Stevie Snow

Blog articles are OG digital marketing assets, and they continue to live at the heart and soul of content strategies. Modern blog article creation involves a delicate combination of strategy, research, keywords and writing chops. The blog writing process is inherently creative, and there’s plenty of thought behind the finished result.

Here’s a look at blog writing from the Brafton perspective:

Why write blog articles?

Building your brand’s blog page with interesting, compelling and useful content is a smart move for several reasons. For starters, every blog you post is an opportunity for your brand to appear on search results pages and drive organic traffic to your site. Once that traffic reaches your website, the blog article (with help from a clickable CTA, form fill, newsletter subscription, etc.) can then convert those viewers into qualified leads.

Blog articles are also the ideal content to share via social media, helping you boost your social presence and gain visibility among several networks. You can even tailor your blog content to reach the exact people you want to become your next customers.

Over time, readers will begin to expect quality content from your blog, and they will rely on it as a trustworthy resource. This recognition may even designate your brand as an industry thought leader.

What types of blogs can you write?

You can write about virtually anything on your blog, but it’s always a good idea to create a sense of uniformity through voice and formatting. Your content strategy should also lend itself to certain types of articles that support your goals. The most common types of blogs are:

1. Educational evergreen

When readers finish an educational evergreen blog article, they should walk away with useful information they can apply to their lives – effective immediately. Evergreen content has a long shelf life, meaning it won’t lose relevance overnight. These are articles like:

  • 10 ways to style your hair in between washes
  • What does cruelty-free really mean?
  • The homeowner’s guide to seasonal maintenance
  • The ultimate list of HR technologies to automate workflow
  • How to hire a digital marketing manager

Educating readers is our goal with pretty much every article we post on the Brafton blog, sharing all of our best content marketing tips, advice, concepts, predictions, reactions and insights with lovely people like you.

2. News-based

These articles are more timely portrayals of recent news, press releases, product launches, events and other happenings. Articles based on recent survey or research results also fit the bill. For instance, our recent post “Survey: This is what marketers really think of chatbots” highlights the results from a questionnaire we sent out to our network. While educational, this article isn’t quite evergreen, as those results would likely change if we sent out the same survey this time next year.

3. Thought leadership

Designed to establish brands as respected thought leaders, these blog articles focus on industry-related trends, processes and concepts. Educational evergreen articles can work for this strategy, as well as stories, predictions and insights told from the perspective of industry experts. Published on the Moz blog, 7 Search Ranking Factors Analyzed: A Follow-Up Study by Brafton’s very own Jeff Baker is a perfect example of how to flex your thought leadership muscles.

How are blog articles made?

Here’s how we go about blog creation inside the walls of Brafton:

1. Ideation

We can’t start writing until we have a topic to work with. Sometimes clients provide topics, but often it’s up to the content marketing team to brainstorm. Our ideas stem from the nature of the client and their content marketing strategy. For instance, topics for skincare or body care companies that are interested in reaching a millennial audience might include:

  • How to master a skincare routine in 3 easy steps
  • What kind of skincare products does your skin need?
  • What’s your skin’s favorite food?

Some scopes of work highlight themes to cover each quarter, which serve as helpful jumping off points for topic generation. We always try to stay ahead at Brafton, brainstorming topics at least a month in advance so we can stick to a consistent writing schedule.

Pro tip: Think of ideas that lend themselves to natural product shoutouts. Forced brand mentions feel pushy and insincere, which can turn readers away.

2. Research

With topics in hand, it’s time to source the information to include in the article. The idea is to find data points and statistics worth highlighting in the article, but to also develop a solid enough understanding of the topic to write from an intelligible, first-hand perspective.

Pro tip: Choose reputable sources only! Readers are more likely to trust your work when they know and recognize the publications and companies referenced in the article.

3. Planning

While every writer’s process is entirely their own, most have some form of planning stage before they dive into the true writing. Some word-vomit all their thoughts onto the page while others create an outline to organize their thoughts.

Along with their own quirks, Brafton writers follow formal internal planning processes. Content maps, for instance, outline the goals, keywords, relevant concepts and distinguishing factors of each article. Created by the consulting team, Search Performance Briefs take the research and planning up a notch to provide more detailed article specifications. They include:

  • Recommended article lengths.
  • Title suggestion.
  • Project summaries.
  • Target and supporting keywords.
  • Major topics to discuss.
  • Questions to answer in the piece.
  • Internal links to include.
  • Image recommendations.

Completed content maps and SPBs guide writers to create content that’s not only written well, but that also aligns with the overall content strategy.

Pro tip: Make sure you plan for the right high-performing keywords that will lead the search engine to deliver your page to potential customers’ screens.

4. Writing

It’s finally time to work that writing magic. The best blog writers have the talent to deliver the quality your readers will expect, as well as an understanding of how to work in keywords naturally.

Pro tip: Put yourself in the mind of the brand to master the right voice, and imagine being in the target audience’s shoes to make sure you highlight the right message.

5. Editing

It’s against our code to deliver any piece of writing that isn’t reviewed by several internal eyes. Every article goes through multiple copyediting stages, and project managers will also review blog posts to make sure they align with the client’s voice and content strategy.

Pro tip: Never – ever – skip the editing step. Spelling, grammar and factual mistakes don’t bode well for credibility.

6. Distribution

Once the article is ready for reading, publish it on your blog – but don’t stop there. While your keyword use will ideally drive organic traffic, you can also promote the content on your social channels and in email newsletters.

Our strategists monitor how blogs perform, looking into analytics data on website traffic, time on site, bounce rates, conversions and more. We’ll then use that insight to fine-tune content strategies and continually improve blog content creation.

Pro tip: Don’t wait for readers to come to you. Experiment with several distribution methods to catch their attention, including repurposing blog content into infographics or social videos, sharing articles on relevant online forums or collaborating with influencers.

Ready to write? Let us know how it goes!