Do you struggle with blogging? You have no idea where to start and what to pay attention to? Or do you consider yourself some kind of guru, having nothing else to learn?
Well my friend, whether you are a beginner or an expert, there is always something to learn about blogging! And this post will prove you exactly that!
Are you Blogging? Everything you Need to Know
So we talk about blogging. But do you know the exact definition of blogging? Come on, don’t start googling.. the answer is right here.
What is Blogging?
Strictly said, a blog is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first).
In short, it is a place to regularly publish and promote new content related to your business and industry.
So now that you know.. let’s move one step forward. Ready?
Why is Blogging Important?
The first bloggers mostly wrote about their lives (you know family, travel, memories) and shared only personal information.
Now blogging –if you are doing it right of course, can help your Inbound Marketing dually, at least! It helps you attract new visitors, and it helps you convert those visitors into leads.
Identify your Personas and where they are in the Buyer’s Journey
In short, content organization can take multiple forms, provided in the image below:
As you might have noticed, the above image is categorized into Problem, Solution and Product/Service columns which are the main categories according to Awareness, Consideration and Decision stages of the Buyer’s Journey. Depending on which stage your persona is, the content must be different to be effective.
What are the Essential Parts of a Blog Post?
I know you are going to say that blogging is about writing ideas, express yourself to the readers and share to social media well… Yes! Blogging includes these stages, BUT it’s not only that. Confused? To write compelling blog posts, just pay attention to the rest of the article.
Select a Topic and a Working Title
Before you even start writing… let me rephrase that. To begin writing (better now), you need to pick a topic. A topic can be pretty general. For instance, if you are a computer engineer, you might want to write a post about computers.
Therefore, after picking a topic (like computers) is much easier to come up with some working titles. In short, different ways of approaching the topic you want to write about. For example, you might want to write about “The top 10 software programs” or “Common bugs of software program X”. You see the pattern here, right?
Even though, the working title might not be the final title-headline (more on that in a while), it surely gives you enough information to focus on your writing.
Do Research on your Topic
Most of the times, research is integral part of blogging. You might have some ideas to write about, but enriching those with research usually considered necessary.
Research that leads to great blog posts has a predictable set of steps, which you might doing them already, but let’s analyze them.
Start with questions on your topic
Start thinking of your own questions about the topic you have chosen to write, to cover your curiosity for starts and then think of what your readers might want to learn about, to answer their questions as well. For example, “What is the purpose of a blog post?” (more on that in a while) or “What are the most effective blogging tips?”.
Research around your primary or long tail keywords
You can always research for your primary keyword, such as ‘blogging’ for example, or you can search for ‘blogging pros and cons’ or ‘blogging for beginners’ which are long tail keywords.
A long tail keyword is a very targeted search phrase that contains 3 or more words. How can we target long tail keyword research?
- For starts you can log in to your Google Analytics account and identify the terms that drive the most traffic to your site. If you have insight into which keywords lead to customers, focus on those first for higher monetization potential.
- If you are using Google as your search engine, pay attention to the suggestions provided as you type. Suggestions, will help you understand some of the questions that your personas might have.
- You can also use some advanced keyword analytics tool such as Google’s Keyword Tool or HubSpot’s Search Engine Optimization, that allow you to get more granular with your long tail search efforts.
At this point, it is imposed to mention that stealing content is illegal. The writing result of the blog post has to be at least 95% original. If some phrases or a small part of a text you want to include has copyrights, the source must be cited.
Define your Purpose
Blogging is not only putting together some (random) words of text and publish them on your website. You understand that, right? It should have a purpose. Create authority and credibility.
That’s why you have to make very clear in your mind, for what, how and in which form you are writing about. The most common content structures are featured below:
- Checklist. The basic idea is that you take a topic or a problem and you try to come up with a number of separate solutions to it.
- How-to. Just focus on while writing it, to give specific information on how-to do/perform/reach whatever is promised in the title of the post.
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). I’m pretty sure you understand exactly what this is about.
- News/Trends. These posts share an important piece of news or trends in a given market.
- Best of. Usually is selected pieces of content of a certain topic.
- Opinion. Posts based on the opinion that the writer expresses.
- Curated. The result of gathering information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest.
- Product focused. Share information about product functions, structure and whom it concerns.
Of course there could be a combination of the structures. For example an opinion blog post that includes also a checklist or some FAQs. Having that said, let’s continue with the autonomy of the blog post.
Write an Intro
An intro, is slang for introduction, meaning the beginning of your article. It is the first paragraph that your readers will see (hopefully not the last). It is the first impression (good or bad), and totally crucial to convince your readers to continue reading –and you definitely want them to continue reading.
So you have to make it captivating, to grab the reader’s attention. Perhaps you could tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, have a moment of transparency or surprise the reader with an interesting fact or a statistic.
