Blogging for Business: 5 Ingredients That Add True Value to Your Content
Whether youʼve been in business for decades or only recently opened your doors, chances are content marketing is at the top of your list of digital marketing tactics.
With so much content available online today, not blogging is today’s equivalent of not having a website. Not only is it an excellent way to generate traffic, convert leads, and improve your impressions, but everyone else is already doing it, so youʼre definitely missing out if you fail to blog yourself.
In a nutshell: blogging for business works. It’s as simple as that. And you have likely overcome that initial hurdle of should I blog.
Now that you know that you should, the question that inevitably arises is how you can do it effectively.
The one thing that sets quality blogs apart from every other blog on the web is value. True, the quality of writing also matters, but value is the one thing you can’t replace. In fact, can writing even be good if there is no value to it?
Let’s look at the five factors that add value to content and see how you can utilize them in your own writing.
Look for what’s missing, not what’s already there
One of the more popular pieces of advice you can find is that you should check out what others have written about a topic and go from there.
This is true to an extent, but if you only replicate what others have said, you won’t be adding anything valuable to the conversation.
What you should actually be doing is looking at what hasn’t been said about a topic. Look at the questions people have after reading a well-ranking post and add a dedicated FAQ section to your piece along with schema (Dreamgrow does this well). Look at the discussions that arise from popular posts. And then cover those angles, instead of the topics people have already discussed.
Look at what has worked in the past
Another common piece of advice is to look at the content that has worked for you before, and try to replicate it.
Again, this is fine, but you should not focus on replicating: your goal should be to improve.
Look at your top performing content from last year and figure out why your audience has loved it. Then try to improve on that: can you add more data, can you do something with video, do you need to make your articles even longer?
If you keep raising the bar, not only will the value of your content improve, but your readership as well.
Outline your key figures clearly
A lot of content value comes from unique insights, insider knowledge, and your own unique experience. However, some bloggers then make the mistake of covering up their findings with a lot of words, letting their point get lost in the article.
Instead, outline the major figures you have to share clearly and near the top of the article, like it has been done in this post. You can then move on to discussing the figures, explaining them, and adding as many words as you need to illustrate them for your audience. Your figures will act as your hook, and readers will want to know how you arrived there.
If there are no numbers to be showcased, you can do the same with your key findings. Make a prominent heading out of them near the top of the article, and let them serve as your hook.
And no, we are not advising you to resort to clickbait – just to reformat your article so that you provide readers with clear incentives to read it.
Check in with yourself
Everything you write will be very personal and subjective, laced with your own views and beliefs.
How often do you question them, though? How can you be sure your point of view is not outdated, wrong, unique, or relevant?
The same goes for formatting and the way you write: we all get stuck in the same model that has worked in the past, and tend to use it. For example, I have inserted bullet points in every article I wrote over the past seven months or so.
You will notice there are no bullet points here.
Your content will benefit from a fresh perspective – and the only way to acquire one is to step outside your comfort zone and try something different.
Educate yourself as much as you can about the topic (this is called research), but don’t stop there. Think about what you are writing, and what you think about what youʼre saying. Do you disagree? Great! Explain why.
Don’t make assumptions about your readers
Similarly, when writing, you will often have a reader in mind. That person is either your ideal customer or yourself.
This can lead to a lot of missed opportunities in your posts – you may fail to present complex ideas so that everyone can understand them; you may assume everyone knows what an abbreviation means; you may expect your readers to have your way of looking at things.
True, you do need to have a target audience for your article. But what that means is that you need to think about these people for every article separately, even if youʼre targeting the same people with every article. And you need to read your article through their eyes, or ask someone else to read it.
What is so clear to you may need more clarification to your readers, and vice versa.
Writing valuable content requires time and effort – and it’s not exactly easy.
If you aim to create exceptional content that provides real value, youʼll need to do more than just wing it: plan it out, do your research, and most importantly, think about what you want to say, how you want to say it, and who you are saying it to.
Don’t fall into the trap of writing countless pieces just because you think you need to. Focus on making each article the best it can be, and trust in the fact that one exceptional piece can get you more attention than ten mediocre ones.
Because after all, the aim of blogging for business is selling your product, and it has to have a positive ROI – there is no point doing it any other way.