Seven Simple Rules for Better Blogging

In the previous post we looked at why blogging is relevant. In short, blogging helps you build trust with your potential customers and empowers them with the knowledge they need to make the decision on whether your product or service is right for them. It's also great for SEO, but we won't focus on that today.

In this post we'll go over some rules to follow when writing blog posts so that people will actually want to read them. The more of these

No two businesses are the same. Even those who sell the exact same products or services will be run by different people who have their own personalities and methods for running a business and dealing with customers. Just as all businesses differ, so should all blogs. Your blog should be unique to your business.

So, rather than list the millions of topics to blog about, we've prepared a list of guidelines for a blog that your potential customers will want to read. When you're sitting down with a cup of tea or coffee (or a glass of wine) in hand deciding what to blog about, remember to ensure your blog follows these simple rules:

1. Relevant. 
This may seem obvious but your blog should relate to what you offer. If you build houses, blog about building houses. If you're a chiropractor, blog about back problems. If you're a puppy breeder, blog about the breeds you sell.

2. Interesting.
If you write a boring blog post, no one will want to read the next one. Not everyone will find your blog interesting, but that doesn't matter. The only group you should be writing to is your potential customers. Write about something they will find interesting.

3. Informative.
Your potential customers want to finish your blog smarter than when they started it. Give them what they want. Use your existing customers as inspiration. What questions are you frequently asked before someone purchases from you? You can turn each one of these questions into its own blog post.

4. Short.
Keep the read time to under 5 minutes. 2 to 3 minutes is ideal. Focus on just one topic per blog. Trying to cover multiple topics will only lengthen your blog and the time it takes to read it. Respect your readers' time and you'll have more people willing to read your future blogs.

5. Enticing.
Your potential customers should be drawn in by your headline knowing the blog will answer a problem/question they have. Give them a reason to click and give you the gift of their time.

6. Scannable.
Although it's not always necessary, keeping your blogs scannable is a great way to ensure more people read them. Assume the reader is only willing to give you 10 seconds of their time. They'll use that 10 seconds to decide whether to read your whole post or head for the exit. Using numbering (like this), bullet points, sub-headings, short paragraphs, bold keywords etc. will help the "scanners" decide if it's worth reading. If someone opens your blog post and it looks like a grad school thesis, you've lost them.

7. Shareable.
This is the holy grail of blogging. If your blog follows the other 6 guidelines AND your readers found it so compelling that they want to share it with their network, you are a master blogger. Even full-time bloggers with millions of readers struggle to achieve this. Make it as easy as possible for someone to share your blog by adding social media sharing links at the end of each blog.

Blogging is a long game and success probably won't come with your first blog (if it does, PLEASE send us your blog for a thorough analysis!). By following these guidelines and writing to your potential customers only, you'll be building a ton of credibility and trust with those most likely to purchase from you. Also, try to stick to a consistent schedule and use as many relevant keywords as you can without affecting your flow.

BONUS TIPS:
- Blog on a consistent schedule (weekly, fortnightly etc.) to maintain interest
- Use relevant industry keywords throughout each blog to boost your SEO. Google Keyword Planner can help with this (you will need to create a Google AdWords account first).