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Blog posts: A step-by-step guide to creating articles that drive traffic to your site

Blog posts continue to be an important part of content marketing strategies.

According to Hubspot, 48% of the companies surveyed said they use blogs in their content marketing strategy. Of that group, 56% of professionals said that the channel is effective for their business goals.

According to the platform:

“Most consumers read blogs several times a week and have bought something from a brand after reading the company’s blog”.

OptinMonster data also shows that 53% of marketers say that blogging is their highest content marketing priority.

In addition, B2B companies that have a blog receive 67% more leads than those that didn’t use the channel.

For this reason, creating a plan and writing blog posts is essential for businesses that want a professional and positive online presence.

Below, you will have access to a detailed content about the first stage of this work — and I have put a lot of effort into preparing this material.

I hope you enjoy each topic and feel free to get in touch to comment and ask questions, okay?

So read on and find out how to write professional, and results-oriented blog posts.

Introduction, development and conclusion. That’s the basis of any essay, right?

But with the advancement of digital writing, blog posts have come to demand several other requirements that go beyond a predetermined structure, cohesion, coherence, and understanding of the topic.

Many words have been created or redefined in web writing, such as scannability, keyword, and call to action (CTA).

Even with these new concepts, writing for the Web is simpler and more direct. At the same time, it manages to be very rich for the reader.

escrevendo redação para blog

There is a reason for all these changes: the blog has become very important for businesses. The texts developed for this space have gained relevance in companies’ marketing strategies.

Brands are investing heavily in digital content and want to turn their money into new business.

In this context, blogs – which used to be simple “personal online diaries” – have become a very valuable marketing tool for organizations.

This virtual space can be used by companies in a variety of ways to improve their communication and attract new customers.

So blog content is getting more quality, relevant content and professionalism.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to the process of planning blog posts:

PLANNING: before the texts are produced

Do web writers‘ inspiration and creativity appear like magical? We’d like that, wouldn’t we?

However, there is a long process that precedes the actual writing of blog posts — after all, the pre-text definitions must be aligned with the organization’s overall strategies.

This stage is usually carried out internally by a marketing or communications department, or by another area of the company.

This is how content planning is done:

  1. Keyword definition
  2. Choosing a persona
  3. Determining the purpose of the text
  4. Choosing the tone
  5. Using the Inbound Marketing funnel
  6. Defining the awareness level
  7. SEO optimization

Below, you’ll find details on each of these stages; check them out:

1. Keyword definition

Key question: What does your audience expect to read from your company?

This is a question that requires precise answers. Digital tools — including free ones — can help you find out what content people want..

Sites such as SEMrush, Ubersuggest, Answer the Public and Google Trends provide valuable data and information about keywords.

See below what these tools tell us about the keyword “blog post“: 

Source: Semrush
Source: Ubersuggest
Source: Ubersuggest

Let’s see what you can find out with these pieces of information:

  • Volume of searches in a certain period of time: in practice, it means the level of popularity of the topic and public interest;
  • Difficulty in ranking the word: shows how complex it might be to get the content on the first pages of Google;
  • Related searches: keywords that are related to the topic and can be explored in the text.

Now that you have this information, you may be wondering: how do you determine which keywords to analyze and select? This is where in-depth knowledge of the business and its target audience is really important.

It’s interesting to search for terms that are related to the organization and that are on customers’ minds.

In addition, you need to understand which terms are worth the effort of creating content for. It means to choose between words that have enough search volume to make the work worthwhile.

2. Choosing a Persona

Key question: Who does your company write for?

This is a topic that could be covered in lengthy texts. But I will outline a few key points to help you understand the persona once and for all.

The first step is to understand that persona and target audience are different concepts in marketing. See:

Target audience: the larger group of people your company is interested in selling to;

Persona: a character created, with name, age, occupation, habits, etc.

Let’s say a company has this target: women between 35 and 45 years old, with children, living in the North of the USA.

After some research, the company can create the following persona: Sandra, 42, has 2 daughters and lives in Connecticut.

Target x Persona

The same industry may have a different type of product aimed at younger women in their 20s, who are single and live in the northern metropolitan areas.

In this case, Luiza, 27, who lives alone in Illinois, can be understood as another persona for the same company.

Do you realize that the texts written for Sandra and Luiza must be completely different — even though they are talking about the same topic, on the same blog?

In this way, defining a brand’s personas is fundamental to good web writing.

Blog posts should focus on the reader. In this context, the personas are the readers, and they must guide the production of blog posts.

It should be noted, however, that simply creating and naming personas may not be effective. Consider the key questions that need to be answered:

Who are the personas?
What are their pains points?
→ How can the company solve these pains with its products and services?

Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a lot of material to use in your blog posts.

3. Determining the purpose of the text

Key question: Why does the text is produce?

Every piece of content published on the blog must have an objective — and this can vary greatly from text to text, from company to company.

For example, the goal of an article may be to get the reader to leave their contact information for the brand. So, at the end of the text, they are asked to subscribe to the blog’s newsletter.

Other material may be aimed at converting potential customers. This may require more assertive and targeted call-to-action (CTA).

A text can also have the purpose of instructing the customer on the use of a particular product, serving as guidance and support.

Each of these examples will be written differently because they have different objectives, right?

The definition of the text’s objective must be very clear and must be communicated to the web writer in charge.

4. Choosing the tone of voice

Key question: How should the text be written?

“Dear readers, the following article will deal with marketing and related topics”.

