Blog Post Content Creation: How To Boost Your Results

40 Blog Post Creation Tips With Examples

Colour Pencils-Flickr-40 blog tips Each month, 54.2M new blog posts are published and 409M readers view 19.6+B blog pages according to WordPress.

Business impact: Each of your blog posts faces heavy competition to break through to your audience and yield tangible results for your business.

Despite this, 81% of B2B and 77% of B2C businesses employ blogs as a content marketing tactic.

Further, 59% of B2B and 53%B2C businesses consider blogs effective at yielding results based on 2016 US Content Trend Research by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

Yet most digital content readers consume up to a maximum of 60% of your article according to Chartbeat data.

How People Read Online Content -Chart by Chartbeat

How People Read Online Content -Chart by Chartbeat

Download The Definitive Blog Checklist

 

Blog post content creation

Focus your blog post creation to give your blog posts the best possible chance of attracting attention and getting read in this highly competitive information environment. (BTW, here’s help with your search, social media and metrics for your business blog.)

View your blog holistically as a key element of your content offering.  Colour Pencils-Flickr-40 blog tips

1. Understand your target audience

Before starting to write, you must know your readers. This way you can write the targeted, quality information they actively seek. 

Remember: Prospects are 55+% of the way through the purchase process before they contact you.  

Make your blog into a self-serve information hub for prospects’.  

Actionable Blog Post Creation Tips: 

  1. Create a marketing persona to write for a specific person, not a bland mass.
  2. Know the key information your target market needs at every step of the purchase journey.
  3. Answer all of their purchase-related questions. Get help from customer facing employees including sales and customer service.
  4. Learn where they gather information. Find out which social media sites and websites they regularly check.
  5. Discover how and when they use devices to find and read content. Include computers, smartphones and tablets. 

Download The Definitive Blog Checklist

2. Determine your unique blog focus

Establish your blog’s unique positioning to make your blog stand out for your readers.

Answer this question:

What information do your readers want that no one in your category is currently providing?

Actionable Blog Post Creation Tips: 

  1. Use Angie Schottmuller’s Triangle of Relevance. This is where your business objectives, audience needs and time significance intersect Triangle of Relevance by Angie Schottmuller
  2. Do your homework. Check Google results to see what information appears for searches related to your offering. Also use BuzzSumo to find hot topics.

Download The Definitive Blog Checklist

 

3. Integrate your blog into your marketing and overall business plans

To maximize blog effectiveness, streamline resource use, and eliminate redundant work, make your blog an integral part of your content, social media and search marketing plans.

Actionable Blog Post Creation Tips: 

  1. Establish specific content goals for your blog. This is key to making your blog more accountable.
  2. Define your blog’s editorial mission. Relate this to your overall content marketing and business mission. Invest the time to create this mission and distribute it to your entire team. Note: This was important in the 2016 Content Trend Research by CMI and Marketing Profs
  3. Extend your search objectives including keywords to your blog. This focuses your content and helps your post brainstorming process.
  4. Detail how your blog will support and feed your social media efforts. This is key to blog content development. It’s much easier and more efficient to develop all content at the same time.

Download The Definitive Blog Checklist

 

4. Plan your blog post creation

Before diving into some blog post creation, let’s examine the research.

Blogging frequency establishes a publication schedule. Publishing consistency helps build your audience since they expect and set aside time to read your posts.

The 2015 Orbit Media Studios Blogging Survey found that 53% of blogging respondents published weekly.

Blog Post Frequency- Orbit Media Research Chart

Blog Post Frequency- Orbit Media Research Chart

 

By contrast, Hubspot data revealed the optimal blog publication schedule was 2-3 times per week.

Blog Post Frequency-Chart

Monthly Blog Post Frequency Impact on Lead Generation – Hubspot

Blog post frequency doesn’t exist by itself. Your blog posts must deliver quality content. For most blogs this translates to blog post length.

Blog posts average 900 words, up 100 words since 2014 according to Orbit Media Studios.

Average Number of Words In Typical Blog Post-Orbit Media Chart

Average Number of Words In Typical Blog Post-Orbit Media Chart

We’re not talking word bloat – Edit, edit, edit.

