[IMGCAP(1)]Blogging is one of the most rewarding ways accounting firms can reach out to an audience of clients and potential clients.

It’s an easy way to communicate useful information that can benefit your clients and colleagues. Writing blog posts demands a time commitment, but it offers a nice opportunity to educate others and add your two cents to the topics you’re discussing at your firm.

Despite all these wonderful aspects, many bloggers feel that their posts could be improved in some way…if only they knew how. Blogs are their own genre, which few adults learned about in school. If you’re struggling a bit with blogging, here are a few tips to help you create content that’s easy to read and appealing to your audience, so they’ll want to visit your site often and see what your firm has to say.

1. Limit your scope. A blog post is meant to be an easily digestible nugget of content. That means you’ve got to hone in on a specific bit of news, advice or other topic. Pruning out everything but the most useful, relevant information is a challenge for all writers, but it’s a must for good blogging.

2. Keep it short. Blog posts are lovely nuggets rather than rich veins of informational ore that lead the reader on lengthy journeys of discovery. If your topic can’t be addressed usefully in a handful of paragraphs, it isn’t ideally suited for the medium (but might make a wonderful journal article, book or other more expansive piece). Generally, blogs should run somewhere between 350 and 700 words. You can exceed this range, but be mindful of the short attention span most of us have these days, especially for online reading.

3. Break it up visually. Just as important as the true length is the perceived size of the reading commitment you are asking your audience to make. By judicious use of bullet points, sub-headings and paragraph breaks, you can invite the eye to travel easily through your post gleaning the important facts without having to dig. Few readers will approach a wall of words, at least not with much enthusiasm.

4. Distinguish between fact and opinion. Include both! It’s great to have solid facts and your own perspective in your articles. Just be sure to make a clear distinction between the two, so readers can tell if they’re getting your viewpoint or objective truth. Usually this is easily accomplished with careful word choice and phrasing.

5. Title it clearly. Titles can be tough, but don’t get hung up on them. Better to be boring than confusing, in most cases. Keep the title short and laser-focused on what you’re delivering in the post. If you have trouble determining the main point, spend a few minutes editing your post to make it clear to yourself as well as your readers.

6. Inspire discussion. Blog topics are often good jumping-off points for discussion and alternate views. Whether you’re taking a firm stance on an issue or reporting on a new development that you haven’t explored in depth, why not solicit the views of your readers who may know or care about the topic? You might learn something useful, or at least find yourself in a fascinating back and forth. At the very least, you can help direct further thought on the subject.

Blogging can be a fun way to boost site traffic for your firm as you offer the gift of useful information. However, it’s not for everyone. If no one at your accounting firm is comfortable with writing or if they simply don’t have time, you can still reap the benefits of an active, informative blog by engaging a professional ghost writer to draft or edit your posts. So what did you learn today? Let’s hear about it in your blog!

Sarah Warlick is responsible for making bbr marketing and all its clients sound professional and eloquent as the content director. In this role, Sarah is in charge of ensuring that all copy is well-written, accurate and free of pesky typos before it heads out the door. Additionally, she is a prolific writer and a frequent contributor to bbr marketing’s blog sites. She spends a good deal of time writing copy for our clients and has a unique way of crawling into clients’ heads to create ghostwritten copy that sounds as if it came directly from their pen. She recently helped write an AICPA-published book, Take Your Marketing Online: Proven Ways to Grow Your Firm in the Digital Age.