“Hey, guys! Today we’re going to talk about marketing. Let’s go!”.

Of course, I’ve used very contrasting examples. But did you notice how different the sentences are, even though they deal with the same topic? The difference between them is caused by the tone of voice.

Tone of voice is still not talked about very much, but it is very important for text construction — and it also has to be defined before the article starts, okay?

In UX writing, for example, there is a lot of talk about voice and tone of voice:

Voice is constant and the tone is variable.

Voice is the language you use all the time, and tone is the way you communicate.

A casual brand will always be casual (voice).
→ At certain times, it may be less or more casual (tone of voice).

For example, even if a brand has a casual voice, it may use a more assertive tone in a piece of copy designed to convert customers.

Tone of voice is more flexible depending on the keyword, the persona and the purpose of the text.

Help content about an error, on the other hand, can maintain a casual voice but be serious when providing guidance. 

Therefore, the tone of voice of the article should be defined during planning and communicated to the writer.

5. Using the Inbound Marketing Funnel

Key questions: Where in the sales funnel is the reader? How should they be moved toward conversion?

As we’ve already discussed, blog posts should be part of a business strategy. But how does this work in practice? That’s where the inbound marketing sales funnel comes in.

The concept is explained step-by-step below:

Sales Funnel

A sales funnel is a tool that visually demonstrates the customer’s buying journey. Like the object, it is widest at the top and narrows as it progresses to the bottom.

funil de vendas

The shape, which goes from largest to smallest, represents the number of prospects making their way to the point of purchase.

In other words, there are more people at the top of the funnel, fewer people in the middle, and fewer people at the bottom.

At the end of the journey, the number of potential buyers who convert is only a fraction of the total number of contacts at the top of the funnel, you see?

But the idea of the sales funnel doesn’t stop at the number of people. At each stage, it describes the stage the customer is in; they are:

  • Top of the funnel (TOFU): learning and discovering / identifying of the problem;
  • Middle of the funnel (MOFU): considering the solution;
  • Bottom of the funnel (BOFU): decision.

At the top of the funnel, prospects don’t even know they have a problem to solve or a desire to be satisfied. Then, with the right guidance, they realize they have a need that needs to be met.

The middle of the funnel describes the moment when the individual already knows that something bothers them or interests them. However, they do not know how to resolve the situation and need information about the solutions available.

At the bottom of the funnel, the person knows the problem/desire and the alternatives available in the market to solve it. However, they are still in doubt about which one to choose and need assertive cues to make their decision.

The idea is to identify where the reader is in the process and use content to move them toward the desired conversion. That’s where inbound marketing comes in.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a strategy that uses the creation of digital content to attract and convert customers. It is based on 4 pillars:

  1. Attraction;
  2. Conversion;
  3. Selling;
  4. Delight.

One of the materials used by inbound marketing for attraction and conversion is blog posts, did you know that? Like in the sales funnel, the goal is to turn strangers into promoters.

Therefore, the content developed as part of this strategy must be aligned with the stages of the process.

Blog posts in the inbound marketing sales funnel strategy

Now, let’s put the above concepts together to creat highly effective material. Here’s how you should write blog posts based on the sales funnel for inbound marketing:

Source: Data Branding

In a nutshell:

  1. At the top of the funnel, the content is focused on the visitor (to be converted into a lead) with the goal of awakening the reader to a still dormant need, pain or desire;
  2. In the middle of the funnel, we need to get the lead (to be converted into an opportunity) to find the solutions to the issue we triggered in the previous step;
  3. At the bottom of the funnel, the idea is to provide content that helps
    opportunities to make a buying decision, and then convert them to customers..

6. Determining the level of consciousness

Key question: How much should the reader know about the topic by the end of the content?

The blog post needs to be written with a predetermined goal in mind to get the reader from point A to point B, right? In other words, the content must take the persona from their current state of awareness about something to a higher level of awareness.

The reader could be:

  • Completely unconscious;
  • Aware of the problem;
  • Aware of the solution;
  • Aware of the product;
  • The most aware.

Note that the level of awareness looks like the inbound marketing sales funnel. The further down the funnel, the more aware the reader is and the closer they are becoming a customer.

Imagine that XYZ Company sells a service to small business owners. With each piece of content, it will advise its potential customers on a specific topic.

The company can organize the content according to the level of awareness to gradually get them to sign up for its offerings.

Remember, those who read this article need to come away more enlightened and aware of the topic than if they hadn’t read it, right?

That’s why it’s important to think about the reader’s level of awareness when planning and producing content.

7. SEO optimization

Keyword: How will the text be found by readers?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a method that optimizes pages and content so that they are more easily crawled by search engines — such as Google.

SEO can be divided into:

  1. On Page SEO;
  2. Off Page SEO.

Keyword: How will the text be found by readers?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a method that optimizes pages and content so that they are more easily crawled by search engines — such as Google.

SEO can be divided into:

  1. On Page SEO;
  2. Off Page SEO.

As the name suggests, On Page SEO refers to settings made directly on the website to make it more search engine friendly.

Generally, the author of a blog post creates the text according to some On Page SEO rules to facilitate its ranking on Google. But it’s worth noting that general SEO strategies should come from a professional, okay?

Off-Page SEO is about techniques applied on other sites — such as link building — that help increase the authority of your digital address. These actions are usually performed by the project’s SEO or marketing team.

The work doesn’t stop here. In the next article, you will understand how to use this information to create a good text. Subscribe to receive the new content!

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