In our previous installment of Social Media Spotlight, we took a look at how blogs can help tell your company’s story and draw in new customers. Well, now it’s time to take a deeper dive into how to craft a blog post.
Alex Krasne and I have been writing and blogging for quite a while now (about 30 years, combined, to be exact), so we know a thing or two about how to shape ideas in a way that engages readers and generates a conversation. Here are our eight tips on how to write a solid blog entry.
Read on to find out the details on our eight tips, as well as links to several partner blogs:
Step 1: Pick your topic. Whether you’re offering tips, your thoughts on news, or highlighting a customer win, the choices for what to write about are endless.
Step 2: Identify your audience. Figure out who will be reading your blog, then craft your content just for them.
Step 3: Do a braindump. Don’t worry, it’s not as gross as it sounds. Once you’ve decided on your topic, simply jot down as much information as you can–get quotes, collect data, talk to experts, get links to articles about the topic, and write down all you know
Step 4: Talk to experts. Once you’ve gotten your background information and fact-finding out of the way, do you have enough information to craft a blog post? If not, you may want to interview subject -matter experts and get quotes or background information from them, too.
Step 5: Drive action. Decide what you want readers to do –whether it’s to learn about a new topic, to download a white paper, or attend a company event. Make sure to keep your blog post limited to one main theme.
Step 6: Work on the lead. In newsrooms, back when those existed, the lead (or lede as journalists say) of a news story served to provide the reader with a quick snapshot of the news that included the who, what, when, where, why, and how. Put your lead as close to the beginning as possible, so you’re not burying it or the point of the blog post. Try to make it fun, catchy, and interesting.
Step 7: Edit. Now that you’ve got all of the information in place, edit, cut, and hone your post. If anything doesn’t fit, cut it. If anything doesn’t make sense, rework. Be merciless.
Step 8: Have others read your post. Make sure you ask a few trusted colleagues to read your post. Ask them if it makes sense and whether the main point is easy to decipher. If not, make edits and changes according to their suggestions. And be sure to check for spelling and grammar, too.
We asked you to tell us if you are blogging, and several of you provided us with links. Here’s a few partner blogs that you can read for ideas and inspiration:
Does your company have a blog? Got any blogging or writing tips that you’d like to share? Be sure to note them in the comments.
And next up in our Social Media Spotlight series: Handy video tips to make your company videos fresh and interesting.