It’s no secret that creating the perfect blog that will attract high levels of traffic is no easy feat. It’s been estimated that some 2 million new blog posts are published each and every day, so the competition is stiff, to say the least. However, by making sure you have the basic foundational elements of an excellent blog in place, you can put yourself on the right trajectory. To put yourself and your blog on the road to success, look at the five crucial elements of the perfect blog.
In order to succeed, blogs need high-quality, engaging, well-written content. To ensure your content is high quality and engaging, the first thing you need to do is make sure that it is interesting and relevant to your target audience. That probably entails doing some research to figure out what it is your audience wants and needs, and how you can help.
“What people search for are questions. Problems. Obstacles. Things they're struggling with. So when your ‘content strategy’ is focused around platforms and mediums, opposed to the pain points of your consumers, you've lost before you've even begun,” Nicolas Cole explained in Inc. “If you want your content to attract an audience, and most of all, if you want your content to actually get found, then you have to answer a question.”
However, in order to be engaging and high quality, content not only needs to be interesting, it also needs to have a readability score that is appropriate to your audience. Quality content is always easy to read and to understand, but you need to make sure that the type of language and structure you’re using is well suited to the expectations of your audience. A medical blog with content aimed at neurosurgeons would likely contain longer, more complex sentences and specific medical jargon, whereas a blog aimed at high school students getting ready to apply for college would likely contain simpler, jargon-free prose. Success here really hinges on understanding your audience.
Last but not least, you need to make sure your writing is flawless. It’s understandable that writing isn’t everyone’s forte. However, when it comes crafting the perfect blog, you simply can’t afford to not have well-written content. Remember, when ranking content for SEO purposes, Google places quite a bit of weight on the reputation and trustworthiness of a site. If your blog content is riddled with typos, grammatical errors, and misspellings, then that probably won’t bode well with either your readers or search engines, and your rankings will suffer as a result. After all, how can you expect to be seriously considered as an authoritative source if you can’t even spell correctly? If you’re struggling, it’s probably worth bringing in a professional writer to help.
Did you know that, according to Copyblogger, 80 percent of people will read blog headlines, but just 20 percent of people will delve into the actual content? Basically, a great headline is like a hook that draws your readers into your content. It can be time consuming to come up with compelling headlines that will really resonate with your audience and capture their attention – but it is well worth your time and effort. Otherwise, you might struggle to get people to read your content.
“Even if the rest of your post hits the mark dead on, without a captivating opening, your audience may never even click on the article or be interested in reading it in the first place,” Jayson DeMers explained in Forbes. “Your headline is one of the most critical elements of your post.”
However, when it comes to grabbing your readers’ attention, coming up with something outrageous or complicated isn’t going to score you any points. “When in doubt, go simple,” DeMers insisted. “Too many bloggers try to come up witty, punny, or complicated headlines in an attempt to be different; when in fact, often the headlines that are the most clear, concise, and self-explanatory get the most clicks.” In other words, if you want your headline to actually garner clicks, make sure that it does a good job of conveying your point.
A full 40 percent of people respond better to visual content then they do to plain text. Plus, visual content performs better than text-based content at garnering inbound links and getting social media shares. It’s also great for driving up key metrics, like time on page, and boosting engagement overall.
In addition to helping you gain the attention of your human audience, research shows that visuals are also great for SEO. It’s likely that Google factors in the use of multimedia when ranking pages, so if you want to do increase your rankings, increasing the use of visuals in your blog content is a great way to start.
Including quality links in your blog post is a best-practice strategy. Links, particularly links from highly reputable and authoritative sources, lend your content credibility. They signal to your audience that you’ve done your research and you know your stuff. Links can make your content a much more valuable resource by directing readers to other sites where they can read even more about a topic they feel is relevant.
“I can't tell you how important it includes outbound links in your content,” John Rampton explained in Forbes. “Your blog posts absolutely must link out to credible outside sources. Not only are outbound links important for helping to establish trust, they're great for user experience and rankings.”
Moreover, quality links are great for SEO, as it can incentivize other websites and blogs to link to your content. If you’re consistently linking to a great blog in your niche, the blog writer might feel obliged to return the favor, which is good news for you, as it can really help boost your own rankings.
Although there SEO benefits to links, you shouldn’t link just for the sake of linking. You want your links to add value to your content, so avoid linking to outdated or irrelevant content. You don’t need to obsess over how many links you’re using – just make sure you’ve done enough to demonstrate you’ve comprehensively researched a topic.
A Distribution Plan
It doesn’t matter how great your blog content is if nobody actually reads it. In order to get your content out and in front of the people who you want to read it, you need some kind of distribution plan. Will you be emailing people to get them to subscribe to your blog? Will you be distributing the content on social media? You need plan of attack.
“The greatest mistake of them all: giving a speech in an empty ballroom,” Cole explained. “Before you go spending time and money, do yourself a favor and get a firm understanding of where your ideal clients or consumers already are.” Remember, you may need to spend money on research to figure out where your audience is and how you can best reach it.
In conclusion, developing the perfect blog requires time, resources, and dedication. You certainly aren’t going to see success overnight. However, by mastering the crucial elements of blogging, you can put yourself on the path to blogging success.
Here at 10twelve we blog everyday to engage with our audience. If your company needs help perfecting these 5 crucial elements, feel free to contact us today.