According to one source, there are more than 164 million blogs out there today and a huge portion of them doesn’t even hit the 1,000 visitors mark per month. One of the biggest issues that contribute to low blog traffic is the quality of the write ups. With the amount of blogs out there, you really need to step up the game in order to compete with the rest.
The bottom line is clear; you need stunning blog posts!
So, how do you write a stunning blog post?
Blogging is nothing unless you are systematic and this means that you can start by having a mind map. A mind map is essential especially when it is able to provide a complete layout on:
- The output of the article (structures)
- Title and excerpts to be used
- Types of content and information to provide (research)
- Proper images and media sources
- Credit and link sources to be provided in the article
- Summary of the article
Besides that, having a good blog structure is important to ensure that your readers are glued to the screen. Every blog post should contain several important features such as what’s in for the readers, the objectives of the write up is should be precise and you need to deliver them with a punch!
#1. Planning above all
Even before you start drafting, you need to have a great plan in mind. Here are several guidelines you can follow:
- Knowing the reasons why readers are coming to your blog
- How you can attract potential readers to your blog
- What can you do to ensure they stay longer (reduce bounce rate)
- How to market your writings and further increase the blog traffic
You should have a terminal goal for each blog post you published. It is also highly advisable to ensure that you have done enough research prior to writing to ensure that all the facts are top of their classes.
When it comes to planning, you can keep all your ideas and information using Dropbox, Evernote or Google Drive. On a personal note, I highly recommend using them as I could easily access the information at anywhere and anytime as required.
These plans created could easily be amended from time to time as they serve as a useful guideline for you.
#2: Preparing a killer title and excerpt
Do you believe in the 30 seconds rule? Studies showed that webmasters and bloggers have about 27 seconds to impress the visitors before they actually change the page.
So, if you want to keep your readers glued to your site and ultimately increase readership, make sure you have a good title that makes people want to click it. In order to create a good title, I always believe that it should be less than 70 characters (Google’s limitation) and it should always be short but precise.
Take a look at the example below:
- Effective ways to increase Google+ traffic to your blog
- How I increased my Google+ traffic by 700%
Between the both, which do you think is more clickable? Obviously, the second one is a better choice and does this makes any sense to you?
It was actually a case study which I had conducted by sharing an article to the relevant Google+ communities with the use of proper titles, description and hashtags. The result was explosive and I basically increased my referral traffic overnight by just spending 5 minutes preparing the ‘script’. You can read on the case study here How I accidentally increased Google+ traffic by over 700%.
According to Yoast
The science behind writing a good excerpt is completely similar to writing a title. It requires to be catchy, providing good call-to-action and precise. The excerpt should give a very clear picture to your readers on what to expect from that article and of course, how it could benefit them.
#3: Content is (still) king
You’ve probably heard about this a zillion time and it is true. Most readers enjoy great articles and they are not determined by the amount of words. Instead, it all boils down to the quality of the content and how you deliver them.
For starters, each blog post should be at least 600 words and use appropriate headings. The famous wall-of-text should be avoided at all cost whenever you are building a blog post.
It is recommended that you divide the article into several parts and utilize the H2 to H4 headings to make navigation and reading easier especially when you are writing a long blog post. These heading tags should be used to classify and divide parts of the article which will make reading easier.
Personally, I ensure that the colours of my heading tags are different from the normal words. For example, bright colours like red attract the eye more than the plain ol’ black.
So, what if you believe you have a great content but unsure how to make it go viral?
You can bang on your luck with asking questions (also known as call-to-actions in some cases). Among bloggers and marketers, this is definitely one technique that has a high chance of success. Here’s an example:
4 Reasons Why Fair Trade Coffee Is a Scam was published on Cracked.com and take a guess on how much traffic it actually got from it. Over 240,000 views, 6,000 likes on Facebook and 500 links according to Open Site Explorer.
Now, tell me what have you learned from the above?
#4. When words and sentences are not enough to captivate the readers
So, what’s next? Say hello to images, videos and slides.
Majority of my blog posts are over 1,500 words and it is a known fact that many readers think that is too much to handle. Yes, even my fiancé says so too!
As human eyes are always attracted to images compared to words, I decided to make the change. The first step was to create a simple slide and upload it to SlideShare. And the results?
SlideShare was the starting point and digital media came to live. I was busy uploading videos to Youtube, high resolution images to Flickr and podcasts to SoundCloud.
The effects were great as I had a lower bounce rate, longer duration of stay period on a single page and even a few positive feedback emails from my readers.
When it comes to content enrichment, providing quality links back to your source is indeed a great move. It doesn’t only provide possibilities of getting a ‘mention’ on social media but of course, backlinks from the authority sites.
In the readers’ point of views, you are not only providing quality write ups but doing it one step more; sharing the source of the information. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if you call it as blogging etiquette or source linking. It is always important to provide the relevant credit to the original source of the information.
When it comes to quoting others, you have to ensure that you are not overdoing it. For instance, do not overpopulate your blog post with tons of backlinks. Instead, provide ad-hoc credits and source links only when needed to ensure that your writing is more ‘readable’.
#6. Ending your post with a bang
For me, the ending paragraph or summary plays a huge role in any articles. A good summary concludes what the whole article is all about (especially useful for skimmers) and ensuring that it not the end of your visitor’s reading ‘journey’.
Simply by providing a comment form would easily encourage readers to leave their feedback and even share their ideas. This technique comes in handy especially when you could use the feedbacks to either improve your current blog post or use those ideas for future ones.
Either way, a ‘noisy’ blog usually attracts more readers than none at all. Therefore, always take the opportunity to encourage your readers to share their ideas and making sure you reply to every one of them.
Another way to convince your readers to leave a comment is by providing a good call to action. For example, asking a simple question such as “Do you have any other tips to share” or “What do you think of this post” could easily increase the comment rate.
Over to you
While using proper SEO techniques are also recommended, producing high quality blog post takes more than just
Do you have any other blogging tips you would like to share? Feel free to hit the comment form below and let’s discuss!
Images: ”Smart businessman drawing upon social statistics and graph data /Shutterstock.com“
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