5 Ingredients to Make your Blog Rock
Blogs are hard to maintain, that’s for sure. You have to constantly come up with new ideas for topics, and that’s just the beginning. Then you have to actually write them, while you deal with writer’s block, all sorts of other demands on your time, and the fact that you would like to have some sort of life beyond your business and writing. But a blog is an essential part of your branding and growth, so you have to do it right. If your blog is currently suffering from the “blahs,” does not seem to be attracting new follower and/or, even worse, is losing readership, than you have to make some big changes. Here are 5 essential ingredients for every blog post you publish.
Great Title and First Line
The title is what will pique an interest. It will need to indicate that you are going to solve a problem or entertain your reader. Some of the best titles, according to analytics, will include the following:
- They will indicate that there is a list of things – look at this title, for example
- They will indicate a “How To,” so the reader knows she is going to learn something
- They will ask a question that points to a problem they typical readers may have
- They will indicate that a great story is about to be told
The first line is short and sweet – it gives a startling fact, points to “pain” of the reader, generates an immediate emotion, and so forth. It is what engages the reader and wants him/her to read on. If you have a landscaping company, for example, and you are writing a post on mole abatement, for example, you might begin a post with something like, “A mole has invaded my territory.” Or, even better, “I feel like the movie Caddyshack is re-playing in my back yard.” The reader is going to get a personal, probably humorous story about your battle with moles and then some good information on how to get rid of them.
Lots of Media
There is no excuse for not have photos, clip art, infographics, and even videos in your posts today. They are so easy to generate with all sorts of free tools, and images are available all over the web (just be sure to give credit). Any YouTube video can be edited and clipped and turned into a GIF file in 3 easy steps. When a reader looks at a post and sees only text, s/he will tend to bounce; media strategically placed throughout the post, however, will motivate the reader to stay.
Have a Clear Purpose
What are you trying to accomplish with this post? Are you featuring a customer or a team member? Are you writing about the latest charity event in which you and your team participated? Are you writing to solve a problem that you realize people have? Are you explaining how to do something? Or are you just writing to entertain today? Don’t combine purposes – it confuses the reader. Instead, write two separate posts.
The Sharing Factor
If you have not given your readers the opportunity to share, comment, or ask a question, you have failed. Think about it. What is the purpose of a blog anyway? It is to spread your brand and to develop lasting relationships with your readers. This only happens when your readers take some action. So have those sharing buttons easily found and prominent; have the ability for them to respond right then and there.
Make it Scannable
Having media to break up text is great. But the text has to be broken up too. Use sub-headings in bold and bullet points whenever possible. Remember, if you want to write essay pieces, you should take a college class. Short, sweet, broken up – that’s the rule for text. There you have it – 5 things that will turn you blog into a place where people want to come.