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Writing a blog does not have to be scary. Here I outline everything you need to know to write and structure your first piece.  If you follow the pointers in this guide you will soon be able to write an interesting blog which will be useful to your reader and equally beneficial to your business.

Audience – who is going to read my first blog?

Before you put pen to paper, or fingers on your keyboard, make sure you have a clear idea of the audience for your blog. Be as specific as you can be. Don’t try and write for ‘everybody’ as that is too woolly and is likely to end up with your piece being of interest to nobody. Hone in on one particular person or type of customer.

Are you aiming it at the lone businessman; the harassed mum; a teenager; a newly married man; a single woman? Picture this person sitting opposite you and write as if you were having a conversation with them. Your aim is for your information to be as helpful to them as possible.

Content – what should I write about?

The content of your blog should be

  • Something you are passionate about
  • Something that you are knowledgeable about
  • Helpful to the reader

If you are in business, do not think of your blog as a sales tool. Whilst it can ultimately generate sales, that should not be your first concern. Instead think about the knowledge you have that you can share with others. Your blog should be useful and help your audience to achieve something specific. 

Think laterally. The topics you write about don’t have to be directly related to your business. Share hints and tips about your health and wellbeing routines. Write about your experience of being home with the family. People love to gain an insight into other people’s lives. 

Think about the questions that customers regularly ask you and write about the answers.

Consider all your skills, knowledge and experience and write a list of all the topics you could write about and then choose the ones that get you excited.

Structure – what should I cover?

A blog, like an essay or a novel, needs to have an introduction, a middle and an end.

The introduction should give your reader an idea of what the blog is about, what you are going to cover and  what is in it for them – what the benefit will be once they have read it e.g. they will be able to achieve xyz.

The middle section of your blog is the meaty bit. Have three main points that you are going to cover and go through each one clearly.

You should then bring everything together in a neat conclusion and most importantly add a call to action. This could be asking your reader to do something – like here I want you all to go and write a blog as a result of reading this guide – or it could be getting them to visit your website or sign-up for a course.

Headline – how do I get their attention?

Having an interesting and eye-catching headline helps your blog standout in a crowded social media feed. It also helps with search engine optimisation but more of that later.

It is worth spending some time trying to come up with the best combination of words that is going to entice someone to read your piece.

A good tip is to leave writing your headline until you have finished your blog. That way you don’t get distracted by worrying about the headline and once you have the completed blog, the best headline may be more obvious.

There are several tools on the market that can help generate headlines and others that give you feedback on the strength of your headline. Try Headline Anaylzer. Below you can see the score I got for one of the headlines I considered for this blog.

Visuals – should I include pictures?

Including visuals, photos, diagrams and charts helps to break up chunks of text and keep your blog interesting.

Length – how many words should I write?

Blogs are called long-form content which just means that they are longer pieces of writing than the average social media post. Achieving a particular word count should not put you off writing a blog. Your piece should be as long as it takes to get across your information and no longer.

500 words is ideal, as a piece that length is recognized by search engines like Google as new content on your website. I have seen extremely long blogs but when you are starting out you want to keep your readers interest and if you waffle on for pages then you are going to do more harm than good!

Try and write concisely. If you follow the structure of having three main points, then you should be able to put across your message with ease.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

As mentioned earlier, having a blog on your website helps with SEO. Google and other search engines want you to have new and relevant content on your site. Once you have written your blog, you want people to be able to find it. Make sure you include keywords that are important to your customers/readers. Keywords are the terms that people use to search for information.

There are online tools that can help you work out what keywords you should be including but if you know your customers, you will most likely know what they are.

Think about the questions they ask you, in my case:

  • What is a copywriter?
  • How do you become a copywriter?
  • What qualifications do you need to be a copywriter?
  • Do you write content for websites?

If I include those phrases in my blog, then they are all relevant keywords.

Next steps – what do I do now?

Congratulations! You now know everything you need to write your first blog. Once you have written it and posted it on your website, that isn’t quite the end.

Now you need to tell people about it. Put out posts on your usual social media channels with a link to your blog post and encourage people to read it. Give them a clear reason why they should.

Remember, people always want to know – What is in it for me?

Having started a blog, you need to keep up the habit. A monthly blog is ideal as that doesn’t put you under too much pressure to find regular content.

I advise writing three or four blog posts up front before you publish your first one. That way you know you have a ready-made supply of content to roll out.

Once you have got into the rhythm of posting monthly you can track your success. You will see which posts engage your audience and which ones were less successful. This helps you to adapt your content accordingly.

Download this guide as a pdf

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