The digital industry is riding high on the content marketing wave. While most of the businesses today are investing their time and money in writing blog posts, they aren’t really able to get anything more than some social shares out of it.
Even when they promote these blog posts on social media, they attract a couple of clicks and likes. But not people who will actually read the post right till the end. To be honest, unless the user is seeking information about something, you have barely 2 to 3 seconds to grab his attention.
Wondering how to start blogging in a way that your content marketing efforts don’t go waste? By keeping in mind the following 8 points to write a blog post that brings you customers:
1. Know your ‘real’ audience
A little social activity and a few purchases, doesn’t guarantee that the person is your ideal customer. So before you start writing anything, identify who your audience is and what they are looking for. Making data driven decisions backed by industry research and competitor analysis, will help you create a content strategy that is unique and will work for your business.
Here are a few tools to get to know your audience:
- Hootsuite for social listening in your industry.
- Keyword Tool for monitoring most searched for industry keywords.
- Quora to understand what information your audience is looking for.
2. Frame compelling headlines
You have barely 5 seconds to make or break an impression on your target audience. The first thing that is seen in your blog post is the headline. If you don’t have a compelling headline that generates some amount of curiosity in the visitor, be sure he’s not going to even bother reading past the first line.
Human nature follows judging the book by its cover, so make sure that the blog title works for you. Here are a few tools you can use when you run out of ideas:
And once you have a headline in place, you can use Co-Schedule’s Headline Analyzer, which will not just analyze the strength of your title but also give you tips to improve it.
3. Always format your posts
According to a study by Microsoft, online attention has become a scarce resource. It has dropped from 15 seconds in the year 2000 to a mere 8 seconds in 2015. So if your post doesn’t look appealing instantly, your visitors will leave without even taking a look at the content.
Here are a few things to include in your formatting checklist:
- Use left aligning to avoid content getting spread out when viewed on a mobile device.
- Demarcate headings and subheadings using H1, H2 and H3 font formatting.
- Frame shorter paragraphs to increase the scannability of the post.
Remember, the idea is to make it easy on the reader’s eyes so that he reads the post till the end and gets convinced enough to convert.
4. Opt for listicles more
Instead of chunky content pieces, opt for creating listicles. Lists are everywhere – from Buzzfeed, Mashable to Wired. Whether it is a list of top 10 businesses, articles, images or any other kind of media, lists are rapidly becoming the new age journalist’s choice.
Even though they are currently the most overused content format, a new industry specific list of things is always welcome. Here’s why we think they are here to stay:
- Lists make consuming complex data easy by offering linear progression.
- Lists help you curate information from across the internet.
- Lists make the perfect snackable content type
- Lists barely take a few minutes to create (research time excluded of course).
Still don’t think lists are worth it? Here’s something for you from Wired: 5 Reasons Listicles Are Here to Stay, and Why That’s OK.
5. Use images and infographics to break the monotony
According to Forbes, 65% of people are visual learners and 90% of the information in our brain is stored as visuals. Articles that consist of more than one image in the content body, get 94% more views than other content formats.
Spacing the textual content with images and infographics increase the readability of the post by giving a break to the eyes of the reader. So put on your creative hat, stock up on images or create a few on your own if you want your target audience to read till the end of the post. But do ensure that the visuals you insert are contextually relevant and of high quality.
6. Include a call-to-action
Striving to share the best information with their audience, most businesses forget the fact their blog posts are actually meant to nudge their conversion rates a step further. And the only way to do so effectively, is to insert a clear call-to-action button in the content body.
To see the above example live on one of our blog posts, click here.
Whether it is to ask your readers to leave a comment, share your post, check out your new product or simply follow you on social media, make sure what you want is absolutely clear to the reader. Also keep in mind to create a call-to-action that stands out and is relevant to the blog post.
7. Create posts that are SEO optimized
The best way to maximise your conversions, is to start working on your Google search ranking. Spending time creating content that is only marketing-fit is only going to double up your work when it comes to focusing on SEO. Whether you’re starting off with blogging or are changing your content strategy, identify industry specific keywords that match your business and make them a part of the process.
Here are a few tips to optimize your blog posts:
- Add a proper meta title
- Include a meta description
- Optimize the post for a focus keyword
- Add image alt attribute
- Interlink your content
8. Make it easier to share
Irrespective of what other plugins you have installed on your blog, make sure social sharing is easy for the reader. Be it including a floating bar alongside the post with all social links, or social buttons at the top and bottom of your post – let them be easily seen and always have a custom message before them.
After all, what if the reader knows someone who could use your products and services, and want to share the post with him? You don’t want to be losing out on that chance!
Over to you
Which of the above strategies have you actually made use of while creating a blog post? Is there some tactic we missed out on?
Feel free to add to this post by dropping your suggestions in the box below. And if you feel it was worth a read, share it with your friends!