Writing a Blog Post Reviewed by Momizat on . In Nine Easy Steps You have probably heard how helpful it can be to write blogs, either for yourself or your valuation and accounting firm. If you have never wr In Nine Easy Steps You have probably heard how helpful it can be to write blogs, either for yourself or your valuation and accounting firm. If you have never wr Rating: 0
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Writing a Blog Post

In Nine Easy Steps

You have probably heard how helpful it can be to write blogs, either for yourself or your valuation and accounting firm. If you have never written one, the challenge can seem daunting. But you probably will find it easier than you think—especially if you follow these steps. The article outlines the steps; these are based on a How-To Guide from Hinge University, their online learning platform.

You have probably heard how helpful it can be to write blogs, either for yourself or your valuation and accounting firm. If you have never written one, the challenge can seem daunting. But you probably will find it easier than you think—especially if you follow these steps. These are based on a How-To Guide from Hinge University, our online learning platform.

1. Know Your Audience

To write an effective blog, you need to understand your target audience and their problems. What keeps them up at night? What challenges are they bringing to you to solve?

You can probably identify many of these issues—which will form the foundation of your blog—based on just a little research and your work with clients. Think of every blog post as an opportunity to educate your audience, demonstrate your expertise, and start the process of solving readers’ problems.

2. Pick Your Topic and an Angle

Start by picking a topic that interests you and choose an interesting approach or angle. Here are just a few possibilities:

  • Explain a complex topic in easy-to-understand language.
  • Teach your readers how to perform a small technical task or offer practical tips.
  • Take a controversial or unexpected stand on an issue.

Make sure that your expertise and opinions are on display. For instance, suppose you are a CPA who wants to write about how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affects small businesses. Do not simply summarize the law? Instead, write about its implications for your clients. What should small businesses know about compliance? How will the ACA affect their taxes?

3. Gather Some Resources

Writing a quality blog post can be tedious, but you do not have to write it from scratch. If you have already addressed an issue in another context, try to frame it in a new way. Remember that you may need to back up quotes, statistics or specific facts with external references.

4. Write an Outline

List your main points and organize them into a rough outline, arranged in a way that you think will make sense to a typical reader. This is important because you will lose readers if your post is disorganized. Keep in mind that a blog post does not have to be long (about 600 words is usually a good target). Use lists, bullets, and subheads. If images, charts or tables would help, use them as well (fatigued readers find such visual “breaks” quite appealing!).

5. Get Writing!

Consult your outline and write your first draft. Try weaving in examples and other evidence to support your points. If you are new to blog writing, press on! It gets easier and faster with each post.

6. Edit and Format

Ask a colleague to review your final draft and share their reaction—or set it aside for a couple of hours and read it again yourself, with fresh eyes. Be ruthless in your editing. This will be the first impression you make on potential clients, so avoid embarrassing mistakes.

If possible, preview your post before it goes live to ensure that headings and subheads are consistent, and that images look right.

7. Draft Your Headline

Remember, your headline is what persuades people to keep reading. Here are a few pointers:

  • A straightforward headline is usually more effective than a clever one.
  • If the headline includes a clear or implied benefit, great!
  • Consider tried-and-true angles, such as “Seven ways to…” or “How to…” Not original, but they work!
  • Keep your headline simple and bite-sized.

8. Include a Call to Action

Adding a call to action (CTA) is critical because it gives prospects another way to engage with you. Here are a few examples:

  • A link to related blog post(s).
  • An offer to related download content (a guide, e-book, research report, etc.) or free assessments or consultations.
  • An invite to an upcoming webinar or other event.

Make sure not to sound too promotional. Ideally, your CTA will take the reader to a form where they can provide at least their name and e-mail.

9. Optimize for Search Engines

Remember to help search engines find and index your post so that it can reach a wide audience and attract valuable prospective clients. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complex topic, but here are some basic suggestions:

  • Incorporate your desired keywords in the post’s headline and two to three times in the body copy.
  • Include links to other related content on your website.
  • If you mention a topic you have previously written about, link to it.

Write a meta description—a short summary of your post that will appear in Google search results (your blog platform will have a place to add this.) Stay under 150 characters and try to make it enticing.

There you have it. Now, good luck on your first post! If you need more ideas and guidance on practical marketing techniques to implement at your firm, be sure to check out our numerous Quick Start Kits and How-To Guides on this and many other marketing and branding topics at Hinge University.

Lee W. Frederiksen, PhD, is Managing Partner at Hinge, the leading branding and marketing firm for the professional services. Hinge conducts groundbreaking research into high-growth firms and offers a complete suite of services for firms that want to become more visible and grow.

Dr. Frederiksen can be contacted at (703) 391-8870 or by e-mail to LFrederiksen@hingemarketing.com.

The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) supports the users of business and intangible asset valuation services and financial forensic services, including damages determinations of all kinds and fraud detection and prevention, by training and certifying financial professionals in these disciplines.

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