Almost 1 in 10 bloggers write 1500+ words per post on average. These bloggers put time into each post. 54% of them spend 4+ hours per post. 

The average 2015 blog post takes 2.5+ hours to create.

Want your blog content to stand out from the pack?

You’ll need to invest more time per post. 6% of bloggers spend 6+ hours per blog post.

Average Time To Write A Blog Post - Orbit Media Chart

Average Time To Write A Blog Post – Orbit Media Chart

Since blog posts don’t magically appear, even for the best blogger, here are some tips to help streamline the blog post ideation process.

Actionable Blog Post Creation Tips: 

  1. Develop an editorial calendar for your blog. Start with your annual promotional calendar, major marketing events and product rollouts.
  2. Select regular blog post topics. Tap into existing search marketing. Your blog posts should help keyword rankings.
  3. Flesh out on-going columns. Think like a media entity. Plan recurring columns. Based on my experience teaching blogging, it’s easier to think in terms of two-week periods. Longer time between columns make it more difficult for the writer and the audience.
  4. Brainstorm related topics for blog post ideas. Create a process to capture blog post ideas within your organization. Don’t leave it to marketing and your agencies.
  5. Assign blog post creation to specific employees or freelance resources. As a resource, time can be difficult to assess. Don’t assume one of your existing employees can or will tap out a blog post when they have the time. (They won’t!!!)

Download The Definitive Blog Checklist

 

5. Brand your blog

Your blog and its content should support your business’s branding. This is a good reason to use in-house resources to create at least the first draft of your blog posts. They know your products and brand. (Here’s a 31 point blog design checklist.)

Jon Loomer uses a simple design with orange and grey touches. He always includes his photo in every post with a text title overlay. His move to color photos was a big step.  Blog Post Content Creation - Blog Branding via Jon Loomer

 Actionable Blog Post Creation Tips: 

  1. Create your blog’s voice. Consider how you want your blog to sound. Eliminate the corporate gibberish. Instead, use your readers’ words, literally. Where possible, choose small easy-to-understand words over fancy ones.
  2. Extend your brand visually. Follow your organization’s brand guide when selecting your blog theme, colors and other elements. Social Media Examiner does a great job of this with their jungle theme.
  3. Select your blog typefaces to be consistent with your brand. Focus on readability over difficult to read fonts. Use a popular font that’s readable on a wide range of devices.
  4. Coordinate with your branding department (if any). Make sure your blog is consistent with their guidelines.
  5. Set style guidelines. Document your blog guidelines. This helps your blog creation team, the rest of your employees and guest bloggers.

Download The Definitive Blog Checklist

 

6. Add other content formats

Beyond supporting your content marketing, your blog can make a more human connection with your target audience.

Actionable Blog Post Creation Tips: 

  1. Give your blog a human face. Show photographs of your blog team and individual writers. People do business with real people. Human Face on Blog - Actionable Marketing Guide
  2. Insert at least one photo per post. Images attract attention 60,000 times faster than text! Include people based on photograph research with examples. Here are free photograph sources and 6 image tools (hat tip: Kim Garst.)
  3. Add a human voice to your blog. Use your blog to distribute your podcast. It makes people feel that they know you since they hear the sound of your voice. Marcus Sheridan distributes his podcast via his blog.

    Marcus Sheridan's The Sales Lion Podcast Delivered Via  HIs Blog

    Marcus Sheridan’s The Sales Lion Podcast Delivered Via HIs Blog

  4. Include other content formats. Add video, presentations, infographics, charts and PDFs. This way people can consume your blog content as they please.
  5. Check the intellectual rights. Don’t assume that if you find an image or other content online that you can use it. Do your homework.  Check Intellectual Rights On Photographs

Download The Definitive Blog Checklist

 

7. Optimize blog posts for readability

While you and your blog team may spend hours crafting and optimizing each post, most readers only scan web content. (Here’s research to apply to your blog.)

Based on eye tracking data, Jakob Nielsen found that readers tend to follow an F-pattern.

F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Blog Content

F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Blog Content

Social Triggers’ Derek Halpern is a master of blog post creation optimization.

