Consider this: Before COVID, Google search traffic was approximately 3.6 billion searches per day. That’s a lot, yes… but since March 2020, that number has been hovering around 6 billion searches per day.
The consumption of online content and the number of people relying on Google to find it has never been greater than it is right now.
This high demand is changing the content game, which was already competitive to begin with. 🎯 Many content creators are wondering, “How do I write compelling content that’s both indexed by Google and read by my target audience?”
If you’ve found yourself asking this very question, you should seriously consider adding news blog posts into your general content marketing plan.
Psst… If your content strategy is lacking or simply not performing the way you want it to, we can help! Our content strategy services start at $400 for a full content strategy plan and audit, or a la carte at per-topic pricing.
How to Write a News Blog: 8 Tips to Make Your Content Stand Out
Breaking news is often a high-competition playing field, which means you need to bring your A-game if you want to rank in the search engines. These tips will help you create compelling, newsworthy content.
1. Create a Captivating Headline
The first, most important part of any news article is creating a captivating headline for the post.
This is true for regular and news blogs alike because you want and need people to click on your link. Thus, when you write a headline, make sure it’s informative and lets your audience know what the blog will be about.
You should also make sure it has intrigue or even a bit of a cliffhanger so it piques interest and makes your audience want to read the story behind your crafty headline.
Two of the best ways to accomplish this:
1.Write your headline as a question (and be sure to answer said question in the article itself).
Use second person point of view (you/your) in the headline to directly engage with the reader.
When writing your headline, make sure it matches what your content will be about – don’t mislead readers with false promises!
2. Begin with the Facts
When you write a news piece for your blog, make sure you start with the facts first. Give readers the information they want at the beginning of your post and summarize the story in twenty to thirty words.
People will appreciate this upfront content organization because many simply want the facts before they get to the opinions or editorial version of the story. This isn’t a creative fiction piece, after all.
Once you’ve given the facts, you can break them down and discuss them while adding your opinion or explaining how this information will impact your readers.
3. Use Present (Active) Tense
News pieces are more powerful and compelling when told in present tense with an active voice.
This makes the story feel like it’s happening in real-time, which will have a bigger impact on your readers. It also takes a lot less time for a person to read the present tense version of a sentence than it does the past tense, not to mention it saves on word count when you can cut a majority of past participles such as “had.”
Remember: Active voice is always stronger than passive voice.
4. Keep Your Blog Jargon-Free
It’s easy to fall into the jargon trap when you’re writing about industry-specific topics. However, it’s a good idea to avoid using jargon in your posts.
This will make it easier for your audience to read and comprehend the content. Sure, some of them might know the jargon, but it’s always wise to ensure your content is readable for anyone who happens upon your website.
Keeping your posts jargon-free is not only a great idea for news pieces — it’s also a smart practice for all other blog posts you create in the future.
Need more inspiration for creating an amazing blog that brings in traffic and leads? Check out our FREE email course, 10 Days to a Better Blog.
5. Always Write Out Acronyms in the Beginning
It’s okay to use acronyms in your blog, but make sure you’re always clear and upfront about what they mean.
Even if you expect your target audience to be experts in a particular field and know industry-specific acronyms, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to eliminate any potential for confusion. Novices who find your article and want to learn more shouldn’t feel confused, frustrated, or left out when they read your post and don’t know what acronyms stand for or why they’re important.
6. Do Thorough Research
When you’re writing a news article, you always want to make sure you cite the facts of the story.
However, you also need to go a step further with diligent research and fact-checking. This will help ensure you know everything about the topic, preventing you from making a rookie mistake and looking like you’re fabricating facts for your post.
Keeping your facts straight is important no matter what type of blog you are writing, but it’s especially important for news pieces. Consumer trust is already at an all-time low, according to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer. People are wary about misinformation.
In this age of uncertainty, if you don’t fact check, you’ll likely be greeted with troll comments pointing out errors in your post.
Even worse than the trolls – one bad article making false claims and/or linking back to questionable sources can destroy your brand’s credibility in the eyes of your consumers.
It can take months, even years to build up your brand trust. And all of that hard work can be undone in an instant if you publish a news article that wasn’t thoroughly researched and fact-checked with links back to credible sources.
7. Follow the Four “C’s” of Captivating Content
When you write your news piece, don’t forget to follow the four “C’s”:
These will not only help you craft an engaging news piece, but they’ll also ensure that you’re writing a topic that will demonstrate your trustworthiness.
It’s important to be a trusted source when someone is reading your news piece. Clients are more likely to listen to your ideas, and they may even be encouraged to choose you and use your business for their needs.
8. ALWAYS Have Someone Proofread Your Work
Copy editors are great no matter what you’re writing because they can catch all of those pesky typos and mistakes that sneak through after you’ve proofread your work.
It’s not your fault – even the best writers rely on editors. Our brains know what we meant to say and are prone to skipping right over wrong or missing words as they automatically fill in the blanks.
When it comes to a news story, a copy editor can help you reword clumsy sentences or find issues that might compromise the integrity of your article and, more importantly, your credibility.
Give Your News Blog a Performance Boost
Creating a knowledgeable, trustworthy, easy-to-understand news blog takes both trial and error as well as skill
You’ll have to walk a fine line between being an expert authority within your industry while still writing on a simple enough level for anyone, not just a market-specific audience, to understand and appreciate the information you’re presenting.
When done correctly, you’ll find that writing and managing a news blog comes with phenomenal benefits. This type of blog provides immense value for your audience and clients while cementing your position as an industry leader and establishing credibility for your brand.
Pro tip: Be sure to post regularly. Once or twice a month is a healthy starting point as you learn what topics appeal to your audience and which tasks you can delegate to improve your efficiency.