How to write a great blog for your events
Blogs are essential for a variety of reasons, including helping to boost your SEO ranking (search engine optimisation), giving you plenty of content to promote on social media, and giving additional insights into your event, helping future ticket buyers make a decision on buying tickets to your event. They’re also great for adding in calls to action to help generate ticket buying leads.
Writing blogs can seem a daunting task, especially when you feel you could be doing something more active to market your event. But keep reading for advice to help take your blog to the next level, or for a great starting point if you’ve never written a blog before.
What is a blog?
Blog is literally short for “web log”. Since the early 1990s blogs have been a form of online journal for people to publish their thoughts and narratives on their own sites. The idea is to share your views with other internet users. Blog posts used to be far more personal to the writer, whereas now they are primarily a marketing and promotional tool.
How to write a blog post
- Understand your audience – Before you start to write your first blog post it’s good to have a solid understanding of your target audience. You need to think about what they want to know about. What will resonate with them? By creating target personas you can easily begin to identify your audience’s interests and needs.
For example, if your target audience for your event is millennials looking to start their own business, you probably don’t need to create a blog on how to use social media, as many of them have grown up with social media. However, you might want to inform them about how to tailor their tone on social media to their audience. That tweak is what will set your blog apart from generic blogs to something specifically created for your audience.
- Create your blog’s domain – You’ll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.
Sign Up With a Content Management SystemA CMS helps you create a website domain where you’ll actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to sign up for can manage domains, where you create your own website; and subdomains, where you create a webpage that connects with an existing website.A popular option is a self-hosted WordPress website on WP Engine. Whether you create a domain or a subdomain to start your blog, you’ll need to choose a web domain hosting service after choosing their CMS.Register a Domain or Subdomain With a Website HostYour own blog domain will look like this: www.yourblog.com. The name between the two full stops is up to you, as long as this domain name doesn’t already exist on the internet.
If you already own a cooking business at www.yourcompany.com, you might generate a blog that looks like this: blog.yourcompany.com. In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own part of yourcompany.com.
Some CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, where your blog lives on the CMS, rather than your business’s website. For example, it might look like “yourblog.contentmanagementsystem.com.” However, in order to create a subdomain that belongs to a company website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.
3. Customise your blog’s theme– Once you have your blog domain set up, you can customise the look of your blog to match the theme of your event and the content you plan on producing.
Are you writing about your events sustainability and the environment? Green might be a colour to keep in mind when designing the look and feel of your blog, as green is often associated with sustainability.
If you already manage a website for your event and are writing your first blog post for that website, it’s important that your blog is consistent with this existing event website, both in appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:
- Logo – This can be your events or your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content. How heavily you want to brand this blog to your event is up to you.
- “About” page – You might already have an “About” blurb describing your event or your business. Your blog’s “About” section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support the goals of your event.
4. Identify your first blog post’s theme – Before you start writing you’ll need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with.
Then, as you do your research, you can expand on the topic to discuss various branches related to your core topic.
There are a few ways you can go about structuring your blog. It could be:
- A list based post – e.g. ‘5 things to check out at your event’
- Curated collection post – e.g. ‘10 event essentials’
- News post – e.g. ‘A new study shows X% of people something related to your event’
If you’re still having trouble coming up with ideas for your event blogs we’d recommend taking a look at topics you may have already covered and putting a new twist on it. This can be done by:
- Changing the topic
- Adjusting the time frame
- Choosing a new audience
- Taking a positive/negative approach
- Introducing a new format
5. Decide on a working title – Coming up with a title, or even multiple versions of a title, can help you with different ways of approaching a subject which might help you eventually focus your subject. Creating a working title that’s specific can act as a guidepost for when you start writing.
A working title doesn’t have to be the final title. Its purpose is to provide you with enough information to focus your writing on something more specific compared to a generic overwhelming subject.
