How to Write a Blog that Drives Traffic to Your Business
By Lizandra Santillan
By Lizandra Santillan
So you’ve decided to start a blog for your business – but do you find yourself just staring at a blank page?
Adding a blog to your business website is a crucial step in building your online presence. It’s arguably the #1 most effective way to promote your business online.
But it can be daunting to get started.
Especially if you’re new to blogging.
That’s why I’ve written this post to show you how to write an awesome blog post in 12 steps that will get more traffic and leads for your business.
Let’s get to it!
The truth is that blogging isn’t just about writing. If it were, anyone could do it.
Many business websites fail at blogging successfully because they don’t know how to write for their audience.
A good blog post helps your audience achieve their goals by providing valuable information that answers their questions.
Think about why someone would want to read your post. For example, you’re probably reading this post because you have a problem:
You don’t know how to write a blog post.
But you want to learn how, and you want to know the best way to do it to grow your company’s online presence.
Similarly, your business blog should address your customers’ pain points and how to solve them.
Your blog post should also hook in the reader with engaging information and easy-to-read language.
So don’t be afraid to add a little personality to your writing!
Most of the blog writing process is actually about research.
This can take longer than you think, but a carefully laid out plan makes the writing process so much easier. The planning stage is all about making sure you’ve got everything you need to sit down and write.
Let’s go through the process in 12 simple steps.
I see this problem with many business websites. They don’t know who they’re writing for.
Understanding your audience is the foundation of a good blog post. You have to ask yourself questions like: What do my customers want to know about? What kind of problem does my product or service solve? And what kind of person has this problem?
For example, if you run a tattoo shop, your audience probably doesn’t care much about celebrities who recently got a tattoo (this is an actual blog post I’ve seen for a tattoo shop).
This info isn’t useful to your customer.
They’re more likely to read posts about cool first tattoo ideas or how to treat an infected tattoo.
Buyer personas are a great way to build ideas about possible blog topics.
But make sure you create buyer personas with real people in mind. You can even ask your customers directly about what kind of information they want to know.
Want to know what topics people are actually searching for on Google?
Do keyword research before writing your blog.
This is a crucial step for understanding the EXACT words and phrases your audience uses in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
You’ll see many key terms that are just variations of the same phrases targeting one main topic.
Group those keywords into topic clusters, which you can use as blog topic ideas.
Once you pick a topic to write about, include those relevant keywords naturally throughout your writing.
Need detailed guidance on keyword research? Ahrefs breaks it down in their guide on how to do keyword research for SEO.
Tip: There are several free keyword research tools available to help you get started. One of my favorites is Topics by SEOmonitor, which shows you the monthly search volume for your keyword and other related keywords.
The whole point of writing blogs is to get potential customers to read them.
Your business blog should also help inform your customers what your company is all about.
This is where keyword research comes in handy. You’ll have a list of proven blog topics related to your industry to choose from.
It also makes it easy to pick interesting topics your target audience is already searching for.
If you need ideas for your first blog post, start with something more general.
For example, if your business is in the trades, your post might be about why it’s better to hire a professional instead of going the DIY route.
Your blog title is the first thing any visitor will see when they land on your blog.
Writing a catchy, attention-grabbing blog title improves your chances of getting clicks and will help you convert more visitors into customers.
A good blog title is also crucial for search engine optimization (SEO) and getting your content in front of readers.
You may want to start off with a working title. This will give you the main idea to stick to while you write, and you can always fine-tune it once you’ve finished your blog.
For example, if you’ve chosen to write about “poor indoor air quality,” you may narrow down your title to “7 Signs You Have Poor Indoor Air Quality,” or “How to Fix Poor Indoor Air Quality.”
Alternatively, you can decide on your final title right from the start. There’s no right or wrong way to go about it – sometimes I do both.
Whichever strategy you choose, make sure your title is unique and compelling.
Taking the example topic from above, a final title could be, “7 Indoor Air Quality Problems That Threaten Your Health.”
The title still contains the main topic keywords, but it’s more likely to draw attention.
One of the most common mistakes business owners make when creating blogs is skipping the outline.
Without an outline, you’re more likely to get writer’s block before you even begin writing.
