How do you write a blog post? Ok, so we’ve convinced you that blogging works and you have finally fired up the laptop and you are ready to get down to writing, and….
Man, that’s a lot of white space…how do I fill it?
What do people want me to talk about?
How do I format this thing?
What the hell am I doing here?
Wait, is the phone ringing? Let me go check!
SIT DOWN…I’m going to help!
With millions of blogs in existence, just how do you write a blog article that will stand out and attract readers? If you are considering starting a blog, you probably already know the significant benefits that blog traffic brings to your company’s website. A blog makes a business website much more effective by driving readers to the site that would not find it otherwise. In order to entice and captivate this traffic of potential customers, you need a blog that gives them something they need, answers questions that they have, and keeps them coming back for more and sharing with their friends.
Start with an attractive title
When you are determining the title for each blog article, consider Twitter traffic. When you share the link to your article, that is all that Twitter followers are going to see as they quickly scan their newsfeed of hundreds, if not thousands of individuals and organizations that they follow. Your headline needs to catch their eye and sound interesting enough to make them click. There are many simple formulas for creating good titles, but the most important is to include key words from the article and write it in a way that answers the reader’s question.
Readers will be annoyed if they click on a catchy title only to find that it does not contain the information they were expecting. It will make them reconsider whether to click on future items that you post, so use a title that is clear about the article’s content. A quick scan of blog or magazine articles will reveal a few common formulas for headlines. Here are a few that you probably often see basic derivatives of:
1. 10 Tips for (something people want to do or have)
2. How to stop (something that everyone deals with)
3. How to (do something that people want to do)
4. Is your family/pet/child in danger from (common threat)?
5. Comprehensive guide to (something people want to be informed about)
Once your article title draws them in, you need to have content that keeps them on your page.
Your introduction needs to hook them
You’ve got the reader on your page with that awesome headline, now it’s up to you to make sure that they don’t click away just as quickly. A significant percentage of readers will not read beyond your first several sentences if you do not immediately give them a reason to continue. Load your introduction with teaser statements about what is coming up that they will not want to miss. Use your introduction to specify how you are going to help your reader. What is in it for them if they read your article? Hint at what kind of information you are getting ready to provide and what burning questions will be answered if they will only read on.
Whatever you do, make sure that the rest of the article delivers on those promises made in the introduction.
Create easily scanned, highly readable content
Quality content is important, but so is how it is organized. Create an outline using the title and introduction that you already have. Your article must answer the questions or provide the information promised in these areas. Use your outline to create subheadings and organize details. Using subheadings and short paragraphs makes your article easy to scan and read. If your prospective clients arrive at your blog to find a long block of unbroken text, they are likely to immediately click away regardless of the quality of your content. Remember that many people will be reading on mobile devices with small screens. Even short paragraphs can fill the screen on these devices, making an article seem lengthier than it is.
Accept the fact that most readers will not thoroughly read and call out important information that you wish to draw the reader’s eye to. Use bold or italic fonts for emphasis or create lists with numbers and bullets.
Include a call to action. Each blog article should include a question or request for feedback that encourages the reader to interact on your blog. Once a conversation is started, you can develop your website into an online community that is so much more than a simple blog.
Customers will naturally look to you for answers, share your articles with friends, and come to think of your business as a friend rather than one option among many. Your call to action should always encourage comments and requests for readers to share the article through social media. Make this easy for them to do by providing share buttons for LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram. For these last two, you will also need your blog to contain a sharable image. Each comment on your blog should receive a prompt response from you, so that your readers do not feel ignored or unimportant. Hope you liked this post, now share it up!