Wondering how to write a blog?

Here at Skylarq, we are pretty passionate about the power of content marketing.  We practice - and encourage our clients to practice - a regular blog writing routine. This helps create new, unique content that is findable by search engines and people alike. If done well, this can help your website rise significantly in search rankings. Although the benefits of blogging are hard to argue, the practice of blogging can be easier said than done for some clients, especially if they are not familiar with how to write a blog. To help get you cranking with your first blog, we’ve laid out an easy-to-follow guide to writing your first (or your 50th) blog.  

Think of your TOPIC: What are your customers searching for?

A good idea to focus your blog might be to share relevant, industry-specific information with your audience that is 1 - helpful to them and 2 - positions you as the subject matter expert in your field. A good starting point here is to identify what you think your potential readers would search for. Let’s say you are a chiropractor. You might blog about the “pain relief for a slipped disk”. The keywords you choose should appear in your title, as one of the section headers, and peppered throughout the blog where it makes sense.

Plan your FORMAT: Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.

The blog doesn’t need to have a fancy format - it needs to be easily digestible by your readers (and the search engines).  A standard format is as follows:

  1. Title (h1)
  2. Intro
  3. Break up the content into a few small, easy-to-consume sections and title them, making sure to mark them as (h2) headers in your Content Management System.  Your key phrase should also appear here as a section header.   
  4. Conclusion

Tip: Keep your blog to a total of 300-600 words, making sure to consider your audience, tone, grammar, and spelling. Having someone else read through your blog before you post it is another great practice - sometimes you can be too close to the content to spot errors or inconsistencies.  

LINK it up: Be strategic!

Each blog that you write needs to have a outbound links. These links will help give your readers more information on topics that you don’t have space to fully explain. Make sure you link out to reputable sites (think Wikipedia or a reputable blog vs. sites of questionable reputation) and try to leverage their more well-established audiences. Again, using the chiropractor as the example, you could mention a set of very well know exercises that have been posted by WebMD to help with slipped-disk injuries. WebMD is a well-established source of information and the site will likely have a far bigger following than your new blog does.     

Add VISUAL INTEREST: Keep your audience’s attention.

Visuals in a blog can be photos, videos, graphs, infographics, or even quotes.  These are used to break up the monotony of the words and give your readers an even more enjoyable reading experience. We recommend that you have one photo per every 300-350 words or so.   

Don’t forget your METADATA: Search Engines love blogs, too.  

A good CMS will have a section in the post that allows you to add metadata.  This is a group of page tags that won’t be readable by your human visitors, but are highly important for the search engine crawlers.  Search engines will use this data to properly position your blog in search results.  

Tip: The metadata title should be clear and simple and contain your key phrase. We recommend that the meta description contain fewer than 120 characters.  

PROMOTE it: What good is a blog that no one reads?

Now that you’ve written and posted this great new content, you need to promote it.  One way to do this is via social media.  FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn can all be great sources to help get new eyeballs on your blogs. Make sure that you carefully consider HOW you use these channels to post. They all have different character limits and hashtag structures. Do your homework before you post so the post itself looks as official as your polished blog does, including using images where appropriate.  You can also make use of blog aggregation sites (like medium.com) to further spread the word.

Although the whole concept of blog writing can be foreign at first, you will become more comfortable with it the more you do it. And remember: there are a ton of great resources available on the internet to help you become more confident with blogging. FirstSiteGuide.com is a website dedicated to helping people start, run, and grow their websites. Check out their blog resources section for a deeper dive on specific blogging-related topics.  

Once you are in the mindset of blog writing, the topics seem to pop up on their own, the first draft gets out a lot easier, and you get better at refining your topic and figuring out which links to use.  Our advice - just begin! It doesn’t have to be perfect, and as with any new skill, you will get better over time.