6. Write your intro – The intro is where you’re going to need to capture your readers’ attention. The first few paragraphs and sometimes even sentences are where you’re most likely to lose your reader before they’ve even given your blog a fair chance. There are a number of ways you can go about this: tell a joke, be empathetic, or even grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.
After, describe the purpose of the post and explain how it can address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it could help them improve their knowledge or a situation they may be in.
7. Organise your content in an outline – Sometimes blogs can have what feels like an overwhelming level of information, for both the reader and the writer. The trick is to organise this information so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. This organisation can take several forms: sections, lists, tips or whatever you feel is most appropriate for your content. Keeping everything organised is essential!
This blog itself is an example of how to keep your content organised. We’ve broken it up into sections and if needed subsections if we need to go into more detail about a specific subject, making the content easier to read as a whole.
The best way to go about this is to outline your post before you start writing. That way you’ll know exactly which points you need to cover and work out the best order to do it in.
8. Write your blog post – The next step is to get writing! Now that you have your outline and your template for how you want to structure your blog, all you need to do is fill in the gaps. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all your points as needed. Write about what you already know and if you need to do additional research to gather further information, examples and data to back up your ideas. Make sure you provide proper attribution when including external sources.
If you’re having trouble bringing all of your points and ideas together, you’re not alone. Finding your writing flow can be challenging for many people. Luckily there are lots of resources online to help you find your flow and help your writing depending on what you’re looking for.
9. Proofreading and formatting – The editing part of content creation is an important part of blogging which shouldn’t be overlooked. There are plenty of tools online to help you grammar check your writing, but you can always ask a grammar-conscious coworker to look over your piece if you want to have everything double checked.
- Featured image – Making your blog post visually appealing is an important part of creating blog posts. Social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media. It’s been shown that content with relevant images sees 94% more views than content without relevant images. Just make sure you pay close attention to copyright law if you are using someone else’s image for your blog.
- Visual appearance – Ugly blog posts make reading the content significantly harder. Making sure your blog post is visually appealing by making sure your formatting and organisation are clear is crucial.
In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you’ll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently.
- Topics and tags – Tags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post. Instead, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog. Then stick to those.
10. Insert your CTA (call to action) at the end – At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next (e.g. buy tickets to your event).
Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for you, the one marketing your event. Your visitors read your blog post, click on the CTA, and eventually, you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content. You can use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.
11. Optimised your blog for SEO (search engine optimisation) – Don’t worry about how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram in keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density because Google knows!
- Meta Description: Meta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on Google’s search results pages. They present searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking into it. They are generally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” While meta descriptions no longer factor into Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they do give searchers a picture of what they’ll get by reading the post and can help improve your click-through rate from search.
- Page Title and Headers: Most blogging software uses your post title as your page title, which is the most critical on-page SEO element at your disposal. But if you’ve followed us so far, you should already have a working title that will naturally incorporate the keywords/phrases your target audience is engaged with. Don’t overcomplicate your title by trying to fit keywords in where they don’t naturally belong. That said, if there are clear chances to add keywords you’re targeting to your post title and headers, feel free to take them.
- Anchor text: Anchor text is the word or words that link to another page, either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for specific keywords. It’s also necessary to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking to pages that you want to rank well for that keyword. You could end up getting it to rank on Google’s first page of results instead of its second page.
- Mobile optimisation: With mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a website that’s responsive or produced for mobile has become increasingly significant. In addition to making sure your website’s visitors (including your events blog visitors) have the best experience possible, optimising for mobile will score your website some SEO points.
12. Finalise your title – Last but not least is finalising the title you want to run with. Some things to consider when choosing your final title are:
- Start with your working title.
- As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it’s important to keep the title accurate and clear.
- Then work on making your title more powerful, whether it’s through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.
- If you can, optimise for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it’s natural, though).
- Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No-one likes a long, overwhelming title, and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.
Charlotte is the Marketing Assistant for Helm, coming from a design background she loves creating all types of content. Discover more of her blogs, as well as, many others here!
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