You have a blog.
Now it’s time to
Let’s look at four proven ways to turn your bland unsharable content into content people want, crave and talk about for days.
It’s presumptuous to have a business blog with content only you like, you think your audience likes or because you’re in the X industry, you can only produce Y content.
For example, if you’re in the real estate industry, you may think the only content you can put on your blog are tips for selling, buying or the latest real estate laws in your particular state.
If you want content that gets shared, you need to know what your audience craves. So, for starters, the Content Marketing Institute looked at the 21 different types of content people want.
People never get tired of this type of content, always have time to read it and will most likely share it.
So, what type of content is popular? Here are only four types:
- Content that reveals secrets. This taps into a person’s desire of exclusivity. 15 Secrets No Real Estate Broker Will Tell You.
- Content that confirms our assumptions. People want to be right so when they read a blog post confirming what they’ve always been thinking, they’ll make sure to share it and tell their friends about it. New Orleans is One of the Worst U.S Cities for Renters.
- Content that gives us a fresh point of view, even on the common things. People seek information and they want to always have the best and up-to-date type of information. Home Inspection Checklist: What to Look for When Buying a Home.
- Content that challenges our assumptions. People like to learn new and better ways and they will seek out information that might challenge their point of view. Six Renovations that Don’t Add Value to Your Home.
When you have content people actually want to read, it will be easier to promote it on your social media channels.
#2. Format Your Blog Post For Easy Reading
This may be the first time you’re online. Most of your business has been with local distributions or customers offline.
So, when your marketing person suggested putting up a site and blog, you probably thought, no big deal. Just write a quick post and share it.
If you’re anything like regular people, you probably wrote your blog post in two big paragraphs. No subheadings, no links – just two “school worthy” paragraphs.
It might look something like this:
For online reading ease, this is extremely difficult to read and scan. In fact, for the typical online reader, only 20-28% of your post is actually being read. Readers tend to skim a post, looking only for critical words and phrases.
So, if you want content that gets shared, you need to format your blog post so that it actually gets read. Here are some tips to optimize your blog post for easy reading:
- Use bullet lists and numbered lists in your post. This breaks up your paragraph and draws the reader to something important.
- Bold words and phrases. For all the skimmers, help them out by bolding important phrases and words in your post so that they ultimately get the “gist” of your content.
- Use subheadings – H2 or H3 – in your blog. This not only makes your post easy to read, but it can help with your SEO too.
- Provide contextual links in your post. By providing external and internal links, you are adding quality to your post, helping your readers with learning more information and if you provide internal links – it will help lower your bounce rate too.
- Write shorter paragraphs. If you peruse blogs, then you’ll notice popular blogs have a lot of white space. This just means there’s a lot of space around their text. While there are many ways to add white space to your content such as shortening your content width or changing your font and font size, an easy way is to make shorter paragraphs. Make your paragraphs 2-3 sentences and sometimes add a 1 sentence paragraph in your post.
When you format your blog post in this way, you might have something that looks like this:
#3. Optimize Your Blog Post for Social Media
Social media is where your audience hangs out. In fact, people between 18-29 years old spend an average of 51 minutes on Facebook.
So, if you want to tap into that market, make sure your post is optimized for social media by having your meta data set correctly. To find out if your post is optimized, use the social media optimizer tool from Know.em.
This tool looks at your HTML code and your markup code for Google+ Authorship, Facebook’s Open Graph protocol, LinkedIn and Twitter’s Summary card data.
It’s easy to set your meta data if you have the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. In your WordPress dashboard, under Social in Yoast, ensure that the “add open graph data” box is ticked for each social media platform.
#4. Include Infographics in Your Content
Unsure what an infographic is? It’s basically a visual graph with information on it. This type of content is popular on social media, particularly ones that rely on visual images such as Pinterest or StumbleUpon.
Research shows that infographics attract the highest amount of social shares when compared to other types of content.
Infographics do require a lot of research, but you can always make smaller infographics that summarizes a few of your blog posts, for example. Here are some free infographic tools you can use.
It’s Up to You
How do you want to use your business blog? As a traffic generator? As a way to develop better customer relationships? Or as a way to promote your brand?
Whichever way you decide to use your business blog, the most important thing is to tailor your content for your audience.
Understanding what they like and how to serve it up for them is key in your content marketing plan.
Images: “Content marketing distribution concept. Woman carrying a box with the word “content” in front./Shutterstock.com“
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