If you’re building a content marketing strategy, you’re probably looking at blogging first. Blogs give you the opportunity to go in-depth on a topic. So you can provide value to your audience and establish your expertise in the field at the same time.

That said, writing great blog posts consistently can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you’re new to it. In this guide, we give you 17 essential blogging tips to jumpstart your brand’s blog.

Let’s jump right in.

1. Choose the right niche for your blog

When you’re just starting out, it’s important to focus your efforts on one specific niche. This will help you establish a presence in said niche and build your initial readership.

Start with a broad topic that’s relevant to your business. Then break this up into more specific sub-topics so you can narrow down a niche that’s perfect for you.

For example, if your company creates various marketing tools, marketing would be a broad topic relevant to your business. But instead of writing about general marketing topics, you can focus on subtopics related to the tools you provide. This may include email marketing, social media marketing and search engine marketing.

2. Research your audience

You may be writing content that’s relevant to your business, but who are you really writing for? One of the first tips blogging tips we can share is to ensure that you know exactly who your target audience is. This will set the precedent for how the rest of your blogging strategy should look.

When you establish who your audience is, it becomes easier to understand their needs, interests and pain points. You’ll then be able to create a blogging strategy that resonates with them.

3. Draw inspiration from competitor blogs

An important blogging tip for beginners is to look at what your competitors are doing. What topics are they writing about? How are they discussing key topics? This should give you some inspiration on what to write about and which topics are performing well.

Tools like Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and BuzzSumo give you a detailed analysis of your competitors’ content. With these tools, you’ll be able to search specific URLs and see which pages are doing well based on the number of social shares.

list of top content on teespring.com analyzed using Ahrefs

4. Blog about topics your audience is searching for

While competitor blogs are a great source of inspiration, don’t rely on those alone. Your competitors could be missing out on a number of topics that your audience really wants to learn about. So make sure to do some research to specifically see what your audience is searching for.

Answer the Public and Google Keyword Planner are some of the leading tools that will let you conduct keyword research for free. SEMrush is an even more robust option that offers a dedicated topic research tool. This blogging tip helps you discover topics that resonate with your audience and get actionable tips on which keywords to use.

topic research map and seo writing assistant on SEMrush

Before creating content based on these topics, make sure you try to understand search intent. This would involve understanding the “why” behind the search.

Look up the most popular blog posts for the search term and see what others are creating. See which formats and angles seem to be dominating the search results. This can give you a sense of how you can create a blog post that satisfies the search intent for that query.

5. Create a publishing calendar for your blog

Consistency is the key to achieving blogging success. You want to produce high-quality content regularly so your readers know they can depend on you. One of the best blogging tips to ensure publishing consistency is creating an editorial calendar.

Your publishing calendar provides an outline of all the topics you plan to tackle over the next few weeks. This ensures that you never run out of ideas and that you always have something to write about. It even lays out a publishing timeline so you can stay on track with your blogging efforts.

6. Leverage data to plan your blog

Data is the perfect tool to enhance your blogging strategy. For starters, it provides valuable insights on what to write about and how often you should publish. This would involve looking at data on which topics and blog types are performing well with your audience.

Moreover, you can plan your publishing frequency by testing different variations to see what works best. For example, you might notice that maintaining a weekly posting schedule is ideal to engage your readers.

On top of this, data helps you back up your claims and create more persuasive content. This blogging tip is an effective way to boost the credibility of blog posts and gain a loyal readership.

7. Vary your blog types

Writing about the same old topics in the same old way can get boring after a while. Keep your readers engaged and intrigued by diversifying your content types.

Start by playing around with different blog formats. Here are a few ideas you can use:

  • Listicles
  • How-to’s
  • Comparison posts
  • Guides
  • Mistakes to avoid
  • Thought leadership pieces
  • Interviews
  • FAQs
  • Infographics

For example, the Canva blog uses a wide variety of blog formats–from listicles to informative guides to how-to posts.

canva blog homepage showing different blog formats

8. Take advantage of repurposed content

While we’re on the topic, it’s a good idea to make the most of content repurposing. Consider repurposing other content types for your blog. For example, you could turn your Facebook Live interview session into a blog post.

