Writing Blogs: 10 Key Components of a Killer Blog Post

27 June 2013 - 19:48, by , in Inbound Marketing, No comments

In my last post, I wrote about the reasons every company should have a business blog. In this post, I will be covering the key components you will need to include in your posts to have success when writing blogs. Writing blogs that actually generate traffic to your website and convert visitors into leads for your business is a very specific art. I will break down each essential part you will need to include when writing blogs for your business (or personal brand) in this step-by-step guide to writing complete blog posts for conversion.

Writing Blogs for Conversion Step 1: Choose a Relevant Topic & Keep Focused

Choosing a topic is hands down the most important step when writing blogs. If the topic is one that your target audience is not searching for, and has little interest in, then you will not find the success you are looking for in regards to engagement, “share-ability”, or conversion.

Tips for choosing blog topics:

  • Start by answering questions from your existing customers
  • Type questions into Google that you think your target audience would have and see what auto-generates
  • Start by writing about things you consider yourself an expert on, and the words will flow naturally
  • Base your topic on one thing, and one thing only

Once you choose your blog topic, ex: “ a DIY guide to building patio furniture”, make sure you keep a razor sharp focus. Don’t go off on tangents about accessories to pair with the new patio furniture you have created. Writing blogs is all about educating your audience on one subject at a time. If you jump around, it becomes too much information to take in at once.

Writing Blogs for Conversion Step 2: Take Time for Structure & Formatting

When writing blogs, make it easy for people to follow along and even skim if that’s what they would prefer. Make your post easy to digest and fun to share. How you structure and format your post will go a long way. If it’s not clean, well organized, and logical, people will check out before they have even given the content a chance.

Tips for a well-structured blog post:

  • Use bullet points and short sentences
  • Start with an outline, then fill in the blanks
  • Write the post, then go back and shorten and simplify

Writing Blogs for Conversion Step 3: Select an Attention Grabbing Title

People will decide whether or not they are going to read and share your post based on the title alone, so make it intriguing. Sometimes, people even share articles they haven’t read if they trust the source, and it has a stellar title. Writing blogs with an awesome title is a MUST!

What would make YOU be compelled to click a link?

Tips to writing a “click-worthy” title:

  • Describe what the post will be about in the most interesting way possible
  • Pose the title as a question – a common one that your target audience is likely to have
  • Use “step-by-steps”, “how-to” guides, and numbered lists
  • Bring the drama – sometimes a little controversy or shock can work in your favor

Writing Blogs for Conversion Step 4: Make Your Content Remarkable

Getting your audience to click a link is one thing, but the next essential part in writing blogs is to make sure the actual content is valuable to the reader. No one wants a bait and switch. The more content you write that educates and provokes thought or emotion in a reader, the more trust you build with your following. If the body of your blog posts is something to talk about or share with friends, you’re well on your way to conversion of your readers becoming leads for your business.

Tips to writing blogs with remarkable content:

  • PROVIDE VALUE. Yes, that needed to be in caps. Only write a post if there is a purpose for writing the post – i.e. answer a question, provide education or assistance, share knowledge, evoke emotion
  • Include key points that are worth talking about
  • Be human – let your personality show through your posts, make your audience a fan of YOU and your personal brand
  • Make it unique – don’t write the same post as everyone else, people have already read it

Writing Blogs for Conversion Step 5: Create Well Guided Headings

Your audience doesn’t like to be confused or have to guess where your post is headed. When writing blogs, make your content “skimmable” as I said above. Headings help your reader figure out the overall story, and decide how in depth they want to continue reading. It allows people the option of only reading the sections that may apply to them.

Tips for creating logical headings:

  • Break your post up into sections that make sense and make the post easier to digest for the reader
  • Make the heading indicative of what that section will contain
  • Try to make it action oriented and/or descriptive
  • Keep the headings consistent with each other and cohesive with the overall theme

Writing Blogs for Conversion Step 6: Incorporate a Characterizing Photo or Video

Checklist for writing blogs

No one likes to click on a link and see dense blocks of text with nothing to catch their eye or draw them to. It helps to break up the text in a visually appealing way when writing blogs. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video? I’m sure you can guess. A picture or video can help drive home your point and describe something is a shorter more concise way.

Tips for choosing the right image or video:

  • Make sure it describes and relates to your topic and content within the post
  • Pick something eye-catching
  • Use sparingly – you don’t need 15 pictures in a post, 1 or 2 will suffice
  • If relevant, use graphs, charts, or infographics

Writing Blogs for Conversion Step 7: Include Applicable Links

When writing blogs, it’s helpful to include links for your reader that go more in depth on a particular topic that will help provide background to what you are writing about. If you are referencing something you have previously written about, or something your reader may not be well versed on, include a link to a post or article that will further explain. Including links to other authors’ posts is also a great tactic to create a link building relationship for SEO, and hope that they return the favor and link to your blog at some point.

Tips for best links to include:

  • Link to posts within your own blog that relate to your current post
  • Link to other bloggers that have a post that describes a word or topic you have included
  • Link to websites that would be helpful for the reader to visit, or promotes your product/service (only if it fits well with the article, and only every so often)
  • Don’t go overboard – only link when it makes sense and is necessary, otherwise it becomes distracting

Writing Blogs for Conversion Step 8: Wrap It All Up in Your Closing

As I mentioned earlier, writing blogs is all about explaining a topic and answering a question to provide value. The closing of your post should wrap up everything you have written about in a pretty little bow. Often, your closing could contain the meta description (the mini description you see in Google or a Social Media post) that describes the entire post in one sentence. Much like writing a term paper, your closing should reiterate your point and cover what should have been learned.

Tips for wrapping up:

  • List the key takeaways the reader should come away with
  • Ensure the purpose of the article is restated
  • Pose a question or ask for feedback regarding your post
  • Include any ways to stay in touch with you and your brand

Writing Blogs for Conversion Step 9: Use Thoughtful CTAs (Calls-to-action)

The entire purpose of writing blogs is to hopefully build and continue your relationship with your reader. How do you expect to convert traffic to leads if you don’t have a CTA that leads to a form? Including a relevant CTA at the end of your post is essential to turning web traffic into continued readership, into a lead, then into a client or customer. The CTA should provide the reader with a natural progression of action from the blog post to an offer (whitepaper, webinar, guide, etc.)

Tips for the CTA:

  • Keep it simple, compelling, action oriented, and descriptive of the offer they will receive by clicking the button – tell them where to go and what to do next
  • Make sure the CTA, Landing page it leads to, and offer all relate to the same topic as the original blog post

Writing Blogs for Conversion Step 10: Provide Social Sharing Options

People won’t share if they don’t have the option to. Make sure you have your social plug-ins (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, etc.) readily available for your reader to share if they so choose.

Tips for social sharing buttons:

  • Optimum placement for sharing is either at the bottom, or dynamically following the reader as they scroll
  • Only include channels that are relevant to your audience, industry, and brand – a financial organization does not need an option to share on Pinterest (most likely)

So Will I really Be a Master of Writing Blogs After This Post?

If you include all of the components mentioned above when writing blogs, you will see increased traffic to your site, engagement on your social pages, and conversions of web visitors to leads. Although, remember: practice makes perfect. The more you write, the better you will get, and the more your personal style with begin to shine through. So, keep writing!!

Have I missed any “must-have” components of a blog post? Do you use any special tricks to gain additional readership of your posts? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comment section!
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