Blogging has the potential to be a hugely effective component of any online marketing strategy. A well thought out blog will help you to retain customers as well as attract more likes, comments and shares on social media along with helping to establish you and your brand at the forefront of your market. The continual addition of new content to your website in the form of blogs also vastly improves your SEO, so the possible reach and impact of your blogs is truly off the scale. With so much riding on an effective blog it’s important you know how to get it right.
Here are six elements that are essential to any effective blog:
First off your blog needs a catchy title, in a large font that catches the eye. There are loads of tips out there about how to write an interesting title that actually draws people to read your blog, one tip is to include a number e.g. ‘6 Tips’. Readers are more likely to choose a blog that specifies in the title its numerical length then they know what they are about to read and can estimate how long that will take them. If your title is too vague or too long then browsers are unlikely to click on – be specific, clear and interesting to capture an audience.
2. Valuable Content
Once you have the reader hooked, give them something worth reading about. Don’t use your blog as a place to simply push your brand or products – it is not the place for a sales pitch. Ensure that your blog content is value adding, share real tips and expertise that can enhance others experience. If you give your readers valuable content you can be sure they will build up a level of trust with you and your brand, they will keep coming back.
3. Write well
Blogging may be the future but the age-old techniques of article and story writing remain. Don’t think that just because you are writing for the internet you can abandon the English language to some colloquial text speak. Audiences will not trust a company who cannot spell correctly or form a sentence. You must write well with an engaging introduction, informative middle and a strong conclusion. Be creative, demonstrate your personality and write with flair but also with professionalism.
4. Visual Appeal
Use a large vibrant image to attract readers to your blog post, blogs without an image rarely receive clicks from newcomers. Once you have the reader you must also ensure that your blog is laid out in a way that is visually appealing. Readers are not drawn to long chunks of text when reading on the internet, they want to skim read and find smaller pieces of text much more appealing. Make headings stand out by using a larger font and make sure there is still plenty of white space on the screen. Numbered lists, bullet points and sub headers all help with the visual flow.
Finally, don’t make the post too long, 600 words is the optimum length.
5. Optimise It
Take the time to optimise your post for search engines. Use keywords, tag your title, headings, subheadings and tag your images. Use internal links to other pages on your own site and external links to validate your content. Taking a few minutes to do this will help search engines place and index your blog post.
6. Call to Action
Lastly you must conclude your blog post with a clear call to action. What do you want the readers to do next? Adding a clear call to action be it visit your Facebook page or your online store makes all the effort worthwhile. Not only will you see results from your call to action but the number of comments and the level of reader engagement that your post gets will also increase.