Blog writing is the most lucrative form of content marketing. Meaty blogs provide juicy information your viewers can use. Moreover, blogs can also be lead generating machines! By including a valuable offer your viewers can use, you can convert those passersby into leads. But with the avalanche of information available on the web today, it can be difficult to get – and keep – the attention your blog deserves. There are, however, steps you can take in your blog writing to ensure your post is the best it can be. Check it out:
The Keyword is King in Blog Writing
Before you begin clicking away at the keyboard to create your next masterpiece, determine the best keyword or keyword phrase. Keywords are how people search the web. Search queries are what bring your blog post to the surface. Equally, without the right keyword or keyword phrase, your blog may slip away into the content cemetery – unseen, unread, unappreciated.
Headline! Headline! Read All About It!
Headlines are what make or break a blog. Readers must be captivated by your headline or they’ll never click the link. A bad headline can mean certain death for your blog post. In contrast, a stellar headline, inclusive of your featured keyword, can provoke the clicks you need to succeed in your content marketing endeavors. Blog writing begins with your headline.
Metadata is the information that appears below your link in a search query. Meta descriptions are what you can use to entice someone to move past the scroll and into a click. In some cases, this is called a snippet. Carefully craft your snippet so when a search query delivers your link in the findings, the viewer is attracted to the concept of the content.
Write Like a Human
Great! You captured the attention of your viewer with your bait and hook. They searched for your keyword phrase, were intrigued by your headline, and convinced by your snippet. Now you need to keep them interested. Here’s how.
Write like you speak. It sounds simple, but this is where so many blog publishers miss the boat. Why bore your readers if you don’t have to? Your first paragraph must have a delicious flavor. Bland offerings convert to high bounce rates.
More than that, you must connect to the emotion of your reader. Demonstrate off the cuff that you understand their problem and can deliver a solution. Be the reader. What would keep you holding on for the next sentence?
No Fluffy Stuff
Web viewers want information, not decoration. While you do want to paint a picture readers can connect with, don’t chase them away with unnecessary adjectives, adverbs, over-the-top metaphors, and complex vocabulary. Keep it real. Your goal is to create a genuinely valuable user experience.
Headings and Subheadings
Headings and subheadings break apart text by subject matter. Web viewers tend to scan, to skim the content. Readers are seeking the information that applies to them, opting out of the bits that don’t apply. Or, they’re looking for a speedy way to process the information.
Look. When you see a long, chunky clump of paragraphs, the text feels overwhelming. Reading it becomes a chore. Comparatively, reading headings and subheadings provides relief. The process changes from choking on volume to gulping down tidbits.
Readability: Blog Writing Made Simple
Readability is all the rave in search engines. But what does readability mean? Here’s the deal:
- Paragraph Structure: Paragraphs should contain between three and five sentences.
- Sentence Length: Sentences should have no more than 20 words. Break long strings of text into shorter sentences. Vary the length of sentences to avoid a monotonous tone that drones on through the post.
- Vocabulary: You don’t need to “dumb down” your post for your readers. However, it’s good practice to minimize the number of words you use that have three syllables or more. For example, why say delicacy when you can say treat? Why say curiosity when you can say interest? Simplify your vocabulary. If you must, bust out the thesaurus and look for words that are easy for your reader to digest.
- Transition Words: Transition words are words that indicate a shift, contrast, emphasis, etc. Examples of transition words include:
As well as
Not to mention
- Passive Voice: Passive voice has everything to do with nouns and verbs. Passive voice isn’t wrong, and it does have its place, but too much passive voice impedes comprehension. There are two types of passive voice: The first kind of passive voice is when the verb precedes the noun. Your noun is the person conducting the action. Your verb is the action the noun is taking.
How to Spot Passive Voice
An example of verb-related passive voice is, “The blog post was written by Lori”. To correct the passive voice, “Lori wrote the blog post.”
Another example is, “The door was closed by Jeff.” To fix the passive voice, you’d re-write the sentence so that Jeff (the noun) comes before closed (the verb). “Jeff closed the door.”
The second type of passive voice is when the active noun (the who) is missing altogether. For example, “The door had been closed.” Who closed the door? “The doughnut had been eaten.” Who ate the doughnut?
One trick to finding this second type of passive voice is to add the words “by zombies” to the end of the sentence. If the sentence makes sense with “by zombies” at the end, that’s your sign that the sentence is passive. For example, “The door had been clsed (by zombies)”. “The doughnut had been eaten (by zombies).
Bucket brigades are trigger words in blog writing that signal to the reader that they should keep reading. They’re a way to guide the reader from one section to the next, without losing interest. Examples of bucket brigades include:
- But there’s more.
- That’s not all.
- Here’s the deal.
- Check it out.
Pictures are more than eye-candy. Yes, pictures and photographs add visual interest to writing. Furthermore, the right image can pull your story together while simultaneously breaking up text that could otherwise be overwhelming. But that’s not all! (See that bucket brigade?)
You can optimize your images to gain ranking in the search engines! Here’s how:
- Properly title your file name
- Include Alt Text
- Use Captions
It’s true; videos can add a ton of information in ways that are easy to process. But that’s not all. Videos, even if you didn’t create them, can add value to your blog post by increasing the amount of time a viewer spends on that page. Written content coupled with video adds substance to your post.
The longer a viewer stays on your page, the more Google recognizes your page as providing value. The more Google considers your post valuable, the higher that page soars in the search engine rankings. See how that works?
You can become a wiz at whipping out your own videos. Or, you can hop on over to YouTube (the second largest search engine!), and pop in a keyword phrase to find a video that matches your content. Click the handy dandy “share” button and snatch up the embed code. Throw that HTML code into the text portion of your blog post, and boom – you’ve added value and length on the page. Easy peasy.
Backlinks are links you include that lead to another page on your blog. When you write briefly about a topic you’ve written about extensively in another blog post, highlight the text in the post you’re writing and link it to that other blog post.
Backlinks accomplish two things. First, they provide readers with additional information on the subject (VALUE!). Additionally, they provoke your reader to spend more time on site, take more actions (clicks), and explore your other offerings.
Include an Offer Viewers can Use
To turn those curious cats into quality leads, include an offer in your blog post. Give them a “thank you” for taking the time to read your blog. Creating offers for your readers not only generates leads, but it also establishes you as a trustworthy source for high-quality material. Build trust.
Summing it Up
Blog Writing doesn’t need to be scary. But if it’s going to be worth your time, there are some guidelines you should follow. Find the perfect keyword. Create a catchy title. Be smart with your meta description. Win viewers over with your first paragraph. Structure your post so readers can consume it in bite-sized sections. Use small paragraphs, short sentences, simple words, natural speech, and avoid passive voice when possible. Throw in a couple of bucket-brigades from time to time. Pretty up your post with relevant, optimized images. Include video to add value and increase time on site. Take advantage of backlinks to keep viewers gobbling up your yummy content. Include a valuable offer to encourage readers to exchange their email address for more quality content from you.
Now go on out there and whip up something wonderful for your blog!
Prefer to delegate the blog writing? Ready to flex your leverage muscles? Ballen Brands offers content services on one-time or recurring basis! Give us a call at 702-917-0755 or email Team@BallenBrands.com!