Once your site is up and running and your generating traffic and sales, don’t let it plateau. One way to keep your site up to date, current and rising up the Google search rankings, is to have an active blog section. Perhaps you have an existent news section or maybe you’re starting fresh, either way, this post will help you optimise your blog posts and up your content writing skills. So, here are our 7 tips on how to create a great blog post.
#1 Use Tools To Get Blog Topic Ideas
Tools like BuzzSumo are great for getting ideas on what to write about. Firstly you must choose from your categories or subcategories to find a specific topic. For example, if your an eCommerce site selling beauty products, you’re likely to want to create a blog post that talks specifically about lipsticks.
BuzzSumo allows you to “analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor.”
By searching for “lipstick” over the time frame “past year”, you can see a list of the most popular posts that specify this keyword in the last 12 months. On the left-hand side you can see the article title with the website it was posted on, the author and the date it was posted. On the right-hand side, you can see the share statistics for social channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ and the total number of shares.
Tip: Trial different variations of your keyword to tap into “niche headings”. For example, instead of searching for “lipsticks”, try searching for “lipstick colours”, “best lipsticks”, “cheap lipsticks” and so on.
You can also vary your search by adding quotation marks. By doing this, you can perform ‘exact matches’ which will bring up articles that contain that specific keyword within the quotation.
#2 Explore The Angle You Want To Take
Next, it’s a matter of analysing these headlines to see which angle the articles focus on and brainstorming how you could perhaps build on this or create a new angle to interest readers.
Perhaps the initial post is quite small and lacking content, so you’ll want to include more case studies and imagery to create a more informative piece. For example, the headline “17 Incredibly Good Lipsticks Recommended By Lipstick Lovers” could be turned into “The Ultimate Guide To Incredible Lipsticks for Lipstick Lovers”.
Or, maybe it’s too broad and instead, you could go specific and target a smaller niche audience. Let’s take the same headline, “17 Incredibly Good Lipsticks Recommended By Lipstick Lovers” this time you could look at creating an article titled “10 Incredible Nude Lipsticks for Lipstick Lovers”.
Summary: By creating a post that’s based on popular content, you’ll have an article that’s got high probability of being liked and shared.
#3 Create An Intriguing Headline By:
Before following the steps to actually create a headline, you need to ensure that you know the basic principles of what your headline should be:
- Unique to your brand
- Specific to your audience
- Useful to your audience
There are lots of strategies to create a great headline and from spending years in content marketing, these can be narrowed down into 3 points. The first being keyword research – of course!
Performing Keyword Research
Using tools like Google Keyword Planner can help you identify specific phrases or search terms related to your article topic, that you can include. Below is the keyword research done around the search term “lipstick” with another image showing suggested terms that are also popular.
Original keyword research
Suggested keyword research
In relation to the keyword research and taking into consideration the data found from BuzzSumo, here are 2 suggested article titles in relation to being specific to the audience, unique and of course, useful.
- 10 Incredible Matte Lipsticks for Lipstick Junkies
- Why Lipstick Lovers Can’t Get Enough of Matte Liquid Lipsticks
Tip: Ask yourself “Would some type my headline into Google?” The best way to answer this question is to do some keyword research.
Including Call To Actions
Call to actions or “strong” keywords that encourage people to click to read your post, are a must in your headline. If people have no incentive to look further at your post, you’re not going to see it “go viral” and gain lots of traffic. See the below to get an idea of the call to actions you can include in your posts.
Adjectives will help to make your headline fun and interesting. By utilising words like “amazing”, “incredible”, “stunning” and “essential”, you can tap into the emotions of your viewer to persuade them to read the full article.
Here are 5 simple techniques to help:
- How to + Benefit e.g. “How To Master The Art of Content Marketing”
- How to + Benefit + Timeframe e.g. “How To Boost Your SEO Skills In A Week”
- Ask A Question e.g. “Are You Targeting The “Right” Audience For Your Business?”
- Answer A Question e.g. “Why A High Bounce Rate Is Bad For Your Business”
- List Headlines e.g. “7 Simple Ways [to do something]”
Tip: You should be spending around 15 minutes researching and brainstorming around your headline before starting your post.
#4 Get Creative With Your Blog Introduction
Your blog introduction is almost as important as the title and the feature image. It is the next piece of content that will draw your readers in and get them scrolling down the page. So, how do you create an amazing blog introduction?
Use simple words
For brands with a huge target audience, you’ll want to welcome as many readers as possible to your content – particularly if you’re trying to build awareness of your brand. In order to do so, you want to open your reach by making your blog introduction (and the rest of the copy), easy to read. You can do this by using simple words and short sentences to get your point across. After all, why say something in 6 words when you can say it in 3?
Ask a question
A creative way – that works – is to ask a question in your title. Questions spark curiosity for the reader and gets them thinking. Even if they initially scroll past your article, from glancing at the title it can pose a question in their mind so that they get an urge to learn the answer. You’re often more likely to get someone interested in your article title if it’s engaging and questions are just the thing for that.
#5 Format The Post By:
Using Easy-To-Scan Subheadings
It’s a fact. People don’t read on the internet, they scan. By making your subheadings short, perhaps no longer than 4 words, people can quickly navigate through your post to read the parts most important to them.
Although it’d be great if our viewers had time to spend time reading the entire post, in reality, they don’t. If you want people to be interested in your content, keep it brief and use simple, specific titles that get straight to the point.
Including Imagery To Break Up The Text
Imagery is not just great for creating a divide between big, overwhelming paragraphs but it adds extra information to a post. You can include key nuggets of information which when said it words, lose their appeal.
On the other hand, you can also use video to bring an extra bit of “wow” to your blog, assuming they’re appropriate for your audience. We find that as a creative digital agency, we’re able to experiment with the content we produce, that often including the beloved GIF.
#6 Utilise Social Share Buttons
Your blog post is of no use to readers if they don’t get to see it. Utilise social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ by adding social share buttons to these sites (and others where you have an account) to cross promote your content. This will increase your post reach and help improve your brand awareness.
Not only this but sites like Reddit, Facebook and Pinterest have a high authority when it comes to ranking well on Google. If your site has a little authority, it’s more likely that your article will show in the search results when posted on one of the main social channels.
Tag or “@ Mention” Brands
Whenever you are posting content that involves a third party, tag them. That way you’ll be tapping into their audience and inevitably generating more reach and brand awareness. For example, when iWeb attended the dotmailer Summit 2018, they “@ mentioned” a variety of brands and speakers also attending the event in their Twitter posts.
#7 Adding A Final Step
Finally, it’s always good to finish a blog post with a call to action. May that be encouraging users to “contact us” “sign up” to the newsletter or similar. What often drives a lot more link clicks is by giving your users something in return for reading the article.
For example, encouraging them to “download a PDF” including more tips or content. This helps to build a relationship with the reader, trusting you to deliver them both useful and exclusive extras. You can also use this opportunity to help build a mailing list or generate audience insights to continue delivering personalised and highly relevant content to your following.