Whatever path you may follow (depending on your content or your personal style), make sure that will be outstanding.
Write Compelling Content (Body)
In this body-part you will analyze everything that is related to your topic. Remember: You have to organize your content correctly (as mentioned prior), depending on where your personas are in the Buyer’s Journey.
After having an outline of what type of content and which purpose you are about to write, using it as a guide, do additional research –if necessary of course, to gather more information, examples and data available BUT present them as clearly and uniquely as you can.
To proceed successfully to this stage:
- Use whitespace. It allows visitors to focus on the content.
- Use section headers, bullets or numbered lists to break up information.
- Bold important information. Helps the readers understand the key benefits from the post.
- Include images to break text up visually.
Having almost finish the most demanding part of blogging, move on a step forward.
Select the Right Images
Images are very crucial to the blog post success. Since we are visual persons we prefer to “see” whatever there is to be said.
There are a lot of free images on the web, but not all of them are free to use. You need to be very careful with this procedure because it is easy to violate copyrights and get yourself sued, and believe me you don’t want that.
Try free images, relevant to the content, compelling, with high quality, in appropriate size (ideally under 100KB), try to optimize them for all screen sizes and put one at the beginning of the blog post but also wherever they fit into the body.
Write a Conclusion
Conclusion is almost the final part, of your blog post. Is it where your reader should feel satisfied that all the points you are trying to make, have been fully explained. You, as a writer, need to keep in mind that the conclusion is often what the reader remembers most. Your conclusion should be the best part of your post.
The “Must-do”, Right After You Finish Writing
Congratulations, you finished writing your blog post. Well, I don’t want to disappoint you BUT there is more to be done.
Insert a Call-To-Action (CTA)
Insert a C-T-A button at the end of your blog post, indicates what you want your reader to do next, for instance:
- Subscribe to your blog
- Register for a webinar
- Read a related article
- Download a free gift
Whatever it is that you are offering, make sure it is relevant to the content that visitor has just read.
It is absolutely important to optimize either your post or its title.
Coming back to the “working title” that we talked about before, it’s time to pick a catchy title. A title that respects the reader’s experience and makes this post stand out. It has to be optimized for search and social. For example, the title “The best optimization guide that actually works” is optimized for:
- Audience. Grabs their attention.
- Search. The title is under 60 characters.
- Social media. Since it’s under 100 characters, an image can be included.
Furthermore, you need to optimize your post for on-page SEO. When search engines crawl your blog, they don’t understand every word. Instead, they scan certain parts of your post to understand what you’re writing about and how trustworthy the content is.
Optimize the page around your long-tail keyword, placing it:
- in the page title and the post title
- in the URL
- the image alt-text
- the body and
Additional, don’t ignore:
- Meta Description is the description below the post’s page header on search engine’s result pages. Provides a sort of summary of the blog post before clicking into it. For example:
- Anchor text is the word (or words) that link to another page internal or external. It is important to consider which pages you link to, to become trustworthy. For example:
- Mobile optimization is an absolutely important procedure. Having a website responsive nowadays, it’s very crucial to your reader’s experience.
Promote your Blog Post
It is essential that the moment you stop editing your blog post, you start promoting it.
- As helpful as it is for search engine optimization, it’s also helpful to link internally to your blog posts for their promotion. If you have other blog posts that have related topics, include a link to them.
- Leverage your website. Use your blog sidebar to promote your recent or most popular posts and add your blog to your primary website navigation.
- Share those posts on social media. Promote them when you publish –but don’t stop there. Continue doing it! Also, make it easy for your readers to share your posts, themselves. Include social sharing buttons at the top of your blog posts, so that people can share your content without reading the whole thing.
- Promote posts through email. Send your leads relevant content about their interests, based on their persona. Include blog posts in your email newsletters and create a daily, weekly or monthly blog habit for your subscribers.
Last but not Least: 15 Tips for Remarkable Content
Some little tips of which the result is really huge:
- Shorten your sentences
- Convert sentences to active voice
- Rewrite sentences in the second person
- Eliminate commonplace words
- Use subheads to make your post scannable
- Use numbers effectively
- Do keyword research before you start writing
- Your title must be accurate, concise and SEO-friendly
- Use 3-5 words in the slug of permalink
- Tags on your blog must be 10-20, representing main topics
- People love to share quotes on social media. Use one or two “tweetable”
- Blog post get more shares on the weekend
- Blog post of 1500 words or more (like this one) tend to receive more shares
- Use a lot examples throughout the post
- Write educational post, not promotional.
Writing a great blog post is not an easy job. You have to be focused on your topic, present information cleverly and effectively to your reader’s eyes, include CTA and social share buttons and definitely process optimization.
But above all, it’s important to write consistently, frequently AND don’t forget the fun part. Besides, writing is all about joy! Don’t you agree?