How to Write a Better Blog: 4 Best Practices
By Brittany Lieu, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing
Marketers will tell you blogs are a valuable part of content marketing strategy. Blogs not only help drive traffic to your website, but also increase brand awareness and help establish your organization’s authority and thought leadership in the long term. According to Demand Metric, companies with blogs see an average of 67% more leads every month compared to companies that don’t blog.
With that said, you don’t have to be a professional blogger to write something people will actually read. Here are 4 practical tips that will get your relevant and valuable content read and shared by your target audience.
1. Write a Headline You’d Click On
Blog titles are like book covers. It’s the first thing people will see and is often the only chance you will get to draw in a potential reader. Do a quick google search of what you plan on writing about and notice what you enter in the search bar yourself. This hack can also help you discover what other writers have chosen for their titles and provide you with some inspiration.
Overall, your title should pique readers’ interest and actually inform them on the post topic without being too elaborate. A good rule of thumb is to avoid the click bait nonsense and keep your title around 60 characters and between 8-14 words long.
If you need some help, here are some words Orbit Media has found that readers click on most:
- How To
2. Make Your Post Visually Digestible
Blogging in many ways is storytelling and visually appealing storybooks are often the best reading experiences. Beyond a captivating title, format and organize your post for maximum readability. Keep your paragraphs short and make use of headers, subheaders, and lists. These formatting tactics will help add structure to your post and guide readers through your writing. It also increases the likelihood of catching the attention of the many blog skimmers out there, who may not have the interest or time to read every word.
Add images, royalty-free images to be specific. According to Social Media Today, blog content with images receive 94% more views. Some of my go-to resources for free stock photos are Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels.
Diagrams, screenshots and other infographics are also other ways to better illustrate your copy and keep readers interested in what you have to say.
3. Add a Call-To-Action (CTA)
Don’t forget to add a lead-generating call-to-action while you have the attention of the reader. At the end of your post, prompt the reader to act, whether that be subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a whitepaper, registering for a webinar or checking out other related articles on your blog. It’s also possible to add a CTA in the body of your post, just avoid bombarding your reader with a subscribe button between every paragraph.
Wording as we’ve discussed is everything, so also keep in mind how you deliver your CTA. Be specific and find other ways to say “Learn more here” or “Contact Us.” Instead continue the conversational tone and pose a question that can lead to action.
4. Tag, Categories, & Meta Descriptions
Take advantage of tags and categories when publishing your blog post to ensure it gets seen and is linked to other similar content on your blog page.
To break it down simply, categories are hierarchical and serve as the broad and overarching topic whereas tags are the more specific subcategories. Unlike categories, tags are not required but allow you to add more detail about the topic of your post in addition to how you’ve categorized it.
So, what about the meta description? The meta description is the HTML attribute that previews the contents of your web page or blog post. Keep it short and to the point. The optimal length for a meta description should be less than 160 characters.
Together, your title, categories, tags, and meta description will impact your click through rates, so don’t forget to utilize these tools before clicking publish.
Consider yourself that much better of a blogger now that you are equipped with these 4 best blog writing practices. Every blog is a story worth telling, so make sure it’s presented well with all the right building blocks.
Interested in more useful writing guides? Check out some related posts below. Happy writing!