We have a team of experienced blog writers who write blogs regularly for Topcontent. If you have just joined the blog team, or you’re looking to apply for the role of a Blog writer, we have some tips and tricks that will help you perfect your blogging skills in no time.
How to structure a blog post
To ensure a pleasant reading experience for our readers, it’s important all posts are clearly structured and convey information efficiently.
Read general information about how to write meta titles and descriptions from here.
For Topcontent blog posts make sure that:
- meta title is not a copy of the main headline of the article and it includes the focus keyword
- meta description is catchy, encourages the reader to click and read more, and includes the focus keyword
Should catch the reader’s attention and include the focus keyword.
We don’t want to lose our readers from the beginning! Go straight in to the point in the first paragraph/introduction and tell the reader what to expect. It should contain the core message of the post. For example:
When running a business it’s very easy to make the mistake of doing everything yourself. In this article we will tell you why outsourcing content creation to the professionals is the best way forward.
Include the focus keyword in the first paragraph of the post.
All blog posts should be well structured and divided into several subheadings. Before you start to write, think of the best approach; for example, a post with the title “10 tips to increase the traffic to your webshop” could have numbered subheadings.
Include the focus keyword (or synonym) to at least one subheading.
Shorter paragraphs mean better readability, and one paragraph should not exceed 150 words. Also, don’t hesitate to use numbered or bullet point lists in the text to make it easier for the reader to grasp information.
Don’t forget to incorporate the focus keyword in the text. The ideal amount the focus keyword should appear in the text is 3-5 times (including headings).
Call To Action (CTA)
Each Topcontent blog post should end with a strong CTA, which should encourage the reader to get familiar with us, buy our services or sign up as a writer. Make sure the CTA:
- Is relevant to the topic
- Is catchy and interesting
- Includes a link to a relevant page on our site. Here are some examples:
- https://topcontent.com/our-services/topics/ (or to the page of specific topic, like product descriptions)
- https://app.topcontent.com/orders/new (self-service)
Who is our audience?
When writing for either of our blogs, always keep in mind the audience:
- Existing clients
- Potential clients
- People within our industry
For Writer Blogs
- Existing writers
- Potential writers
- People within our industry
Our readers are most likely experts in their field or already have some knowledge. Therefore avoid:
- sharing too much basic information/facts.
- stating the obvious.
- writing “fluff” (anything that is not valuable to the reader or doesn’t share any interesting information).
The writing style when writing a blog
When writing a blog, the content must:
- be very easy to read.
- read as free flowing text.
- be grammatically perfect.
- feel that the character of the writer is present.
- draw on the writer’s own experience.
- tell a story.
- be informative.
- be engaging to read.
- be written from Topcontent’s perspective as “we”.
Links in Blogs
It’s super important to insert links in blogs. There should always be a minimum of two links. One should link to an external, credible source. The other link should link to an internal page – such as a call to action or another blog post.
Examples of good external links
- Credible newspapers or publications
- Wikipedia (or other official information sites like dictionaries)
- Universities (and their studies)
- Big Credible Companies (Like Google)
Examples of bad external links
- Content Marketing Article by Commercial Business (smaller, not so credible companies)
- News resources that aren’t real companies (just content farms)
- Personal blogs
Rules for when including links:
- Links must always go to the appropriate page
- The link should always be relevant. If you are not sure whether it’s relevant, don’t add it.
- The link should always increase the benefit for the reader OR should confirm what is said in our text. For example, facts (e.g. “50% of all internet users …”) should be backed up with a link to the source. This will make us seem more professional and credible.
- Always link to the actual source. For example, if you are referring to a study in a text, the link should go to that study and not to a different website referencing that study.
- Aim to add links to newer posts in the Topcontent blog to increase their SEO value.
Selecting images for blogs
A picture says a thousand words! Images are super important!For each blog post you write, select and submit at least two images together with your post:
- A featured image, which will be used as the main image of the post
- At least one fitting image within the text (can be more as well depending on the content)
When selecting images, please do not use stocky images. Click here for more information about what makes an image look stocky.
All images should be attractive and not look like quick money-making scams. Avoid images showing money; pictures should feel authentic. When selecting images:
- make sure that they are related to the text.
- paste them to the correct places in the text (ie. the proximity of that image to the relevant text).
- double-check that the same image hasn’t been used in similar blogs as this could potentially mean copyright infringement.
Images are useful for breaking up large chunks of text and helping readers relate to what they are reading – but it’s easy to go overboard as well. More than three or four pictures for a 1000-word article is usually too many. Don’t be afraid of experimenting with sizes and placements – and remember that text wrap is a highly useful tool! Above all, it’s essential to remember who your target audience is and select age-appropriate images. For example, if you’re writing about different careers on the go, choosing a picture of a successful-looking adult might be wiser than opting for a cartoon car.
List of free resources for images:
- http://allthefreestock.com/ (free mockups and icons too)
- https://www.stockvault.net/ (illustrations too)
- https://morguefile.com/photos/morguefile/1/pop (multisearch, not everything’s free)
- Be objective. Remember that your text will be read by a lot of people who won’t necessarily share your opinion.
- Be honest. Saying it like it is will always be appreciated, so don’t be afraid of outlining any negative aspects. Just be diplomatic and choose the appropriate diction. And never, ever lie or over-exaggerate.
- Be chatty, but not colloquial. You need to engage your audience by avoiding unnecessarily elevated tones, but try not to slide into being too informal. While abbreviations used in common speech such as “shouldn’t”, “don’t”, etc. are absolutely fine, try to avoid slang as much as possible.
- Use synonyms. When writing at length about a topic, you’ll sometimes find yourself using the same words more than once. Remember variety is the spice of life, so add colour to your text by using a variety of words. Use online dictionaries and thesauri for help if you get stuck!
- Avoid overly long sentences. Google and our readers appreciate easily readable text. Whenever possible, cut one long sentence to 2-3 shorter ones. More than 25% of the sentences in the text should not exceed 20 words.
- Don’t overuse passive voice, as this also negatively affects readability. The text shouldn’t include more than 10% of passive voice.
- Follow our style guide! We use British spelling as a rule unless otherwise specified, so make sure your spell-checker is set to UK spelling. A good source to double-check this is collinsdictionary.com
Make sure the ready text answers “Yes” to all of these points.