With over 2 million blog posts published every day, just blogging alone is not enough to catch someone’s attention and gain their trust. You need to publish high-quality content that is interesting and truly resonates with readers. After all, this content is part of your overall lead generation system. You want it to be it to be so good that you keep readers wanting more – and signing up to your email subscription list.
Here are my seven steps to creating better blog articles.
1. Start with an Outline – I know, I know. Most of us dreaded outlining assignments in high school, but the truth is, they work. This does not mean you have to create a formal outline with numbers and letters, but instead, think of it as a sketch of the article so you can formulate the beginning, the middle and the end. Taking a few minutes to develop the direction of a blog article (or anything you plan to write) always pays off with a more efficient process.
2. Use Snippets – Here is a moment of honesty: most people won’t read your blog word for word. They are just too busy (and distracted) so they scan. Because of this, it is important to deploy tactics that make the reader stop – take a pause – and actually read the article.
Chunk the article into short paragraphs. This isn’t grammar class. Feel free to make a paragraph only a sentence or two.
Use bullet points or numbers.
Use bold and italics
When used appropriately and strategically, all with make the reader s-l-o-w d-o-w-n so they actually absorb the message.
3. Keep Blog Articles Short – If an article looks too long, many people will not read it. A good length for most articles is approximately 350-500 words, or one page in Word or Google Doc. Anything more than that and you’ll run the risk of driving people away from reading – simply because it looks too long.
4. Use Images – Photos draw the eye and also slow down the reader. Make sure you pick images that complement the blog article’s message. Also try to keep your images about the same size, as varying sizes can be a distraction.
5. Let Your Writing Marinate – Just like a good steak needs to marinate before grilling, you want your writing to marinate, too. Let your writing sit for a long time (I recommend overnight) before publishing it. With a fresh set of eyes, you will find mistakes and ways to make a better blog article.
6. Tackle the Headline Last – So often, the title of the article you begin with is not the title that accurately reflects what you just wrote. Go back and spend time on your headline. This is a critical piece of any blog article. It triggers organic SEO and it determines whether or not someone will even read your blog article. Don’t skimp on this step.
7. Use an SEO Plugin – Once you have your article copied into your blog, use an SEO plugin to see if the keyword you selected is actually used in the article. At this stage, you may have to do some light edits to tastefully incorporate your keyword into your article so it passes the SEO “sniff-test.” I use the Yoast plugin, and once I started using it, my organic search results increased significantly.