Saturday, May 18th, 2013

10 Components of a Great Blog Post

By Mhairi Petrovic on Dec 11 2012 • Filed under Outsmarting Social Media

10 Components of a Great Blog (Photo: Svilen Milev)Websites that have a blog typically get 55% more website visitors and way more action than websites that don’t (according to Hubspot) but if your blog posts aren’t up to par then you could simply be wasting your time.

Here are ten tips to consider when writing your blog that will help make your posts more attractive, bring more visitors and get more shares.
 
1. Great Blog Titles
 
Just like the title in a newspaper headline, your blog title should be short, to the point and should compel people to make them want to read more. Your title should be attention grabbing but it shouldn’t be misleading (i.e. it should relate to your actual content).
 
2. Compelling Blog Introduction
 
Once people have clicked through to your blog you have seconds to grab their interest and make them want to read more. The first paragraph is hugely important. It should describe briefly what the post is about and why the visitor should read on.
 
3. Eye Candy for Your Blog Post
 
Add some images to your blog post to make it more appealing to visitors but make sure you have the right to use the images and remember to always link back and give credit to the originator where applicable.
 
4. Optimize your Blog
 
SEO is as important for your blog as for any other part of your website. Each post should have a META title, description and related keywords along with appropriate tags and categories. These components are all very important in helping visitors find your content. If you are using Wordpess then Yoast or All in One SEO are good plugins to use for blog SEO.
 
5. Use Blog Headings
 
Use headings and sub headings to break out your content, to highlight important sections and to keep them reading. 
 
6. Blog Content
 
Blog posts shouldn’t be war and peace. Some bloggers (like Seth Godin)  are really effective in short sharp bursts and others prefer longer more in depth blog posts. You’re posts will vary according to your audience and the topic at hand. A good general rule of thumb is to keep it under five paragraphs. If you have more content that that consider splitting it into one or more posts.
 
7. Blog Links
 
Links are important in blog posts for a number of reasons, the show you care about the community, they add value by providing readers with links to useful info and they enhance the positioning of your blog. When linking, remember to check that the links work before publishing. It’s also a good idea to link to other posts on the same topic like we’ve done below. Here’s more on how to link
 
8. Call to Action
 
Every blog post should have a call to action. It could be a few words encouraging people to subscribe, to buy your products or services or directing them to a form on your site. Here’s a great infographic with tonnes of tips on how to use calls to action successfully.
 
9. Blog regularly
 
It is best to blog at least once per week (2-3 times is optimal but not always achievable). Blogging regularly keeps your audience engaged but it is more important to ensure that your content is strong than to simply blog for the sake of having a new post. A blog can be a lot of work but it is worth it. If you start a blog end then decide it’s too much work then you should bring your blog down rather than leave it up the – an abandoned blog can be very damaging.
 
10. Sharing
 
Encourage people to share your posts. You can do this a number of ways including asking or encouraging them to do so by including words to that effect in the content of your blog post. Yes, go on – share this post if you liked it! Adding widgets to your site such as the AddThis ones we have will make it easier for people to share but probably the most important factor in encouraging people to share you content is to give them a reason to do so by posting great content that will make people want to share.
 
* Photo for this post is by Svilen Milev, http://efffective.com
 

 
See original post here. Mhairi Petrovi and her team at Out-Smarts specialize in on-line marketing and social media. Email info@out-smarts.com to learn how they can help you set up your blog. They are also on Facebook and Twitter.
 
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