What does the perfect blog post look like? It’s a question that can keep any enterprising digital marketer or website owner up at night. After all, if you manage to hit the right formula, you could be well on your way to earning millions on just your content alone, never mind the rest of your business’s offerings.
But before you can attain the rarified status of an influencer, there’s the small matter of getting your website to actually show up somewhere within the top 20 results on Google’s search engine. That’s a feat that even the most skilled marketers struggle to accomplish on a consistent basis.
According to data compiled by the Content Marketing Institute, 88% of companies invest in aggressive content marketing as one their main strategies for attaining high Google rankings. From infographics to newsletters, blog posts and videos, companies all over the world, in diverse industries, are realizing the possibilities offered by high-quality content.
With great, well-written blog posts, you not only get the opportunity to organically target high-yield keywords; you can also generate strong backlinks, and engage visitors to stay on your site for far longer periods.
Just In Case You Were Wondering How Deadspin Became More Popular Than the Likes of Fifa, ESPN, and NBC Sports
So What Is the Secret To Power Blogging?
Here are simple statistics; a visitor will decide whether your website is worth their interest within the first 10 seconds of them landing on your page. That judgment will be made on the basis of the value proposition contained within your headline.
No matter how informative the rest of your content is, if this first hook doesn’t bait the reader, then they’re not going to stick around for as long as you’d like. There are simply too many alternatives on the internet and nobody wastes their time with content that isn’t immediately relevant to their needs anymore.
Now there are many ways to write a great headline, but most experts agree that the key elements for an eye-catching title are:
- They’re specific
- They question the reader
- They tell the reader how to do something correctly
- Or how to avoid doing something incorrectly
- They provide a select audience with a solution for an urgent need
But Once You’ve Got Your Foot in the Door…
Unfortunately readers are fickle, and a great headline will only buy you 20 extra seconds of undivided attention. Thankfully, if you manage to retain their interest up until that point, their odds of sticking with you for the rest of the article shoot up exponentially.
So how do you optimize your content to navigate this tricky period?
Why read a textbook when you could be reading a novel? Great content writing isn’t just about getting your message out there, it’s about doing it in a way that engages the hearts and minds of readers; encouraging them to share your post in the process.
What better way to achieve this goal than by using the narrative tricks and creativity of a storyteller? Tell personal anecdotes, explain complicated examples with analogies, and veer off into some historical parallel. Research conducted by the University of Washington in St. Louis shows that when you give readers information, they process it in much the same way they process language; a cold mathematical process. But when you tell a story, readers actually see and feel the impact of your words.
Get the Length Right
The right answer to when someone asks how long the perfect blog should be is, “how long is a piece of string?”. In other words, a blog post should be the right length to get the message across, and that’s different for every message and messenger.
That being said, there are some undeniable statistics when it comes to blog length. Search for any topic under the sun on Google, and the first few blog results you’ll find are likely to be long, detailed blogs. This is because time and time again, research has proven that the longer the post is, the more shares it will get. According to a SerpIQ study, on average, the higher a website places on Google’s rankings the more content it will have, and most of that content will exceed 2,000 words in length.
Writing more gives you the ability to organically target a far greater variety of keywords and attract a far wider audience in the process. In turn, this will encourage readers to link your content to other relevant people in their network. Detailed, long-form written content is retweeted, it’s shared on Facebook, and is even reposted on LinkedIn more than any other type of digital content.
But There’s a Catch…
If you’re thinking of just dumping a load of text into your next blog post, think again. To ensure visitors actually read your blog posts you have to make sure they’re scannable. What does that mean? Simply put, you have to make it easy for readers to find the information they want, because according to the Nielsen Norman Group, they’re probably only going to be reading 20-28% of the content anyway.
The best way to achieve this effect is to break your content up into smaller readable chunks using a variety of visual tricks, including:
- Images (of the 100 most popular blog posts in a BlogPros study, each had an average of one image per 350 words)
- Shorter paragraphs
- Catchy subheadings that promise the content to come
- Quotes (love to share quotable content that they can sum up in one line)
- Font changes
A Call to Action
The intent of every good blog post is to make your reader take action. In most cases, the action you want is for readers to avail your products and services, or to spread your content further. After all, if you’ve managed to hook your reader for the duration of your 2,000+ word post, then you want to ensure that you, as the content writer, get something out of the deal.
There are some key components to any good call to action.
- It should be prominent – speak directly to your reader and tell them what you want them to do. Make it bold, and headline it if you must. You can’t afford to let your intention go ignored.
- It should be relevant –there’s nothing worse than a vague, gimmicky slogan that tells you to “buy now”, without telling you what, where, or how. Readers need to know what service or product to buy and how.
- It should be easy –give your readers a simple link to click that will take them right to where they need to go. The more steps there are between the call to action, and the action the quicker the visitor will be to forget your message. Accessibility is key.
What Power Blogging can do for Your Business
Drive Up Website Traffic
By providing readers with targeted, relevant information and solutions to their problems you position your brand as the business that has the answers. By adding inbound links to your blog redirecting visitors to specific landing pages, or by adding daily or weekly website hosted blogs into your social media sharing strategy, you can ensure that visitors keep coming back to your website on a regular basis, and invite their friends along too.
We’ve already discussed how much power blogging can do for your website’s Google search engine ranking. About 81% of shoppers conduct a quick search engine search before they buying anything. That’s where the value of getting your company’s name first, before all your competitors becomes priceless.
Become an Industry Leader
It’s not just about ROI or market share. Consistent, great content represents the knowledge and commitment of your company on a mass scale, not only to your customers, but to your competitors too. If your company is a new market entrant, that added boost to your reputation can translate to much stronger brand loyalty.
Don’t Wait, Get Started Today
Now that we’ve helped you uncover the secrets of power blogging, it’s time to get out there and start making your online impression. If you’re having trouble finding, formatting, and putting together the right words and content then never fear; at ContentDevelopmentPros, we put these principles into action every day. No matter what your business does, or what types of product you’re selling, we can help you reap exponential benefits of power blogging today.