You may be worried that you don't have enough time or resources to commit to a full content marketing ‘action plan’. But don’t let that put you off! A great first step on your content marketing journey is to start writing solid blog articles for your site.
Effective content marketing can take many forms. One thing for sure, it doesn’t require you to break the bank. Even committing to a weekly blog can be a good start, and that’s not very time and money consuming. Blogs are a good start, as they’re quick, easy, cheap and effective at creating interest. So how do I write a good blog post?
1. Three words: hook your reader
Often when writing, the hardest part is managing to spit out those first few sentences. They take the most time, and that’s because they’re the most important. You have an optimal amount of time, no more than a few seconds, to sell your article to the reader. If you don’t hook them, they’ll go somewhere else. There’s plenty more content in the sea!
Think originally when planning your opening salvo. How about a question to spark the reader’s curiosity? A shocking statistic? A thought-provoking quote? Whatever it is, it should make the reader want to finish your article.
2. The KISS Principle
The KISS principle? What’s that? Keep It Simple, Stupid! This basically means that you should make the article as easy to read as possible. Keep the meat and get rid of the fat. Use short sentences. Try and keep your language simple and precise. Similarly, it’s usually not a good idea to try and sound smart, when you could have used a shorter word in its place.
Another key characteristic of a captivating blog post is that the paragraphs are short, and the article is split up with subheadings or a list of some sort. Why do we see so many articles that are based on a list of 3, 5 or 6 items? Put simply, people like it and it’s much easier to read quickly. Whenever I check my analytics, a clear story emerges. The posts in list-format get far more clicks.
3. Calls to action are everything
You might have the most beautifully written blog post in the world, but without calls to action it’s worthless for content marketers. The reader has just read your article. Well-written. Check. Good structure and grammar. Check. Unique, captivating and engaging. Check. But, what does the reader do now? They’ve been infected with your enthusiasm, but they need a next step.
You don’t need to sell them your product at this stage, although you could try. More commonly, you could try and funnel them to another page or get their all-important contact details. Better copywriting makes better calls to action, which in turn leads to better conversion.
Well, there you go. Follow these three tips and your blog posts will be well on their way to being captivating, engaging and effective. It’s really as simple as that. Blog posts can act as the core of your content marketing, or merely a foundation to build on later. Either way, it’s a great start.