What To Include In A Blog Article
Writing blog articles is an excellent way to showcase your skills and to establish your credentials as an expert in your field.
In this article, we share some tips on what to include in a blog article and some best practices to make sure your writing efforts do not go unrewarded.
1. Choose Your Topic
When writing for your company, think about the things you are most frequently asked about. A well-informed blog post can go a long way to signposting readers to the information that they are seeking. Answering questions is a very good way to win with both readers and search engines. Have you seen Google’s questions when you make a search? The image below shows Google’s response when I type in “What to include in a blog article”
The dropdowns display excerpts from different websites enabling the reader to quickly view the most pertinent answer to their question. If you can provide a good quality answer to the question asked you increase your chances of being displayed in this key area. So, what do your potential clients ask? Make sure you answer it.
2. Research – Don’t Plagiarise!
Even if you are confident in your knowledge of a subject, do not be shy of researching the topic further. Using reputable websites, read up and refresh your knowledge on your chosen topic. Make sure that this is merely research, do not, under any circumstances, copy content from other websites. All content by default is protected under copyright law and belongs to the website it appears on. By all means, quote a source and credit them to enhance a point but avoid plagiarism. If you do copy content the search engines will be able to see that it is duplicated content and will assign the ownership to the originating website, whilst marking down the plagiarised content.
We recently outsourced a piece of content writing to a freelance writer and when the work was delivered, it was immediately apparent that something was very amiss. The tenses kept changing throughout the work, there were different fonts and sizes evident (common when chunks of text have been copied from various places) and the style of writing changed several times. A quick check found that a huge portion of the article had been plagiarised from three sources, directly copied and pasted into the content supplied to us. Poor show! We use Plagiarism Detection Software called Copyscape and if in any doubt we run submitted work through their system. Needless to say, we broke all ties with that particular writer and wrote the piece ourselves.
The bottom line: Reading information from several sources, digesting the knowledge and writing your own take on a subject is perfectly fine. Copying content is not.
Finally, whilst researching, remember to fact check. No one wants to look foolish when presenting out of date or simply incorrect information.
3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Once written make sure, when you add your content to the website, to optimise it for the search engines. Make sure it is clear what the article is about, that images contain alternative tags and that you use a suitable key term. If this is all a bit of a haze, check out our helpful article SEO tips for Small Businesses for some great tips to get you started.
Nothing is worse when reading an article or blog post than having to contend with poor grammar and spelling. It immediately makes a reader assume that the content can’t be all that good if the basics aren’t correct. A simple spellcheck should be the very basic task that you perform and if you are unsure if your grammar is on point, try software such as Grammarly to check your piece. The trouble with checking your own work is that your brain will often read what you think you wrote. Ideally, get someone else to check your article. We always have a second set of eyes and quite often a third to check to make sure that the article we are writing, either for ourselves or for clients is the right tone, imparts the information intended (we all waffle) and is grammatically correct.
5. Keep On Topic
Remember, when online we are extremely impatient and often readers will skim read your content until they find the information they are looking for. Once found they might then settle in to read the whole piece but if the answer they seek is not evident, they are quite likely to hit the back button and search for another resource. Make sure you are very clear on your topic and that the information is in an easy-to-read and succinct format. Use headings to highlight different aspects of your topic and where possible avoid language that is too formal or is deemed complex by the Flesch reading score. There are exceptions to most rules, if you are writing a technical piece and would lose credibility amongst your peers if you oversimplified the language, then don’t. At the end of the day, you know your target audience.
Attributed to the English illustrator Frederick R. Barnard, ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ has huge relevance when creating content. Adding a stand-out image to your work can engage the reader and break up paragraphs of text. A little stop-off point for the reader if you will. It can be useful to present data in this way too – a graph or chart can give a quick, punchy visual rather than the reader having to wade through lines of figures and text.
7. Call To Action and Internal Links
Linking to other aspects of your website that the reader may find useful is a very good idea. Take the link we added above to the SEO tips Blog, this will help the reader to understand more about this topic without us being in danger of duplicating our own content. The Search Engines also like to see internal links, so another win-win. Our last tip for what to include in a blog article is to make sure you have a call to action in your post. Take this article, we are imparting advice about blog writing which will be of interest to those who want content for their website, enter our “call to action”…
Blog Writing Support
We hope our advice on What To Include In A Blog Article has given you some practical tips to help you on your blog writing journey. If you need more hands-on support, we can help with that! Our content writers are adept at researching and writing about almost any topic from property and lifestyle pieces to health and safety and engineering topics, we are always happy to have a chat. Drop us a line via firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01604 654545.