How To Get Your Blog Posts On Track
To ensure your blog post is on track to succeed requires starting with the right elements.
Although many bloggers believe they can just throw words onto their computer screen, to create a highly effective blog posts takes preparation.
Here’s a checklist for getting your blog post started in the right direction.
- Determine your post’s specific goals. While, as a whole, a blog has large objectives, on a smaller scale, each post should help achieve specific sub-goals that can be measured. Actionable Marketing Tactic: Create specific post goals by answering the question: “What’s the one action you want readers to take after they read your post and how does this relate to the blog’s goals?”
- Know your target audience. Understand the needs and characteristics of the post’s readers. Refine your marketing persona and social media persona around the post goal. Actionable Marketing Tactic: Define the specific readers for this post. They should be associated with your post goal.
- Select keyword phrases. The use of keywords will further refine your post and help its findability. Ideally, each article should be integrated with your overall search optimization efforts. Actionable Marketing Tactic: Determine the one or two keyword phrases around which the post will focus. [Here's some blogging SEO advice from fifteen experts.]
- Integrate links. Select links to incorporate that’ll enhance the post’s credibility and provide additional useful information for your readers. Include a mix of links to your own materials as well as to third party sites. Actionable Marketing Tactic: Choose links that support achieving your post’s goals, such as lead generation or sales by linking to appropriate pages with relevant product information. Also, link to the actual words in the text of your content not to words like “click here” that don’t tell search engines anything.
- Draft a killer headline. Begin with a working title that gives you a starting point to develop the post. Then go back and refine the headline since it’s critical for drawing readers in. Actionable Marketing Tactic: When crafting a headline, ensure that it includes one or more keywords. Take time to edit the headline to ensure that it does its magic to pull readers in.
- Determine post format. Most blogs offer a variety of different types of posts such as lists, interviews, product reviews, news roundups, guest posts and opinion pieces. To ensure your readers get a well rounded offering, rotate the various post formats. Actionable Marketing Tactic: Decide on the post format in advance to help develop the content. Consider whether other opinions or research are needed before you start writing. For business blogs, will another individual do the research for the post? If so, who will it be? When using an editorial calendar, this can be a useful element to include.
- Choose the author. This applies to multi-author blogs and guest posts. Actionable Marketing Tactic: Determine which bloggers will write which topics and formats. Consider your bloggers’ backgrounds and expertise.
- Tell a story. Your post should have an overarching structure to ensure it’s memorable. Each article needs a beginning, middle and end. Actionable Marketing Tactic: Make sure your post has a consistent structure that reinforces your objective. Additionally you can leverage other stories related to your blog.
- Add a photograph or other image to attract reader attention. Consider how you’ll reinforce your column’s post with visual elements. Actionable Marketing Tactic: Ensure that non-text formats such as photographs and video are optimized for search by associating the relevant text and keywords.
- Incorporate a question to get readers involved. This is particularly important if you’re seeking to encourage conversation on your blog. You need a hook related to your post to get readers to react to the topic. Actionable Marketing Tactic: Stir the conversation by making your question slightly controversial.
- Ensure you’re able to track results. This translates to having a call-to-action and a tracking code that can be read on your metrics system. Actionable Marketing Tactic: Select actionable blog metrics to monitor and ensure your analytics package can track the results to your tracking code. Additionally, ensure that your internal processes are optimized to achieve your goal.
The best way to ensure every blog post is a success is to write more and to continue to enhance your ability to craft each piece to maximize its effectiveness. This checklist will help you stay on course.
What other recommendations would you add to this blog post checklist to ensure a blog post is on track before you start to write?
Here are some other related articles to help you craft successful blog posts.
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