— August 10, 2018
If you want to understand what makes a good blog post, you have to think back to an earlier time in life. Picture yourself in your grade school art class. When you weren’t experimenting with water colors and colored pencils, you probably spent some time looking at famous works of art.
You probably learned about everyone from Michelangelo to Picasso. Your teacher likely talked about things like primary colors, shading, perspectives, and more. She likely wanted to instill a vocabulary that allows you to talk about what you see, so that you can enter a conversation armed with more than “I like it because it looks good.”
While the vocabulary differs, the same principles hold true for what makes a good blog post. This is true whether your aim is to write one, or work with a freelance copywriter to write one for your business.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the common vocabulary involved while discussing writing, and what makes a good blog post.
What We’re Talking About When We’re Talking About Writing A Good Blog Post
Find Your Writing Voice – When we talk about your writing voice, it’s another way to talk about your tone or style. This is a way to distinguish your content from all the other businesses on the internet who do what you do.
If it helps to understand it, you can think of a musician that covers a song note-for-note, to the point where it’s indistinguishable from the original version. Or you can think about Jimi Hendrix’s cover of All Along the Watchtower, which is arguably better known than the original Bob Dylan version.
When you find your writing voice, you find a way to communicate with your audience in an original, informative and entertaining style. This is true with blogs, websites, landing pages, sales letters and other marketing content.
Highlighting the Benefits – When you talk about your product or service, there’s a distinct difference between features and benefits. A feature relates to the guts of the product. It’s the type of engine in the car, or the type of RAM inside a computer. This may appeal to a select few evangelists, but you’re not speaking to your core audience.
Instead of concentrating on a V8 engine while selling a convertible, talk about what it’s like to have the wind blowing through your hair at 85 mph. The benefits show your audience how your product or service can improve their life. That’s what matters.
Tell a Good Story – There’s been a lot written lately about storytelling in business content. It’s a fairly clear concept when you’re talking about literature, but applying it to blogs and articles can have a positive effect, too.
There are a few different types of stories that businesses can tell. Case studies are the story of how a business was able to help a customer solve their problem. These offer an opportunity to show how the customer overcame their conflict to get what they wanted in the end.
An origin story can also be compelling. This is especially true if your business began out of your own effort to overcome the same problem. This is great for the personal trainer who started out overweight, or the lawyer who was in trouble with the law when they were younger.
You can also include the elements of a good story in blog posts about anything, really. For example, simple anecdotes can help illustrate your point.
Write Conversationally – Your high school English teacher probably encouraged you to write in a formal manner. In academics, it’s commonplace to write in a way that conveys your intelligence. With business writing, it’s not what your customers are looking for. They want clarity, value and information, delivered in an easily digestible manner.
A perspective customer may be reading a blog post ready to close out the window at any second. So a good blog post is written with a conversational tone. If it helps, you can picture your reader sitting across from you at the table.
If you were to launch into a rant about the technical aspects of your property, their eyes would gloss over and you’d have immediate feedback. When you feel yourself starting to go technical, picture this imaginary customer and pull yourself back in.
Write your post in a way that’s friendly to read.
A Powerful Call to Action – Your readers need to be told what to do. You cannot just assume they already know. A strong call to action guides them toward picking up the phone, buying, sharing, or downloading.
While it’s true that blogs should be more conversational and less of a direct sell, it’s also true that you are in business to make money. Your blog post should have a call to action. If you’ve done your job in writing great content above, your readers likely won’t mind a nudge at the end.
Think back to that grade school art class. Learning what makes something good, bad or ugly can help you convey your thoughts in a more clear, articulate manner.
Whether you’re looking to write a good blog post yourself or hire it to a copywriter, it helps to have the vocabulary to convey your intentions. These are just a few of the common words and phrases used in conversations about blogging, content marketing, and business writing – there are undoubtedly more.