Inbound Marketing Tips: 10 Tips For Effective Blog Writing

Meg Hoppe
Posted by Meg Hoppe on January 6, 2012

hwo_to_write_effectice_b2b_marking_blogsCreating a good blog post goes beyond finding the right topic. That's first, of course, and is critical if you want to lure and keep your prospects' interest. Once you decide what topics they value, however, you need to write it well or you'll lose credibility and respect. (For blog topic ideas, check out a recent post by Sean Johnson.)

In 1979, William Strunk and E. B. White wrote "The Elements of Style," a must-read for every high schooler then and now. Its guidelines will help you create energetic and interesting posts – here are a few of the most useful:

1. Write in a way that comes naturally. Even if you're in a highly technical field, write using a conversational tone and language. Stiff, formal writing – the kind of writing you may have done for college papers – is difficult and uncomfortable to read. It also distances you from your audience.

2. Do not overwrite. Get your point across, then stop.

3. Put statements in positive form. 1. You're not going to lure many prospects with poorly written content. 2. You'll lure more prospects with well-written content. See the difference?

4. Make every paragraph a unit of composition. Begin each paragraph with either a sentence that tells the reader what the paragraph's topic is, or with a sentence that helps the transition from the last paragraph. Every subsequent sentence should move the paragraph's topic along toward a conclusion.

5. Use an active voice. Instead of, "My first trip to Europe will always be remembered by me as fascinating," write, "I'll always remember my first trip to Europe as fascinating."

6. Use definite, specific, concrete language. Strunk & White use this example: Rather than "A period of unfavorable weather set in," write "It rained every day for a week." The second is clearer and more powerful.

7. Omit needless words. Words that don't add to your meaning detract from what you're writing. Instead of "We will try to determine whether or not continuing the program in question is beneficial in the long-term," write, "We will determine if we need to continue the program." The simpler the better.

8. Edit, edit, edit. Once you think your post is done, put it aside for half an hour. Go back and read it again. Is there extra fluff or is it crisp and clear? Does it flow easily from beginning to end? Read it aloud: Does it sound the way you talk? Could you get by with fewer words? Stronger words?

9. Write your headline first. By writing your headline before the content, you clarify to yourself what you're going to deliver to the reader, and keep yourself on track as you write. Done well, your headline should tell your audience at a glance what value they're going to get from your post.

10. Finally, if you're unclear about a point of grammar or aren't known for your spelling skills, invest in a style manual (I use "The Gregg Reference Manual" by William A. Sabin; it's easy to use and gives concise rules for just about any grammar issue you could imagine.) Great posts can be undermined by small, careless errors.

Your prospects are looking for information to help them make a purchase decision. Writing your blog in a compelling, professional way adds credibility and a perception of quality to the content you share with them and helps to increase blog traffic.

10 ways to keep your blog stocked with great content

Topics: Content Marketing

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