Building beautiful blogs
From driving traffic to your website to establishing yourself as an industry expert, blogs are an effective and inexpensive
way to promote your app and its integration with Xero. To get you started, we’ve put together some tips and tricks on how
to write a great blog.
Before you start
Is it to promote your brand? Uncover new leads? Or to be known as an expert in your industry? Also, think about what you
want your audience to do after reading the post, and what you want them to know that they didn’t before.
Know what you want to achieve
To give them great content, it helps to understand their industry, demographic, role (are you writing for a marketer, a CEO
or a developer?) and the pain points/challenges they face running their business or carrying out their jobs.
Know your audience
When choosing a topic think about the unique insights you can offer your audience that no one else can, especially when it
comes to solving your audience's specific challenges.
Choose a strong angle
Take advantage of freely available tools like Google Keyword planner and Google Trends to find out what topics your audience
looks for, and include keywords in your headline and content so your blog is found in Google searches.
Optimise for search and social
Create an outline and working title to help you stay on track as you write.
Make a plan
Even if you’re a topic expect, providing facts and figures from external sources to support your points will give them gravitas.
Your blog could provide advice, tips and tricks, insights into new product features, or even recap what you learnt at a recent
event. For some inspiration and ideas,
have a look at some of Xero’s blog posts.
Stuck for ideas?
Now for the writing
Start with a compelling intro
- Use your introduction to let the audience know what to expect from the article and how it will address a problem they have.
This gives the reader a reason to keep reading.
- The intro is your chance to grab the reader's attention. Injecting a surprising fact, some humour, an anecdote, or even
a question can help.
The body of the blog post
This is the meat of the article. It’s where you can include supporting information, data, stories and quotes to expand on
your initial statement.
- Assume this is the first post a person has read on your site and give them the background information they need to understand
what you’re talking about.
- Make sure you cover everything the reader needs to know and use references or links to further information where applicable.
- Stick to the point. Keeping sentences and paragraphs short and easy to read. And try not to use a big word if a smaller
one will do in its place.
- Summarise what was covered in a nutshell and make sure you include a call to action at the end. This could be anything
from signing up to a free trial of your app, or registering for a webinar or event.
You’re not quite finished yet
Polish your post
- Go over your article again and check for readability and errors. It pays to have a colleague proofread it too.
Write a headline
Keep the length of your headline down to no more than 65 characters, otherwise Google will truncate it on its search engine
results pages. To make it punchy, trying adding alliteration, numbers, (eg, Five ways to...), trigger words (eg, what,
why, how), or interesting adjectives.
- Choose something readers relate too. Images help break up text and grab attention.
Get the length right
- Typically a blog post can be anywhere between 300 and 1,000 words. Ideally aim for around 600 words, but use the number
of words you need to to get your point across in the most succinct way as possible.
Promote your content to the world
Use your own channels
- Make sure you promote our blog on any channels you already own, such as your company blog, website and social media.
Think about your links
- Make sure you link to Xero (including XTID referral tracking) and your own website to help boost organic search, and
look for opportunities to get links back to your blog post.
Ask influencers to share
- Start with encouraging your own team to share the post on social media and be sure to share it on your internal networks.
Reach out to any influential customers, or brand ambassadors to ask if they’ll share it too. Check out our social media
success guide for more ways to boost readership.