Most of us are Blogging these days. But are we Blogging successfully? What makes a GOOD Blog post? How to blog? I’m going to break it all down for you….
To get us started, let’s look at the anatomy of a (good) Blog post.
You start with your Title – the title should be compelling, informative and if possible use a keyword phrase. Check out Arrow 1 in the image below. I have a good keyword phrase in there, plus the title is short, to the point, informative and compelling (I considered the audience and wrote what I thought would best draw them in – I think anyone looking to understand SEO would be compelled by this title).
Next we have the body of the post. There are a few key points to remember when writing your body content:
- Start with an attention grabbing thought/benefit/sentence to suck readers in right away. You want to let them know what you are going to deliver – you want to clearly state that in the first paragraph. This compels them to keep reading to get to the pay dirt. See Arrow 3 in my image (and above in this post) for a sample of a good intro.
- Deliver on the promise you made. Make sure you provide good information that supports your claim/promise. Make sure your text is well written and edited for grammatical and spelling errors or people will get turned off before they even finish the post.
- Don’t drone on and on with no break. Having a lot to say is OK, but break it up so it’s visually interesting. Remember, people will scan before they commit to reading; you want to pass the scan test! To do this you can:
- Use lists
- Add images (see Arrow 3 in the graphic)
- Bold text
- Use sub-titles that are compelling so when people scan the Blog the sub-titles stand out and keep them interested. Create a summary of key points (See Arrow 4 below)
- Break paragraphs up into bite sized chunks
- Leave enough white space on the page so people don’t feel inundated by all the busy-ness.
And now you are ready to wrap things up on your post…
- Have a call to action. People need to be taken by the hand and led to the action you want them t o take. See Arrow 5 in my image above, to see my call to action.
- Link back to your site (but remember don’t always link to the homepage – vary things and link to different pages – link to a page that is relevant to the post) See Arrow 8 above for an example.
- Always close off by signing your name – remember not everyone reads all your posts and you can’t assume they know you. Treat each post like it’s the only one people will ever read. Let them know who you are. See Arrow 7 above.
- Don’t be afraid to show some personality and have some fun. Your posts don’t need to be all corporate and stuffy. Inject a little bit of pizzazz and people will want to keep coming back for more. See Arrow 6 for an example (OK, so it’s not exactly riveting “pizzazz” but you get the idea, it’s me being me and not just spouting formal corporate speak)
The Marketing and SEO Stuff…
Don’t forget to include the always-important SEO and marketing parts that help your Blog post spread. Not all of these items are visible to Blog readers, but they are still an important part of your post.
- Include a social media plugin that allows people to quickly and easily spread/share your content. See Arrow 9 above.
- Include Meta data (Title and Description tag) – Depending what WordPress theme and plugins you have, you will do this differently. As a great default you can always just use the WordPress Plugin “All In One SEO Pack”
- Include Categories (see Arrow 11 above). This helps organize content so Blog readers can easily dig into the particular category they are interested in. You can put posts in more than one category – just make sure they are all relevant. Depending on your Blog settings the Categories can also be seen as keywords to the engines.
- Tag your posts – it helps people find your content and helps others organize your post in directories and on their site when they republish it.
- Include a plugin that allows people to subscribe to your RSS Feed (See Arrow 10 above)
Sales Pitches, News Updates and More….
There are many different reasons to Blog and lots of different types of posts. Your post could be a news update, an informational “how to” article, an opinion or editorial piece, a sales pitch etc (the possibilities are endless).
It doesn’t matter what kind of post you are writing, your post should use all the elements above.
To make it simple, here’s a quick checklist to make sure you are covered.
Compelling Title that uses keywords.
Great leading paragraph that lets people know what you will deliver.
Images to keep it visually appealing.
Good formatting to break things up and keep it easy to read.
Sub-titles to break content into readable chunks and make it “scan friendly”
Call to action.
Link to your site.
Signature line so people know who you are. (Some people choose to put a short bio on every post – that’s your call but I tend to not do that)
Meta tags, Tags, Categories. Social media plugins.
Inject some personality and pizzazz.
Follow this checklist and don’t forget — above all else make your Blog posts accurate, interesting and informative and you’ll do just great.
Also a good word to remember is BALANCE. Don’t do nothing but pitch your products or services. Mix in some good quality content that will help people and include news updates as well. You want to balance your desire to sell with the necessity of being a good resource for people. If you don’t give them a reason to come back, they won’t!
Not every post should be really long and not every post should be brief and to the point. Vary the length of the posts. If all your posts are too long, most people won’t make time to read them all.
And my last words of wisdom I will leave you with are: GET BLOGGING! Even if your posts aren’t perfect, they will improve over time and now you have a checklist to help you through the process.
I’ve enjoyed writing this post and I hope you’ve learnt something new! I’m Jennifer Horowitz and you can read all about me on my bio below! J
Jennifer Horowitz is the Director of Marketing for www.EcomBuffet.com. Since 1998 Jennifer’s expertise in marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has helped clients increase revenue. Jennifer has been published in many SEO and marketing publications. Jennifer Horowitz is the author of Twitter Quickstart Success Training System, Blogging For Dollars, Optimization Step By Step: 2010 and more. For the whole scoop, visit http://www.ecombuffet.com. You can follow Jennifer on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ecombuffet