I am creating a blog about creating an effective content for a blog. To learn about how to create effective content for a blog.
- Step 1: Plan your blog post by choosing a topic, creating an outline, conducting research, and checking facts.
- Step 2: Craft a headline that is both informative and will capture readers’ attentions.
- Step 3: Write your post, either writing a draft in a single session or gradually word on parts of it.
- Step 4: Use images to enhance your post, improve its flow, add humor, and explain complex topics.
- Step 5: Edit your blog post. Make sure to avoid repetition, read your post aloud to check its flow, have someone else read it and provide feedback, keep sentences and paragraphs short, don’t be a perfectionist, don’t be afraid to cut out text or adapt your writing last minute.
1. The article needs a point
I’m surprised at how many blog articles have nothing to say. Well, maybe they have plenty of things to say, but they don’t have a point. An article is supposed to communicate a point. When your article has a point, it gives readers something memorable to latch onto. They are more compelled to share it, comment on it, and engage with it. An article with a point is an article that accomplishes a mission and is therefore successful. There’s another benefit to having a point: Using specific keywords. As part of a content marketing effort, you probably went through the exercise of planning the keywords to target, and creating content that would advance those keywords. Now, you can implement those keywords by writing an article with a succinct point.
You won’t see an article on my blog without an image. It just doesn’t happen. I know that content is the most important thing for search engines and crawlers, but I’m not writing great stuff so crawlers can read it. I’m writing content so you can read it. And I know that you want pictures.
Your goal isn’t just to add eye candy, though that’s probably a good thing. Your goal is to add strategic images that help your readers, and enhance your content.
This is one of the most-overlooked aspects of an article. In order to communicate a concept, you need to organize your thoughts. Otherwise, you’re going to have a scattered assembly of sentences and statements. That accomplishes nothing.
When you have a structure, it will be reflected in the layout of the article. An article will have headings, subheadings, paragraph breaks, and maybe a bullet point or two. All of these features provide flow for the reader, and make it easy to skim and digest content.
Here’s the model you should follow:
- Introduction: Set the stage for your discussion.
- Make your point. Explain it.
- Make your next point. Explain it.
- Do this for as many points as you have.
- Conclusion: Wrap up the article with a call to action.
That’s the general idea. However, it needs some specificity depending on the type of article you’re creating. In my Advanced Guide to Content Marketing, I discuss 12 structures to help you have an organized approach to virtually any type of content.
4. Unique content
First, you need to have something unique to say, from a thematic perspective. In other words, you don’t simply want to make the same point that everyone else is making. You need to have a unique angle, approach, or spin.
I think this is a fine idea, and it can certainly help you to establish thought leadership and gain readership. However, because of the risk of duplicate content, I’d suggest doing this infrequently. Unique content is more likely to be linked and shared. People are going to go to your content because it’s one of a kind.
5. Substantial length
Ah, the perennial question: How long should my blog post be?
The short and easy answer is, as long as it takes to say what you need to say. But — and this is a significant “but” — longer is better.
My research, experience, and data all point to long-form content performing better in social sharing, search indexing, organic traffic, and conversions. If you’re regularly creating content that is in the 1,000- to 1,500-word range, you’re doing well. If most of your articles are about 200 to 300 words then you could probably beef up a bit.
6. Internal linking
An internal linking strategy — for which you link to other, related posts within your own site — and can serve to enhance and deepen the overall value of a website. It isn’t complicated. Here are the basic points:
- Create enough content throughout the site. You’re going to need stuff to link to.
- Create text links with diluted anchors. No optimized anchors allowed. In other words, the text of the links (the part people click on) shouldn’t contain keywords.
- Link internally to “deep pages.” The deeper the link is within your site, the better. A good example of this is linking to pages that are not your home page, or any other major page on your website.
- Use links that the reader will be interested in. You want them to engage with your content and site.
- Link to relevant data on your site. Topical relevance between the pages will bolster the authority of both pages.
- Use enough internal links to make it worthwhile. I’d suggest anywhere from 3 to 10 internal links per post.
7. Attention to proper spelling and grammar
When I first drafted this article, I wrote this point as “Make your article grammatically impeccable.” And then I changed it. It needs to be proofread and copyedited…at least.
Let me share a thought or two about mistakes. To err is human. Mistakes happen. Now and then, a typo will slip through. Work to avoid it, but be prepared to accept it. Being human has its drawbacks.
Here’s a helpful approach to proofreading and copyediting your articles:
- Just write the article. Don’t nitpick, parse, check thesaurus, or fix your spelling. Simply put the content on the page — structured, organized, but not proofed.
- Wait a few hours. A day is even better. You’ll be able to look at it with fresh eyes when you go in for the copyedit phase.
- Copyedit the article. Here’s where you give the article a renovation. You may change entire paragraphs, elide sections, alter wording, and adjust your approach. Your goal is to make the copy read well.
- Proofread the article. Examine every comma, apostrophe, capital letter, and spelling issue. This is where you make sure your article will pass muster in a college-level composition course. When you’re done, proofread it again.
8. Call to action
The call to action is the magic ingredient that makes a blog post worth it all. You have all this wonderful long content with an amazing point, a beautiful structure, internal links, great images, and flawless style and grammar. Now what?
Call to actions are the key to bringing in more conversions. Truly effective calls to action begin and end with strong, compelling copy.
So, write your copy, but don’t stop there. Write your call to action as well.
