How to write a blog post for your business website
So you have an online business and you’re trying to get your products or services in front of people. Of the right kind of people. In other words, in front of prospective customers or clients who can benefit from what you have to offer. If you’re not using your business blog to publish and share regular content and provide your users with the information you’re looking for you’re doing yourself (and them) a disservice. So if you’re wondering how to write a blog post for your business website that will work hard for you, give value to your potential customers and clients, and show them that you know what you’re talking about, keep reading.
Choosing your topic
First things first, you need to decide what you’re going to be writing about. In doing this, you want to try to find the right balance between what you know and want to showcase and what your prospective customers and clients are looking for. What questions do they typically have when they start working with you or buy a product from you? What problems are they trying to solve? Do they land on your website because they’re looking for the answer to a particular question?
When working with my clients on a one-to-one basis, I often hear them say that they don’t publish content on their business blog very often because they don’t know what to write about. They’ll sit in front of their laptop on an afternoon when they have a bit of spare time, and their mind goes blank. I get it. Because that’s what happens when you don’t have a bucket of ideas that you can pull topics from.
But how do you come up with ideas in the first place?
What is this bucket of ideas, and how do you get stuff into it? You simply find a way that works for you (analog or digital) to record and save your ideas as they come to you. When you’re driving, on the phone to a client, running a workshop, having a shower, dropping the children to school, or brushing your teeth.
Can’t think of anything? Try these questions – you’re bound to come up with some ideas that will get you going.
- What do your customers or clients ask you all the time?
- What type of problems or struggles are they experiencing that you, your product or service can solve?
- Or what can you teach them for free that will make them want to find out more and come and work with you?
To make this process work even harder for you, ideally, you should set aside some time to back your ideas up with some solid keyword research, but more about that later.
I talked a bit more about the process of coming up with ideas and planning your content in my post: How to batch content writing for your business blog – planning your blog content.
Crafting an optimised blog post title
You may need to do this one in stages. Once you’ve picked the topic you want to write about, come up with a working title. First things first, make sure it’s specific enough. It needs to describe your topic well and tell both Google and your potential customers and clients exactly what your blog post is all about.
Speaking of Google, before you finalise your title, it’s a good idea to double check that the phrases you’ve used reflect what your potential customers or clients will search for. So, once again, do some keyword research, and you may find that you want to tweak your title slightly to maximise the chances of people finding your post on Google when searching for something. And by the way, this is exactly what we mean when we say that you want to ‘optimise your title’.
Here are a couple of easy ways to adjust your blog post title to make sure your posts come up when people are looking for info:
- Type your title in the Google search bar and see what comes up. Can you spot any keywords in the top results that you think you may need to use?
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page until you find the ‘Searches related to’ section. Are there any good suggestions here? These are actual searches made by real people. What keywords can you pick, out of those, that will make your blog post stand out?
- Use a keyword research tool like KWFinder – type your title or keywords into the tool and see what comes up. Now, can you tweak your working title to make it more effective?
Planning and outlining your blog post
While no one really knows how the Google algorithm works (plus, it changes all the time), all SEO experts agree that long-form pieces of content tend to do better and come up higher in search results than shorter posts. In a nutshell, it means that if you want to give yourself better chances to be found online, you want to write blog posts that are around (or longer than) 1,000-1,500 words. Writing a post of that length isn’t always easy, unless you have enough things to say, of course. This is why having a bucket of ideas can work really well for you and your business. You can go back to it at any time and ask yourself:
- Do I have enough to say on this topic?
- If not, can I combine a few ideas together and write a blog post on this other topic instead?
Now, jot down some bullet points around what you’re planning to write about. These will then become your paragraphs. You can find more information on how to structure your paragraphs in this blog post. Planning in advance will stop you from getting stuck or running out of ideas mid-post and realise that you can’t actually write as much as you wanted to. This step will only take a couple of minutes, and if the topic turns out to be a no-goer, at least you found out early. Just move on to the next one from your bucket of ideas.
Drafting your blog post
Once you know the topic you’ve chosen is viable (i.e. you know your prospective customers and clients are looking for this type of content, and you have plenty to say on the topic), it’s time to start drafting your post. Don’t worry too much about form, grammar or spelling at this point. This is just a draft. This step is still very much about the content, and you’re going to be polishing you work later. Think about this stage of the process as a bit of a brain dump, so write everything you have to say on your blog post topic.
If you can (and this will make your job slightly easier later on), try to organise the information in digestible chunks of text. Your blog post should be made up by a number of sub-titles or sub-headings, which you should set up as Headings 2’s. When you come up with the sub-headings, try to think about something that your ideal customers or clients may actually type in Google. This way, you’re not only guiding your reader through your text, but you’re also giving the search engine bots more intel on what your content is all about.
Then, try to write a couple of paragraphs under each sub-heading and aim for roughly 100-150 words per paragraph, if you can. Wherever possible, use bullet points to create white space on the page and make it easier for your reader to scan through your text. Let’s face it – no one reads blog posts word by word anymore!
Editing your blog post
This is the bit where you’re trying to make your blog post the best it can be. Review it for content first and foremost.
- Is the topic clear? Have you explained your points well? Does anything need improving?
- Is the information relevant and engaging for your reader?
- Have you provided further links to either your own content or external content (for example, for products or services you trust) that will enhance the customer experience?
Once you’ve gone over your text and checked for clarity, it’s time to look at grammar, spelling, use of vocabulary, etc. Here are a few more tips on how to edit your own writing. You may need to go over your post a few times at this stage, but I strongly suggest you only move on to the next step when you’re 100% happy about the content.
Polishing and enhancing your blog post
These are the final steps of the process. You can see the finish line, so don’t give up now! The finishing touches can make all the difference. And not just to your reader, but to how your blog post performs in Google.
Here are some of the key steps I suggest you follow:
- Optimise your blog post. If you’re on WordPress and use the Yoast SEO plugin, here is a guide on how to do it.
- Assign a Category and Tags to your blog post (up to 6 tags is plenty – don’t add too many!)
- Add images to your blog post to break up the text and make your blog post more visually appealing. Make sure you re-size the images if they’re huge, amend the image title, and always populate the Alt Text.
- Make sure the page has plenty of white space – can you maybe add some more bullet points? Remember that people lead busy lives. You may have written the best piece of content in the world, but if it looks too hard to read, you’ll immediately lose their attention.
- Highlight the key points in bold – a lot of us skim through text and only read sub-headings (hence why these are SO important). If you could pick one thing per paragraph and tell your reader that, should they do anything, they should do that one thing, what would it be? Identify it and make it bold.
- If you use Pinterest, add a pinnable image and pin it to one of your public boards.
- Add a call to action (CTA) – what do you want the reader to do now that they’ve read your post? Go check out your products and services? Sign up for your newsletter? Join your brilliant Facebook group? Don’t just assume they’ll know. Spell it out. Tell them. But make sure you don’t overwhelm them . Keep it simple, as giving them too many options means they won’t do anything.
Want to work with me?
I teach this process in more details in my FREE 7-day email course – you can sign up for it here. Or, if you want me to take you through this process on a one-to-one basis, so I can give you tips and advice on your business and add accountability and extra support to the mix, get in touch to ask me about my Blogging for Business Kickstarter one-to-one.