Have you ever thought of a fascinating topic you can’t wait to share with your readers only to have the blog post fall flat later? No matter how many times you hit refresh, the analytics just don’t measure up. It happens to the best of us, but there are practical and proven ways to ensure your content is engaging and relevant to your audience.
Writing is hard. If I think back to my law school days, I remember the rigorous writing convention they taught us – IRAC (Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion). This was a key tool that helped me keep my focus throughout my writing assignments. A lot has changed over the years (including my hair and clothes – big smile!), but IRAC is still a great starting point I rely on to guide my content.
As a startup entrepreneur, I have written a ton of marketing-related content throughout my career. Although company blog posts are a far cry from legal briefs, IRAC, with some minor modifications, still gets the job done. Hopefully this blog adheres to its own rules (how meta!), let us know what you think.
Let’s look at the highlights – keep scrolling to see the details:
The first step to an engaging blog post is determining a topic that resonates with you and your target audience – this is your ‘issue.’ Consider the interests, pain points, and needs your company is trying to solve with your product and service. By selecting a topic that is relevant to you and your customer, you increase the chances of capturing their attention and keeping them engaged throughout the blog post. By sharing your insights and experience, your audience will see you as a trusted subject matter expert and valuable resource on the topic. Considering there are an estimated 600 million blogs that exist globally and about a million blog posts published daily, having relevant, engaging content is crucial to getting eyes on your site (https://firstsiteguide.com/blogging-stats/ retrieved Nov. 27, 2023.)
Most topics are easy to surface if you ask yourself a few crucial questions: What industry are you in? What service do you provide? What problem are you solving? Using keywords from each of these pillars can evolve into a great blog topic. For example, we serve the multifamily industry, we provide data standardization and business intelligence, and we solve the problem of greater visibility into issues and opportunities. Pulling keywords from each pillar – multifamily data, standardization, visibility – and adding to that current events (regulations under consideration, the impact of inflation on multifamily cap rates, privacy concerns regarding the use of big data, etc.) can generate some great topics, including these other posts on our blog: Immediate Impact of The White House’s White Paper on ‘Renter’s Bill of Rights’, Could The Fed’s Efforts to Curb Rising Inflation Be a Good Thing for Multifamily?, The Intersection of Big Data and Privacy Concerns in Multifamily Real Estate: A Deeper Dive).
You can also identify topics that resonate with your audience by conducting market research, analyzing customer feedback, and staying up-to-date on industry trends. This will help you understand what your audience is looking for and what kind of information they find valuable.
Once you’ve nailed down your topic, it’s time for the ‘Analysis’ portion of IRAC. This includes conducting thorough research to gather the facts and information you need to assemble your findings. In this piece of the puzzle, you can share why and how you reached your conclusions, and share counter viewpoints for balance, when relevant. This step not only ensures that your blog posts are accurate and reliable, but also helps you provide valuable insights and perspectives to your readers.
It will come as no surprise that we love data at Revolution RE. That’s why we start off each article by collecting data, statistics, and facts related to our blog topic. We use reputable sources such as industry publications, research papers, and expert interviews. Footnote sources and quote other articles whenever possible to bring in outside ideas and perspectives. To lend further credibility to your blog posts, consider conducting surveys or interviews with your target audience to gather their opinions and experiences.
The introduction of the blog post plays a crucial role in capturing a reader’s attention. It should be compelling, intriguing, and clearly communicate the value they will gain from reading further.
You can also use visuals to illicit interest in your content. We like to use gifs as a visual way to draw the reader in and stay true to our brand as one that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is willing to take chances. Giphy.com is a great resource for sourcing gifs that tie into your content and brand. Additionally, you should consider starting with a thought-provoking question, a surprising statistic, or a relatable anecdote. This will immediately grab the reader’s attention and make them curious to learn more.
When writing for the law, the “Rule” portion of IRAC is generally referring to a law, statute or some other form of precedent that supports your upcoming analysis and conclusion. The Rules for writing for marketing are different, and perhaps a bit more subjective. Our rules are simple; be interesting, be authentic, be informative, and provide value. Our most successful posts adhere to all of these rules.
Storytelling is a powerful tool to engage readers and make your writing more enjoyable to read. Incorporate personal anecdotes, case studies, or success stories that are relevant to your topic. This will not only make your content more relatable but also help readers connect with the information on a deeper level.
Consider using descriptive language, vivid imagery, and a conversational tone to make your blog posts feel more conversational and relatable. Break up your content into smaller sections and use subheadings to make it easier for readers to navigate and digest the information.
To ensure that your blog posts reach a wider audience, it’s important to optimize them for search engines. This involves using relevant keywords, meta tags, and optimizing your content structure.
Research and identify keywords that are relevant to your topic and incorporate them naturally throughout your blog post. This will help search engines understand what your content is about and rank it higher in search results. Additionally, optimize your meta tags, including the title tag and meta description, to make them compelling and click-worthy for search engine users.
You already know how much I love data – I’m also a big fan of checklists. Whether it’s checking off I have hit all of the requirements for Issue – Rule – Analysis – Conclusion for legal writing, or our company checklist for blog posts, a checklist encourages achieving a critical goal for any company’s blog, purposeful and consistent communication with your user community. You can download our checklist here to help guide your next blog post – let us know if you find it helpful!