Let us bear in mind that in a blog that generates interest, its contents are not chosen at random. They deal with issues that either generate a demand in the public, or we foresee that in the short term they may generate it. If the user is not interested in what the post is about, they will abandon it immediately, and the time spent on the page is crucial in the metrics that Google values to position us in the search ranking and thus attract more traffic.
We must choose topics that revolve around keywords that have a market niche , even if it is a minority (sometimes the specificity makes it easier for us to establish ourselves as an authority), and if it can be, that the evolution of searches over time has been upward. We have to assume that perhaps users search for the products or services we offer with words that we would not use to describe the activity we do, and it is those words that we should use. That is why we must use keyword planning tools from Google AdWords and also others such as Google Trends, and see the volume and evolution of searches.
Tip: It is preferable to write more posts on topics that have relatively few searches but very easy to beat competition than few posts with topics that have many searches but few options to take us to the first page of Google.
2. Identify with the user
A blog requires empathy. We must forget what we want the user to be interested and think about what really interests him . The priority is him, because if we do not give him what he is looking for, he will find it in another .
There are precisely those who are reluctant to detail too much in their posts the details of their business or their sector, or their products or services, for fear that users will use them for information and then end up hiring services or buying products from the competition, where it is cheaper. And it is a mistake.
For example: Does it make sense for us to publish this post on how to write a blog, if in Sitelabs a business area is precisely the periodic generation of content for companies and individuals? Are we not going against us by explaining to you how we do something for which we charge? And the answer is very easy: yes, it makes sense, because we know that if we had not explained it to you, you would have found it elsewhere, as there was always someone willing to give you the information you are looking for.
That is why we prefer to be the ones who share with you this information about an activity that we are passionate about, and that you see to what extent we can be useful to you, in case one day you need us to help you with your blog or with the generation of content for your website . In addition, by reading this post, you are providing us with good metrics on Google, which will affect our positioning and our prestige as professionals, and thus, if you are not the one who hires our services, perhaps it is someone else.
Tip: Imagine that the tables turn and it is the user who tells you what you want to tell. Would it pique your interest?
3. Follow the basic SEO rules
It is essential to write a blog to have at least basic notions of SEO. There may be cases in which, fortunately, a post reaches a good position in Google without paying attention to SEO, but it is just that, fortune, luck, an exception. In general, if we do not favor the correct indexing of the contents, we will not be able to make our contents visible.
Among these notions is to use the search keyword that we have chosen sparingly, without being excessively repetitive. A crushing repetition of this word can impact readability, making the text more artificial, and a high proportion of users can leave the page, negatively affecting our positioning. The use of the main keyword about which the content is concerned must be natural, with just and necessary repetition (with using it in the SEO attributes and two or three times in the text, is more than enough) and should allow variations.
It is also an important rule to always cite online sources pointing them with links , never copying fragments of their content, since Google penalizes the total or partial plagiarism of texts, even if they are a translation of the source original to another language. In a paper work it makes sense to copy a fragment of the work that we cited because generally we will not have that work in front of us to consult it. Online sources, on the other hand, allow them to be consulted at the moment, so that the online appointment par excellence is, simply, to put a link to it.
Let’s not hesitate to cite several sources, but be careful, not too many and they have to be on the same topic and be relevant. Otherwise, Google may consider it black hat , that is, a fraudulent technique to try to improve the positioning of the web page to which the link points, something for which it can penalize both webs .
Tip: We can use SEO tools to control whether the content meets the necessary requirements for a good positioning. If our website is made with WordPress, the SEO Yoast plugin is the best by far. They will tell us which SEO attributes are failing, if the density of the target word in the text is correct, etc.
4. Rank the information in order of decreasing importance
Although we are not journalists, surely we have heard that newspaper articles traditionally had to be written following the inverted pyramid rule . This rule consisted in concentrating at the beginning the explanation of the main questions to be answered to the reader (the 5W in English, the what, who, how, when and why). That was because if the composition of the page did not fit the entire article and had to cut text, they made sure that it was not an important news item.
Many people think that in internet content the need to focus on the most important issues at the beginning disappears, since there is no character limit, and there is no longer any need to cut anywhere. In fact, there are many contents in which the opposite is done and do not provide answers to what the user has been looking for until the end. What they do is put “baits” throughout the article to “force” the reader to reach that end. But this is wrong practice.
Web analytics shows that if users do not find the elements that interest them most at the beginning of the content, they get bored and leave that page immediately, unless the whole post is extremely interesting, something that requires great talent . We must try to maintain interest, but giving answers from the beginning, so that the time spent on the user’s page is as long as possible and, even, they are encouraged to read related posts on the same website.
It is because they are used to this type of information hierarchy that journalists are usually the most suitable web writers, even above advertisers.
Tip: Try to answer the main question posed by the post in the opening third, and save other interesting but minor questions for the end.
5. Do not pretend to discover gunpowder
It is often said that web content has to be original, but that does not mean that we should look for things that nobody has ever talked about on the internet, something that is almost mission impossible with the volume of information that is in network. Being original can consist of giving a different approach to a question , explaining it better, with other examples, relating it to a current news item or with a new piece of information that has been published, treating it with better images or videos, etc.
