Secrets of a Killer Blog Post: Content
Few things are more satisfying than crafting a truly killer blog post. Connecting with your audience and providing fresh, useful, and captivating content are fantastic ways to boost interaction and help convert curious visitors into loyal followers and customers.
Regardless of industry or topic, the true foundation of any amazing blog post is the content. Whether you’re creating it yourself or sharing material from others, your audience and search engines alike will respond more positively to content that’s timely, useful, and high-quality.
What do we mean by “high-quality” content? When compared to boilerplate or otherwise inferior material, the best content is evergreen (not dated, stale, or frozen in a specific time), on-message, speaks to your audience’s interests and needs, and helps establish you and your brand as an authority.
High-quality content is rich and useful, but never overwhelms the reader or mires them in useless detail. Adding in a call to action, a survey, or other interactive elements make the experience even more immersive and compelling.
In addition, high-quality content is simple, approachable, and most importantly, irresistible, because it’s on target, on brand, and practically cries out to be read and shared.
The best content doesn’t stint on the details. Grammar, spelling, and tone are correct and consistent. It’s also written with SEO best practices in mind, so that the algorithms built into search engines such as Google can review it, recognize its value and rank it accordingly. Anchor text and links are formatted properly, and only primary sources are used.
When it comes to sharing content you’ve curated, rather than created, many of the same criteria apply. It might seem counter-intuitive to send your readers to another site or resource on the Web, but doing so actually helps boost your authority, and enhances the likelihood your readers will come to regard you as an expert in your area.
Just keep in mind that whatever you share should support your overall goal of converting your visitors and building your authority, rather than that of someone else.
Your blog can be an incredible asset in crafting your online presence and success. By using a consistent approach, establishing and maintaining your distinctive voice, and providing high-quality, useful content to your readers, you’ll be well on your way to making sure every post on your blog is a killer blog post.
Check out the rest of this series for more killer secrets!
Secrets of a Killer Blog Post: The Content
By creating a combination of original and curated content, you can draw in and capture an audience. Consistency keeps them coming back for more. Get the step-by-step breakdown of how to get the job done.
Choosing a Topic
The topics you choose help you establish credibility within your niche. Write about what you know, and make sure to inform your audience of your qualifications.
- Look for a topic where your audience is active.
- Dig for ideas where they spend time online (e.g. Twitter chats, Google+ circles, LinkedIn groups).
- Find out what your audience is talking about, their problems, desires and frustrations, then base your post topics on them.
Original and Curated Content
Creating all original content is hard to do for most people, there simply isn’t enough time. That’s where curated content comes in, you can add your perspective to third-party content and continue to publish new posts consistently.
- Curated Content:
- It can be just as important as original content.
- Linking to third-party sites and sending readers away may seem like a bad thing, but it can establish you as an expert, increase you readers’ engagement and build your reputation.
- It’s an easy way to get content on your site and get others involved in what you’re writing about.
- Examples of Curated Content:
- Expert tips/stats
- Case studies
- Industry blogs
- Original Content:
- This is a key strategy when trying to drive conversions.
- Giving your readers original content creates conversation, it also establishes you as a trusted expert in your niche.
- Focus on the “Four Pillars”
- Create a resource that allows your reader to solve a problem, or achieve something.
- Pull your reader in and make them want to read the post.
- Break it up with headings and images. Readers will more than likely click away from large blocks of text.
- Keep your writing plain and concise.
- You don’t have to be boring, but make sure you stick to common sense.
- Be conversational, but not wordy.
- If you drive readers to your site and give them good, original content to read, it is likely that they will convert.
- Create something unique and new that has not been rehashed over and over again by other sites.
- Add depth: Ask yourself how you can add more value and make it more memorable for your readers.
- Add your opinion
- Suggest other resources for further reading
- Add reader comments
- Explore both sides of an argument
- Let your posts sit overnight or just a few hours, then come back to them.
- You may find things that need additional detail or editing.
- High-quality sites with original content are more likely to be seen by Google, leading to higher rankings.
Be Mindful of Small Details
It’s easy to get wrapped up in ideas, but execution matters.
- Check spelling and grammar.
- Proofread your posts for typographical errors.
- Some words that are misspelled may not show up in a spell check because they are another properly spelled word.
- Example: “You” could easily become “your.”
- Your eyes can tire easily, making it harder to spot your mistakes.
- Ask someone else to proofread the post for you.
- Hire an editor to check the content before it goes live.
- Try reading the post backward, as this makes errors stand out easier.
- Read your work out loud.
- Try looking at a hard copy of your post before it goes live.
- Consider developing a style guide. If you have multiple writers on staff, it ensures each writer is following the rules.
- Style guides help by:
- Establishing quality and professionalism.
- Establishing a core set of “rules” for all writers to follow, to avoid dispute.
- Fostering consistency in style and tone regardless of who writes the content.
- To develop your own style guide:
- Start with a style guide that covers the basics of punctuation, grammar, etc.
- AP Style Guide
- Chicago Manual of Style
- Make adjustments or add details based on your vision.
- Involve your writing team
- Keep your style guide brief.
- Try to limit it to no more than four pages.
- An introduction
- Rules for capitalization, grammar, punctuation, and grammar
- Style and tone
- Optional specifics for your blog/company.
- Rules for sourcing
- Approved/Unapproved content
Keeping a consistent, clear vision for your blog is extremely important.
- These are some things that should be consistent throughout your posts:
- Font type
- How you cite sources and photos
- Keep track of target keywords that you have used and plan to use.
- Plan an editorial calendar.
- Think about what you want to talk about.
- What topics can help you connect with your audience?
- Are there any holidays or events you want to capitalize on?
- Are you promoting specific products or services?
- Planning an editorial calendar gives you a clear picture, and allows you to write material in advance, so you avoid hitting a lull in your content production.
- 10 Great Ideas for Valuable Curated Content – hubspot.com
- How to Not Steal People’s Content on the Web – hubspot.com
- 13 Ways to Add New Dimensions to Your Next Post – problogger.net
- The 4 Pillars of Writing Exceptional Blogs – problogger.net
- Why Curators Matter More Now Than Ever – huffingtonpost.com
- What is Content Curation? – michielgaasterland.com
- When to Curate Content Vs. Create Original Content – rattleback.com
- Why Curated Content on Your Website is an Ineffective Waste of Time – thesaleslion.com
- Research Ain’t Easy (But It’s Necessary) – copyblogger.com
- Why an editorial calendar is essential for kickass content creation – stateofdigital.com
- How to Create a Content Style Guide – bufferapp.com
- Proofreading Tips – quickanddirtytips.com
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