With a title like that, I suppose this article better be a homerun.
The average marketer spends between 60 and 90 minutes crafting a 500-word blog post. That's a lot of time spent on just one shorter-than-average post. All that time can easily go to waste if the post doesn't drive traffic and no one is reading it.
Before dedicating one, two, or even more hours of your life to writing a blog post, follow these tips to make sure you're heading in the right direction.
1. Avoid promotion.
The first, and maybe most important, rule of blogging is to avoid promotion. Whether that is self promotion, promotion of an affiliated brand, or promotion of some guy off the street willing to pay you for a mention in a blog post. You may not realize it at the time, but direct promotion in a blog is obvious to nearly everyone. This isn't 2008 when no one realized that people pay for contextual placements online. Do yourself and your brand a huge favor, and make your posts have great content. A lack of promotion is always the best promotion.
2. Use visuals.
Infographics, videos, pictures. Content these days can be so much more than just words on a page. Yes, it takes more time to put together great visuals with a contextual post, but when done right, the ROI can be astronomical. I wrote a blog post several years back about all the factors that go into SEO and what Google looks at when ranking a site. It drove some decent traffic, but a colleague of mine took that exact same content and put it into an amazing infographic and it literally put his name on the map. Visuals really can make or break your content.
3. Use examples.
See what I did above with that colleague of mine? Use examples. Your opinion is valuable, but life experiences and real world examples are priceless. Try to back up your writing by citing sources, using case studies, quoting experts and using as many types of examples as you can. It will help establish authority for you, your post and your brand.
4. Personalize your posts.
Everyone has a unique writing style. We have clients we work with on digital marketing campaigns who don't want to touch their content, so we have one of our writers write it for them. We have some pretty amazing writers, but the content is never as great as if it were to come directly from the horse's mouth. Even if you don't have time to write all your own content, at least spend 10-15 minutes personalizing it. Add your personal flare. Establish your brand. Those little touches will make your content that much more readable and valuable to your readers.
5. Format properly.
No one is going to read a post without headings, organization and order. If you struggle with organizing your posts and having them flow naturally, then start with an outline or bullet points of what you want to cover, and make those topics into headings to help make the post flow. People, more often than not, will skim your post and just read the major headings, so make sure they are accurate and interesting.
6. Have a means of getting readers.
Not everyone is going to have a huge following when they write a post. Make sure you have a strategy to actually get people reading your posts. Some of the most successful ways I find people discover my posts are:
- Email newsletter: Send all your posts out to an opt-in email list.
- Social: Add a link to your site, and send each post out via all the major social media channels.
- SEO: Optimize your post to rank for long tail keywords so when people search, they find you.
- Syndication/contributions: Whenever possible, syndicate your content to other websites, and likewise, don't be afraid to contribue unique content to third party websites to grow your following.
- Write regularly: Over time, you will grow a following on your blog through the above channels and through people who check back at your site. But make sure you keep your readers updated on a regular basis.
These are typically the areas where new bloggers struggle the most. If you manage to do these things right, over time, your blog posts will no longer feel like a chore, and you'll reap the benefits of regularly blogging.
Originally Published on Entreprenuer.com