Get That Topic Right
Don’t choose your topic out of thin air because you think it is time to post something on your blog, or your readers will get bored and abandon you. You might be surprised to know that you don’t even enter the realm of their day-to-day reality until they see your email enter their inbox. And even then, well over half will ignore it. So, take the time to get each and every post right. A lot of thin, short, fluffy, non-optimized posts won’t endear you to anyone – not your readers or the search engines. They have enough junk to deal with already in their lives. Make sure every single post is chokka with wonderful, heartfelt, enlightening information that your readers and the search engines will gobble up.
How you choose your topic is up to you, though being guided by your readers’ comments and requests is always a good way to go.
Tips for your Post Topic
1. Make sure your blog topic is narrow and focused. Don’t waffle on about your week in a disorganized way while dropping in a few tips on gardening in the snow. Focus on the gardening in the snow tips.
2. Ensure that your blog post solves your readers’ problems. You have to somehow leave them in a better state than before they read your post. Will they be happier, feel lighter in spirit after reading your words? Don’t just throw any old thing at them.
3. Everything has been said in internetland – everything! So your post will not be unique but you have to give it your own special twist. Force it to stand out against all the rest.
4. Once you have your topic more or less sussed out, get thee to the Keyword Planner and work out what your SEO keywords for your topic are going to be. Do this up front before you start writing. Not afterwards as a consequence of what you have written. It doesn’t work that way.
Headlines must sing and entice
Creating great headlines has been a science since the first newspaper was published and much has written about them. All you have to do is Google blog headlines to get plenty of great search results. Here is one by Problogger to get you going. And another from Ana Hoffman of Traffic Generation Café.
The Tone of your Blog Post can make or break it
This is where you can put your unique twist on your topic. Your “voice” is something that develops with time but it is what will make or break your blog. Of the top bloggers, some are humorous, some are sarcastic, some are endearing, some are quirky, some are gurus. But what they all are is consistent. You know what to expect from them. They might lose some readers because of their particular bent but they will gain a whole lot more who love the tone of their posts. So, develop your own voice and don’t take too much time doing it.
A few hints to personalize the tone of your posts
1. Perhaps you could always tell a personal story that relates to your topic.
2. Use a conversational tone as if you are talking to a friend.
3. Hopefully you are passionate about your blog and the topic of this post. Show that passion. Don’t hold back.
4. Use lots of sensory words to evoke emotions and make people feel they are right there with you as you describe the smell of your prize rose, the feel of the wooden kitchen bench, the sound of the water falling in the fountain, the taste of the freshly cooked muffins.
5. Use humour when it is appropriate. People love to be entertained while learning something new.
Technical Tips to Make Your Blog Post Shine
Use all of the following:
• Bullet points
• Bolded and italicized words
• Subheadings using <H1>, <H2>, <H3> tags. See HERE for how to do this in number 6
• Short paragraphs
• 2- 3 interlinks to other articles on your blog
• 1-2 external links to relevant sources on authority sites
• At least one image – either take your own or read my article on great sites to find free photos.
Finish your blog post with a bang not a whimper
A strong conclusion which summarizes the main points is essential because readers often skim to the end and read the last bit. That could inspire them to backtrack and read the lot. Perhaps you could include a takeaway in the form of a PDF printout etc.
Have a strong call to action in the last sentence. Tell them what to do next – get a shovel out to break up the snow, make the muffins, opt into your list.
Don’t forget the final boring chores!
- Have you filled in your meta data? See my article on this here http://www.bloglosophy.com/seo-can-save-blog/ and look carefully at points 4 and 5.
- Fill in the Categories and Tags over on the right.
- Have a look at your permalink at the top of the page and change it if it is not what you want it to be. Get your main keyword in there and make sure it very succinctly says what the post is about. Short is good.
- Do you have an optin form at the end of your post? If not, grab the code for your MailChimp newsletter and throw it in the Text side of the editor.
Here is a great checklist by Pat Flynn for what you should do after you have pushed publish.
I challenge you to make each and every one of your posts a piece of art that you will be proud of forever.