02 Jun How To write the Perfect Blog Post: 9 tips
Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read – Leo Burnett
THE SCARY TRUTH ABOUT THE PERFECT BLOG POST
Content marketing is one of the most misunderstood part of the marketing. It takes a lot of work, persistence, and patience.
Content marketing is as tricky as it is simple. It is not just “writing”, it is to write something that speaks to your readers. You want them captivated with your work. You want them enthralled. And you want to capture their attention for at least 10 seconds.
It’s not for everyone. And the perfect blog post doesn’t exist. But you can get it right. How?
Here some things you need to consider when you’re writing your next blog post.
9 TIPS YOU CAN USE TO WRITE THE PERFECT BLOG POST
1. The Captivating Headline
Your goal is to grab attention, so people feel compelled to read your opening.
According to KissMetrics, readers tent to absorb the first three words of a headline and the last three words.
Your headline gets read more than anything else on your website:
- Be specific, include facts and concrete information
- Be useful, go straight to the problem that the reader has in mind and needs to solve
- Generate a sense of urgency
- Engage a certain audience
- Contain negatives. The titles with negative words or superlatives got 63% more clicks than those using positive words
- Keep under 65 characters long
- Ensure SEO key phrase in title
- Constantly refer back to headline as you write
- Use websites like SEOPressor and Blog About to help you with some headline ideas
- Use websites like ViperChill and Boost Blog Traffic as a guide for headline generation
2. The Feature Image
Your blog post should always include at least one piece of visual content: images, infographics, videos, etc. Something to catch the eye of your readers.
That being said, not all images are created equal. I spend quite a lot of time looking for a good photo. I want it to be attractive or different, something that fits with me and is often taken directly from me.
Here’s a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t put a lot of words on the image. Ideally, none
- Consider the colours. Bright colours tend to attract the eye
- Whatever your source, make sure you have the legal right to use it. If you just go use Google Images, chances are any image you find won’t be legal to use
3. The Hook
The headline gets them in the door. The hook draws them in further.
According to Blog Marketing Academy, in term of blog post, the hook is that text right at the beginning of the blog post. Aside from the headline, it is the part of the post most likely to be read. And it can make a major difference on whether the reader will stick around to read the post or not.
One of the most powerful forms of hook is the story. Some short story with a little mini-plot to it. Because when we hear stories, our brain acts as if we’re feeling the stories, as if we’re living them.
4. The Link Strategy
For a post to operate at full effectiveness, you want to include both internal and outbound links.
- A good, useful blog post will almost naturally contain links to other, relevant blog posts on other websites. A great way to add a lot of credibility to your post is to include statistics and, of course, link to the source of those statistics
- Linking to high-quality content is a positive signal to search engines of what your blog post is about
- Outbound links can also be a great form of blogger relations. It can help spread the word
- One suggestion is to have all external links set to open up in a new window. This way if your reader clicks on it, they don’t simply leave your site
- Internal links are linking to your own content when relevant. You definitely want to do this
- What you want to do is linking to other relevant blog posts
- As much as we’d all love a “perfect” number of internal links to use, there is none. When it makes sense to link to another blog post, do it
- Last, but not the least, you will need to include links to call to action
5. The Content
- According to Jeff Bullas, articles with images get 94% more views than articles without
- Before you upload an image to your media library, rename the filename so that it contains keywords for what’s in the image
- Optimize the image to reduce the file size
- Use the ALT tag when inserting the image, type what’s in the image, and pretend you’re making sense to a blind person
- The perfect blog post must be compelling, relevant, useful, entertaining
- Use lists, lists stand out and are easy to read
- Choose the right tone of voice. Using natural, conversational language will make it easier for people to read your blog
- If you’re writing a long or complex piece of content, consider including different sizes of sub-headers. Start your article off with an H1 tag, separate larger sections with H2 tags, and initiate paragraphs with H3 headers
6. The Perfect Post Length
Short little blog posts tend not to go very viral.
According to Data Lab, the optimal blog post takes 7 minutes to read. This mean around 1600-2000 words. I’m not sure that the perfect blog post length exists. “Perfect” isn’t universal and the success of your blog post depends on tons of factors.
7. The SEO
The number one rule is to write naturally. But, you can signal to search engines what your blog is about by using keywords in strategic places. Most importantly, use them in your:
- Title tag – this is the text search engines often choose to use in the clickable headline in their results pages. It should be unique, and keywords should ideally be placed at the beginning. It’s best not to make it too long, so it doesn’t get truncated in the results pages. Including your brand name as shown below is also a good idea
- H1 tag – this is the heading that appears at the very top and tells readers what the blog is about
- Subheading – add keywords here if they fit in naturally but don’t overdo it
- Snippets – search engines sometimes choose to use the text from your snippet underneath the clickable title tag link in the results pages. They may choose to use text from elsewhere in your blog, but it is still a good idea to write a snippet that will entice readers to click on your link. It should give readers a preview of what your blog post is about and include the keyword you are focussing on
- First paragraph – keywords are most important early on in your article, however do include them towards the end of the article too
- ALT tag – image alternative text
- Do a quick read over for spelling and formatting, but don’t waste too much time
- Hit publish peak time, for me is Friday or Saturday, 9 am CEST (Italian time)
- Make sure you test your own blog posting schedule
9. The Call to Action
Finish your conclusion with a meaningful call to action (CTA) for your reader, whether it’s an advice, a content offer, or a link to another related blog post. Use the last lines of your post to leave the reader feeling like he or she learned something from you, and like there’s even more to learn from you, creating the desire to follow you and read more.
As a blogger, you know that understanding your audience is the key to your success. But that goes deeper than understanding their unique struggles and interests. You must also understand their very nature.
You must know what makes people tick. You must know what drives them. You must know which buttons to push to make them read your blog posts.