Everyone is a copywriter. Right? Credit where credit is due, that is not my joke—but it is a good way to start an article. So much so that if you stick the phrase into Google, you get the same title from ten different sites. At risk of ruining the punchline, not everyone is a copywriter.
To quote an animated Parisienne food critic:
Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.
What does the masterpiece that is Disney’s Ratatouille have to do with scientific blog writing? Well, the movie is all about collaboration, while leaving you with the message that a thing doesn’t have to be complicated to be great: all relevant to scientific blog writing.
Scientific Content Writing—Let’s Get a Few Things Straight
The misconception that anyone can put successful content together is mirrored in B2B science markets. Having spent years—often decades—becoming experts in highly specialised areas, marketing and product managers are often sceptical that copywriters with little experience in the field can write convincing, scientific content. Yet there is no real difference between writing for science and writing for any other B2B space. Some of the concepts are difficult to grasp, but you could say the same of fintech or the insurance market.
Getting it right is just a matter of collaboration. Determining goals, keywords, and titles early. Eliminating friction from the feedback loop to get the blog live in a timely manner.
How to Manage a Science Blog: 101
Content marketing, where the ultimate goal is to chase rankings in Google, is a balancing act where the user experience is often at odds with your SEO, but there is a knack to writing content that performs on both fronts.
Anyone who lands on your content is looking for information. Whether they want to know who voiced Remy the rat, or the performance specifications of an XRF spectrometer, it all boils down to words on the page. A copywriter’s job is picking the right words and putting them in the right order, so they provide whatever it is the user is looking for.
You are essentially telling a story driven by user behaviour:
- What terms are they searching for?
- How does Google determine what they find first?
These points give us our keyword and our perceived user intent. It is easy to get lost in the woods about how keywords and intent is determined. For now, let us say that it tells you almost everything you need to know about what someone is looking for and why.
With the what and why in place you can start thinking strategically about how to write an engaging story. This is as simple as coming up with a beginning, a middle, and an end that satisfies the points mentioned above.
Case study: So, a user types XRF spectrometer into Google and hits search, finding a range of product descriptions on page one. There are other results too, like a Wikipedia entry, and a people also ask box with basic queries (i.e. What is an XRF Spectrometer?) This tells you that people are typically checking instrument specifications prior to purchasing, or learning how they work. You can easily leverage your content to satisfy either of those perceived intentions.
Now you have the makings of a title. A basic one, sure, but like I said: it doesn’t need to be complicated to be great. The next step is building on that with an introduction to your main concept. You don’t want to answer the whole query in the introduction, or else why should they keep reading to the end?
Expanding on your introduction
A good introduction offers morsels of information. It answers the search query but not in its entirety. You can give the basic definition of what an XRF spectrometer is in the first sentence if you like. But make it clear that there is so much more to learn. What makes it such a powerful analytical tool? Which industries benefit most from XRF analysis? Tell the user that these are the very questions you hope to answer in the middle section, giving them a concrete reason to engage.
Part of the problem why many science blogs don’t perform as well as intended is the scientific style itself. Characterised by an addiction to the passive voice and lengthy sentences loping along until the end of time, it just isn’t the most marketing-friendly tone of voice. You could go so far as to call it bad writing. Realistically, there is a time and a place for the passive voice, but probably not in your introduction. There is nothing wrong with dicing those sentences up. Starting a sentence with a connective now and then. But you just can't bring yourself to do that, can you? Your kitchen; your rules.
Your secondary school teacher probably told you the idea that a concluding paragraph should act as a summary of all the above. This isn’t true. Readers don’t like repetition. So, there is no point rehashing everything they have just read. Instead, the end of your story should be a call to action. Think of it as a cliff-hanger, or the connective thread that ties your narrative to something else. You want to give users a reason to engage, typically by clicking on a link and navigating deeper into the site.
If you have answered their query in the introduction and middle section of the narrative, the conclusion is where you encourage further interaction. There are countless ways to do this.
A Call to Action
What is the point of your content? The answer to this question varies from client-to-client, week-to-week, keyword-to-keyword, and so on. It is also worth remembering that your content can, and should, perform multiple functions.
Ask about Scientific Blog writing
Once you’ve determined the primary purpose of your content (i.e. tell users what an XRF spectrometer is), you need to decide what else is the point (i.e. to direct them to your products), and what else (i.e. to get them to fill out a request for quote), and what else. So, how do you get users to perform an action that contributes to one of these underlying goals?
Well, it helps to tell them in no uncertain terms what you want them to do next and why they should bother.
For example: this article deals with the fundamentals of how to write a science blog without digging into the mechanics of keyword research, search intent, or templating. If you really want to learn more about how to write and manage a science blog in the age of SEO, read the article linked below:
>>>Marketing Science Behind Blogging: How to Write Scientific Blog Posts<<<
Here at AZoNetwork, marketing science carries a double meaning. Our scientific approach to marketing is applied directly to a variety of scientific industries through a range of content marketing and web services solutions. Hence our coined phrase “Marketing Science – Scientific Marketing”.
If you are interested in learning more about writing for science then our latest webinar looks at writing and managing a successful science blog.
Join this session by clicking the link below.