Writing blog posts sounds straightforward enough. Write your post, do a quick proofread, and publish it to your blog. That’s fine for an amateur who isn’t concerned about discoverability and engagement, but a professional whose job or reputation relies on maintaining a great blog will need to do a little more work before hitting publish. The key to great content lies in the details. The next time you update your blog, remember these 8 Things you MUST do before publishing a blog post.
- Write a catchy title. The best way to draw readers to your blog is to have a title they can’t resist. Two ways to capture people’s attention are to start your headline with a number and include an adjective.
- Make it conversational. Most people don’t want to read a dry, formal blog post. Write your post as if you’re talking directly to your audience. Don’t be afraid to use “you” and “I” to make it friendlier. You want people talking about your content. The best ways to do that are to use a good hook to draw readers in and include a fact or pose a question to start the discussion you hope to have in the comments section.
- Develop a strong tone of voice. Readers expect your blog posts to sound like you. That means you need a strong tone in your writing that conveys your personality and the overall message of your blog.
- Make your blog SEO friendly. Good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the Holy Grail of getting your blog highly ranked by search engines such as Google. Keywords are the best way to make your blog SEO friendly. Include them in the title of your post, as well as in the sub-heads and paragraphs. Remember not to overdo it. If your posts are too keyword heavy, you can actually harm your SEO.
- Link out to authoritative sites in your domain. Linking your content to authoritative sites adds credibility to your post. It shows you’ve done the research and helps prove your expertise.
- Add relevant images. Internet users tend to have short attention spans, but images grab attention. They also break up long blocks of text to help give the mind a rest and keep the reader focused on your message.
- Give your post relevant tags and/or categories. Most blogging platforms offer the ability to categorize posts in some way. Many use tags, which are similar to keywords. These categories and tags allow you to keep your content organized. They can also help potential readers find your content.
- End with a question. One of the best ways to get comments is to include a question at the end of your post. Think about what you would ask someone to start a dialogue about the post’s topic then end your post with that question.
Doing these 8 things before publishing a blog post will increase your chances of becoming a blogging success.
What is your favorite tip to increase discoverability and engagement?