Growth February 28, 2012 86 Reads share

Pimp Your Business Blog With Headlines, Structure, Formatting, Images And Research

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A while back, I wrote a blog post for new bloggers on

Craft a stand out headline

Your blog post’s title is very important and should be given a lot of consideration.  When creating your headline, your goals should be to:

  1. Immediately stand out from the crowd.
  2. Appeal to the right type of reader.

According to CopyBlogger, Brian Clark; “On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece”. Make sure to check out his wonderful series on “How to Write Magnetic Headlines”

Simply put, the more effective your headline – the better,  your chances are of getting clicked and read by the right type of people.

A great first paragraph will elevate your posts

After someone clicks through to your post, the first text they are going to read will be your first paragraph.

In effect; your first paragraph/s is like your blog post elevator pitch – it determines whether or not people decide to read further into the post. It needs to:

  • Continue to hold the reader’s attention,
  • Explain what the post is about
  • And describe the “what it’s in it for me” for the reader!

Social Media Examiner is a great example. They are fabulous exponents of explaining and selling the “what it’s in it for me” to their readers.

Use sub-headings to allow your readers to scan

In your writing, you will need to understand and allow for how the online reader behaves! Writing for the internet is different to writing hard copy – because online : people scan rather than read right the way through.

That’s why using sub headings (H2, H3 etc) are very important . Break up your posts with sub-headings – to provide the reader with the opportunity to scan through the post.

Manage the length of your paragraphs well

This is an extension on the point above. Shorter, rather than longer paragraphs work best online. While there may not be a hard and fast rule here, – a good way to manage paragraph length is to stop at the end of three sentences and then start to figure out the transition to the next paragraph.

Use bullet points & numbering to make your posts more readable

Again, for reasons already outlined – bullet points make your posts more readable. Here a great post on creating bullet points, again from Brian Clark!

List type posts usually perform very well online. People like lists because people like order. You can also use numbering as you would bullet points. For example, numbering works better than bullets where you are communicating to the reader – to follow a series of steps.

Use images to give you impact

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so using images is critical if you are intending to make an impression online (excuse the pun!).

Images add the visual element that helps you to communicate, with more impact!

Also, if you consider social media such as Facebook, which is a very visual platform – not using images in your posts will put you at a significant disadvantage vs. those bloggers that do (Have a look at your Facebook newsfeed to see what I mean).

Really refine your posts by researching each one

This is one area where bloggers could learn a lot from the traditional media and journalists.  To be a more effective business blogger – you’re going to need to improve the overall quality of what you produce.

One way to achieve this, is to ensure that you research each post thoroughly before you hit publish. While opinion pieces are often very interesting – too many bloggers go from their initial idea to publishing – without really taking the time to develop – what it is? That they want to say.

Researching ensures that you:

  • Refine your original ideas/concepts/message before committing to your virtual paper.
  • Present evidence for the points you are making so that your readers will take them seriously.

Bonus Tip: Use your blog to increase your business efficiency

Always keep on the look out for ways to use blogging to increase business efficiency. This post was created because a client asked me – for some more advanced blogging advice.

Rather than send the information privately – I instead, have decided to create this blog post.

  • Why? Because I know that more than just my client will find it useful.
  • I would have had to provide my client with this information anyway – but choosing to do it via a blog post ensures my time is being spent wisely.

So there you go! These are some areas of blogging that I have learned from my time here at Bloggertone, where many bloggers could improve . I hope you will find them useful towards your blogging success. If you have any tips of your own that you would like to contribute – please share them in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Niall

Image: “Close up of the flames on a vintage hot rod/Shutterstock

Niall Devitt

Niall Devitt

Digital expert, top 10% influencer with over 10 years’ senior management experience - including managing projects and teams, and growing companies in the Irish, international and online marketplaces. Co-founded one of the largest B2B blogs in the world, helped grow a B2B social media to over 1,000,000 members, created the strategy for one of the most effective SME Facebook pages in the world and have grown 3 business websites (TweakYourBiz.com, BizSugar.com & MyKidsTime.ie) to in excess of a 100,000 unique visitors per month. Have consulted and worked with both corporate and SME clients on leveraging digital to drive business KPIs. Speaker at industry events, have authored several industry reports on the Digital Economy and appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Insider and other leading online and offline business publications. Specialities include: Entrepreneurship Business Development, Start-ups, Business Planning, Management, Training, Leadership, Sales Management, Sales, Sales Process, Coaching, Online Advertising, Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media Strategist, Digital Strategy, Social Media ROI, User Generated Content, Social Customer Care.

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