Blogs: is it time to value them more?

by , freelance copywriter

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Blogs need as much attention as any other part of your content marketing. Here are four ways to get more value out of the blogs you create.

As a B2B copywriter, I never stop telling my clients that copywriting is about “selling the benefits”. In other words, it’s vital to focus on how you help your clients – over and above listing the features of the services you provide.

But not all copy, we know, is directly about making the sale.

Case studies, for example, help to illustrate how benefits play out in practice – so require a little more in the way of storytelling skills.

White papers, meanwhile, help to establish credibility on a topic area, paving the way for a potential sale in future. These require accuracy, structural editing skills, and the ability to wield a stat in anger.

As a copywriter, I’ve often found that clients instinctively see the value in these kinds of non-sales content marketing – except, sometimes, when it comes to blogs.

What is blogging foranyway?

Blogs are here to answer wider questions that readers have about your area of expertise – not just to attract organic traffic, but to add credibility, too.

Imagine you’re a client who’s looking for accounting software which integrates with your bank to save you time on your business accounts – but you don’t know how, or if, it works with your existing bank.

After a quick search, you find that one company has a simple blog post on what automated banking feeds are – with a link through to a knowledge base page on how to get started on setting up your own feed, depending on who you bank with.

You might not read the whole post or even make a decision today – but when you see the post and click the link, you become more confident that if you deal with this company, the on-boarding process will be smooth.

So you shortlist the company. Blogging 1, other forms of content 0.

Blogs as tools of awareness

A blog post like the one I just described is a fantastic awareness tool for your business. But here’s the catch: it’s next to impossible for a writer to dash one out in just a few hours.

After all, the value of the post is not simply in its use of SEO-friendly search terms (e.g. “What is open banking?”).

It’s much more in the fact that the marketer has identified a pressing client concern (fintech compatibility) and the writer has crafted a piece that makes it part of the user journey.

All this means the copywriter needs to be an expert not in automated banking – but in you, and in your business.

Trouble is, this approach isn’t something you’ll benefit from if you see blogs as a second-tier form of content.

Treat blogging as a commodity that’s intrinsically less valuable than brochures, product sheets or case studies, and you’ll miss the chance to find copywriters willing to spend time getting to know your business. Do that, and your copy won’t be working as hard to attract the clients you want.

So, how do I do blogs properly?

The conclusion is clear: the way to do blogs properly is to give them as much attention as any other part of your content marketing.

This means:

1. Choose quality over quantity. If you’re commissioning an agency or writer to create blogs for you, the temptation is to ask for a high frequency of blogs – but try not to do this if it comes at the expense of quality.

2. Treat keyword research as only the start. Sure, SEO is important, but SEO is about far more than plugging keywords into copy. Yes, you want to rank highly for the searches your target clients are making – but you also need to deliver on expectations when a potential client arrives at your blog. How does your writing do that?

3. Think of each blog as a home page. If you’ve mapped customer journeys correctly, then a blog post (strictly speaking, its metadata) might be the first stage of the user’s experience with your brand. In that sense, every blog is a home page – so needs treating with the attention it deserves.

4. Do the simple things right. Provide a brief for each blog. Make yourself (or an expert) available for the copywriter, so they can talk things through. This helps you treat the blog not just as an exercise in SEO, but as an exercise in attracting a specific client with a specific need.

All of which brings us back to where we started. Great copywriting is about focusing on how you help the client – and great blogging, done right, is part of that. Right?

Is your blog undervalued or full of uninspired, by-the-numbers copy?

If so, get in touch to find out how we can work together to make it better.