You just wrote an awesome blog post and you couldn’t be more proud. You just know it’s going to go over really well and you can hardly wait to see peoples’ reaction to it. But before you hit that publish button, STOP! Have you remembered to include all eight of these things every great blog post needs?
1. A Compelling Headline
Your headline is often the first thing your reader will see when they come across your article in a Google search, skimming through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the countless other social media platforms available. Does your headline compel people to click to read? Consider the difference between these two headlines: “My Favorite SEO Tips” and “The One SEO Trick that Will Double Your Blog Traffic Overnight!” Which article title would you click?
2. An Eye-Catching Pinnable Image
On the other hand, if your readers are coming from Pinterest, your image is the first thing they’ll see. If your image isn’t eye-catching, it isn’t going to catch their attention. Even worse, if you don’t even have an image, people won’t be able to share your content to Pinterest at all. This is bad for business and bad for your brand which is your blog. You also need to make SURE that your image is the right size for pinterest as well!
3. An Engaging Introduction
Once your audience clicks through to your article, you want to keep them on your site for as long as possible. This is why you need an engaging introduction. Don’t just ramble about the topic for a few paragraphs until launching in to your main points. Intrigue the reader and make them want to know more. The biggest complaint I receive regarding food recipes are the stories. Most people just want the recipe, but that’s not how analytics and algorithms work. Engage your audience with an article related to your title.
4. Internal Linking
Another way to keep your readers on your blog longer is to provide plenty of internal linking. Internal linking simply means including links to other posts on your site within your blog posts. When readers see a link in the middle of a paragraph, they are often curious enough to click to read more.
Provide plenty of great content and several well-placed links and your readers might just end up spending an hour or more on your site, browsing around to see what all you have to offer.
5. Formatting for Easy Skimming
Most people today have an incredibly short attention span. Write in long paragraphs or forget to use formatting, and they’ll click away in a hurry.
Formatting doesn’t have to be difficult. Use short paragraphs, subheadings for main points, bold and italics to highlight main ideas. All of these simple formatting variables help your reader to skim through quickly. If they like what they see at first glance, they might dive in deeper, but most readers probably won’t read every single word you have to say. And that’s okay.
6. Proofread Text
This should go without saying, but before you hit publish, make sure to proofread, proofread, proofread!! If your post is full of typos or errors, your reputation as a writer/blogger will suffer greatly and most people will not stick around. It is definitely worth the extra time it takes. If proofreading isn’t your strong suit, ask a friend to proofread for you or hire someone! My husband proofreads and edits every blog I publish.
7. The Right Keywords
Let’s say that you decide to write a post about your famous chocolate chip cookie recipe. If someone were looking for a recipe like yours, what would they type into Google? The keyword “cookie” is too broad. You’d have too much competition and you’d attract people looking for sugar cookies or even computer cookies.
Instead, you want to include keywords that are more specific. For example: “Easy chocolate chip cookie recipe” or “Homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe.” Both of these keywords lets Google know exactly what your post is about (which helps you rank higher in the search results) and they help draw in the right people you want to read your article.
8. A Call to Action
Your readers finish reading your post, so now what? If they remain on the internet, they’ll more than likely go back to surfing Facebook or Pinterest or whatever social media site where they found your article. Keep your readers on your site by giving them an action step to take next. The most common calls to action include leaving a comment, subscribing to your newsletter, buying a product on Amazon or sharing the article with their friends.
While it’s easy to simply type a post and hit publish, you’ll get a lot more mileage with a lot less work if you take the time to optimize your posts for best results. And while it may seem overwhelming at first, the good news is that once you get in the habit, doing each of these things every time will quickly become second nature!