According to Technorari, over 2.5 million new blog posts are published everyday. That’s a lot of competition, so it’s important that you equip yourself with the skills and knowledge needed to perfect your blog posts and give your content a competitive edge.
UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE
You want your blog to be read by a certain audience of consumers interested in your products and services and so it’s important to understand what they want and need from your blog. You want to understand their grievances and desires so your blog can act as a go-to hub of information to help them. If you’ve got an audience of 40-50 year old business professionals, you probably don’t need to provide them with business etiquette and professional tone, but what might help is sending them information on social media marketing best practices and connecting with clients in a more casual sense.
If you’re struggling to gauge your audience you might want to consider creating buyer personas. In this context, buyer personas are fabricated profiles of your target readers. They allow you to take a deeper look into the desires and needs of the people who would be interested in your blog content. Ultimately, this practice helps you make more informed decisions when it comes to choosing content and topics – allowing you to steer clear of generic content and provide the information your audiences really want to read.
NARROW IN ON YOUR TOPIC
Usually you will enter into a blog post with a broad idea about what you want to write about. To ensure that your post doesn’t become a generic article that doesn’t offer anything new and tries to cover too many topics, you need to form a working title and decide on the blueprint of what your article is going to cover. This will become your guide to ensure you don’t fall victim to the mistakes mentioned above. Conversely, if you find yourself stumped for a topic – consider going through your old content, find something that performed quite well and create iterations from that piece by changing the scope, adjusting it to fit a new audience, or introducing new and relevant components.
PICK A WINNING TITLE
Unfortunately, picking a title isn’t as simple as it may seem. Not only do you need something that’s going to capture the attention of readers – you also need something that’s going to stand out from the millions of blog posts being published everyday, and something that’s going to perform well in terms of SEO. The best way to go about doing this is brainstorming as many titles as you can think of and eliminating and editing them from there. The first thing you’re looking for is accuracy, while you want the title to be creative and interesting – it also needs to be relevant. Consider using poetic devices such as alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance or rhyme for an added effect. Keywords are important for SEO, ensure that you’re including your keywords in your title, as long as it seems natural. Length is the final thing to consider, Google will cut your titles if they are too long so keep them under 65 characters if possible.
ORGANIZE YOUR CONTENT
Organizing your content really goes back to the blueprint you made earlier. Often, when we start the research phase of the article we find new content we hadn’t planned for and we write things that we feel we must include. When we try and pack it in, it can make articles look disjointed and un-appealingly lengthy. Rather than trying to piece it all together as you go along, and cut/pasting content all over the place – go back to your original plan and make your edits there. This way, when you’re actually writing up the story you can focus on the thousands of other aspects you should be paying attention to.
ENGAGE YOUR READERS
If your articles are somewhat longer in length you need to introduce other elements to break it up for your readers. This can be done in a number of ways. Text based ways of doing this include sub-sections, lists and highlighted tips. Infographics are becoming more and more popular nowadays because of their unique ability to simplify complex topics that might not always resonate through text. Video is another, arguably more effective way of adding engagement because it adds a unique dynamism to your blog post. Relevant and high quality imagery is also a great tool to use.
Keyword optimization is all about identifying the terms viewers are using when they’re searching for blog content like yours. It’s become necessary to use this tactic to ensure your posts are gaining traffic from search engines.
Your first step should always be – research. There are hundreds of different online software that have been designed to help you with this. In many of these platforms you can search different terms and analyse how popular they are compared with others. For instance, if your post was about rock climbing tips – you could search ‘rock climbing tips’ or ‘best rock climbing tips’ or ‘top rock climbing tips’ – which would all give you different stats. This experimentation will help you narrow down on your keywords and assess what’s going to be most effective for you.
After you’ve done your research it’s important to keep in mind that effective use of keywords involves maintaining relevance and legibility. You need to make sure that the keywords make sense and everything reads correctly and appears natural. It’s also a good idea to avoid keyword stuffing. You will see this tactic used all the time, but it’s extremely outdated. Search engines are becoming far more privy to this and may penalize you for it, so it’s best to avoid it. Instead, use long tail keywords and different variations for a better effect.
Metadata is the information that your video feeds a search engine crawler about your content. This information includes things such as the blog title, the description, the length as well as the file name and any tags. All of this is given to the search engine for ranking so it’s important that all of these components perform well.
With mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a blog that is responsive for mobile is critical. In addition to making sure your blog’s visitors have the best experience possible, optimizing for mobile will score your website some SEO points. This is because Google has recently changed it’s algorithms to penalize any sites that aren’t mobile optimized.
PROOFREAD! PROOFREAD! PROOFREAD!
By this point people are usually exhausted from having written the article that they don’t allocate anywhere near enough time for the final editing stage. Grammar, spelling and correct phrasing should all be deeply analysed during this phase because nothing says unprofessional quite like a typo. If you’re close to your deadline, it’s best to go over it once and have a trusted, fresh set of eyes go over your post again because it’s likely they’ll pick up mistakes you miss.
While blog posts are created with the purpose of remaining evergreen, timing really can make a huge difference to the success of your post. Publishing your content at the right time ensures it is seen at the right time, by the right people. If you post your content during peak times, there will be far more engagement and by extent, far more exposure.