I get the same question a lot when talking to my mentoring clients – “How do I even start to write a company blog post?”
These questions come from highly educated people, managers, directors, business owners and very literate people who, when faced with a blank page, just freeze. If this is you, don’t worry, you’re not alone!
I have a set of questions I go through with these clients, in order to put some structure into the blog and article writing process.
What is the aim of the post?
It’s important to know what you want to achieve with your blog post. Is it aimed at promoting one of your services? A general overview of your industry? Setting you out as an expert? Encouraging newsletter signups? People write blog posts for all sorts of reasons. The important thing when blogging or writing articles is to realise that a successful post needs to be educational and informative, not purely self promotional, but knowing what end result you want from it will help you to form the structure in the first place.
What essential information must be included in the post?
It’s probable that you have something you REALLY want to say. It may be about some legislation, it might be about some recent research, maybe even just some stats you’ve discovered– remember to include it by writing it down, and expanding from there.
What information/perspective should be excluded from the post?
If there’s info out there that you DON’T want in the blog post, or a perspective you DON’T want to address, then it’s worth making a note of it. This relates more to articles you’re getting other people to write, but it’s a good question to think about.
What are the key ‘terms’ or phrases that you would like included in the post?
If you’re writing articles to help get good backlinks or help SEO, then it’s worth doing a little bit of keyphrase research before starting. Which phrases do you need to include – and which ones do you want to exclude?
What action would you now like the reader to take?
When the reader has finished reading your article, what do you want them to do now? What’s the ‘call to action’? Do you want them to click to a certain page on your site, download a demo, sign up for your newsletter, pick up the phone, send you an email, find out more info about you – what? Deciding on this can help you to close your article with a strong call to action and ensure you’re more likely to get the result you want.
Are there any good resources that you would like to use when creating this document?
If you want to refer to stats or surveys, other websites or resources, make a note of them so that you remember to include links to them. Quoting stats but not linking to the original source leaves you open to people not believing you, as well as making your article less powerful overall.
What is the TITLE of the post?
Once all the above steps are taken, choosing the title should be pretty easy. In some cases, depending on how you work, you’ll have decided the title ahead of time, but either way, it’s a pretty important part of the process