Getting content out there is vital these days to build your brand and presence online. A blog is an awesome way to do that. Here I share my 6 hacks for writing a persuasive and impactful blog;
Length and format
You should write your content as long as it needs to be. For the purposes of SEO, Google prefers content over 500 words as this length has a low bounce rate, i.e. people tend not to hit the back button and leave so quickly.
Also, I would recommend writing blogs as a list, i.e. 9 reasons for ….. . This is useful as most people scan and skim over text when reading online. Check out this article from Doughroller.com on the 5 golden rules for choosing the best stock.
Use short paragraphs to keep the reader engaged and longer on your page. Long blocks of text are not appealing. Remember that most people scan when reading content online as they’re looking for that solution for their problem. So you gotta make it skimmable. That means using bullet points, subtitles and 2-3 sentences in each block.
This article from Gardenhealth.com uses short paragraphs to succinctly list out how to maintain a cactus plant!
Use of media
You should try and use an image every 300 words to add some vibrancy, break up the text and to compliment your words. Videos also enhance your content and bring it to life.
Refer to the below instructional blog that teaches tennis enthusiasts how to execute the perfect forehand. A image of the Roger Federer throughout the content compliments the post, and is perfect for this type of instruction-based content;
For blog images, make sure you resave the file name to make it easier to find. So maybe the default file name is ‘342kja000dandflower_asd. jpeg’ – which doesn’t say much. Resave it to ‘dandelion_flower.jpeg’, and give it a title caption and alt text and description within your media settings. This is so when people search for a dandelion flower on Google images – your image and a link to your site will appear. See below:
Also a caption and a description helps in case your image doesn’t load – at least there will be a description in place explaining what the image relates to.
Great headlines serve a need. They ask a question, provide guidance, or pique the interest of a reader. They also tell a potential reader that there is a good reason to visit your blog instead of moving on to another resource.
My tip would be to make your headline 5-7 words in length. Too long, and Google won’t accept it. Too short and it won’t provide enough detail to your readers.
CoSchedule have a superb, free headline analyzer that rates and scores how effective your headline is. Have a go, and aim for a score above 75 – as that indicates how optimal your headline is for search engine purposes.
Another way to assess what headlines are in demand is by reviewing the comments of other blogs in your blog’s niche. Look at what people are talking about, and then turn those talking points into a question or statement.
Make your headline interesting to keep the reader engaged. For example something like ‘The 7 Benefits of Green Tea – Number 6 will shock you!“
Use of keywords
Blog articles are a valuable tool for driving more traffic to your site through search engines. Each article is an opportunity to optimize for keywords that you wouldn’t normally be able to optimize for on a static page on your site.
Perform keyword research at least a day before you write content to see what keywords are impactful to your audience. Research both short (i.e. “stocks”) and long-tail keywords (“how to pick winning stocks”) in the various search engine platforms and assess how popular (or saturated/competitive) that key word is.
Your keyword(s) should ideally be in the following places to optimize SEO:
- Main heading
- Opening paragraph
- Image caption and description box
- Last sentence or paragraph
The most important thing to understand about SEO for blog articles is that you should always write for people first. Search engines love content that provides value to readers so make sure you’re covering a topic that people want to read about and that your article is a helpful resource for those readers.
So make sure you use those keywords naturally. Don’t force keywords in just to include them – remember, you’re writing for people first.
Do your research and check the facts
Have links to external sites. Search engines like this, and it boosts your ranking.
Before you ever put a word on a page, you should know the direction that your blog will take. Blogging isn’t just about writing whatever you want – it’s a process of marketing your writing to others.
The most popular early blogs grew out of the relationship that consumers had with individual producers. Now that the internet has grown, though, great blogs are a product of producers creating content that consumers actually want.
The research process will help you decide if you should write that particular blog, what you should write about, and how to get the most eyes on your page. The first research attempt can be time consuming, but it will become second nature after you’ve got through the process successfully at least once.
Your credibility is key in the online world. And all it takes to tank your credibility is one glaring error. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s crucial to avoid gaffes like this. If you’re just starting out, your credibility and authority will take a major hit if you publish inaccurate information, and even if you have a blog with millions of loyal readers, your regulars will be all too eager to jump all over your mistake.
In the event that you make a mistake in your content, it’s best to own up to it right away and be transparent about your edits. If you try to slip something past your readers, they’ll pick up on it eventually and call you out on it.
Tell people what to do
Towards the end of your blog, you want to tell people what to do next. This may be clicking on a link to subscribe for more content, download an e-book or invite them to try out your product. People don’t usually come to blog articles for a hard sales pitch, so keep calls to action gentle.
In an article by Clearscore.com on how to improve your credit score, there is an invitation for the reader to check their credit score and report;
Teachable’s article on how to create an email course is concluded with the following call to action;
Blogs are terrific, cost-effective ways to share your knowledge and information online. They provide a platform for getting your word out there and for creating and establishing your presence in the online world.
Want to create effective blogs and content to deliver knowledge around your niche? Click here to learn more.