Welcome to your introduction!
Start off your article with a catchy hook that gets readers’ attention and then get into what you’re about to tell them. Is there a problem that you’re going to solve or explore? Or will you deliver information about an interesting topic? Tell your readers what’s in it for them if they keep reading your article. In this case, I’m going to offer you a few writing tips I’ve picked up along the way.
If you only want to write an introduction, stop reading now. If, however, you’re interested in writing an entire blog, I’ve included more information for you below.
Use Headlines Like This When Changing Topics to Break Up the Copy
Here’s where the meat and potatoes of your article will be. Keep in mind that many people skim articles and just read the first and last lines of a paragraph, so try to keep paragraphs short and to-the-point.
Where relevant, hyperlink to other relevant websites or blog articles – such as this one I wrote about How to Tidy Up Your Content. You can also use bold where applicable to make important points stand out. Underlining copy isn’t recommended because it might make phrases look like they are hyperlinked when they really aren’t.
Consider These Things When Writing Blog Copy
Your reader is looking for free information that is helpful and/or entertaining. If they feel like they’re just reading an ad for your product or company, they could see your insights as biased and your entire article may lose its credibility. Keep boastful talk about your company to the end, if you include it at all. The more your reader can relate to your information, the more engaged they will be.
Blog entries don’t have to be just paragraphs of copy.
- Use bullet points to list information. It also breaks up the copy making it easier to skim.
- If you’re struggling to write paragraphs of copy, consider writing a listicle, Q&A, interview or other creative way to convey your message in your blog.
- Don’t use more than 7 bullets in a list – it’s too much to digest.
Lastly, consider the knowledge level of your reader. Understand that some people might not be as familiar with your industry’s lingo as you are. This is a fine line to walk – an article that’s very granular or technical could be a great resource for a very targeted audience, but something that’s more high level might appeal to and educate a wider group.
When you’re proofreading your article, think about who the article is for and what you want them to take away from it. If your article doesn’t accomplish your goals, rewrite it until it does.
Tips to Help Overcome Writer’s Block
The phrase start at the beginning isn’t always the best approach when writing a blog. If you’ve been staring at a blank page for too long, try starting not with the title or the introduction, but instead with an outline or with the one point you are most excited about making. Then write around that until your entire article is fleshed out.
Really having a hard time starting? Here’s a tip: set a timer for 60 seconds. Start writing and don’t stop for the entire time! Keep your fingers moving and write down anything you can think of about your topic. After 60 seconds is up, you should have something that can get you moving. (If not, reset your timer and try again.) Once you have your first few points, it’s easy to expand on them.
Finally, if you’re more comfortable speaking about the topic than you are with writing, record yourself explaining a concept and then use a transcript as a draft that you, a coworker or an employee can then clean up.
Conclusion - and Call to Action
Be sure to include a call to action in your blog. It doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have to always be “contact us.” The reader has likely found your article or was interested in reading it because they were researching the topic that you’re covering – consider what natural step might come next for them.
Some options to consider:
- Share this article with a friend
- Follow us on social media
- Subscribe to our newsletter
- Look at an infographic
- Sign up for a webinar
- Watch a video
- Download a report or other helpful resource – like our Field Guide to Content Marketing
The more information you can provide that’s relevant and entertaining, the more you will earn the trust of your readers and the more they will come back to you as a resource.