This grabs attention should be large and prominent on the page
Building a Solid Structure
Developing Your Theme
Creating the Right Content
Once you have an idea of general theme and voice for your blog, you need to start creating the right type of content that fits this persona. We have generated more content than we can remember, but the fundamental rules are consistent across blog specialties.
Answer Questions with Interesting, Original Content
Original content is the most important factor to the value of your writing. Even if you are discussing a topic that is widely covered or if your opinion is that of the majority. The reader wants to know what you think and wants research to have been done that can explain why you think a certain way.
Forget about the readers for a moment and consider this statement from Zach Bulygo on Kissmetrics, “Copying other people’s content will result in a punishment from Google.” On the other hand, Google and other search engines will reward you for original content by increasing your searchability. At this point, the only way to organically grow your SEO is to generate high quality, original content.
Headlines are just as important as the content itself. We have tested thousands of headlines and found that if your headline doesn’t grab attention, then even the best copy below it won’t be read. Copyblogger says, “On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.” Don’t make the mistake of overlooking the first – and sometimes only thing people will see.
Your content must answer questions that people have. Your goal is to answer specific questions that can ultimately be found when someone asks that question in a search engine. If you can get Google to provide your answer to people with that question, you know the focus of the content was clear. You also want to make sure that once you are recognized as an answer provider, that you have a call-to-action. What’s the point of answering questions unless the reader is compelled to do something with that knowledge?
Beyond just answers, the content must be interesting. If you want your audience to become engaged, then you must have engaging content. One way to do that is to try to leave them with questions so they are compelled to read further, comment on the page, or sign up for more information. Story telling is a great way to add unique perspective and can grab a reader’s attention and keep them engaged.
Video and images are a great way to enhance your content as well. Jesse Mawhinney from Hubspot says, “Researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.” So, don’t forget to get some visually pleasing content on your pages. And, it can help to keep your content short and sweet while still getting out the information the reader needs.
Managing Length and Sources
Just like in college, there are different types of assignments for bloggers. Not every post is the equivalent of a senior thesis that requires 30 pages of content and dozens of cited references. But, not all posts are simply a 100-word blurb with your opinion on Donald Trump’s hair that day. So the question remains, how do you know how much content to create when blog writing and what type of academic rigor is required?
According to SEO content specialists Yoast, “A blog post should contain at least 300 words in order to rank well in the search engines.” But, that really should be considered an absolute minimum. Lengthy posts rank better in Google because in lengthy texts google can more easily determine what your post is about. The keyword will be found frequently because of the length and the extra headings, links and pictures will add to the keyword frequency.
Long-tail keywords are the best way to rank highly in very specific search queries and there should be many variants of them in a lengthy text. Over 1,000 words is considered lengthy, but some high ranking posts are over 2,500 words.
The problem with going above 1,000 words is that it can be difficult to structure it properly to keep readers interested. Even worse, it might completely scare them away from reading any of it and could result in a bounce from your website. Google’s definition of bounce rate is “the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).”
So, the best length for a blog post should start at a minimum of 300 words and end at about 750 unless you have excellent writing skills.
According to Neil Patel of Moz.com, “Inbound links no doubt have high impact on your search rankings. But so do outbound links…especially if you are linking to authority sites.” He also says that when it comes to linking to your own previous posts, these “inks are one of the best ways to direct Google spiders through your site.” There’s no doubt that utilizing links and citing the sources is valuable – and not just for inbound links.
There is no magic number for the number of sources you should use in your blog. The primary goal should simply be to make sure that your sources are relevant to your content. You certainly don’t want to overcrowd your content with a ton of links, so be careful only to use a few per page unless it is a lengthy or academic post. Sometimes having only one prominent link can be more beneficial.
Interviews are one of the easiest ways to get free publicity and high quality content at the same time. In a blog interview, you have the ability to control the conversation and make sure that your readers are getting the information you think they will want. You control the questions, can edit the responses in most cases, and can direct it in alignment with your SEO strategy.
Many of these have gone viral because you have the opportunity to leverage your followers as well as the other person’s. many times these experts are other bloggers and they have significant impacts by bringing in two expert perspectives on the same topic. So, we recommend you start contacting people to interview now if you’re not already doing so.
Now you know the basics about blog writing you should be ready to tackle your own blog if you decide you want to. But, if it sounds like you don’t have the time or resources to get it done on your own, SunCity is here to help!
Is there anything else you want to know about blogging that we didn’t cover?