Blogs are the powerhouse of a content marketer’s platform, which means everyone that wants to succeed with content marketing had better understand exactly how to write captivating blog content. Today I’ll cover 11 tips for writing engaging blog content that actually resonates with your audience.
Every blog post has three sections: introduction, body and conclusion. Remember that you’re going to introduce your topic. Tell them about it, repeat it in the body, and then finalize with a strong push on your focus topic in the conclusion.
Many people are worried with grammar and such like when writing a blog post. Trust me – people prefer to read text written as if you were speaking, so write as if you are speaking and don’t worry too much about the grammar. That’s not to say you want to sound ignorant and completely uneducated. You can use your normal talking language for blog posts and still be extremely popular with your audience.
When writing content for your blog, you might like to consider the following 11 recommendations:
1. Your Target Audience
What’s your target audience? One of the things I write about in “Pinterest Marketing” is to develop your niche and figure out who your target audience is. Every single blog post that you write should be written for your ideal target audience. If you don’t know who you are writing for, how will you know what to write? If you keep in mind that it’s all about them, you’ll write much more engaging blog content. It’s about their needs; not yours.
2. Your Blog Headlines
Every blog post has a title, headline, plus headers, and these are important components of your blog post and not just for the reader. It focuses on your message, and allows the search engines to index them properly and to send your audience to your content. Did you know that some of the larger blogs use A/B split testing to test different variations of headlines? This helps them see which resonates with your audience best. Try using an A/B split test for a few of your posts and see how you do.
3. Focused Topics
If you know your audience, then you need to figure out what you’re going to write about, and how you want your reader to feel about your content before you start. Focus until you can say what you mean in one sentence. Your overall message should be able to be written in one sentence.
4. The 5 W’s
Remember the 5 W’s from school? Each blog post should answer most of the who, what, why, when and where of the topic in order to be complete. Don’t leave things out that you think they already know. Consider linking back to another blog post if you need to.
5. The 3 S’s
This is one of my favorites! Each blog post needs to be short, simple, and scannable. People have short attention spans, especially if they’re reading on the run or while at work. By creating a blog post which has lots of easy to read titles, bullet points, is focused on one topic at a time, and has plenty of white space to make it easier to read on screen, you’ll create a captivating blog post.
6. Optimized Images
Using images and graphics is an important part of making a blog post look interesting to your audience. In fact if you’re not including images in your blog you might as well not blog. I would even take it a step further and declare that if you’re going to blog and just use stock photos all the time without styling them or creating photos of your own, don’t bother. To help with good SEO always include alt image tags, so instead of just naming the picture, use the alt tag as a way to describe the picture. This not only helps disabled people enjoy your blog better, it also helps search engines or people who’ve disabled their images on mobile devices to read your content better. I use two plugins to help me with images, one optimizes the size of the images as they are uploaded to help with load speed and the other automatically associates the page title with the alt part of the image.
7. Your Voice and Tone
One of the most important aspects of writing captivating blog content is to remember who you are and the tone you want to use when writing. While you’re writing for your audience you need to remember to write how you talk and not pretend to be someone you are not. They want to understand you and know you, and follow and read who you are. Only you can be you, so be the best you that you can be.
8. Smart Links
When using links into your blog content, remember to use keyword-rich anchor text if the wordingis natural to the content of your blog. Also remember not to put too many links within the readable content because it will be distracting to the reader. Consider linking to related articles and blog posts after the main content instead of inside it.
I like to use deep links to older, equally relevant posts on my blog if it works. Avoid links that go outside your blog if you can, and if you do include them use the nofollow tag.
9. Search Engine Keywords
Some people think that the purpose of blog posts is simply to push keywords to the search engines, so that they get indexed and your website shows up higher in the rankings. Don’t think like this and be “that blogger”. This is not only a foolish way to produce content as the content your produce will not engage your audience. More importantly, the search engines are aware of keyword stuffing and it’s only a matter of time before you are penalized.
Writing engaging blog content can come naturally; easily. So instead, focus on writing quality content that includes your keywords naturally and you’ll not only engage your audience but you’ll get better search engine rankings, and more people will like, share and link to your content naturally.
10. Edit Your Blog Posts
When you sit down to prepare content, just write it without giving too much thought to it. Then come back to it afterwards and edit it to suit your purpose. The editing process will produce far different and better content than you started with and you will be able to produce more content as your thought process will not be interrupted.
11. Writing Engaging Blog Content for Promotions
Finally, the most important part about compelling and captivating blog content is that no one will read it if you don’t promote it, and if you think the search engines are going to just find you and send you thousands of visitors you’re living in world of fairies, unicorns, trolls and glitter. It’s imperative that you promote each new blog post and each new content addition even if that just means pushing them out to your social media channels. I personally use a scheduling loop technique that works amazing and drives people to my website by the droves every single day.
Finding your voice is all a part of becoming a blogger, and working through writing struggles is part of the job. Learning to write engaging blog posts comes with practice and repetition. Don’t stop writing! Keep reading other blogs you love, and figure out why you like them so much. Takes notes, but don’t copy.
It’s important to just “hit the publish button”. So many people want to be money making bloggers, yet they simply never hit the publish button. They learn, and learn, and think about it, but they don’t actually do it. It’s the actual act of “doing it” that is going to get you noticed and make you successful as a blogger and writer.
You’ll learn more by hitting that publish button day after day, week after week, than you ever will thinking about it and perfecting your technique. So stop thinking and start doing is the best advice I can give.
Also published on Medium.