Your blog is a great marketing tool for your business. It’s where people likely find you first and where they go to learn more about the services you provide. You can use your blog to educate your audience and connect with them, all while you’re establishing yourself as an expert in your industry.
If you’re not getting the traction you want from your blog—not enough clicks, shares and likes—you might be missing one of these five key components in your posts.
When your blog doesn’t include the information your audience is looking for, you won’t get readers to your site. Your potential readers are searching for information—answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. If you’re not addressing these on your blog, you’re missing the boat. Your audience isn’t going to find you and they certainly aren’t going to find your content.
Your blog is the place where you market yourself and, more importantly, educate your audience about your expertise and your industry. You need to make sure that what you are creating and what you were writing for your audience is what they actually need or want. Do this by surveying your audience and asking them what questions they have and what information they need to make their lives better. I also like to pay attention to what people are talking about in the entrepreneurial Facebook groups I’m a part of. Many a blog post has come from those groups!
[bctt tweet=”If your blog isn’t helpful, what’s the point of writing it?” username=””]
Every blog post should also have a clear structure. Using subheads is a great way to break up a lot of content and you can also include a bullet points and numbered list. But a blog post that rambles on and on with no clear structure and with no clear educational value is just not going to get read.
When you’re writing your blog post, think about how your audience is actually going to digest the information. Are you offering actionable tips that they can use and put to work right away? Bullet points might be the way to go. Are you offering them something new that they haven’t seen before? Offer a downloadable worksheet to help. I like to approach blogs from the position that pretty much everything that can be said has already been said. So try to find a new way to deliver your message and ideas and give your readers an easy way to actually implement any recommendations that you are making.
Something else the best blogs have is a clear message. Is there a crystal clear message or a lesson you want your audience to take away? Make sure you know exactly what you want your audience to take away from the post and that your audience knows what that is.
In this blog post, the second paragraph under each subhead gives you the actionable steps to take for each lesson I want you to internalize. You can also include bullet points within your post or italicize important points. If your post doesn’t lend itself to this kind of formatting, be sure to summarize the most important parts of your message in a closing paragraph.
[bctt tweet=”A crystal clear message ensures readers take action.” username=””]
Call to Action
A call to action gives your audience something to do after they have read the blog post. If you don’t tell them what to do, they’ll do nothing and your opportunity is lost. Whether it’s a video to watch or another page you want them to visit or an action you want them to take in their own business, tell the reader what to do next—after they’re done reading.
I have a planning guide for blog posts that I am going to ask you to download after you’re done reading. This planning guide will help you to answer some of the most important questions about your topic so you can make sure that your message is crystal clear to your readers. Think of what you can offer your audience, that isn’t necessarily trying to sell. It’s okay to link to a sales page or a paid offer every once in a while, but if you do that with every blog your audience will start to think of you as spammy and salesy.
[bctt tweet=”A call to action gives your audience something to do after they have read your blog post.” username=””]
Of course, there’s no way to measure any of this unless you can actually get your audience over to your post in the first place. Having a killer headline will encourage people to read your blog when they find it on social media or in the search results. The best tool that I have come across to measure the value and the effectiveness of my headlines is the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. It gives you a score on your headline based on how actionable the headline is, how interesting it is and whether it includes words that are emotional or powerful. It is an amazing tool that gets easier to use the more you use it.
Every blog post is going to be just a little bit different and not every post will have all of these best practices in them, but this is a great place to start to make sure that your blog is effective and doing the job that you do mean for it to do.
If you’re having trouble just getting your ideas down on the computer screen, grab my blog planning guide here. It will help you ask the right questions as you start creating content for your audience.