The best way to avoid staring at a blank page is by outlining your content in advance.
An outline will help you make sure you know exactly what you want to say before you start penning it down on paper.
Layout your ideas into a structure that flows naturally and makes sense for your topic.
Break up your content into major sections and add sub-sections to include important details. Use keywords from your keyword research for different talking points and fleshing out your topic.
The idea is to organize your content so it flows naturally and is easy to read.
Once you create an outline for your blog post, the writing process will be so much easier.
Tip: Think about including lists in your content. Lists are quick and easy to read, and make your content much more engaging!
To be honest, I hate writing intros. They’re the most difficult part of writing a blog post for me personally.
And I’ll tell you why:
If you do it wrong, you’ll lose the reader.
The intro is where you’ve got to grab and hold the reader’s attention. And if you don’t, they will absolutely stop reading.
So how do you write a captivating introduction?
Especially if your industry isn’t particularly exciting?
Talk exactly like you’d talk to a friend.
Imagine a friend has asked you for advice on a problem related to your industry.
How would that conversation go?
It would probably be very casual, maybe with a few jokes thrown in there, or an anecdote about a similar past experience.
Start your post in the same way.
But keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Connect with your reader right off the bat and explain how your post will address their problem.
This will help entice your target audience to continue reading.
Tip: You don’t have to write the intro first. Skip to the rest of your post and come back to the intro once you’ve finished. I’ll do this myself when I get stumped!
You’ve got your blog content already outlined, so there’s nothing left to it but to just WRITE.
And if you don’t have an outline ready, go back and do it!
(I promise it will help.)
Everyone has their own process when it comes to writing. I do my most productive writing in one main session, but sometimes I have to chip away at it in smaller sessions over time.
You can do what’s best for you.
However, most people find that writing as much as possible in a single session helps to stay focused.
It’s okay if your writing skills aren’t 100%. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. This is your first draft – the editing will come in later.
Here are a few other tips for writing an effective blog post:
Always add a call to action (CTA) at the end of your post. Encourage your readers to subscribe to your blog, contact you for more info, or check out related links on your website.
After all, the end goal of your blog is to eventually create a lead and land a sale.
Blog posts are often the start of the relationship between a prospective customer and a business. You want to entice readers to learn more about your business, explore your website, and get familiar with your brand.
A CTA helps your visitors go further down the rabbit hole, so to speak.
Think about the times you’ve clicked on a link and saw a lengthy blog post with no images.
You probably hit the back button immediately.
Most readers are the same way.
Adding images, screenshots, and other visuals will help keep readers engaged with your post. They can also help illustrate a point, or show directions if you’re writing a how-to post.
Real photos of your business, product, or service work even better.
Tip: You can find free gorgeous stock images on Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels. Just be sure to give proper credit if required.
Spelling mistakes happen. Not everyone is a grammar expert.
That’s why it’s crucial to go back and proofread your post for any errors.
Most word processing programs (Microsoft Word, Google Docs, etc.) have automatic spelling and grammar checks, so it’s a good idea to first write your post in one of these.
You can also use free grammar checking tools like Grammarly that catch more subtle errors like tone shifts, wordiness, and repetitive language.
However, the editing process isn’t just about fixing grammatical errors. You want to read your post over and make sure it’s got a good flow.
Ask yourself questions like: Does the structure of the post make sense as a whole? Are there any sentences that aren’t absolutely necessary? Are there any sections where I go off tangent?
Be ready to cut out sentences, rearrange and rewrite sections, and change out words.
A little goes a long way in making your post super engaging and easy to read.
Things like formatting, font size, and linking to other sections of your website help fine-tune your reader’s experience.
Here are a few editing tips for formatting your post:
Show off your hard work and get your post in front of your audience!
Share it on your Facebook business page, Twitter profile, LinkedIn – anywhere that you have a business profile.
Don’t be afraid to share it more than once. Not everyone will see it on their feeds the first time you post.
The more traction you can get through social shares the better!
This is the process I use to write blog posts, and I hope it’s given you a good starting point for your own content!
And if you still have questions or could use a few more pointers, shoot me a message – I’d love to help out.
Let me know what you think – or if you’ve got any tips of your own!