Far too many businesses make a very common marketing mistake. They’ll start a blog, simply because someone tells them that they should have one.
What transpires is a section of the business website that is occasionally dealt a 300-or-so word article depicting the latest news from the organization, or perhaps a no-holds-barred rant from the managing director. What it lacks is any kind of strategy or focus on providing content that potential customers might want to read.
There are many constituent elements that make up an awesome blog post, but if you don’t know what they are, you’re unlikely to find them simply by occasionally publishing a post whenever inspiration strikes.
In this post, we’re going to delve under the hood of brilliant blogging and find out how to create awesome posts that will attract the right audience and keep them engaged.
Conduct proper research
What type of people do you want to read your blog? What are their interests, frustrations and common questions?
Before you write anything, start by researching both your audience and potential content ideas. Don’t assume you know it all – brainstorm the profile and demographics of your audience and the kind of topics that will likely peak their interest.
You can do this with a whiteboard, pen and paper or visual mind map – whatever gets your creative juices flowing.
Treat blog posts with just as much attention as other important pages
You wouldn’t publish a new service or product page for your site without doing full keyword research, and the same mantra should be applied to your blog.
Again, before putting digital pen to digital paper, conduct thorough keyword research. Look for short and long-tail keywords that you audience is likely to use and focus your title ideas on them.
Answer a burning question
Which questions is your intended audience asking? What are the key issues with which they need expert assistance?
As a blogger, you’re placing yourself squarely in the role of expert, so check out tools like Answer The Public to find brilliant subjects for your blog. Make sure your eventual piece adds value, too. The likelihood is your blog will join countless others offering the same advice, therefore you can stand out by presenting genuinely interesting, actionable advice and making your content better.
Spend what feels like too much time on the title
The 80/20 rule applies to blogging, and it may surprise you to hear that the lion’s share of that time should be devoted to the blog title.
A bit like an email subject line, it’s the first thing people will see. It therefore needs to captivate them immediately with a sense of urgency, a promise that one of their burning questions will be answered and a cliff-hanger that screams “click me now!”.
Headlines have always been super important, so make sure yours leaps of the page (and don’t forget those keywords!).
Use beautiful imagery
Blogs aren’t just about words – they should be accompanied by beautiful images.
There’s nothing wrong with stock photography, but it makes sense to put a significant amount of effort into sourcing the images for your blog posts. Better still, if you can create your own unique visuals, your post will be unique as you will create something that can’t be found elsewhere.
Videos work brilliantly, too, therefore if you find the opportunity to embed one within your next blog post, jump at the chance.
Don’t forget the call-to-action
You could write the most engaging, value-packed blog post imaginable, but if you fail to include a call-to-action (CTA), you may as well not have bothered.
What do you want people to do when they’ve finished reading your post? Email you? Sign-up to the monthly newsletter? Sign up for a trial of your software? Whatever it is, make it an obvious next step once they’ve read the last sentence.
Blogging requires patience, creative flair and – most importantly – strategic thinking. We hope you will find our tips inspiring. Please do share your own tips, on writing awesome blogposts, in the comments below.