There’s no question that blogging is here to stay. Blogging has become an essential tool for marketers to grow their brands and is also a leading interactive way to share information. According to Ignite Spot, 77% of Internet users read blogs, 6.7 million people blog on blogging sites, and 12 million people blog via social networks.
When creating your own niche in this vast blogosphere, you’ll want to follow certain guidelines to ensure you’re engaging and entertaining your readers. If you’re consistent in these efforts, the loyalty will follow.
Here are eight simple steps to get you on the path to blogging like a pro.
Understand your audience. Ask yourself these questions before writing a post. What is my audience looking for? Why do they follow me? How can I connect with them and provide content that will resonate? Remember you will not be able to please everyone, but once you find your niche – stay consistent.
Titles get readers. Titles should be unique and creative. They also need to give a clear understanding of what the post is about. Titles must be SEO friendly, but need to entice someone to click. Spend the time thinking of the perfect title. I always start with a “working title” just to put together an outline. I often go back and edit the title as the story comes alive. In a sea of Internet copy, your title is the first, and many times the last, opportunity to catch readers’ attention – so make it count.
Stay organized. Sometimes blog posts can be an overwhelming amount of information. If possible, break your posts up or edit out any content that isn’t necessary to the main point. You don’t want your readers to get lost in the information or give up on the post altogether. Start with an outline of your thoughts and build the story around those bullets. Be sure all your points stay focused on the theme of the post. Very lengthy posts can also be intimidating, so try to keep it between 500-1000 words on average.
Storytelling. People love a great story. Even if your post is more informational, try to incorporate a personal connection to your words. Facts tell, but stories sell. When readers feel connected to you and your experience, they are more likely to share and return for more. If you’re providing information, make sure to include credible sources or state that it’s just your opinion.
Lists. Lists mesmerize readers because the human eye is immediately drawn toward them. Lists give readers a clear idea of what to expect from the content. They also promote easy navigation and promise a quick read.
Visual content. Text isn’t the end all be all. Readers love visual aids. Be sure to add photos and videos to bring home a point. Because no one likes an ugly blog post either, keep your formatting and borders consistent.
Optimize. Be sure to plug in keywords throughout your post to make your blog easily searchable on search engines. Don’t over compensate on keywords, it will come through in your writing to your readers. Try to add anchor text if it relates to your current content. Anchor text is a word or words that link to a relatable post either on your blog or another one. This helps search engines rank your post as well.
Edit, edit, edit. Even those of us with an eye for detail make mistakes. Comb your work line-by-line a minimum of five times. Then enlist help. Ask a friend or significant other to read over for grammar, spelling and punctuation errors.
Once you’ve completed these steps you can hit publish! Make sure you have social plugins available on your blog so readers have the ability to share your work. When content is shared on social media it’s then prioritized in ranking results, so always encourage your readers to share.
How To Be Productive When You Work From Home
July 9, 2016
How To Compose A Great Post: Blogging 101
December 22, 2014
Why Working In The Service Industry Sets You Up For Success