Best Practices for Writing Blogs

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Blog Strategy

Purpose: Blogging is a critical content marketing strategy that drives brand awareness, generates inbound leads via organic search, and establishes your company as a thought leader

Frequency: The more posts you can publish per week the better, but not if the quality isn’t there. Consistency is key – commit to a cadence and stick to it. (i.e. 1x/week on Tues or 2x/week on Tues & Thurs)

Length: The sweet spot for blog posts is 750-1200 words, but never write your posts based on a goal word count. For SEO purposes, try to always have at least 300 words.

Types of Posts: Listicles, How-to’s, Industry news, Event announcements, Product update announcements, Learnings from events, Controversial Posts (What Today’s Marketers Are Doing Wrong”), Thought-leadership opinion pieces, Checklists, Q&As, Problem/Solution

4 Steps to Success

Choose a topic: If you have a list of target keywords (ideally long-tail keywords), choose one of those to center your post around (i.e. “best employee engagement ideas”). If you are having trouble coming up with a topic, use the Skyscraper technique – find top performing content and write a better version of it with your own twist.

Research the topic: With your topic in mind, start researching. What are other articles saying about this topic? Look for quality sources that you can link to in order to back up your writing

Write & Edit: It’s often helpful to start with a quick outline to work from versus a blank page. Identify your main talking points which can then become your subheadings. After writing your post, send it to a colleague for review. If no one is available, make sure to put the post away for a few hours so you can edit it with fresh eyes.

Optimize for your keyword: After the post is written, then you can go back and optimize it for the target keyword. Follow the SEO Best Practices below. Note that not every post is going to be keyword optimized (such as event announcements or opinion pieces) and that is OK.

SEO Best Practices

Readability is key both for your readers and search engines:

  • Avoid run-on sentences and lengthy paragraphs
  • Break up content with headings & subheadings (always have at least H1 & H2)
  • Use bulleted lists, numbered lists and block quotes to draw the eye
  • Avoid jargon (as much as it makes sense for your audience)
  • Opt for the simpler version of a word (use vs. utilize)
  • Avoid passive voice as much as you can- (“This product can be bought in our webshop” = passive. “Customers can buy this product in our webshop” = active)
  • Use transitions between paragraphs
  • Always consider your audience before you begin writing
  • Establish your brand’s tone – informational, educational, conversational, edgy, personable, etc. Conversational over formal is preferred – makes it enjoyable for the reader.

If you have WordPress, use the Yoast Plugin. This will prompt you to do the following:

  • Include your keyword in the:
    • URL
    • SEO Title
    • Meta description
    • H1 and H2 
    • Body copy – 3-6 times depending on article length (aim to get it once in the 1st paragraph of the body copy if possible)
    • Alt text for images
  • Have at least one image, if images/gifs or videos will help the reader, add those too 
  • Include internal links (ones that point to your own site, such as product pages or previous blog posts)
  • Include external links (these point to other websites – adding links to quality content will help improve the authority score of your site)

Do not optimize multiple posts for the same exact keyword (keyword cannibalism) – if you do that, Google won’t know which page to point to when someone searches on it. *Note that a “single keyword” could have multiple variations (i.e. singular and plural versions)*

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