Jun 27 2022

Digital Marketing

Over the past two or so decades, blog writing has iterated from a means to share your musings without the reliance of a third party approval segue to reach your audience (publishing houses), to a vital component of any website looking to reach, engage with and be sustainable in a digital space. The latter in itself has changed and grown as Google’s ability to read content contextually becomes more and more advanced. No longer can you get away with claiming ‘blog’ when you’ve produced a page of keyword stuffed paragraphs and, worse, the dreaded white text trick. Now, blogs have to be valuable to be, well, valuable. Your audience’s response and engagement with your blogs is what Google is seeking, yes, but that connection to your content should always be your driving motivation. The rest will take care of itself. With that, blog writing can feel even more overwhelming; from knowing where to start, to knowing how to formulate a considered, well-written blog, the pressure is on to make it much more than a filler of space. So, what are some basics of blog writing to help you navigate the world of words online, and have you more confidently either writing, or offering feedback, for your website’s blog? Here’s a start…

Map out your goals and intentions

When we’re writing, it can be easy to get caught up in the narrative and divert from the issue at hand. This is a confusing and unpleasant experience for the reader. They came to your blog for a reason, and they want a succinct answer through your knowledge. Just like a lot of things, planning is key to a successful outcome. Map out and type or write your overall goal. What one question are you answering or addressing? Then, note the specific key points that help you get there. While you can be creative in how you title these things in the blog itself (the goal or question being the title, and the key points being your subheads), the blog map should be clear and concise wording. It’s just for you to come back to as you’re writing. 

Know your blog tone, within your overall tone

Your website has a voice. It will be carried out through the entire site, if done correctly. However, just as a human would, it will have nuanced variations depending on the page you’re talking from. For example, you can have the same tone in your About page and your blogs, but appreciate that this is the same ‘person’ in a different environment. Blogs give you a chance to be more conversational and personable, without losing professionalism. The only way to understand your blog tone, though, is to understand your overall tone. Again, mapping out and planning helps. List words, terms and descriptions that best display ‘who’ your business is, and choose which parts best fit in the blog environment. This can take practice, and that is fine. The beauty of digital is that it is never stagnant. As you grow and learn in this space, you can adjust and optimise your older blogs. 

Stay on track

Circling back to the mapped plan, it’s important to stay on track with your message. Even if you’re not veering from the intention and goal of your blog in what you’re saying, you still might be losing your audience with filler words, repetitive (and so, redundant) sentences, tautology (using words or terms that mean the same thing next to one another, eg., the beginner who just started), over complicated explanations that might be relevant to you and your business, but not the reader. After you’ve written your draft, give it some time before you look back over with fresh eyes, or have someone else read over it. This is enormously helpful in identifying unnecessary content. It will also help cite any typos, misspellings and grammar issues too. 

Grammar help

While this can be a divisive tool for writers, there’s just no denying that it is enormously helpful to novice and professional writers. The trick with it, though, is not taking their every suggestion. Sometimes, technically grammatically incorrect sentences offer more connection with a conversational tone than strictly grammatical accurate versions. Remain true, first and foremost, to your tone, and allow tools like Grammarly help you along on the technical side of writing, where it fits. 

Stay consistent

From how your business is written to how you write industry terms, ensure you’re consistent. Some words are either brand names (that may not be an actual word), and some don’t have hard and fast rules on how they’re written (it can be industry-specific or you-specific, for example, as to whether you opt for British or American English throughout). Whatever you choose, stay with it. 

Of course, consistency also relates to overall message and your tone, too. 

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Written By

Rikki Hodge