In Part 1 of this content marketing series, we took a deeper dive into the value of content marketing and why it’s important to integrate into your company’s larger marketing strategy. From becoming a thought leader in your industry's space to developing substantial content for your social media channels, content is key. And while content can exist in many different forms, we thought it would be most valuable to first outline one of the most tried-and-true tools for content marketing success: blogging. Getting Started Blog posts make it possible for your company to communicate relevant stories and insights within your industry that result in increasing your company’s credibility, brand name, and—most importantly—traffic to your website. The best part about blogging is their informal nature allows for anyone (even a nonwriter) to be able to share their thoughts. That being said, it’s important for the non-writers to keep a few things in mind when first adventuring out into the world of blogging. We’re here to help with a how-to guide on how to write a blog post. Before putting a pen to paper, determine what important topics are pertinent for your business to explore. This thought process can begin by brainstorming different topics and then figuring out the best way to structure the information that surrounds them. Choose Your Framework After defining your relevant topics, focus just as much attention on thinking about the best way to share them with your audience. Not all information should be communicated in the same way. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to share an investigative deep-dive into a certain topic using only a shortlist structure, but would be understandable if you were covering a “How To” type article. Some of the most popular formats for blog posts include: analyses, instruction, criticisms, product information, and industry findings. Test a few different formats for each- perhaps your article on the latest trends in your industry would do well as an infographic post or even a Q&A format if you had some sort of interview element. At first, it’s ok to approach your blogging as a sort of trial-and-error practice. What to Avoid A Boring Start A captivating headline and introduction is key to a successful blog. The first few sentences could determine how long you are able to keep readers’ attention. Most readers want to be hooked right away in order to continue reading. This can be achieved in several ways—try a few different headlines that introduce an element of suspense or open your article with a personal story. Communicating interesting stats or facts will go a long way as well. Repeating Yourself After the first few paragraphs, it may become a bit difficult to think of new ways to get your point across. Whatever you do, do not give up hope or resort to repeating the same language you just used. Many online tools and thesauruses can serve as great resources, but another way to strengthen your writing is by gaining inspiration from other industry experts in your field—familiarize yourself with what they are discussing on LinkedIn and the language they are using. Writing Without Intention It is important to have a firm understanding of your goals behind each blog. Do you feel this topic will best help you generate leads? Is this a subject that tells a great story about a company accomplishment? Think about this first, as it will help motivate you when writing the rest of your blog and ensure the subject has a cohesive tone. Things to Remember Visuals Matter Maybe just as important as having a mobile-friendly and visually appealing website, is having an interactive and aesthetically pleasing blog! In addition to proper formatting that matches the subject matter, font and headings are paramount elements as well. Most importantly, however, are incorporating visual pieces to your post: images, videos, infographics, and eye-catching bits that keep your reader engaged. In order to ensure that all of your visuals are loading at top speed you'll need to select an optimized web host. Call to Action The time and research that goes into creating a blog post is not to be ignored or wasted! In order to truly understand the rewards of your efforts, you must include a Call to Action in your articles. This has to exist not only to generate a lead, but can help qualify the visitor a bit more while also directing them to other pieces of published content or places of interest. Calls to action can encourage further steps in the content journey like: newsletter subscriptions, demo requests, downloadable whitepapers, and other useful resources. Publishing After you have written your blog and checked it (at least) twice based on the guidelines above, you are ready to publish! Choosing a site to host your blog is important; it should be easily accessible from your company’s website. Otherwise, hosting sites or news aggregators like Medium can help boost your articles and do a lot of the design work for you. Be sure to not just stop your efforts after pushing the “publish” button. Understanding which blogs are performing better than others will ultimately help you understand your target audience and make edits where necessary. Likewise, after spending hours writing an article you should spend a few minutes promoting them to get maximum exposure. Sharing your blog posts on social media channels is a guaranteed way to do just that and incorporate your articles into newsletters and email marketing is even better.Don’t forget to connect with Phonexa on Facebook and LinkedIn for new content and company updates.