Alternatively, you can repurpose your blog posts into short videos and infographics. This will make it easier to promote the post via other platforms.

9. Create compelling headlines

The content of your blog post may be the part that provides your readers with actual value. But it’s the headline that’ll get them to read it in the first place. So writing compelling, attention-grabbing headlines is a can’t-miss blogger tip.

You can try out different formulas to find the perfect mix. In general, this would involve an adjective, a keyword and a promise. Then use the free Headline Analyzer from MonsterInsights to test the strength of your headlines. This tool scores your headline and provides suggestions on how to improve it.

headline analysis report on the Headline Analyzer tool

10. Include visuals

No one likes to read huge blocks of text (at least not on the internet). When your blog posts only have text content, it’s easy for readers to lose interest in the middle. Try retaining their engagement with visuals to break up your text.

Data visualization is one of the best ways to include visuals in your blog posts. You can even include visual examples and screenshots to get your message across more effectively.

11. Incorporate a linking strategy

A strong linking strategy is essential to improve your blog’s authority and ranking in Google’s search engine result pages. You need to consider three main types of links for your strategy:

  • Backlinks – These are links coming to your site from other websites. The best way to collect them is by writing high-quality blog posts that others would want to link back to.
  • Internal links – These are links in your blog posts that connect to other pages or articles within your own website. They help to enhance the user experience by allowing them to easily explore other relevant content on your site.
  • External links – These are links to third-party websites. They help to add credibility to your claims by connecting them to the original source.

12. Invest in your blog’s design

Besides the visuals in your blog posts, the overall design of your blog matters when you’re trying to engage your audience. Your blog should be easy to navigate and should be appealing to the eyes. Make the most of thumbnails, blog categories and white space to achieve this. For example, the Slack blog uses plenty of white space and attractive thumbnails.

Slack blog homepage showing article thumbnails and white space in between different articles

13. Create content worth sharing

Your readers can be a powerful resource for promoting your blog content. But to make the most of this resource, you need to create content that’s worth sharing.

This would involve creating content that addresses your readers’ needs and common pain points. Back it up with actionable information and up-to-date data so readers will feel inclined to share the post with their network.

14. Write for readers but with SEO in mind

One of the most important blogging tips is to remember that you’re writing for readers first. So it’s crucial to keep readability in mind when writing your blog posts.

The easiest way to do this is by writing like you talk. Use a conversational tone so that when people read the post, they’ll feel like you’re talking to them. Additionally, use short paragraphs and break up long sentences to ensure that the post is easy to read.

At the same time, you should still keep SEO in mind when writing your posts. Follow essential SEO tips such as using subheadings and links where appropriate.

15. Promote your content

A creative content promotion strategy will contribute to your blog’s success. Promote your latest blog posts to attract more readers and drive engagement.

Email newsletters are an effective way to promote your blog content. In addition, leverage social media marketing to share your posts with a bigger audience. According to a SEMrush survey, 73% of respondents use social media to promote their content.

However, with videos and images being the most engaging types of social media content, your link posts may not get too many clicks. Consider sharing key takeaways and facts from the post through short videos and original graphics. This will help to drive more readers to your blog.

On top of this, make sure you’re posting at the right time to drive more engagements. Sprout Social’s publishing tools will help you discover the best time to post. You can even schedule your posts to automatically go out at optimal times, so you don’t miss out on key opportunities.

Sprout Social Smart Inbox compose window showing optimal send times

16. Consider updating older content

Google loves fresh content. So if you have tons of blog posts with outdated information, it’s going to look bad for your SEO.

You need to update your older content regularly to keep things fresh. This may involve replacing older data with newer ones. Plus, you should update your tips and instructions based on the current landscape and the latest industry changes.

17. Use analytics to track performance

Finally, keep a close eye on how your blog posts are performing. The data from these efforts will inform how to improve your blogging strategy.

For instance, you’ll be able to see which blog formats your readers love the most. You can then update your editorial calendar to include more of these formats in the future.

Start putting these blogging tips into action

The blogging tips we’ve shared above can give you the jumpstart you need to grow your brand. Make the most of them to build a new blogging strategy from scratch or fine-tune an existing one. Additionally, get help from Sprout’s publishing tools to support your blog promotion efforts.