The following is a guest post by Kenneth Waldman. Kenneth Waldman is a freelance writer and content creator. He draws his inspiration out of the traveling. Get in touch with him on Linkedin.
What’s your favorite blog? Do you have one that you read regularly? Do you have a blog subscription so that you can be notified every time your favorite writer posts another brilliant article? Do you send the posts to friends or share them on social media? Have you ever told a family member that they must subscribe, too? What’s so great about that blog? What is that person doing right that’s making you and many others come back over and over for more articles?
Creating an effective blog post is difficult. There’s a certain art form to it. Your favorite blogger knows the secrets. You need to consider the content, the photos, the SEO, and other small factors that you might not even notice when reading, but that the writer has carefully planned out. These tools and tips will teach you how to write the perfect blog post. Never again will you have to sit in awe of others’ writing, wishing you could do the same. Now you can. So grab a cup of coffee, take some notes, and get ready to learn how to write killer posts that other people will be excited to read.
First, you must know for whom you are writing. Are you writing for business professionals who will view the post at 6 a.m. before running out the door? Are they students who are reading between classes or after parties? Are you writing for stay-at-home moms who read your blog between diaper changes for a quick break? Having a clear picture in your mind of what your audience looks like is important for several reasons. First, it will determine your content. Second, it will affect your language. It’s important to have an idea of where your readers are coming from so you can use the right tone of voice and word choice for your particular audience.
2. Create a Great Title
Once you have an idea of your content, and you understand your audience, it’s time to choose the title for your article. First impressions matter in the blogging world just as much as they do in the real world. If your title is lackluster, common, or (heaven-forbid) boring, your potential readers will skip it. Even people who subscribe to your blog might decide to “read it later.” Guess what that means? They’re probably not going to read it at all. Thankfully, there are some very helpful tools to help you with writing your title.
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer will rate your title for marketability. If you get a score under 60%, keep trying until you get a higher score.
You can also use Content Idea Generator. Just type in your keywords, and CIG will suggest fun and interesting titles.
3. Write An Engaging Introduction
You need to grip the reader within the first few lines. You’ve already out in the effort to get them to read your blog. You don’t want to lose them in the first few lines. Start with a story or something else that is interesting and engaging. Empathize with the reader, or offer to help them with a problem. Use simple language, and make it clear why they should keep reading.
4. Add Pictures
You don’t need to be told why pictures are important. As a human being, you are aware that you pay more attention to posts with pictures. But here’s some solid data to back it up. Posts with pictures are viewed 94% more often than those without pictures. And customers are 60% more likely to contact a business that has high-quality photos on their website or blog. If you’re not particularly talented at creating graphics, you can use Canva to make gorgeous graphics with ease.
5. Organize Your Content
Now that you have the perfect content, pictures, and title, it’s important to format your post in a way that most people will find appealing. If you have a lot of information, break it up with bullet points or charts. Create a lot of white space on the page. Space out the pictures to keep your readers engaged visually throughout the post. Use headings and subheadings to divide the post into skimmable sections. Some people might only skim your text. You should make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
6. Time Your Posts
If you use business pages for your social media profiles, you can use the “insights” or “Analysis” tabs to see when your readers are online and when they like or comment on your posts. You can get this same data for your blog through sites like WordPress. Use this data to schedule your posts. That way, your blogs will show up when you have the best chance of gaining readers.
7. Write Longer Posts
Longer posts are shared more frequently. When Facebook and LinkedIn posts increased from 400 to 1500 words, they were shared twice as often. And the content was tweeted 54% more frequently. Longer posts also offer more opportunities for backlinks and SEO keyword optimization. A longer post allows you to do your research, making the posts more trustworthy. Aim for a minimum of 350 words. More is better.
You want people to see your post. For them to find it, it needs to show up in search results. Your title will play a large role in your SEO optimization. So, make sure it accurately describes the content on your site. Your pictures will also factor into some search results. Give your pictures appropriate titles and captions. Consider any hyperlinks you might add, as they will be factored into the SEO. Linking to similar sites will improve the SEO. Include keywords throughout the text, but don’t overdo it. Keywords are not factored in as much as they used to be, and you don’t want to overload your readers with obvious SEO tactics.
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9. Use These Websites
- Evernote – Evernote allows users to store articles, set reminders, make notes, and write content all in one app. You can use the software on any device, so it’s easy to take it with you everywhere you go.
- EssayMama.com – the team of writers at Essay Mama can write your blog posts for you if you’d like to let a professional o the heavy lifting. If you’d rather write them on your own, Essay Mama can edit and proofread your posts before you publish them.
- Skitch – Use skitch to markup your own photos. Take a screen grab or a photo, and add arrows, words, numbers, or anything else you’d like to make it more appealing.
- Death To Stock – Sign up for a free monthly email filled with stock photos for you to use at will. You can also buy packs of photos for a small fee.
- Tomato-Timer – This simple website uses the “Pomodoro Technique” to keep you on task and organized. Set the timer to work for 25-minute increments with 5-10 minute breaks in between.
- Hootsuite – Use Hootsuite to schedule your posts across all of your social media pages. It’s compatible with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
- QuickSprout – QuickSprout will analyze the SEO of any website. Just type in your url. Learn ways to improve your visibility, and see how your competitors are doing.
- Make It Beautiful: There are wonderful tools to create beautiful visual content. Use HaikuDeck to create slideshows for your page. Use PlaceIt and ThingLink to create and use stunning pictures.
As you can see, a lot of thought goes into creating a catchy, shareable, and interesting blog post. It’s not just about the content (though that is certainly important). There are numerous factors to consider. Hopefully these tools and tips will help you build your reader base and improve the effectiveness of your blog posts. Start out by incorporating a few of these into your writing. Once you have them mastered, add the rest until you have truly honed the skills needed to create exceptionally captivating posts. You can do it!