Blogging started as a digital diary, where users could come and share their thoughts and opinions on just about anything. From Justin Hall of 1994, to the bustling metropolis of modern-day WordPress, blogging burst onto the scene and has refused to back down since. As we started reading over each other’s shoulders while more compelling content began gaining traction, blogging became the new print media for millions of businesses. With such humble beginnings of just 23 blogs in 1999 ballooned to nearly 150 million in 2010, and blogging has sat firmly at the table of major marketing strategies.
Most businesses and online presences use a blog to provide a relatable, helpful, and current perspective from their business to their readers – and while there’s no one-size-fits-all to blogging, there are a few points to remember when your website design is looking to add blogs. Here’s the ultimate cheat sheet for any blogger in 2016 to bookmark and use to develop a fierce, fresh, and fun blog strategy.
Breaking Down Your Blog:
Blogging is something that’s so straightforward and easy, that anyone can do it. The way to succeed is by doing it better than those who are less prepared, and probably more hobby-bloggers. There are five core parts to your blog to be consistently aware of.
Every post has to be announced by a brief but convincing headline, written in title case and structured to elicit curiosity or interest. For example, if your blog is about cars, you might want to swap “Tesla Automotive Is The Best Car Company”, for “Find Out Who Takes The Throne Of Car Manufacturers”. Make the value clear and powerful, with emotive language and buzzwords to pack a punch and either apply to the desire for pleasure or the avoidance of pain. By zeroing in on your audience’s wants, needs, fears, and desires, you can create a headline that will instantly grab attention. A great formula by Jeff Goins for a headline is
Number or Trigger Word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise
This formula has been found to be almost foolproof for blog titles, so see if you can use it in your own writing.
The first thing below the headline should be an image, to grab attention and provide a clear outline of where your content is going. After all, if articles with images receive 94% more views than those without, we know we’re on board.This image will also be used when your picture is shared on social media, so make sure it’s a good one, and use helpful and eye-catching images throughout the content to back up the text or to provide illustration. This provides small spaces of rest for the reader, and makes the text appear more manageable and readable.
This is where you really shine, but there are a few little tips for this too. For starters, try to avoid making your paragraphs any wider than 75 characters, and ideally between 50-60. This will improve readability, which can also be helped by including bullet points and numbered lists to break up the text. The content length should be between 700 and 1500 words – any shorter, and you’re probably not saying enough of value for a single post, and any longer is turning into a saga. Blog content should be useful and interesting, with researched information and data from reputable sources you’ve provided links to. Start off with a story to hook your readers, with a storytelling intro being found to encourage a 300% increase in readers. Keep paragraphs from becoming too long and rambling, as they may intimidate your readers, and a strong conclusion to wrap everything up will seal the deal.
If you want your content to be read, shared, and engaged with by your readership, then make these tools as available as possible. Ensure that each page has social sharing options so that your work can go easily around the web, and implement a small but reliable comments section for others to leave their feedback. Tip: This feedback can provide brilliant insights into your readers, so scour these for content ideas!
H2 and H3 tags are great for dividing up the content into manageable chunks, and allowing the reader to navigate freely around the text. H1 tags should only be used on the headline, and avoided elsewhere in the text, in case the two texts are competing for attention and the reader starts feeling harangued.
The Finishing Touches:
Now that you’ve created such a masterpiece, it’s time for the finishing touches on your blog. We’re talking a powerful call-to-action, (for example, for your followers to find you on Facebook, or enquire after a discount for a certain product), and a valuable email list. Your blog is where your audience reaches you on their terms, but an email list opens up the channels both ways and allows you to contact them with promotional pieces or newsletters. However, spammy blogs are very quick to be blocked, so plan your email marketing strategies carefully. Your blog should also keep your SEO strategy in mind – select your keywords and develop content around that, or incorporate them into the text. Many SEO services will help you to find the keywords you need to be targeting, to ensure your blog is front and centre of your niche market.
Blogging is a fun and fresh way to interact with your followers, so put this cheat sheet to good use and get typing!
This Blog post is Contributed by – “Dilate Digital” – A Leading website design and Digital marketing agency based in Perth, Western Australia, with tonnes of Online Marketing tips and tricks to get your business off the ground and taking over the digital landscape.