Creating great content is crucial to building an engaged, loyal audience. I'm sure the reason for reading this article in the first place is because you've already found out that it's not easy to get your blog post just right. Creating captivating content is the heart of any successful blog. Let me break down the anatomy of a compelling post to keep your audience reading, with these ten blogging tips.
1. Fabricating An Idea
All posts start with an idea, from there ideas start branching off, creating a strong foundation to build upon. Ask yourself these questions before making your final decision.
Is my topic distinctive to my niche?
Is my topic tailored to benefit the needs of my specific audience?
Your answer should be "Yes" to both. Creating relevant, sought after content for your specific audience prevents your post from being over shadowed in a sea of competitive posts.
2. Titles Are Your Bread & Butter
The title of a post will do one of two things; it identifies and addresses your audience drawing the reader in, or the reader decides to leave. Relevant, short, and to the point creates a great title.
Eliminate unnecessary hard technical words. Otherwise, your reader may become confused and frustrated, or worse, they leave you blog. SEO titles should be no longer than 65 characters to benefit the most from SEO optimization. Any longer than 65 characters and you risk the possibility of the title displaying improperly in the search engine results (in other words, part of your title won't show).
Keyword stuffing is another thing to avoid. It's important to remember that your readers take priority first and yes, over SEO optimization.
Don't create content for SEO optimization, create it for the purpose and benefit of your audience. Use natural keywords to tell your reader what information your post has and whether it's discussing a benefit or solution to their need(s).
As you start laying planning your content, make sure that you reference your title to continue the momentum from your title.
3. Your Introduction Is The Main Attraction
Like with the title, your introduction should help emphasize to your reader that, yes, they made a good choice by choosing your blog and be reassuring so they continue reading.
The first two sentences of your introduction should help support your title, be simple and super easy to read.
Your introduction should give the reader a crystal clear picture on what your post has to offer. Do this by summarizing and outlining useful info the reader can expect to find in your post. In other words, state your conclusion first.
Incorporating keywords as early as you can in your introduction is important and recommended to ensure your post is found.
A strong word of warning, don't over stuffing keywords into the intro. Use relevant keywords in the best interest of your readers, SEO optimization is not first priority. You're starting a blog to spread your knowledge so your readers can benefit from it.
4. Dissect Posts With Subheadings
It's common for readers to skim an article. The reason for reading your article is to find the answer(s) to a problem, make your article easy to scan by highlighting your key points. Write reader-friendly content, breaking up paragraphs to create shorter, readable sections using subheadings, numbers, bullets and visuals (I'll be covering visuals shortly).
It's best practice to keep subheadings spaced with two to six paragraphs. Subheadings help introduce a bit white space to help rest your readers eyes.
Depending on the topic and points conveyed, determines the length of your content. Lengthy posts tend to be frowned upon because it causes the reader to lose interest. However, creating super short content is not the answer to the problem either. If the reader isn't satisfied, what's the point?
It comes down to quality and substance contained in your post and how successful it makes reader engagement.
It's unacceptable to leave you without producing at least a general range, so I'll give you a researched answer to this common question. Neil Patel conducted a virality experiment on QuickSprout to find that a post containing on average, 1500+ words received higher amount of shares on Twitter and Facebook , than post containing -1500 words. So does this tell us? It's telling us that search engines such as Google, take social signals (from social media) into account when ranking sites.
The post body should help expand the same emotion that was used in the title, continuing the same momentum on body of the post.
6. Research, Research, Research, & Research Some More!
Research is essential when writing a great informative piece. You're reflecting on and incorporating researched information into your post. Whether a seasoned or novice blogger, you still need to do quality research.
Take advantage by linking to other relevant posts in the article you are writing. This encourages your readers to explore your site, increase your user-retention rate, keep them returning & recommending.
Include a list of your references is good practice which helps build your credibility.
External linking gives due credit, highlighting other experts on the topic helping you prove that you took time, to research your topic to give your readers the best value possible. Using links helps your reader get a better understand providing them with valuable information. Make sure to download my ResearchCheat Sheet!
7. You Know The Saying, "The Eyes Are The Windows To The Soul"
Something important to keep in mind when incorporating visuals into your post is the main photo. The main photo is the first photo seen and a major influence to engaging your readers.
What happens if your topic requires one photo? Aim for one eye-catching photo. Avoid using stock photos if possible. If you have to, leave as a last resort. Stock photos are a no-no, they're generic, which means that other bloggers could have used them.
High-quality original photos are the best way to go because they are original to your content and blog.
Visuals are a good way to help break-up sea of content, which helps in giving the reader a chance to rest. Other awesome visuals to include: videos, info-graphics, downloadable printable, and anything creative, relevant, and appealing.
8. The 3 C's: Conclusion , Climax,
Now, we have the meat & potatoes of your post. Next, you want to start winding down, drawing your post to a conclusion. Re-summarize your key points and end with a climax and realistically supports the main point of your article.
Your conclusion should help call your reader to action. It's crucial that your call to action is visible, attractive, actionable, and promises value in advance to make sure you're grabbing your readers attention and encouraging them to follow through.
Another important part of the call to action is making sure that you're informing your reader, telling them what's going to happen when they click.
Having a strategy in place to encourage your reader engagement is important. End your post by asking your readers an interesting question relevant to your article. This invites your readers to spark up conversation helping develop a community within your blog. Most successful blogs with active close-knit communities, obtained this success by encouraging reader engagement through commenting.
Invite your readers in by saying, "come on in, make yourself at home, stay awhile."
10. Don't Forget To Proof-Read
Make a point of reviewing and editing what you wrote before hitting the post button! Take time and effort to fix any errors you have (you want to gain credibility , you don't want to lose it).
I find it's best to take a break immediately finishing a post. This gives me time to rest my eyes so I'm able to proof-reading with a clear mind.
Does your post set a certain tone? Do you sound like the human you are when having a conversation with a friend? In other words, the goal is not to sound like a robot? I Using tone consistency in every post you write is important, this is something that your readers come to expect. Don't speak at your audience, speak to them, involve them in the conversation.
What This All Boils Down To
Starting as a new blogger creating your first post, can be a daunting experience which causes you to second guess yourself. You're blinded by the endless amount of articles on post etiquette. Use this knowledge available to you as a guide, don't let it hold you back from who you are. Remember there isn't any "blogging laws" you have to conform or abide to. Be a rebel, break some of those "blogging rules". Most importantly, do what works best for you. Trying to consistently stay within the "rules" ends up causing frustration, heartache and you won't reach your goals and dreams. Don't sell your soul.
Time to give your brain a rest. Don't forget to download this awesome printable 10 Steps To Make Your Blog Post Sparkle & Shine that I enjoyed creating for you! Print this nifty cheat sheet and place it in your blog planner for safe keeping. If you have any issues, please don't hesitate to contact me. I hope you found the information you came looking for and find it helpful in your blogging journey! Keep an eye out for future blogging tips from The Walking Mombie!
I would love to hear any of your thoughts, suggestions, feedback, did I miss something? Let me know if you disagree for goodness sake!
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