The Importance Of Research Before Production When It Comes To Blog Post Content

The key factor to any successful blog is content.  No matter how much advertising or promotion of your blog you do, without great quality content that engages with your audience, your blog is going to be, at the very least, a completely forgettable place – if not something that has a negative impact upon your brand.

A blog without great content – or almost no content – is exactly the same as a shop without suitable products (or any products at all).  Sure, you may consider taking a look once, but if there’s nothing there of interest, why would you ever consider returning?

As we discuss regularly, the problem is effective blog post content isn’t easy to write.  It’s not something that can be produced quickly, as a substantial amount of research needs to go in to ensuring your blog posts are as beneficial as they can be – and it’s this research aspect that we want to elaborate on further today.

Differences when writing other copy

When you’re creating a press release, you know what you have to do.   Your first paragraph needs to not only explain what the entire press release is about, but it needs to give the reader enough information to make them want to continue reading, without bombarding them with masses of details.

Generally speaking, you also need to keep a formal, professional tone to the piece.  You can of course sway from this requirement and you may see some success, but when most have an expectation for formality, it’s a risky move.

Covering just a few points that need to be taken into consideration when writing a press release, the important point to note in this situation is that there’s no research required.  Your topic is relatively fixed, so there’s no leeway there.  Your audience have set expectations, so you can’t deviate much from them (without risk) and you have no need to change any other aspect to ‘keep up’ with your competitors, as their press releases will be very similar to yours.

A lack of ‘blog content rules’

With a blog post, you have no fixed guidelines that you have to follow. You have no rules that you need to be abide by.  You can’t even directly replicate your last blog post’s style without a sufficient amount of analysis.

And it’s for these reasons why research is such an integral part of the blog post content creation process.

With research needing to take place at all stages, it varies in its complexity and time required, often in a way that is surprising to many.

For example, you of course have the somewhat obvious research requirement of topics, ensuring you have something worthwhile to talk about on your blog.  Initially, this can seem like a relatively quick process – a few of your keywords in Google or on Twitter might throw up half a dozen suitable ideas within a matter of seconds.

Once you have your initial ideas, you then need to look at your competitors to see if they have produced content on a similar topic recently.  If they have, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t, but you need to be careful not to simply replicate what they’ve talked about.  It’s also worthwhile researching how successful their blog post was – if it appears to have fallen flat on its face, you either need to try and discover why or simply avoid the topic altogether.

In addition, it might seem obvious, but it’s important you research your previous content.  With your new ideas, if they’re similar to past blog posts, are you simply rewording old content or can you offer something new that’s of value to your audience?

Your audience and the SEO impact of your content

Researching your audience is also an extremely important part of the blog post content creation process.  You might believe you have the best topic idea in the world, but if you take a look at the type of content your target audience is reading and engaging with and it proves to be world’s apart from your idea, it could be beneficial to hold off on the topic temporarily.    Of course, someone has to start new trends and discussions within the industry, but this is often best done through linked ideas and developed conversations, rather than trying to start something that’s poles apart from what is currently ‘in vogue’.

You can’t forget the SEO aspect either, as just because you’re trying to focus on ranking highly for one or two keywords, it doesn’t mean they’re the best ones for the piece being produced.

As part of our business blogging services, we always carry out an in-depth keyword analysis for our clients.  The result is a document that provides a range of different keywords which would be beneficial to utilise in blog post content, meaning there should usually be at least a handful of keywords able to be used in most company-related topics.  However, if there isn’t, we don’t simply use the closest keyword to the topic we’re discussing.  Instead, we research specific keywords for the blog post.  It might turn out that we just need to use a slight variation on a keyword we’ve used previously or there could be a need to use a new keyword we haven’t focused on before.  This is all discovered through further research, ensuring the most suitable keywords are able to be utilised – for both company and reader – throughout the blog post.

It’s surprising for many of our clients to hear that more time is often spent researching than actually writing blog posts.  Whilst our bloggers do a fantastic job producing the highest quality content for our clients, they rely heavily on the research that’s carried out before they even start to put pen to paper (or more appropriately, fingers to keyboard!).

The focus of all effective blogs is the reader.  The content is produced for them, continually engaging and interacting with them.  Although you might get lucky and be able to write a quick blog post that is well-received without any type of research, your blogging strategy shouldn’t rely on luck – and if a sufficient amount of research is carried out during the content creation process, there really isn’t any reason why it needs to.

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