I could have ended this list by telling you “Write a conclusion.” Of course you need a conclusion. Any article needs to have a clear ending. But somewhere in that ending needs to be an appeal — the reader should be invited to take the next step or do the next logical thing.
If you scroll to the end of this post, you’ll see an example of my call to action. It’s at the end of every article.
Conclusion: Churning out content on a blog is not the path to success. Carefully consider your strategy in light of these eight points. If you have an approach that follows this methodology, then you’ll start to see significantly higher success rates with your content marketing.
#1. Nail that title and opening paragraph
Compelling titles and introductions make your readers want to read your post right away. Wishpond contributor James Scherer says, “recent studies show that while 80% of people will read headline copy, only 20% will read the rest. This is the hidden importance of great titles, and why getting them right is so vital to a successful blog.”
#2. Address a specific audience
Good corporate blog posts are targeted to a particular audience. So, before you start developing content, decide who you are selling to and what you are selling.
If you are selling to decision makers in the publishing industry, write a blog post that targets their specific needs. If you are a web developer, try to make the content professional but not too technical because you want buyers to know the benefits of using your services.
The H2 Real Estate blog does a great job of developing content that helps potential homeowners learn more about the community where the available homes are located since this is usually an important issue for homeowners.
#3. Show, not tell
Don’t pat yourself on the back in your blog posts, bragging about what you know about your industry. Let your blog visitors find the value themselves in the content you produce. The goal of your content is to build trust with your audience. You do that by positioning yourself as an expert in your industry.
#4. Optimize your content for search
A great blog post follows basic search engine optimization (SEO) rules: the use of keyword optimized titles, a good keyword ratio, keyword anchor text, and the use of your targeted keywords in the first and last sentence. Mastering SEO best practices will make your content more relevant to targeted search engine users.
Step #1 – Understand your persona
Creating and developing the right persona is one of the most important aspects of running a successful blog. It is important that you appeal not only to the readers who are likely to buy your product or services, but also those people who may never buy from you, but will continue reading your blog and sharing its content with the rest of the world.
Remember, news of interesting, popular and worthwhile blogs can travel faster than the speed of light. The more readers you attract to your blog, the better your chances will be of having it become a success.
Step #2 – Be an expert
As you cultivate your persona, be aware that your readers must know and trust you as an expert in your field. Once you’re recognized as being an expert, readers will actively seek out your blog for advice and as a reliable source of useful information.
There are a few ways you can go about doing this… First, make sure that every blog post on your site is unique and written with transparent authenticity. Also, be sure to regularly update your blog with useful information. You don’t have to post something new every day, but you should be consistent with your schedule.
Don’t patronize your readers, but – at the same time – don’t expect that they have extensive technical knowledge about your industry. Some of the best blogs out there are those that educate readers on how to do something successfully. When readers feel that they’ve learned something useful, they’re more likely to return in the future.
Step #3 – Be clear and concise
Make sure that you get your message across to your readers in the clearest and most enjoyable way possible. Sometimes, a short, punchy sentence is all that’s required to grab attention and make an impression.
Some people will preach the rule that a blog post or website article must be 500 words – not too long to be boring, but long enough to be factual. That might work for some website articles, but when writing a blog, you need to tear up that particular rule!
Some of the most effective blog posts consist of a single, well thought out sentence – others may need 1,000 (or even 2,000) words to really convey your message. The rule is – there is no rule, just so long as your post is clear, enjoyable and gets the right message across to your readers.
Step #4 – Have fun with multimedia
Pictures are worth a thousand words – isn’t that the truth! This is especially the case with blog posts, where an embedded video, uploaded photograph or illustrated graph can go a long way towards helping make your blog posts more effective.
Images are a great addition to any blog post. Not only do they help to break up the text, but they can also help to get your point across in a very clear way. Remember, there’s nothing more disconcerting for a reader than to click on a blog post and see a screen full of words, words and more words!
Step #5 – Encourage interaction
Create interaction with your readers by asking for their opinion. People love to share their insight, so let them get involved in your blog. The more people that feel that they’re a part of your blog; the more they are likely to stick around.
To do this, be sure that your blog includes a space for comments after each blog post. If comments are left, take the time to respond to any messages that are posted. Your readers need to know that you’re a real person, with a real business, in the real world. Like so many other things in life, blogging is all about building relationships!
Step #6 – Use examples
Bring real life examples to your blog. If you’re trying to explain something complicated, simplify it with case studies and stories from product or service users. Don’t just tell your readers what something does – give them examples of what your products and services can do, and how they’ve helped others in the past.
Step #7 – Check your tone
Make sure that your marketing content has the right type of tone. You may need to experiment before you know that you’ve got this part of it right. Writing a blog post should come from the heart. In fact, don’t even think of it as writing – think of it as talking about something you’re passionate about.
Writing your posts as you’d say them out loud is a great tip. When you’re thinking about the tone of your blog posts, think about your sentence structure, your choice of words, your use of punctuation and the format of your content. Letting your personality shine through makes your readers feel like they really know you – and if they feel like they know you, they’re more likely to trust you.
If all of this sounds complicated, don’t worry! Even the best, most experienced bloggers don’t get it right all the time. On occasion, you may think that you’ve written a killer blog post that’ll go viral in minutes – only to see it barely whimper before it disappears. At other times, you can blast out a short, off-the-cuff blog post that takes very little time or effort but goes on to be an immediate success.
What is important, though, is that you stick to a regular blog publishing calendar. With time and practice, you’ll eventually learn how to best connect with your audience in a way that results in both sales and business growth.