In today’s digital world, having a website is an absolute must. However, not all marketing teams believe it’s essential to have both a website and a blog when they design their content strategy. Websites are designed to get information to consumers, and some marketers believe blogs do the same thing.
So, isn’t it a bit redundant having both?
The answer? Not even close.
A website provides readers with information on you and your products and services. A blog, on the other hand, gives your followers a reason to trust you and believe your brand values them as humans and not just as consumers.
Before we jump into how to write a blog post that converts, it’s important to understand just how vital a blog can be to your brand’s online presence.
Why your brand needs a blog
You know that getting online and sharing information is vital to the success of your business. Blogging offers you the opportunity to build both authority and trustworthiness, and here’s how.
Blogs drive traffic to your website
Your brand’s blog is your opportunity to provide relevant content to your followers, and while you can share this sort of information via your social media channels, having a blog gives allows you to deliver something of value to your fans without asking for anything in return.
Better yet, blogs allow you to create long-form content whereas social media only allows for short-form content.
By taking your long-form content and sharing it across your social media channels, you increase the chance of consumers discovering your content, which in turn will help lead them to your website, increasing your overall website traffic.
Around 53% of bloggers report that they get positive marketing results from their blog, while around 27% state that their blog drives strong results.
Helps your brand establish authority
Writing effective blog posts is more than sharing information—it’s about sharing well-written, quality information that helps to set your brand apart from competitors.
Remember, this content isn’t about you. An effective blog provides answers to your consumer’s questions and addresses their biggest needs. If you write your material about them and offer expert-level advice or wisdom, consumers will keep coming back for more.
Why? Because your blog demonstrates to the reader you make their needs a priority and you know what you’re talking about. This means you can direct them to more information to back up your claims.
Helps build a relationship with your audience
People trust blogs about humanized content. Remember to think about your readers holistically as opposed to only considering who they are as consumers. This means creating less promotional content.
These days, consumers don’t want to be treated like a generic crowd or do business with a company that only wants their money. These days, transparency reigns supreme. Consider how you can share your mission and connect your readers to the humans on the other side of the content.
Often this just means writing content you know they care about and relates to your niche.
Increase your brand’s SEO & SERP
To be noticed online means your website must rank highly on search engine giants such as Google and Bing. Search engine optimization is vital for both websites and blogs; however, since blogs are intended for more regular updates, they play a crucial role in helping your brand rank online.
Here are a handful of points to keep in mind when blogging for SEO purposes:
- Always have quality content with little to no grammar/factual/punctuation errors. These lead to a decrease in quality and credibility.
- Make sure content is relevant to readers.
- Consistent posting shows you stay up to date with the times and trends.
- Have a balance between original content and curated content (which also helps build brand authority—and saves you time!).
Increases your chances of making conversions
While blogs provide your audience with information, that doesn’t mean you can’t add in a few promotional materials. Even better, blogs can include free materials to help build a trusting, nurturing relationship with your readers while also establishing your authority in your niche.
Once you’ve shown readers you know what you’re talking about and intend to provide them with material to solve their problems, readers are more likely to take the plunge and make a purchase, sign up for your email newsletter, and more.
5 tips for writing a blog post that converts
Now that you know how crucial having a blog can be to growing your business, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and start writing blog posts that convert readers into customers.
To do that, we’ve outlined 5 tips that every content marketer should keep in mind.
1. Define your content’s goal
In order to write a blog post that converts, you must first define precisely what it is you wish to accomplish with your post. Just like with any other marketing strategy, content goals need to be as detailed as possible, which is why setting SMART goals is an excellent place to start.
One example of a SMART goal here could be a blog traffic goal, which would look something like this:
- Specific: Boost the blog’s traffic by increasing publishing frequency from 2 blogs to 4 blogs a week.
- Measurable: I want to increase the blog’s traffic by 5%
- Attainable: Our traffic increased by 2.5% when we began publishing 2 blogs a week instead of 1.
