Over the years, blog posts have evolved from an online diary to a targeted and critical piece of the marketing plan. A good blog post can help drive traffic to your website, help convert traffic into leads, and helps establish your authority on a given topic. By using the information below, you can create a more effective blog post that reaches your target audience.
What makes a good blog post?
A good post is targeted towards a specific reader. Focus your writing by starting with your buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and data about your existing customers. You should have multiple personas for your business and start with one of them will help focus your writing efforts. If your buyer personas are drastically different, don’t be afraid to write an additional post on the same topic that communicates the issue better to that individual.
Once you have determined who you are writing for, then develop your writing content based upon the needs of that persona. The blogpost intends to inform, persuade, and help solve problems. You should be providing these resources to the reader in an engaging and informative manner.
What are the types of blog posts?
One way to provide structure is to categorize your posts. Below are six different types of blog post categories that can serve as a starting point and there are even free templates to help get you started:
♦ The “How-To” Post
♦ The List-Based Post
♦ The “What Is” Post
♦ The Pillar Page Post
♦ The Newsjacking Post
♦ The Infographic Post
Writing an effective title
The first thing the viewer will see will either be the title or the featured image. The title should be interesting, fresh, and should compel the user to begin skimming your body text. The title text needs to be optimized for both readers and search engines. Several free headline analyzer tools can help you when developing that successful headline. Use these sites to help improve your headline:
Choose an appropriate image
Your title and featured image are the first things that people will see when scanning social networks. Choosing a relevant image can help communicate your topic faster to those who are skimming through posts on their social network. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text, so try to choose an image that is relevant to your topic and entices the viewer to start reading.
When selecting the best image from the internet, make sure you are using legal images. There are four categories of images to look for:
Royalty-Free – right to use copyrighted material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties or license fees each time you use it.
Rights Managed – refers to a copyright license which, if purchased by a user, allows the one-time use of the photo as specified by the license.
Public Domain – creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it.
Creative Commons – a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools.
Writing the introduction
Now you have created the perfect title and selected the perfect, legal image and have piqued the interest of your reader enough that he or she has moved down to the opening paragraph. To expedite the flow of information, the introduction should be direct and concise.
Writing the body
According to SEMRush, articles that have greater than 3,000 words get 3x more traffic, 4x more shares, and 3.5x more backlinks than shorter articles. Given that, don’t generate a wall of text just because the search engines like it better. Make sure to organize your thoughts, provide structure and break up the text into bite-sized sections of information Most people skim an article and the bold section headers should tell the reader the content of the post with a quick scan. Additionally, each section should be relatively brief so that it doesn’t discourage a potential reader from moving from skimming to close reading.
Provide a (brief) conclusion and insert a CTA
Almost every piece of writing should have a conclusion but unlike an academic conclusion, a blog post should be relatively short. If you can summarize in the final sentence do so, but keep it to no more than a few sentences.
The critical component of the conclusion is providing a Call-to-Action that gets the reader to do something. This may be entering an email address to receive more information, receive a free eBook, or make a purchase. The purpose of the CTA is to generate a lead and provide you with the contact information of a person that liked your post enough that they took action and entered into the first stage of the marketing funnel.
Proofread and Rewrite
The only kind of writing is rewriting
Ernest Hemingway (and many others) said the only kind of writing is rewriting. The point being is that everyone needs to go back and rewrite. Once your first draft is done, make sure to go through and proofread your work for grammar, brevity, and effectiveness. Take a break from your writing and come back later so you can re-read your text with fresh eyes. Using a resource like Grammar.ly can help improve your writing making it easier for your customers to read.
Make the blogpost visually appealing
After the text is complete, go through and make sure the post is visually appealing. You may have written the most informative post the industry has ever seen, but if it’s unattractive it may never reach your intended audience. Utilize white space and spacing between sections. Be consistent with your text and header font, size, and color. Hubspot uses a standard set of colors so for example, everything that has a hyperlink it colored in the same Calypso color scheme. Break up large sections of text with images, bulletized lists, or quotes. Your blogpost not only needs to have a wealth of useful information, but it also needs to look engaging. Make sure there is nothing that would keep the reader from diving into your content.
There is much to learn and always things to improve upon, but hopefully, these blogging basics will help you up your game to make your posts more effective to help drive traffic and increase your leads.