Blog content matters more than the keywords behind it, well, sort of. You need keywords to help your blog have the most impact possible (which we shared a few weeks ago in our article How to Use Keywords for Optimizing Blog Articles
), but they shouldn't be the number focus of your writing.
A great blog is key to boosting the overall ranking of your website. That’s why everyone should be spending a legitimate amount of time crafting a message that’s not just found, but read and enjoyed.
It comes down to two things: audience/content and format.
Your Audience Influences Content
Your audience is the most important part of researching, planning, and executing your blog. After all, without an audience your work is pointless. Understanding who your audience
is should be the first step you take when starting the writing process.
Formulate your strategy around what your audience wants. Think about why they would be searching your area of expertise.
What are the trends within your market?
Do they want a “How To”?
Are they looking for inspiration?
Do they need something explained?
With how easy it is to find or create content today there’s a pretty good chance that there’s other people writing about the same topic as you. Unless you’re writing about something as obscure as polka dotted jelly beans (but even that has 6.97 million results on Google - who’da thought?).
But how can you offer your audience great writing that puts you on top of clutter mountain? Know what your unique position/perspective is and why your audience cares about it. All you need to do is answer these questions:
What are you offering?
Is there value to your blog? Is it worth their time?
Is your input fresh and relevant?
Do you have a treasure trove of knowledge?
Is your writing style engaging and entertaining?
Spy on Your Competition and Audience
We’ve established that there’s apparently a huge demand for polka dotted jelly beans. But who’s reading what? Check out what others are writing that is similar to you, what are other experts discussing? How are they formatting their articles? What styles and tones are being used?
When you sneak a peak at other blogs you can learn about their audiences. How many views do they have? While this won’t tell you if the article was read through or enjoyed, it will give you insight to topics and headlines that get attention. More importantly, look at how many likes, shares, and comments are given. Read the comments, there could be ideas for more topics. Better yet, reply with something useful and they may look you up. This is a great way to get inside the mind of your readers.
Do your homework and research your audience. Writing flows easier when you know who’s going to be reading it.
Readers and subscribers are precious, reward them for being faithful. Keep your content fresh and entertaining while providing something of value to them. Keep your tone and style consistent from blog to blog. You’ll confuse your reader if you make drastic changes to what they have become used to. Be reliable, not only in your tone and writing style, but your writing frequency.
The beauty of writing online versus in print is that you can add extras to your content with a few clicks. Utilize photos for emphasis, short videos to tell a story, or add a link or two to something useful that relates to your topic.
Check out this short video with a few tips from content and SEO expert, Neil Patel.
Check Your Blog Article Format
When you're focusing on content, you not only are looking at the words and images you use, but how it's presented to the reader (or viewer). Can they easily scan an article and know the highlights? Is the reading level appropriate for the audience? Here's What matters
Headlines guide your reader’s attention. Today, most blog viewing happens on a mobile device (check out Stone Temple’s article about this
). The point is that people are scrolling through to get to the meaty bits they crave. The better the headlines the more engaged your reader will be.
Keep Your paragraphs short. No more than 7 lines. Sometimes just one is enough.
Use bullet lists
People like lists
Use bullets to consolidate information
This keeps attention focused
Use numbers if they are steps in a process
Give your words some breathing room. This ties in with headlines. Reader’s scan articles for what they think will be the best part, the most useful or entertaining. White space will make it easier to scan for your awesome headlines. It’s also used for applying emphasis to things you want to stand out. If they have a ton of time and want to read a lot they’ll get a book. Blogs are attractive because they are quick reads that pack a punch.
Don’t overdo it with BOLD and Italics. They lose their umph if overused.
Refrain from utilizing a vocabulary or grammatical structure which you discerne to portray a perspicacious predilection.
Little tough to read, right? I could have just said: Don’t use fancy words to make yourself look smart.
Use everyday language and short sentences to have more impact and be easily comprehendible!
Your Audiences Time is Valuable
Your conclusion needs to wrap up everything they learned with a bow on top. Summarize, briefly, what the article covered, why it benefits them and where they should go next (always make sure you have a point to your article!)
Keywords and SEO are important factors for getting your blog found, but the bigger issue is what are people finding when they get there. You put a lot of effort into being discovered so double down and write in a way to keep people coming back for more (which, subsequently, helps you get found by more people).
Start with knowing your audience, writing content that is new and from a fresh perspective, and format it to be easy to comprehend and implement (if applicable).
Your blog can add value to your brand, build and maintain trust with your readers, educate consumers, entertain subscribers, and most important of all, build relationships...but only if you put in the work to let it.