Once you have your website built and populated with high quality, SEO-friendly content, it’s important to keep it fresh and interesting. One of the best ways to do that is with blogging. But how exactly do you start? What tone of voice should you write in? And how can you make your blogs more appealing and approachable?
It can all feel a little overwhelming, but here are some handy tips to get you started.
Why Should You Blog at All?
Blogs are a simple, cost-effective way to keep your website interesting, both to your visitors and to Google. They not only keep a constant stream of fresh, SEO-friendly copy appearing on your website, they also add a new dimension to the way you communicate with your customers.
While your site may be highly professional, formal and business-like, your blog can be much more friendly and casual. Think of it like a business presentation, your website is the professional PowerPoint slideshow and your blog is the casual chat you have over coffee afterwards. They both say the same thing but in different ways.
Finding the Right Tone
‘Chatting over coffee’ is a good way to explain how your blog should feel. You should write how you would talk, in a friendly, succinct way without jargon or corporate speak. Remember, even if you are talking to a company director you are still just two people, so write about your business in the same tone of voice as you would talk about it to your family and friends. The chattier and friendlier your tone, the more your readers will be engaged with what you have to say.
Think about Structure
Although you should always aim for a casual tone of voice, you do need to think a little more carefully about structure. Once again, this is a lot like telling a story to your friends. You need to introduce what you are going to talk about (the headline), set the stage (your introduction), and whet their appetite to keep reading (asking questions or summarising what is to come).
People are very busy and just a bit lazy, so they will not read anything that does not immediately catch their eye or pique their interest. Once you’ve got that interest, make sure they’re not put off reading on by a large block of unbroken text. Use short sentences and short paragraphs, broken up by subheadings, to make your writing seem less daunting and easier to read.
Use Images and Video
However engaging your copy may be, it always helps to illustrate your point with images or graphics, or better still, video content. If a picture paints a thousand words, then a video paints a million. People would much prefer watching short videos to having to read long explanations.
For example, Pokerstars use short video tutorials to explain the basics of the games and some strategies you can use. Seeing the game taking place in real-time makes how to play it much clearer. Similarly, Fender Play has a series of online videos showing you how to play the guitar. This has the added advantage of not only visually showing the chords themselves, but also added sound so you can hear what you are aiming for. In both cases, using a video works far better than a written description or diagrams.
Make It About Them Not About You
While a blog can feel very personal, as an expression of your thoughts, or your enthusiasm about your company and its products, it is important to remember that at heart, people only really care about themselves. Your readers will always be on the look-out for what’s in it for them, so make sure you use ‘you’ and ‘your’ instead of ‘we’ and ‘our’. Talk about what they can get rather than what you can offer.
Don’t Be Scared
It can feel intimidating to start writing a blog for the first time, and that blank screen can be really daunting. But the easiest way to start writing is to do just that, start writing. It doesn’t have to be any good to begin with, you will soon find your own style once you get going and break the barrier of that blank page.
Remember, blogging is just like talking to your friends, so relax and have a chat with your readers. The more comfortable you feel writing your blog, the more comfortable your audience will feel reading it.