If you do not have a business blog yet, you are losing a valuable opportunity to attract people and convert them into leads. A business blog is the medium by which you as a business owner can solve your customers’ problems and also establish yourself as an authority in the field.
Why am I calling it a global blogging cheat sheet? It is global because you can use this approach no matter where you are located geographically and no matter what your business or product is. And there is an interesting story here about how I first learned of the concept of a cheat sheet.
As a rookie student in the US, I was astounded to learn that I would be allowed to carry a paper with me into the classroom during my exams. What’s more, I could write anything on it – formulas, dates, answers to expected questions! This was a strict no-no back home where nefarious students were dishonorably discharged for smuggling in bits of paper in the exam hall. Was this an example of the ‘free Western culture’ we were cautioned against?
It took me a while to catch on to the whole concept. I have been truly blessed with an American education which uses quite a different approach to teaching. Unlike the Indian education system which largely uses a drill and repeat model with only one annual exam largely deciding your academic fate, the American education system compels the student to think. The stress is on using a logical approach, and analysis and problem solving are more important. It is not your memory that is tested but your ability to find a solution given certain facts. Enter the concept of a cheat sheet.
A cheat sheet was more like a road map, a checklist or a blueprint. Something I could use as a guide to ensure that I dotted my ‘i’s and crossed my ‘t’s.
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This infographic by Demian Farnworth is the perfect blogging cheat sheet. It talks about the 11 must have features of a good blog post. Ensure you cover all the bases given here and I have no doubt you will end up with a perfect blog post every time.
Global Blogging Cheatsheet
Craft a Magnetic Headline
The headline is your number one bait. Write a sloppy headline and no one will even click on it. Here are some great headline formulas that work.
Open With a Bang
Long winded introductions are out. Let them know what the prize is in the first few lines if you want to hold their attention.
Use Persuasive Words
Use action words that make the most sense for your business and cajole your reader to read further.
Write Damn Good Sentences
Make your words mean something. And write in a style that is interesting to your readers and also makes sense to them. If your audience is erudite or literary, complex sentence construction and plays on words may enthrall them, and may even be necessary to establish that you are one of them. But if you are writing for, say, a techie or younger audience, they may prefer text that is short and to the point.
Fashion your writing such that it is best suited to your buyer personas.
Insert Killer Bullet Points
Use bullet points to segment your content. But also remember to keep them short. Don’t let a bullet point become a long sentence.
Create Exquisite Subheads
Sub headings are great for SEO. They are also a good way to keep your reader interested. Use subheadings to enumerate the different options you offer, or the variety of value you offer in a blog post.
Tell a Seductive Story
Create a hero or a villain for your blog post. Infuse character by calling out to some emotion within the reader.
Keep Attention With Internal Cliffhangers
Use different devices to hold the readers’ attention. Keep them hungry for what’s coming next. This may not seem relevant to every business, but the skill of a good blogger lies in infusing emotion in the dryest of texts.
Choose An Arresting Image
You know what they say about images. A blog post image is the next important thing after the headline, in my opinion. Choose one that’s intriguing or informative. One that drives home the point you are trying to make.
Close in Style
Write a powerful conclusion that clearly tells the reader what they learned and what their takeaway or action item is.
Find your true voice, and let it lead you as you write your blog posts. Convince readers they are speaking to a human being who understands their needs and cares about their problems. This may be difficult because business blogging is actually a highly personal endeavor.
The only way to start blogging is to just start writing. Identify who you are writing for. Make a list of questions your clients have. Start writing one post answering each question. Follow the cheat sheet given above to further refine what you have written.
Not sure where to get started? You can take advantage of our free blogging guide that introduces you to the topic and publish your first blog post.
Take the first step toward building a thriving business blog. Today!