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How to Create a Successful Blog Post – 7 Key Elements to Consider

by Chuck Swanson ~ May 8th, 2015

Chuck Swanson Establishing a successful blog is more than spinning up a Wordpress site. Managing a blog is about well-written blog posts that engage your audience, offer relevant information, and promote your brand. If done right and sustained over time, it can also go a long way toward establishing thought-leadership, but there's more to writing a great blog post than churning out words on a page.   To increase readability and social shares, a few important elements are necessary for success. Improve your content effectiveness by using these tips for your next blog writing project.   Use an Engaging Headline   A catchy headline is one of the first steps to attracting readers to your blog. A great headline will increase the odds of your content being read and shared by a larger audience.   The title should be useful, eye-catching, and intriguing to the reader. Some suggest spending half the time curating your headline as you would writing your blog post.   For help on determining the best headline, a tool like the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer can grade your headlines on effectiveness, emotional appeal, and unique words.   Search engine optimization (SEO) is important! Be sure to use some of your website’s SEO-based keywords. Keywords should be used intelligently throughout the post where they make sense for readership (not for Google) but certainly a key piece of real estate for keyword use is the headline (and subheads as well).   Include Visuals Where They Make Sense   We live in a visual world. Our brains are drawn to colorful pictures and images that hold our attention spans longer than words on a page. Because of this, every successful blog post should include visual content where appropriate.   We always include a photo at the top of our blog and you should too! Images throughout the post can help explain the information you're presenting. So too can graphs, charts, quotes, or Infographics that can attract the reader and help them comprehend and retain information.   Be as Relevant as You Can   Your topics should be relevant and helpful to your readers. Blogs can be written with curated content, but blogs seasoned with new ideas offer greater value to be shared with others. If you do curate content be sure to add in some valuable thinking and build on the ideas of others.   Research your topic to know what others are saying, but don't be afraid to chime in with your own opinions. Your readers are interested in hearing your experience so don’t be afraid to do so. Offer your audience relevant, noteworthy information to make it worth their time to engage.   Organize Your Thoughts   Free writing is a great exercise to get words on paper, but take the time to organize your thoughts before you hit publish. If your blog is scattered, readers will be less likely to understand the point you're trying to communicate and they'll likely lose interest.   Open with an engaging paragraph to draw the reader's attention. Follow the opening paragraph by organizing your thoughts into main points to back up your message. Present organized information under headers and conclude with a call to action. Remember your English Composition teacher as he drilled the important of a sound opening thesis to help the reader better engage? Well… that applies to blog posts as well (IMHO).   Format Your Content For Scanning   When your thoughts are organized, your blog can be formatted for easy scanning. As readers click on your blog, they'll first scan for headings, bullet points, images, and sub-headings. If these topics grab their attention, they'll likely continue reading the rest of your content.   By formatting your blog for scanning and including images, readers know what information you're presenting and where to locate what's important to them; it might different for each reader.   Focus On Quality   An engaging headline and interesting images won't guarantee success without quality content. Relevant topics engage your readers and providing quality material elevates your status as an expert in your field.   Focus on providing quality over quantity. One quality blog post per week is better than five mediocre posts. Edit your content for accuracy and continue editing until perfect. Quality matters.   End With Call-To-Action   After you present relevant information to your readers with visuals and proper formatting, your conclusion should tell the reader what to do next.   A call to action can offer where to find additional information or how to access your products or services. It can also ask a question to create engagement with your readers by encouraging them to respond in the comments below your post. Reiterate the value and purpose of your article by making their next action clear.   To create successful blog posts, build a strategy for content creation. When you focus on relevant topics and quality content, you'll connect with your audience while establishing your brand and thought-leadership. Your content marketing efforts will pay off with better results and more reader engagement.   --- Photo credit to Herald Walker.

6 Reasons to Outsource your Blog Writing and Management

by Chuck Swanson ~ March 13th, 2015

Chuck Swanson When we speak with blog writing prospects it’s almost a guarantee that we’ll get asked the question:   “Why should I outsource our blog writing to an agency when I can get our employees to do if for free?”  

Blogging is Anything but a Dinosaur

by Chuck Swanson ~ April 5th, 2012

Chuck Swanson I recently read Wendy Montes de Oca’s blog over at Target Marketing entitled, Is Blogging the Online Dinosaur? Before I could even imagine what she was thinking my eyes read down to the short third paragraph that said, “I beg to differ.”   Phew!  

5 Key Reasons to Establish a Corporate Blog

by Chuck Swanson ~ March 18th, 2011

Chuck Swanson A lot of people today think blogs are outdated and old school. I don’t share this opinion. A good company blog forms the foundation of social media conversation. It creates the starting point for social dialogue that can position your company and its employees as thought leaders within your market. It invites prospect, customer, and industry discussion on various topics of interest and it helps to create brand advocates. It also helps to drive corporate website traffic and sales by providing better search visibility around keywords and phrases.  

CONTENT MARKETING


Today, content and content marketing are playing a central role in online brand visibility. Without a steady flow of fresh, relevant, well-written content your site will not be maximizing its search engine presence.

Content can come in many forms, all of which – if optimized – can set your site apart from competitors, giving you better online brand visibility, but perhaps even more important – a voice. A seat at the table, as they say, brings thought-leadership which goes miles toward shrinking sales cycles and converting new business.

  • Blogs – establish a blog and let prospects see your passion for what you do, how you do it, and who makes it happen
  • Video – create video content and differentiate yourself. YouTube and Vimeo are great places, beyond your site, to create a presence
  • Articles – write smart articles and syndicate them at article sites as well as distribute them to bloggers and publishers
  • Press Releases – set up shot at PRWeb.com and PRLog.org and publish your press releases. Create a media center or integrate them into your blog for more robust, searchable content
  • Enewsletters – interact with prospects, customers and partners and archive them on your site

These content ideas and more are what it takes these days. Explore our site to learn more or give us a call today to walk through countless content marketing ideas that will have you standing out from the crowd.