Blogging dates back to 1993 when the first Blog was written, a paper journal with no images or graphics, no formatting, just plain text, but it could spread ideas. 26 yrs of glorious history, blogging has certainly evolved with time.
In today’s digital era, everyone is competing towards gaining popularity, creating more awareness, and making their presence felt, be it in the case of an individual or business.
Blogging serves this purpose right, as it has an incredible power to add great value to you and your business. In simple words, blogging offers you a platform where you can put across your thoughts or share your views, promote your brand, and a lot more by creating informational content regularly, called blog posts to be put up as a website on digital media.
Blogs can help you and your business in a big way. To list a few benefits:
- Blogs have the power to drive more traffic to your website. Content that is attractive, useful and engaging is bound to pull traffic and even refer you to others.
- Blogs establish a connection between you and your readers or say between a business and its customers. It is a good way to build trust for your brand with relevant content, and you can also invite suggestions or feedback from your audience to get them more involved, build better customer relationships.
- Blogs will help you rank high in Search Engine Optimisation, considering fresh content is updated regularly, with relevant keywords.
- You can share your brand’s story through blogs, create more awareness and connect with prospects.
- Blogs offer a platform whereby you can track your audience, see the comments, check the click-throughs and share for your post, giving you a better insight into your audience so that you can structure your content accordingly.
The world has changed, with increasing awareness of the importance of blogs, there is a lot of content published every single day, online. This is just plain boring! Your content has to be modern, it has to stand out. You have to attract people through stories they love.
Here’s a handy checklist to help you write the perfect blog.
Understand the objective of the article or post
Anything you do should have a purpose behind it. Have the same listed out, why are you writing this article and what do you want to achieve from it. Your objective can be to create more awareness about your brand, boost search engine optimization, get more email subscribers, and many more.
Here are 7 types of blog content that customers usually enjoy.
Who is the target audience
You need to know your reader, who are you writing for or whose attention are you trying to get from the article? When you know your audience, your content creation becomes easier
Keyword research and analysis
Keywords are phrases that help search engines know what you’re all about and who should they send across to view your blog. So, you need to understand what are the relevant keywords for your post.
You can perform a keyword analysis using Google’s keyword tool to get a list of 5 keywords that you can work with. Google’s keyword tool offers a lot of useful keyword data like related search terms, keyword suggestions, keyword trends and a lot more. Based on the search volume and difficulty to rank, choose one keyword to work with. Perform a Google search for the same keyword and study the top 10 results to see what competition is doing.
Research on your subject and analyze the pros and cons of the same before creating the content.
2. Ideating, Structuring & Editing
Create a rough title
Have an attractive and informative title or headline for your post to work with, before you start writing, this will help you stick to the topic. A title will act as a roadmap for you to follow while writing your post.
Write a compelling intro
Write an introduction that will grab the readers’ attention and lure them towards reading the same. Make sure you keep your focus on the keyword, provide relevant background and useful information that will drive in more traffic to your post.
Use the power of sub-headings
Sub-headings are smaller than the main headline, they are titles above the information provided on a specific subject in your post. They create clear sections, usually stand out for their size and attract attention.
Write the complete article
Once you have the tile and sub-headings in place, you can now start by writing the article. Write as much as you can in the first sitting, as it will keep you focused and you will not miss out on key points. Just as in other things, the more you write, the better you get at it.
Most of us may get stuck up while writing introductions, but they can always be done later. Start by writing the main piece of the blog, the introduction can follow thereafter.
Wrap it with a conclusion
Summarize your post with the key points, points that you would want your readers to remember, keeping the main message in view. You can ask a question or invite comments or suggestions from your readers, about your post. Wrap up your article with a strong conclusion that will leave an everlasting impact on the readers.
Insert a call to action
This usually finds its place after a concluding statement in your post. A call-to-action could be a comment, download something, or redirect to the business’s homepage or offer page. It engages the readers a little more, makes them feel involved.
3. Editing & Beautifying
Edit for grammar and typos
Double-check your articles before publishing, check for spelling mistakes, typing errors, grammatical mistakes. Use Grammarly, a free browser extension that will proofread any article you write online. It even offers suggestions to fix your errors or mistakes while writing, thus enhancing the quality of your writeup.
Create internal and external links
Links provide in-depth knowledge to your readers, they show that your content is credible. Both internal and external links are important for a blog, as far as SEO is concerned, it will not only help your readers but benefit you as well in a big way.
Internal links are those within your blog, that connect pages and posts on your website. External links connect your pages to other websites that provide more information about the topic.
Ensure there is at least 1 internal and external link, but restrict to a maximum of 2. An example of an internal link could be, your website navigation page, with contact us, about us page, services, and many more. External link example could be any link in your blog that would take the reader to an outside webpage, you are building a new relationship with other companies letting out the much-needed information.
Fine-tune the headline
Headlines should have the keyword, and preferably towards the starting. A headline for your post has to be irresistible to the readers, it should compel them to not only read your post but share it further. The title should speak about the content of your post.
Fine-tune the headline keeping in view the length of the title, the best keywords that can be used, the use of numbers in the title, and should be accurately aligned with the content.
Fix everything SEO-wise
Follow the suggestions by Yoast SEO in WordPress. WordPress has lots of themes and plugins to offer that help in SEO optimization, which is what we need to promote our blog post and push it up the search ranking ladder.
Yoast SEO is one such plugin that has been helping websites worldwide to rank higher in search engines.
Add a relevant featured image
A featured image is an image that is used for a blog post, usually appears before the content. Featured images represent the content, mood, and theme of a post and can be best used to attract readers.
Each image should be 640×480 pixels and less than 100KB in size. Use an online image resizer to ensure the reduced size.
A picture can convey what words cannot. Adding images to your blog post will make it more attractive for the readers. Images may help your post to feature on the top, with a high search engine ranking. Add quality images for better visibility. Save images as [keyword-phrase.jpg] before you upload them. Add Alt text as [keyword phrase] and title tag as [keyword phrase]. This applies to the featured image and also other images added to the post. Make sure you use a modified version of the keyword phrase for the images inserted in the post.
Check for Plagiarism
Double-check your content for Plagiarism or simply put duplicity of content or thoughts. You can research and refer a lot of content before writing your own but write your post in your own words, without copying it from some other source.
Make any final edits
Before publishing your post, give it a couple of reads, make necessary modifications if required. Shape up your post to make it easier for the readers to engage with. Have a checklist in place, sequence your write-up accordingly before publishing it.
There are over 600 million blogs in the world today, and the number of bloggers is all set to increase further in the Year 2020. So, if you haven’t started your blog yet, now is the time to start one.
This is our ultimate checklist, an attempt to help you structure your blog post in a better way. Keeping these few points in mind will assist you in putting up the best article.