- Relevant: Improving our blog traffic will increase brand awareness while also generating more leads and improving the overall chance of making conversions.
- Timely: We want to see a 5% increase in overall blog traffic by the end of the month.
Once you’ve taken some time to define your goals according to the SMART guidelines, you’ll have a better idea of how you should move forward.
2. Know who your audience is and what their needs are
Another vital step in the blogging process is learning exactly who you want to reach with your content. Remember, you can’t solve all the world’s problems, hence why you need to get specific in defining your targeted audience.
When visualizing your ideal audience member, you should be able to answer the following questions:
- Is gender relevant to your niche?
- What age bracket do readers fall in?
- Does geographical location matter?
- What are the primary pain-points for your audience?
By the time you answer these questions, you should be able to visualize an actual person that you can and should cater your content to.
3. Brainstorm content ideas that will be relevant to your readers
Once you know who your audience is and what their most common pain-points are, you can start brainstorming content ideas that address their needs.
Blog content can come in several forms, including:
- How-to or tutorial blog posts
- Product or service reviews
- Industry news or current events
- Interviews with industry experts
4. Outline and draft your content
After brainstorming your blog content, it’s time to get to work and write your first draft.
Here are a few ideas that you’ll want to make sure you include:
Have a compelling headline
If your headline isn’t compelling, then your audience won’t be enticed to click and read. Tease your readers with what the blog is about to make them want to read more.
This headline from Storq is awesome because it’s not only funny but also 100% relatable to readers, enticing them to discover what the brand would rather talk about.
Make good use of subheadings
Subheadings are essential for blogs because they break up large blocks of text. If readers see a solid block of never-ending text, they’ll lose interest quickly and leave your page.
Having a subheading hierarchy helps to break up the text and show readers what information is most important for them when they skim.
Don’t forget that fonts matter
Fonts can be just as vital as your subheadings because they, again, help readers differentiate between the blocks of information being presented to them.
For example, a bolded or italicized font stands out against standard fonts chosen for the body text. Readers know to pay extra attention to that information.
Use quality imagery
When writing a compelling blog that encourages readers to act, quality imagery spread out through the text will not only keep them reading, but help them visualize why they should take action.
If you want to create an engaging infographic, try these helpful design tips from Visme.
Have a compelling call to action
Your call to action has to encourage readers to act; otherwise, what was the purpose of having them read through your content?
Yes, you want to present them with information that is relevant to them and avoid coming off as a salesperson. However, you can still encourage them to “read this next” and keep them on your website that much longer.
Not only should your CTA encourage readers to do something, but they also need to stand out from the rest of your text.
Here at Campaign Monitor, we tested two different CTA’s to see which would get the most click-throughs, and we weren’t all that surprised when the stand-out CTA button received a better CTR than the plain text options.
5. Optimize your content
Writing an excellent piece of content means nothing if you don’t take the time to optimize it properly. With over 1.6 billion websites currently online, you want to make sure your content actually gets found and read by your targeted audience, and proper search engine optimization (SEO) is the way to do that.
Content SEO focuses on what is included in the text you’ve just created. This would include your content’s targeted keyword(s) and other relevant meta information.
Meta information that should be optimized for search engines include:
- Title tags
- Image ALT tags
- Meta descriptions
UX Design for SEO
UX design means designing for the user experience. Things to consider when creating a UX design include:
- Site navigation
- Page load time
- Mobile-friendly/Responsive design
- Quality content
Writing blog posts that convert is an essential part of content creation, especially in our digital age. Taking the time to follow these 5 steps will help ensure that your blog material not only engages readers but encourages them to act in the manner you want them to, whether that’s downloading a piece of content or making a purchase.
Here’s that list once again for quick reference:
- Define your content goals
- Know your audience
- Brainstorm content ideas
- Outline/draft your content
- Optimize your content
Want to learn how copywriting and SEO writing differ? Check out our short guide on the two subjects and where they are different and where they overlap.