How to write the perfect blog by Vicki Cockerill

Vicki Cockerill freelance bloggerBlogs are one of the most popular ways to communicate information, news and opinions. We read blogs every day, they can be used to drive traffic to your website and help with your brand awareness. But, where do you start? Here are my tips and tricks on how to write the perfect blog!

 

My Story

I wanted to help others who had been through what we had with Elijah’s NICU admission, and someone suggested starting a blog, The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum Blog was born.

Fast forward to now, and I am now a freelance blogger who gets paid to write for a number of small business and national websites.

Where Do You Begin?

How to write the perfect blog

A good way to begin your blog is to think what platform you are going to use to publish your blogs. There are 2 categories you will fall into:

  1. Are you an aspiring blogger looking to start a fab blog?
  2. Are you a business looking to direct more traffic to your website, increase sales or brand awareness?

If you’re the latter – then you will need to look at how you can add a blog to your website as this is where you essentially want your potential customers to go and explore. There’s no point having a separate blog as this could confuse people and send them away from your website!

If you’re the aspiring blogger then this isn’t quite so important – you have free reign on how to create your blog, and what platforms you can use! Sites such as WordPress or Blogger (which are both free) are a great way to start your journey, as many can be easily customized and are fairly easy to use.

Once you have decided your platform you are ready to start!

Find Your Focus

Do you know who your target audience is? Are they your customers? Who are your customers exactly and what do you think they want to read about? What do you have to offer them that they haven’t read before?

Do you have a niche – my blog is defined as a parent blog but focuses on three subjects mainly, NICU, CHD and mental health these are what most of my blog topics are centred around.

Have a theme or two that your blog is built around, and the more you blog on this subject the more you will be considered as an ‘expert’ or ‘authority’ on it which makes your blog more credible.

Be YOU

In the sea of blogs out there you need to stand out and you can do that by being you. Be relatable and just be yourself and it will shine through in your blog writing.

The Technical Bits

Here are a few technical pointers when your writing your blog post;

Have your chosen topic; ‘A review of’, ‘Top tips for new born sleep’ etc and this is what your post will be built around.

Have a bold headline that draws people in and also tells them what they are about to read, get creative and think what would you type into Google to read your blog post?

Write down 4 or 5 keywords; baby, sleep, new born, sleep habits etc and make sure you litter the blog with these.

Keep paragraphs short and snappy.

Add some visual interest with subheadings, bold words and italics, bullet points.

How do you read your blogs? On your phone? Many do so make sure it is easy to read on the go, people will click off if there are lengthy hard to read pieces of text. Aim for 500-800 words per post.

Worried about spelling/ grammar? Many platforms have a checker built in, but remember this is a blog and not War and Peace it’s okay to be a bit informal. Ask friends or family to proof read if you are still worried.

Links

Include links to other blogs, other pages on your website or past published blogs this will help increase search engine ratings and increase clicks. Try and have at least three links per post.

When you really get going why not host some guest blogs, and offer to guest blog for others? It really does help with brand awareness and getting your name out there to a different audience.

Images

Have visually interesting and relevant image on the post to capture people’s attention. If you don’t have one there are some great sites such as Canva and Flicker that have free copyright stock images.

Post, Post, Post

Do not be shy about sharing your blog all over social media, newsletters, ask friends, family and customers to share it too.

Ask other small businesses to share your blog too, remember sharing is caring!

That goes for responding to comments, and likes on your blog too, build your loyal readership by engaging with those taking the time to leave comments.

Pay Attention

Pay attention to what your readers enjoy and what they don’t as this will give you an idea of what topics are popular among your readers.

Try not to get to hung up on stats (many platforms have the facility for you to view number of hits/ page views etc) for now just enjoy what you’re doing.

Try and update with a new blog regularly but make sure you are being realistic, once a week/ month it is whatever you have the time to do.

It can be easy to lose your head in the blogosphere so keep it on brand, be yourself and write on a subject that you know about and pretty soon you will be able to add blogger to your repertoire!

 

Vicki Cockerill is a NICU/ CHD Mum of two boys, a freelance blogger, Co-Founder of @KnackeredandNorwich social club and mental health advocate.

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