Simple Blogging Tips To Get You More Raving Fans
Knowing how to make your blog engaging is one of the most important elements of any smart digital marketing strategy.
I encourage all small business entrepreneurs to start blogging, because a blog can dramatically increase brand awareness and drive quality traffic to your website. In today’s digital landscape, using blogs to convert just makes sense.
But of course, this only works if you understand how to write an engaging blog, and what makes a good blog post. Even if you think of yourself as a writer, blogging is a very different animal, and it requires some special know-how.
So, let’s explore 9 key elements of a good blog post. Happy blogging!
1. Update your blog frequently or don’t bother at all
I know it sounds harsh, but you must (must!) update your blog frequently.
There are two reasons to add new posts to your blog on a frequent and consistent basis. The first one is that if someone visits your blog and sees that the last article posted was 6 or more months ago, then their immediate impression will be that you are no longer in business.
Yes, it will be that drastic! They won’t assume that you’re too busy to tend to your blog. What they WILL assume is that you’ve abandoned your website, and therefore business as well.
Moreover, as we explored in our recent article on personal branding for business women, people judge a book by its cover (or, in this case, by its neglected blog page).
Whether intuitively or directly, most people believe that how you do one thing is how you do everything. If your blog is haphazard, poorly written or nonexistent, that will reflect on your business whether you want it to or not.
The other reason to update your blog frequently is for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The more you write and post successful blog articles, the more Google and other search engines will see that you are actively updating your website. And they tend to reward fresh content and websites that stay updated.
Make a posting schedule and stick to it!
So how often should you post? Let me put it this way: once a month is better than every 6 months, once a week is better than once a month, every day is better than once a week. You get the idea.
2. Provide substance over quantity
OK, maybe you think I’m contracting Tip #1 here. Yes, you should post as much as you possibly can. But you should only post quality content as much as you possibly can.
The key word here is quality. You want your blog posts to be engaging. This isn’t your space to wax poetic or list what you had for dinner last night. This is your space to showcase your business to potential customers.
In order to write a blog post that converts, you must write about topics your target market wants to learn about. This is why doing your research on your ideal client is critical.
You want to write about things that potential and existing customers will find interesting, valuable, informative, entertaining or captivating. Write for them, not just for the sake of having something posted.
So be sure to write about topics that your target market will find of interest and value. And always have a purpose in mind: what do you want your readers to get out of this article and what do you want them to do/know after reading?
Your blogging goal is to make content people will love to read
3. Give them a reason to keep coming back
One of your objectives when blogging is to create a community – a place for people to keep coming back to get more of what you’re offering.
This means your blog posts must be either entertaining, informative, compelling and/or emotionally charged to keep people engaged and wanting to come back for more.
You know you have accomplished this when you get lots of subscribers and lots of comments on each post where your followers are eager to add their two cents worth.
4. Be specific to one thought, idea or topic on your blog posts
I get it. You’re passionate about your business. You sit down and you want to just share every thought that comes to your head.
It’s great that you’re so passionate. And it’s great that you have so many ideas. But you don’t have to squeeze them all into one post. In fact, it’s much better to stick to one topic for each one blog post.
This might turn out to be harder than you’d think. If you’re anything like me, that one specific topic will compel you to explain in more detail an idea you’ve shared and the next thing you know, you’re going down a rabbit hole.
But remember Tip #1 – you want to update your blog regularly. So save all those ideas and rabbit holers for new posts!
5. Include at least one large image to create an engaging blog post
Images are a must for blog posts. Not only do images help your readers get a visual idea of what the article is about, they also help break up text, emphasize important points, and create more interest than just a long article full of text.
Be sure to pick and choose high quality and compelling images for your blog post
Using images in website design is one of the simplest things you can do to make your website more popular – both with users and with search engines.
There are many reasons to use images on your website. Images and graphics can:
- Improve your SEO,
- Help brand your company, and
- Create more user engagement.
- Ultimately, a more attractive website just performs better.
Of course, images will only work if you use them properly, and we’ll cover best practices below.
6. Don’t use 3rd party blogging services
Be sure to host your blog on your own domain (ie.:where your website is hosted). Do not use 3rd party services like Tumblr or WordPress for your business blog.
Unfortunately, because these services are free and usually easy to set up, they make it very tempting to go that route instead of hiring a web developer to install WordPress and theme it to match the look and feel of the rest of your website.
But using these services negates the whole SEO reason why you want to be blogging in the first place.
Essentially what you are doing is sending people to THEIR services instead of to YOUR website – and that, at the end of the day, is the whole point of blogging! If you are just sending them to a 3rd party blog, you’ve missed that boat entirely.
7. Fix the spelling and grammar mistakes
Honestly, this shouldn’t have to be said. But – oh my goodness – does it ever need to be said!
I remember once reading someone’s blog post and it was so hard to read due to grammar mistakes that I gave up. The irony is, she was a copywriter! Can you guess what impression her readers have on her ability to write well? Not so great.
Understandably, not everyone has a Masters degree in English. I don’t either. And more than likely, if you look hard enough, you’ll find mistakes in my writings. But that’s not the point here, nor the expectation. The goal is to write something that is very readable and not full of obvious mistakes.
If you’re one of those people who has great ideas and lots of information to share but are terrible in the English department, this is the time to hire someone to help you. We do this a lot for our clients – they will send us their rough draft, we’ll edit it, make it look pretty, add it to their blog, and SEO optimize the post. Easy peasy for the non-writer.
8. Make your blog article easy to scan
When you take the time to write out a great article for your blog, you want to make sure that the people coming to visit actually stick around long enough to read the whole thing, right?
Aside from having a compelling title and a well written article, one way to improve your blog readers’ retention is by making your blog posts easy to scan read.
Since a mere 16% of people read online text word for word, it’s critical to ensure your main message comes across when someone simply scan reads your article.
To do this, it’s best to break the text up with headlines, sub headlines, bolding, images, and bullet points. But don’t overdo it on the bullet points!
Now, I’ve witnessed many people who hear that one should use bullets in their articles or email promos and write the entire thing in bullets! We’re after balance here folks – don’t stress your reader by overdoing it in any of these tactics and you’ll do great.
(And notice how many bullets I’ve used in this article?)
9. Create long-form content
In both of these cases, a few hundred words likely won’t cut it.
In today’s world of online marketing, content should be lengthy (but not wordy), visually compelling, and, preferably, interactive.
And a word to the wise: when it comes to SEO, the longer the better (assuming, of course, that ‘the longer’ is also well written and interesting).
I know. It’s a big puzzle to put together. You have to post frequently, and you also have to post long articles, but those articles also have to be nicely formatted, well-written, and targeted at your desired audience. Phew!
Originally published here.