Example of Blog Post Content Optimization By Derek Halpern

Example of Blog Post Content Optimization By Derek Halpern

Actionable Blog Post Creation Tips: 

  1. Craft magnetic headlines. Only 20% of readers go beyond the headline according to David Ogilvy. Crank out at least 25 headlines until you get the right one. Also, download Jon Morrow’s free 52 Headline Hacks.
  2. Use an outline format. Help readers consume your blog post faster. Add bolding and italics where appropriate.
  3. Write for an 8th grade level writing. Skip insider lingo. Make your blog articles readable for the widest possible audience.
  4. Keep paragraphs to 4 lines. Aid reader speed. While this may not be how you were taught to write in school, it’s how people read.
  5. Skip tiny text. Use larger type than you think is needed. People over 40 tend to wear reading glasses and may have trouble seeing your content. Also, consider where people read. For example, on a treadmill you need larger type.
  6. Keep lines short. Shorter lines make readers believe the content is easier-to-read. This is particularly important for the first few lines of each post.
  7. Write image captions. This is one element readers check!
  8. Add white space. Space your content so readers don’t feel overwhelmed.

Download The Definitive Blog Checklist

 

8. Create related landing pages

Since each blog article’s objective is to encourage readers to take action, determine what is the next step you want readers to take.

Actionable Blog Post Creation Tips: 

  1. Include at least one call-to-action in every blog post. Readers won’t do anything unless you guide them. BTW, OptinMonster and HelloBar can support these efforts.
  2. Develop related landing pages at the same time you’re crafting the post. This minimizes resources and ensures they’re consistent for readers. Where appropriate include unique promotional codes.

9. Provide professional support

Writing and publishing blog posts as fast as possible complete with poor grammar, spelling mistakes and typos is no longer acceptable.

43% of UK consumers hated poor grammar and usage on social media according to Disruptive Communications research.  Customers Hate Poor Grammar - UK Research

Most blogs don’t have an editor, according to Orbit Media Studios’s 2015 Blogging Survey. (Clarification: They’re really referring to a copy editor, not a managing editor.)

  • 52% have no additional editor.
  • 16% of blogs have an editorial process.
Use of Copy Editors For Blogs - Orbit Media Studios Chart

Use of Copy Editors For Blogs – Orbit Media Studios Chart

By contrast, each Social Media Examiner post is reviewed by at least 5 editors according to Mike Stelzner. It can take 4+ weeks for your guest post to appear on the site.

To understand what’s involved in the editing process, John McPhee’s New Yorker piece, Omission, is well worth your time.

Actionable Blog Post Creation Tips: 

  1. Have a professional copy editor at a minimum. Your blog has to appear professional. Also, if you ask employees to contribute content, you have to remove the fear of looking bad. Remember not all employees write well!!!
  2. Provide creative resources. Employees may be able to communicate key business information but don’t depend on them to be creative!
  3. Get technical support. Marketing and creative staff aren’t necessarily technically savvy. Ensure your blog posts are optimized for backend issues and connect to the rest of your systems.
  4. Use freelancers and agencies where appropriate to create content and creative.

Download The Definitive Blog Checklist

 

The bottom line for business blog post content creation is to integrate your blog with the rest of your marketing and business plans.

This ensures that your blog posts provide the information that your target audience actively seeks and is in a format that attracts their attention.

Following these blog post content creation steps supports achieving your key content metrics.

What are your favorite tools for blog post content creation?

Download The Definitive Blog Checklist

 

BTW, if you’re attending MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston this week, please join Jeffrey L. Cohen of Oracle’s Salesforce and me (FYI—We’re not related) for Teach Me How! 10 Essential Strategies to Blast Off Your Blog on Thursday, October 22 at 2:30pm!!!

10 Essential Strategies To Blast Off Your Blog

Further, my webmaster, Larry Aronson, and I are holding office hours on Wednesday, October 21st and Thursday, October 22nd from 3:30pm until 5:00pm. Come get your FREE blogging advice! Drop me an email to register for a specific time.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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  • A very useful and extensive list of tips. As part of a company that focuses on digital marketing in Hong Kong I most definitely approve of your advice! Thank you so much for sharing!