How to write a blog post?
A blog post is an article that typically talks about a specific topic. We often say to our law firm clients:
Your practice areas/areas of expertise content is over-arching information which is reasonably static; it doesn’t change often. Your blog site is continuously updated (added to) and answers very defined queries. You write it in the style of one question, one ‘detailed’ answer.
In this blog post, we’re going to look at some of the primary things to consider when writing your own blogs.
Why have a blog?
Your blog provides your firm with the opportunity to add consistent, detailed, informative and educational content to your website on a regular basis. It increases the positive user experience and drives your SEO hard, to ensure you get found more often for what you do.
Make sure you identify your target audience?
Identifying your audience is critical in deciding how to write your content. If you write your content to suit your intended audience, they are more likely to read the entire article and more likely to peruse more content on your website.
If you’re writing for peers in the legal industry (other lawyers for example), your content will likely be more formal, more technical, with significant references to cases, legislation etc.
If you’re writing for commercial clients, again, it is possibly going to be a little more formal and it may also be more technical.
If you’re writing for a blue-collar worker, for example, you’ll have more plain English, clear explanations, definitions of non-standard terms etc.
There are many different ways to structure the naming of your blog post.
Many say the “How to…”, “10 steps to…”, “Top 12….”, will outperform standard “What is…” type content. We don’t necessarily agree with this.
It’s our view that your title should:
- reflect the content the user can expect when they arrive on your post;
- include your primary keyword(s); and
- be magnetic, attract attention and convince people to read it.
How long should it be?
It should be as long as is necessary to convey the points, in detail, without the waffle.
That said, significant research suggests that longer blog posts outperform shorter ones. This is due to a number of reasons with two of the most common being:
- Google has more content to index and interpret in longer posts, which it then determines are going to provide better, more thorough answers for the searcher.
- The reader’s experience will be improved because the content is more likely to answer all their queries on the topic.
Basically, there is no set length your blog post should be. We generally suggest to our authors that they should aim for 700 words minimum (which is not that many in reality). They’re often surprised how quickly they get to 700 words and actually finish up on 1,000 or even 1,200 or more.
The flow of your blog content is very important to the user experience. Most people would agree that it’s much easier to read a long page of content where it has been broken down into bite-sized pieces as opposed to reading a full page with text with no breaks and no sub-headings.
Sub-headings also provide you with the opportunity to use keywords with an H2 tag applied to them; telling Google this is important.
When preparing to write your blog, think about how you would verbally "tell this story".
Let’s use the example of writing a blog titled “Five reasons your law firm should have a blog”. In this blog post, we used the following structure:
- Opening paragraph – this needs to be captivating and clearly articulate what the reader should expect to gain
- 1. Your blog will demonstrate your expertise and authority to a wider audience
- 2. Online is where your clients are
- 3. Your blog builds a library of knowledge and expertise you can share across multiple platforms
- 4. Your blog will increase your revenue
- 5. Google loves blogs
- A reference to some more blog topics, associated with this blog
- Get help
We’ve told the reader what to expect. We’ve outlined the top 5 reasons, numbering them and providing a clear sub-heading title and we’ve finished with options to get more tips and a call to action (contact us for help). With the sub-headings, readers can scan those when they initially arrive on the page and (fingers crossed), at least one of them will grab the attention of the reader and get them to want to read more or the entire article.
There are a number of reasons to add images (including infographics) to your blog post:
- They provide an opportunity to break up the text content which offers a better user experience;
- They provide a visual aid to drive your point(s) harder;
- Infographics can often be more explanatory than simple text;
- They allow you to be more creative with your content;
- Content with images is much more likely to get greater engagement;
- They provide another opportunity for improved SEO with the use of Alt Image tags.
Link to other supporting content
To provide a more holistic and thorough experience for your readers, rather than writing thousands of words in one blog post, you should hyperlink specific content in your blog to other blog posts which provide more insight or more detail.
This may be linking internally to your own content – great for branding, authority, trust-building and SEO. Or you may link to external content for authority, data confirmation, court decisions etc…
Choosing your writing style
The writing style will be very specific to you and your firm. However, there are some key things to consider:
- Use tools like Grammarly (there’s a free version) to ensure your spelling and grammar is accurate;
- When writing law blogs, there can often be a significant amount of legal jargon to contend with. Sometimes you can write this in plain English but other times, it’s necessary to use the legal term. On those occasions, always define the term (in plain English), the first time you are using it.
- Ensure the style is consistent. If more than one person is writing the blog post, you should collaborate on the style of writing.
- Make sure you have a call to action (CTA) at some point. You may include this throughout the blog (being careful not to over-do it) or perhaps, in the column and at the end.
Proofread and edit your blog post
Once you’ve finished your first draft, proofing and often editing, is crucial.
You can proofread yourself but you’ll often just read over any ‘errors’ (including grammar and spelling); it’s natural for us to often read what we intended rather than what we actually wrote.
We’ve found it works best to have someone else proofread your content for:
- accuracy; and
Optimise for SEO
This can sometimes get tricky. Many writers are tempted to add keywords obsessively. So much so, it completely detracts from the content, disrupts the flow and distracts the reader.
Your optimisation needs to be smarter. Keyword research, using proprietary tools will be very beneficial to the success of your blog post, so long as it’s done properly and in a considered manner. Likewise, expert use of Title Tags and Meta Descriptions is important.
Using an SEO agency to proof and finalise (or make recommendations) your content, will likely provide improved results in the long run. SEO is a complex (and ever-changing) beast so keeping up with the latest can be time-consuming if it’s not your core business.
Ready to start blogging?
As with many things, getting started is the hardest step.
Ultimately, however, you know the content for the topic you’re writing about, so start by getting your knowledge, experience and expertise down in writing (remember, one simple question, one detailed answer). Then follow the steps above to refine and finalise your article.
As always, if you need help to get you going (or finishing), whether it be with your writing or your SEO, we’re just a phone call away.
Looking for assistance with any aspect of your digital marketing? We'd love to help.
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