Crafting a great blog post involves a whole lot more than just solid writing and an interesting topic.
Many bloggers are lucky enough to have those skills, yet their posts are routinely ignored. What's at play here? Let's explore what goes on after a post is published.
I finally did it! I hit the publish button on a post that I spent hours on. Before I began the writing process, I spent days debating the nuances of each thought and idea contained within.
At the end of the day the post goes live, I check the blog's stats. This one doesn't seem to be making a dent. No one is commenting. No one is sharing. No one seems to care at all.
Let's start at the very beginning.
Research shows that many readers do not make it past the title of your post. Was your title too long or confusing? Did you hook your reader by making them curious or evoking emotion?
The research says that the first 3 words and last 3 words of your title are all that your readers will see. Did you pack the most important words towards the beginning and end of your title? The beginning of your title is also more weighted for SEO, so fit your key words into the title quickly.
(Hint – 9 Keys might be great because people are interested in numbers, but if I really wanted to rank, I would have started off with Blogging: 9 Keys to Crafting a Killer Post.)
Take a Look at some of Anne's Killer Blog Post Titles
She uses numbers, evokes emotions and curiosity, and utilizes 6 words or less to make sure the entire title is read by her readers.
Are Your Paragraphs Putting People Off?
Let's talk about that killer blog post you just finished writing. Did you write it as though it were a novel?
In the online space, ease of reading and the ability to scan a post are KEY. Use paragraphs that are 1 to 4 sentences long. Yes, I know this seems ridiculous.
No, it's not actually ridiculous. Your readers may just make it all the way through your post if you use this technique.
Photos Belong on Your Blog even if You Stink at Taking Them
Photos are necessary.
If you're awful at photography, I recommend you find a great service like Dollar Photo Club * so you can still populate your blog with eye-catching photos related to the discussion topics.
At a minimum, your blog post must have a header photo or featured image at the top.
On Anne's fashion posts, she routinely includes 4 photos or more to keep her readers' attention and communicate the message of the post effectively.
Interlinking is Your Best Friend
This is one of those blogging talents that Anne does amazingly well.
Every one of her posts is skillfully linked to multiple other posts. You hardly notice that the links are there because they mesh so seamlessly with the message. At the same time, you can't help but to click them and read more.
Linking to Valuable Resources is Another Vote for Your Credibility
You may worry that linking to other blogs or websites will just direct the traffic away from your site.
This may be true in some instances, but the truth is, Google loves relevant links. Most of all, your readers will love the fact that you curate helpful content for them and aren't afraid to share it.
Share the love. Share resources that are helpful, and your readers will come back, promise!
Check out Anne's What I'm Into post for an example of doing this well.
Long is the New Short
When I first started blogging, I heard over and over again that keeping things short was an important key to success.
“Your readers don't have time for anything too long. You'll lose their attention,” the powers-at-be would say.
Recently, though, some studies have proven just the opposite.
Google loves helpful, detailed posts that are excellent resources for the reader. Incidentally, readers love sharing posts that are helpful with others!
1500 words seems to be the sweet spot for getting more attention from Google and more shares.
This is the one principle of crafting killer blog posts that Anne does not use. Anne calls herself a maximizer by nature. Her goal is to communicate as much as possible with as few words as possible. She is a master at this!
There is something to be said for using the talents that you have.
Anne's readers also expect short, witty posts from her.
In our case, as new bloggers, we're trying to use every possible method to improve SEO. We're also trying to use every possible method to be as helpful to our readers and listeners as possible. So we continue to type out many, many words (and hopefully provide many points of value!)
Make Your Content Really Easy to Share
Even if a reader loves your post, if it's not easy to share it, they won't.
Add sharing buttons in every place that seems relevant. Make it easy for others to share your hard work!
If Your Blog Post Doesn't Compel Action, then What are You Writing for?
End each post with a call to action.
This could be as simple as asking for your readers' thoughts on the post and asking if they would share them in the comments.
Maybe you'd like them to sign up for your email list to grab a great resource that pairs perfectly with what they've just read.
Whatever the action, give your readers some steps they can take next after reading your killer post.
Use Headers and Sub-headers to Make Your Post Easier to Read
These are important so that it's easier for the eye to scan down the page.
This means using the <h2> and <h3> tags when you write. The larger titles you see on this post are done with the <h2> tag.
Bullets and numbers are also an easy way to make your post feel more organized and easy on the eyes.
The 9 Keys to Crafting a Killer Blog Post
- Title – 6 Words that Matter
- Short Paragraphs
- Header Photo
- Link to Outside Resources
- 1500 Words to Maximize Sharing & SEO
- Sharing Buttons for Social Media
- Call to Action
- Sub-header Tags
Is there something your killer blog posts are missing when you hit publish? What will you change today as a result?
~ Beth Anne
For more fantastic advice about blogging, check out Building a Framework. It will walk you through everything you need to know to get started blogging and build an awesome following!