When did you last read a blog?

No, this one doesn’t count.

The attraction of your social media streams can entice the best of us, and with over 7 million people publishing blogs each year, you’re spoilt for choice. However, when you’re the one writing instead of reading, those statistics become a bit daunting.

So how do you set your blog apart from the rest? With our two part series, we’re going to delve into the various ways to jazz up your online content and keep your audience engaged.

Ready, set, go! Here are some tips to start with:

Ask yourself ‘why?’ – Every journey starts at conception. Your blog is the perfect place to show your expertise and add value to your audience. However, you need to set yourself a clear goal. Once you know what you’re writing about you can be succinct and to the point – remember, people on the internet have a short attention span.

Who are my audience? – In order to reach the right people you need to think about your audience. The most successful blogs offer information and value to the reader, so while your colleagues may love your daily Love Island updates, try to stick to your specialised business area. For example, “how to” posts are proven to increase business credibility and are a good way to create and gain trust.

What reaction am I looking for? – Now you know who for and why you’re creating your blog, it’s time to think about the outcome. Sales? Awareness? While businesses that blog average 67% more sales leads, 94% of people state they share blogs because they think they may be useful. If you’re looking to build trust with prospects always remember to hold back on the strong sales pitch – you’re adding value not a hard sell.

How helpful should I be? – Many people believe blog writing is like fishing, give your target a little bit of bait in order to reel them in. While this view may work for some, future customers react better to businesses that are helpful. A pay wall or ‘contact us to read more’ button doesn’t leave a positive impression. Share the knowledge unassumingly creates stronger, trustworthy business relationships.

Build your expert status – Did you know Elon Musk began his career as a janitor? While people may not know how knowledgeable you are in your field now, creating a bank of blogs will steadily build your status. We can’t promise you’ll be sending a car into space anytime soon, however. Continue to ask questions and push the boundaries. People like to be challenged… and you may get some engagement from it.

Make an impact – Good blogs leave an impact on the reader. This can range from a positive association with your business to a thought provoking question – it’s up to you – just steer clear of boring.

Answering all the above points will help to guide you on your way to creating an informative and interesting blog. No matter if your business is B2B or B2C you’re always person to person. Don’t lose your personality for the sake of ‘professionalism’.

For more hints and tips when it comes to professional blog writing, check back for the second instalment of our guide next week.