Guidelines for Awesome Blogging 101
We are often approached by our clients with ways to beef up their blogs. We have compiled some of our bests tips here for the world to see!
The first thing you should do is make a content calendar. It is a good idea to structure your content with a goal in mind- that way the posts have a cohesive flow and your audience will remain engaged as they build on their knowledge from the information that is being provided.
Content calendars can be scheduled around industry trends while intertwining the topics with seasonal relevancy. For example, a branding advisory site discussing strategy for the New Year
Not sure how to create a content calendar? Step 1 is to identify your audiences. Think about whom you want to read your blog. What types of people are they? What are their weaknesses? What are their strengths? What are their goals? It’s a good idea to get other members of your team in on this. They might see an angle you never even noticed!
The next step is to take an inventory of your content assets. Presentation and case study decks, data from your CRM system, infographics, whitepapers that can be rewritten, previous blog posts that can be updated. Step 3 is to create the content and put it out there- of course making sure to promote and track it.
For more tips and a content calendar template visit this Convince and Convert guest blog post.
Search engines and readers like to have fresh content. It shows that you are active and in-the-know among the industry (and lets your readers known that you haven’t forgotten about them).
- – The posts should be long enough to explain the point yet short enough to keep your readers interested and wanting more
- – There should always be a minimum of 1 unique and relevant image for each post
- – One question to ask yourself when you are creating a new post is, “What do I want my reader to do after they have read my post?” Share it with their friends? Apply the concepts discussed to their own business? Subscribe to receive updates for your future posts?
- – According to Social Media Examiner there are 6 key parts of the anatomy of a lead-generating post:
- 1. An eye-catching title
- 2. In-text links
- 3. Sidebar/banner with a call to action
- 4. Social sharing buttons
- 5. Call to action at the bottom of the post
- 6. Relevancy – ensuring the entire post is relevant
- – A journalist approach is another great concept to adopt when creating posts. 5 things to keep in mind are:
- 1. Make sure you have all the facts
- 2. Trust has to be earned from your audience
- 3. Give credit to your sources
- 4. Use the inverted pyramid which suggests a basic overview with more details in subsequent paragraphs (right)
- 5. Editing and proofreading
- – Metrics are the proof that all of your hard work is worth it. By evaluating increases (and decreases) you can learn what is most valuable to your audience and adjust your future posts accordingly. Some suggestions for how-to measure your success are:
- 1. Visitors
- 2. Leads
- 3. Subscribers
- 4. Inbound links
- 5. Social media shares
- – CTAs are important. Finish posts with a CTA to follow you on social media, or subscribe to yours newsletter.
Types of Blog Posts
Lists are a popular kind of post. There are 3 list types of blogs that are commonly recommended:
This type of post has a short yet valuable description that entices readers to bookmark or share the post to revisit as a resource later
Each bullet point in a detailed list is a completed and detailed thought. It is common to have an in-depth explanation in between the actual lists
This type of list combines elements of both of the aforementioned lists. Hybrid lists offer short and valuable insights with a more detailed explanation- both of which are valuable separately
These posts are great for demonstrating your expertise and catching your audience’s attention. One way to create these posts is to think of a recent business experience you had to overcome and how you did so successfully- or how you weren’t successful and what you learned. It helps readers relate when they know that the person they are getting advice from has been in their shoes before.
Interviewing those with various roles in the industry can give your audience a different point of view. It is a good idea to ask questions that your audience would benefit from. There are a few ways to approach interview posts. Interviewing an industry expert is obviously a great place to start, so is interviewing the intern- which may help those considering the field.
Account Mangers know the ins and outs of an account and can provide for an interesting look at the different encounters they have with client concerns and how they overcome them. Thematic interviews are another option. For example, interviewing women in marketing or client interviews where you interview various clients on their marketing objectives.
Reviewing software or techniques that have or haven’t worked for your is another great idea. Today we are bombarded with a variety of options for an item that performs the same function so when you can give feedback on your experiences. Is there a go-to formula for branding? Have you worked with a company that provides great freelance creatives? Help your audience out and let them know!
Case studies of successful campaigns that have been executed in various markets demonstrate successes and can help show your diversity while providing interesting insights for your readers.
Discussing the challenges and providing hope for your readers is a great way to inspire them. Jobs can be tough sometimes and lots of times those tough scenarios are prominent throughout various industries.
Successful Blogs/Blog Posts
- 1. A compelling subject
- 2. Useful content
- 3. Continuous updates
- 4. Audience-centric and interactive
Blog Article: ADD A BACKGROUND IMAGE TO YOUR EMAIL IN 2 SIMPLE STEPS2
- 1. Topic (useful content) -A frequent contributor to the forum made a comment about how he adds backgrounds to his emails and it received a lot of feedback, which prompted the author to create his own post on the topic.
- 2. Informative
- 3. Simple
Blog Article: A KICK IN THE BUTT FROM FAKE MARK ZUCKERBERG2
- 1. Flow – Captured reader attention with illustrative first paragraph by describing issue, explained causes, explained sources of problem and provided solution and how-to to implement
- 2. Helped audience connect by causing them to become emotionally invested
Blog Article: SOCIAL SHARING BOOSTS EMAIL CTR UP TO 115%2
- 1. Timing – The blog was posted after introduction of the company’s social media integration
- 2. Infographic – These are popular to demonstrate facts in a quick and easy to read format
- 3. Content – The content was relevant and informative
Checklist for Your Awesome Blog
You should be able to check off all of the following as items your blog content possesses.
- 1. Do you have a list of relevant and interesting topics to discuss?
- 2. Is your blog: Trendy? Share-able? Link-able?
- 3. Is your content written in an easy to read conversational tone?
- 4. Do you get to the point in the first few words?
- 5. Are you using adjectives, hyperbole, corporate-speak and jargon sparingly?
- 6. Are you using relevant keywords effectively?
- 7. Title: Is the main keyword towards the beginning of the sentence?
- 8. Meta Description: Be sure to include a description of the article with the most important elements of the description in the beginning of the sentence. Keep descriptions between 150-160 characters.
- 9. Are there any outbound links?
- 10. Do you have any inbound links to your site?
- 11. Are you using rich media?
- 12. What are your sources?
- 13. Is your copy easy to scan with subheadings and bullets?
- 14. If you use a hyperlink, is it descriptive? Make sure to tell the reader what they will be reading if they click.
- 15. Are you enticing your audience to engage and come back for more?