Blogging for your business may seem like a fairly easy task (assuming you can find the time). But if you can sit down regularly to write a blog for your business, there are a few things to keep in mind when you put pen to paper… er… letters to the screen.
The best practices for blogging come in two forms. There are the general rules governing how to hold your reader’s interest and then there are things to consider to make search engines take note as well. In this article we’ll take a quick look at a bit of both.
Let’s start with some tips to catching and keeping the reader’s attention.
1. It’s All About the Headline
No matter what you are writing about, the headline plays a critical role in getting people to actually read your post. To write a good headline, just look for inspiration on news websites and pay attention to the headlines that stand out to you. What is it about them that makes you want to read more? Do they lure you in with something salacious? Ex: “New Study Shows Sex Enjoyable for All”. Or do they get you with odd numbers? Ex: “3 Ways to Beat the Heat this Summer!”
Eye catching headlines come in many forms. Depending on what you are writing about, you’ll want to consider different ways of grabbing your reader’s attention. Play around with the headline and try to keep it to about 5-7 words.
2. Content is King
The actual content of your blog post is oddly just as important as the headline. Now that you’ve got someone looking, you have to deliver. Failure to do so may make the reader less likely to visit your posts in the future if they feel you don’t offer anything valuable.
Be sure to deliver your points quickly and succinctly. Don’t waste too much time getting to the heart of your article and once there, try to avoid filler.
Keep things short and sweet while still getting your point across.
3. Be Conversational
Blogging, unlike writing for professional publications or academic journals, is a much more laid back forum. The conversational tone reigns supreme in blogs and it is part of why people embrace the medium.
So be casual in your tone and writing style, but DON’T throw the rules of grammar out the window. Conversational writing doesn’t mean being sloppy and poorly written, it just means being able to drop in a sentence fragment and not having to care. Am I right?
Now let’s look at some tips to improving search engine optimization (SEO) for your blog.
1. Again, It’s All About the Headline
Just as with capturing a reader’s attention, a good headline also does a lot for search engines. Specifically, it is one of the key ways a search engine knows what the article is about. So it’s important to consider adding in the proper keywords to your headline to reap the value they offer.
For example, if I were writing an article on training puppies, I would want to say something like, “Puppy Training 101: The Basics”. This headline is both eye catching to the reader AND able to tell Google some important information. An example of a bad headline would be: “Things to do to Teach your Dog.” Not only is that headline clunky, but it lacks some of the critical words which tell Google what the blog post is about.
2. Use your Keywords Immediately
Search engines also make determinations about your blog post from just the first few sentences. So it is important to load up your keywords right at the start to make it clear what the rest of your post is about.
So, continuing with our puppy example, you’d want to open your article like this: “Training a new puppy can be tough, but with these basic tips you can have a well behaved dog in just a few weeks.” This sentence works because it makes it clear to Google what the post is about. ‘Training a new puppy’, ‘basic tips’, and ‘well behaved dog’ are all keyword strings which Google will recognize as commonly searched for terms.
Do your best to fit your keywords in at the start and don’t waste words in your introduction.
3. Promote Your Own Post
Once you’ve written your post, don’t just assume people will come and find it. Take it and plaster it all over the net. That doesn’t mean to spam it, but you should always give it a proper push.
To do this, take the html address for your post (not the blog address, but the post address) and submit it to websites like Digg, StumbleUpon, and Delicious to bookmark it for others to find. You should also post your new content to your social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
What Basic Blogging Tips Can you Share?