Updated for 2018
Critical for traffic and digital marketing. Blogging is a powerful platform to showcase your expertise and build your authority.
As one of the most effective Content Marketing types, blogging can boost traffic, engagement, clicks, and conversions.
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So make sure your blog post is outstanding and is able to rank high in the search results.
1. Headlines (h1): You can judge a post by its...
[2018 update] Strong headlines are still essential in 2018 to get your blog posted noticed online. Headlines including a call-to-action are really powerful. To get your article seen and read you need a powerful, relevant headline. For every post written, I create at least 10-20 headlines and test which is the strongest. Having selected the best to use for the main title, I use the rest as headlines to populate my promotional activity for each post. [//]
Using a strong headline as the title of a blog post can boost its popularity, both with your readers and with search engines (h1). Include phrases from your keyword Strategy, use them in a creative, enticing headline to entice your readers.
Google is clever. And it’s getting cleverer. Break down what you’re writing about into juicy ‘nuggets’ of information, headed by a clear subheading (h2, h3, h4) to ‘signpost’ your writing, so much the better.
I wanted people to know that I can help create blog posts that rank well in search engines. So I carefully tested and selected a post title that reflects that.
My favourite way to check and refine powerful headlines is CoSchedules Headline Analyser. Check it out here... coschedule.com/headline-analyzer
"81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs." (Source: BlogHer)
2. Answer questions, be helpful: “Hello, can I help you?”
[2018 update] Content Marketing Funnels are a must have for all websites. No longer just a sales brochure, your website can inform and provide value to early visitors. [//]
One way to think about your blog is like a customer service desk in a shop.
What sort of problems are people facing? And how can you help them sort them out? Like the DIY shop that posts articles about “How to change a plug” - what could you write about that would be helpful and save your customer time - and stress?
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"Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links." (Source: Hubspot)
3. Please, please, please be original: There’s no one else quite like you!
[2018 update] Building your authority online has never been more important. Your blog and website are your brand's unique space online. Build your audience and authority here and take control. [//]
Create unique content. Write original copy. Take amazing photographs, create really interesting podcasts, record visually beautiful and intriguing video. Please.
With so many people blogging, what you write has to be original. This is true for two reasons.
a) You don’t want to bore people with things that they already know
b) Google loves original content. Do Not copy and paste what someone else has already written and it’s likely your post will be ignored.
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4. Frequency: Get into the habit
[2018 update] Higher quality, lower quantity - still important.
Frequency is still important, however, posting quality, detailed, helpful content is better than posting lots of 'thin' content. Blogging every day with short, unhelpful content is a waste of your time. Think about blogging once or twice a month with much longer, more useful blog posts that really do deliver value to your readers. People don't want to read about your; they want content for them. [//]
Blogging takes time – time to create, time to promote and time to rank.
It takes energy, creativity and most of all – it takes commitment. Think about your readers: your prospective customers.
How does it look to them if the last time you posted an article was way back in 2012? Regular posting keeps people – and search engines – interested in what you’re doing. And this improves your chances of being found online.
5. Imagery: Why a picture is - still - worth a thousand words
[2018 update] Have a professional photo shoot.
Images are still essential for blog posts, breaking up your text, enhancing your content. Graphics, infographics and video snippets (gifs) are playing an increasingly important role in quality content. Entertaining and inspirational. Posts with these types of elements are likely to be shared more and so increase the visibility of your posts. [//]
PLEASE, NO STOCK IMAGES. There's nothing wrong with stock images, but if you have to use stock images - for something really unusual that is impossible or too expensive to shoot yourself, then choose a great one, that you can customise further in Photoshop (we've been using Photoshop since 1996). As our online attention span lessens, so it makes sense to use photography and images that can convey your business message in seconds. Search engines love the original imagery, so if you can find the time and the budget to create a bank of images to use, so much the better.
Think about what the key message of your post is. And what image you could use to convey that quickly and effectively.
Make sure you SEO your image with a strong title and description and keep an eye on those file sizes.
6. Design: How do I look?
[2018 update] User Experience and Information Architecture.
Ever more critical is User Experience (UX), and design plays an important part in a positive user experience. People will judge your content based on design, either consciously or subconsciously. So make your website and blog content beautiful and useful. [//]
Our collective online attention span is getting shorter. Help people to take away what they need from your site in the simplest way possible. You can do this by designing your page for both scanning with ease and in-depth reading. A well designed and structured blog post is a must.
7. Love lists: A one, two, three-step guide to lists
[2018 update] Massive SEO Factor - time on site.
Time on site and 'dwell' time are an important SEO factor. In-depth content can be presented better when broken down into easily actionable lists. Easy to read content keeps people on your site, reading your blog post. [//]
Like this one. Try writing down lots of ideas that you could write about on your blog on a sheet of paper. Then on a smaller sheet of paper, gather them into lists of ideas or topics that fit together naturally. My go-to tool for blog lists is Evernote, Anything that matters to you can be captured in a note, ready for when you need it.
TOP TIP: If you can link to other pages on your website, so much the better, as you’ll be leading your customers through your products or services (see ‘intelligent anchor tags’ below)
"81% of companies consider their blogs "useful," "important," or "critical".(Source: Hubspot)
8. Scan this: Make it easy to read
[2018 update] Expert Copywriting
Planning your content is increasingly important. A well structured, well planned blog post will guide your reader through the article journey. Delivering content in delightful 'chunks' and inspiring, short, easy read paragraphs. [//]
Look at this page. If you only had a few seconds to glance at it, you could gather the key points from this post by reading the crosshead (bold) titles in this list.
Make use of bold fonts and your H1 and H2 tags to spoon feed your reader with the key messages from your post.
9. Move it: Use intelligent anchor tags
[2018 update] User Journey
Links within your pages to other parts of your site is a powerful way to increase your site's authority. Intelligent internal linking helps both Google and your reader to better understand who you are and your expertise. [//]
Anchor tags within your blog posts help your reader to navigate their way around your website. Use them to help your reader jump from one specific location to another. This is especially useful if you’re writing a long article with some different steps that you want your reader to take. Also try to add keywords in your anchor tags, great for your Search Engine Optimisation.
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"92% of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog."(Source: HubSpot)
10. Be outstanding: 10 x better
[201 update] Powerful, regular Content
Stop producing content that is not SEO optmised. What's the point in producing the best ever articles, advice and guides if no one can fine it. It is increasingly competitive online, so Search Engine Optimise your blog posts for maximum reach.
Even more so in 2018 as the online spaces continues to grow and get noisier. Compare your content to your competitors, is it 10 times better than theirs? [//]
Become a thought leader in your space. Provide exceptional value. With more and more content produced, the best generally stands out. Aim to make your content awesome for your visitors. Be 10x better.
Open up your content in a browser tab, now open up your competitors content in another browser tab. Put them together, ask yourself, is your content 10 x better than your competitors?
[2018 update] Content promotion remains top of your list for 2018.
Promote each post many times, social media can be transient, so your audience needs lots of opportunity to discover your content. Promote and promote again. Re-purpose content where you can. [//]
Having a powerful business blog is a proven way to reach your audience, create engagement and drive traffic to your website. A blog provides you with content for your social feeds and and email marketing. Typically new content takes a few weeks for Google to cache and understand, so take this into account when analysing your traffic data.
If your serious about creating a structured, well-planned business blog that is working it's hardest to drive business, then contact Arttia Creative, and we will work with you to create the right content, get your content found in search and generate leads. Contact [email protected] and let's get started.
Looking for expert help for your business blog?
Look no further, contact us to arrange a free discovery meeting and we'll help you boost your business blog.
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