Guide to writing blogs

Having a regularly updated blog is a great way to promote your accounting firm. Blogs keep your website up-to-date, enable you to help your clients and leads solve their problems, and highlight your expertise.

Here are 8 steps to writing a blog of your own.

Step 1: Pick a topic

Your blog should provide value to your readers, so you want to focus on their needs. When coming up with topics, look to your target audience to find out what they need to know about. Potential inspiration for blog posts could come from:

  • The most common questions your clients and leads ask you
  • Changes to financial regulations
  • Financial tips you recommend
  • Information about your target audience’s industry
  • Solving other problems for your clients
  • Similar firms to yours–read their posts to see what they’re writing about, then put your own spin on it

Types of blog posts include:

Lists: 5 ways to save more at tax time

Curated collections: 5 CRM systems that help you effectively run your small business

News pieces: 5 ways changes to tax laws affect your small business

Explanatory: The differences between an accountant and a bookkeeper and why you need them

Once you have a selection of blogs posted, review them to see which have performed the best. Those topics may have resonated most with your audience, so see if you can replicate those topics. Understanding your buyer personas will help you craft posts that resonate more effectively with your readers.

Step 2: Write a short outline

Some people feel the need to outline every paragraph, and that’s okay if you’re in that group. While you don’t need to write an in-depth outline, a short outline that states what the topic is, why it’s important, and what you most want people to know about it will help you stay on track.

As an added benefit, if you write the outline and come up with lots of ideas for the blog post, you can jot them down for a follow-up post.

Step 3: Write the post

Whether you work best writing from the start to the end or you prefer to write the introduction last is up to you. Play around with different methods to figure out how you work best. No matter how you work best, there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Write so your audience understands you (if they don’t understand most of your insider words or phrases, don’t use insider words or phrases. Write using language your audience understands.)
  • Explain why this topic is important. Your audience is more likely to be interested in your posts if they understand why it should matter to them. Will the information help them save more money? Will it affect their taxes? Has there been an industry change they need to know about?
  • Use stories where possible to make your ideas clear. Readers love stories, even if they’re only a paragraph long. Instead of just explaining something, create a story about a hypothetical person that illustrates your concept. If you can share a “case study” style story related to your topic, even better.
  • Include keywords. You don’t need to stuff your document with keywords every sentence, but having a few sprinkled throughout your post will help it get picked up by search engines. Use words and phrases that are related to your topic and are likely to be used by readers to find your posts.

Step 4: Write your title

In truth, this step can come before or after you’ve written your blog post. It all depends on how you work best. If you write it first, however, revisit it after the post is written to ensure it still reflects the content.

Your title needs to be engaging and eye-catching. The best titles show your audience immediately how reading the post will impact them–or how your post relates to them.

For example, “5 changes to tax law” might attract people who are interested in tax laws, but probably not too many others. But “How your finances are affected by recent changes to the tax laws” will resonate with people, who will wonder how their finances are affected. This title also gives you a means to make the topic relevant to your audience because you’re talking about them specifically, not just about changes to the tax laws generally.

Step 5: Edit your post

Once your blog post is written, take the time to edit it. You’ll want to watch out for awkward sentences, phrases that don’t make sense, and typos. For the best results, do the following:

  • Give yourself at least a few hours between writing the post and editing it, so you can look at it with fresh eyes.
  • Read it outloud. Reading it outloud forces your eyes to slow down, which improves the chances you’ll catch errors. Also, your ear might catch issues your eyes won’t.
  • Read it silently one last time to catch any errors you might have missed.
  • If you have someone else available, get them to read it over as well.

Step 6: Promote your post

Once you’ve got your blog post up, make sure you promote it. Share it on your social media, send links in your newsletter, and consider guest blogging for others so you can promote your work.

Step 7: Review the results

The best way to improve on what you’ve been doing is to review your results. Go over your results and compare them to your goals. If your goal was to increase the number of leads, have your blog posts done that? If you wanted more subscribers, are you getting more?

Step 8: Repeat the process

Now that you know what works, make sure you update your blog on a regular basis.