For example: we recently wrote a blog post for a food consultancy that talked about the meaning of the code that appears on the shell of eggs. This topic has been talked about a thousand times. However, there were few posts that did it in an exhaustive way, with images, links to European food regulations, citations to current news related to this topic, etc.
Tip: Study well what the competition offers and see if you can improve it in any aspect. Of course, remember not to plagiarize absolutely anything, not even changing words or translating websites in another language. Google increasingly perfects its plagiarism detection system and penalizes pages that do so. If we quote, it must be without copying content and always adding a link.
6. Be direct, prioritize short sentences
Although each one has his own style, we must try to explain things with short and plain sentences, with subject verb and predicate, with the minimum possible subordinates or passive voices. It is also very important that the paragraphs are not excessively long. This advice applies to writing on all types of media, but in web content it takes on special importance. You have to think that most users visit us from their mobile phones, which narrows the lines by making them three or four words , making long sentences difficult to read.
That does not mean that the content or the posts have to be short, on the contrary. Without the need for them to be bibles, web content should be extensive, at least 1,000 words per page. In this way, we give Google more content to index so that it has analysis elements to place in its ranking.
Tip: Keep in mind that a long sentence can always be split in two, making the beginning of the second “pick up” what the first says.
7. Be faithful to our style and the sector we are talking about
Some people think that blogging requires a kind of innate creativity and ingenuity. However, not all sectors lend themselves to it nor is it essential. The important thing is that what we say is interesting and convincing , so that the user ends up establishing a link with us, sharing what we say on social networks or quoting us on other pages. Therefore, first of all, we must explain ourselves well, in an entertaining way, to know what we are talking about and to show that we like it. Interpellating the user with exclamations and questions on the air, or trying to be the sharpest is something secondary.
Tip: In the same way that in everyday life it is not a good idea to try to be ingenious if it does not come naturally to us, because at some point we will lower our guard and we will see the duster, the same happens with the registration of posts in our blog. The best thing is to be ourselves, not to imitate a style in an imposed way.
8. Remember that we do not have to advertise ourselves
As we said at the beginning, a blog is not a bulletin board, it serves as a source of specialized information. It is obvious that what interests us when generating web content is basically advertising ourselves and generating a good reputation, if necessary to sell more. However, we must bear in mind that to sell there are already the service or product pages of our website. And even in that case, the contents of those pages should not be advertising, because nowadays on the internet one no longer “advertises” but “informs about himself and his sector.” Is not the same. We should not say “we are the best renovation company in Barcelona”, but rather explain what renovations we offer and what differentiates us from the competition without the use and much less abuse of qualifying adjectives or other advertising slogans.
Nothing happens to remember in our posts that you can contact us if you have questions about what we explain, for example, and put a link to a page on our service or contact website. However, we must use an informative record at all times, without exaggerations or direct calls to purchase or hiring. For example, if we are customs agents, we can use our blog to give import and export advice, or provide information on legislation, rather than offer our services directly.
Tip: We must conceive our posts as an informative article that we could find in a specialized magazine in our sector.
9. Bear in mind that there is life beyond text and images
Both in the contents of the service pages of our website and in our posts on our blog, we must take advantage of all the textual and visual resources at our disposal to make the user experience more attractive. There is information that can be given by means of a comparative table, a numbered list, icons, pros and cons columns, a box, a video, tweets embedded in the text , an image gallery, etc. . The more informative resources we use to convey our message, the more entertaining it will be and the more likely it will be to like , and therefore be shared and attract traffic and potential customers.
Tip: Embedding YouTube or Vimeo videos, tweets and Facebook posts are a very easy and visual way to enrich a post, which will have a very positive impact in our metrics, as they affect the time spent on the page and a better user experience.
10. Do not edit the content afterwards (at least, not immediately)
Ideally, have someone edit our content after writing it, but if we have to do it ourselves, it is better not to write and edit the content the same day. When the writing is still fresh, we will change a thousand things several times. On the other hand, if we let the text rest for at least one day, we will see the errors more quickly and it will be easier for us to correct them.
When we upload content, Google robots can crawl it at any time and it is best to make the minimum changes. After a while we can make small checks to verify that the links to other websites are still active, etc.
Tip: When we have reviewed the post, let’s leave it in draft within WordPress or whatever manager we use for a day. The next day, before publishing it, let’s visualize it with the preview, as it would be published. Surely after letting it rest and seeing it as a user would see it, we finished correcting some last detail. I confess that this post has been reviewed and modified at least five times before being published.
Lastly, let’s not worry if we don’t get the results we want at first. It happens to all of us. It is like everything. The question is to start and go acquiring filming. Writing a blog takes time, effort and perseverance . And if we do not have it, let us remember that it is better to go to specialists, who will study the most sought after topics and with more affordable competition, will write posts that meet all these requirements following your guidelines and will make the most of the content marketing strategy. Or you can also write the posts yourself and ask professionals to adapt them to SEO criteria before publishing them. We will make better use of our time, dedicating each of us to what we do best, than investing it in something that may not bear fruit.