I thoroughly enjoy participating in social media and love the open knowledge sharing that occurs among its active practitioners. Out of all the various social media mediums, by far my favorite is blogging. Over the past year, I have seen my personal blog, B2C Marketing Insider, transform into Business 2 Community and become a large community of bloggers (lessons learned here). One of the things I enjoy about blogging is all of the factors that play into creating a successful post. Today, I would like to share with you my blueprint for creating the “perfect” blog post based on my observations.
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Post Title: The title of your post is one of the most important aspects as it impacts both SEO and a reader’s decision to click on the post link. The title should include a keyword or phrase that you believe your audience would use in order to find the post via search engines. Ask yourself, “How would I describe this post in one word or phrase” and then use your answer in the title. Tip: Create variations of your title, which you can test when sharing the post in various social media channels.
Social Share Icons: It is important to make it easy to share your post. To avoid using too many social share buttons, focus on the most common share icons used by your audience.
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Opening Paragraph: It should clearly layout the objectives of your post. It is also important to ensure that you use your main keyword / phrase in the first and second sentences. This is due to the fact that organic search results typically only include the one or two sentences so this provides an added boost to your SEO. Tip: Be sure to use at least one keyword/phrase variation.
Image: When possible include an image in the upper left-hand corner of your post. In addition to be visually appealing, search engines will index the image giving you another potential item to appear in the organic search results. Tip: Always include a caption that includes your main keyword / phrase.
Body Copy: Emphasis should be on clearly stating your case. Include internal/external links, images, video, etc to help strengthen your position. Tip: Naturally use your main keyword/phrase and variations throughout.
List: When possible include a list to strength your message. Readers enjoy lists because it helps breakdown your posts into easily consumed “nuggets” of information. Tip: Use a <h2> tag and bold the title of your list to inform the reader and search engine crawlers of its importance.
Conclusion Copy: Emphasis on lessons learned and/or actionable insights. Tip: Ask your readers to share their thoughts on the topic.
Related Posts: Help keep readers on your blog by providing them with suggestions for other posts that they may enjoy.
Comment Section: It is important to make it easy for readers to comment. Tip: Help keep the conversation going by responding to all comments.
Top 6 Lessons Learned From My Personal Experience of Blogging
- Blogging requires commitment and hard work. Bloggers like Mack Collier, Brian Clark, and Chris Brogan may make it look effortless but I can assure you that there are no shortcuts.
- Consistency matters! A consistent blog posting schedule benefits you in two ways. First, your audience will become familiar with your posting habits and will know when to check back for new articles. Second, search engine crawlers love frequently updated websites.
- Personality will help drive interactions. People want to know the person behind the blog so don’t be afraid to let your personality come out in your writing – it is essential in finding your voice and growing your audience.
- Saying thank you never goes out of style. Thanking and highlighting others in your posts is an extremely rewarding experience – do it often!
- Keeping an open mind and letting your audience help drive the conversation will result in greater learnings for all. I mentioned before that there has been a conscious decision to keep this blog open to everyone that would like to contribute, as a result there have been numerous articles published that had a point of view that was drastically different then my own. I learned a lot from those articles. In some cases they helped change my perspective and in others they helped me build a stronger case for my opinion by understanding where the other side was coming from. My stance has been that as long as the writer is respectful, does not use profanity and avoids being self-promotional that I should let it be up to the community to decide if there was value in their work.
- Keywords / Titles are important but reader experience matters most. While SEO is important for driving traffic, you should focus on your readers’ site experience. A search engine optimized article that drives tons of traffic provides little value if readers abandon the site immediately because there is no “meat” to the article.
I hope that you enjoyed this post and found some value in it. I would love to read your feedback and hear the lessons that you have learned from your personal experiences. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.