The 9 Things Your Next Blog or Article Needs In Order to Click, Convert & Connect
Have you ever read a blog that simply flopped? It either left you hanging, turned you off with grammatical errors, or just did not meet your expectations based on the title or link that you clicked.
Inspired by this recent post by the American Marketing Association, I wanted to create and share my own trusted formula and framework for a high-converting, effective and engaging blog post.
Feng shui is big on efficiency, ease and the preservation of your valuable Chi. There no use in reinventing the wheel when the guidelines above are PROVEN effective for millions of content creators out there.
Let's change the way you develop and publish content forever, turning any problem into a timeless and evergreen piece of written authority and expertise.
The components below incorporate a variety of strategies and perspectives - customer psychology, SEO, and more. Taking a bird's eye view of content -identifying it's larger purpose and goals and then breaking it down into the smaller parts, is the foundation of a strong holistic marketing strategy.
Check it out! A simple & effective framework for your next blog or article...
1. An Interesting & Original Topic & Outline
The world is your oyster when it comes to blog subject-matter, however it's likely that only the most thought-provoking content will get traffic and shares. The end-goal of your piece should be to either Educate, Entertain, or Inspire (or ideally all three at once!)
Start off strong with your intro summary: Acknowledge and align with the reader's Problem and then proceed to present your article as the Solution, demonstrating how you're the subject-matter expert with detailed information.
Flex your knowledge and experiences by breaking down every facet of the problem in the meat of your post:
Why does the problem happen?
What to do when it happens?
How do we prevent it from happening again?
Can the solution be applied to other areas of life too?
2. A Long-form Headline
Crafting a ETA or ETC click-worthy headline is an art and despite popular belief, clever and catchy ones don't always win. What's more important than creating click-bait is providing clarity. Give as much detail as possible to create interest & intrigue. There's even research to prove it this tactic increases engagement.
Components of a strong blog title- the Four U's:
USEFUL.Use research-backed keywords and phrases that are the most likely to appear in search results and appeal to your target. What vocab resonates with your reader?
UNIQUE. Incorporate alternate characters whenever possible (parentheses, brackets, ellipses, colons, question marks, hyphens, or dashes) to add visual interest
ULTRA-SPECIFIC. Numbers, statistics and very niche subjects go a long way.
URGENT. Choose 'trigger words' that illicit an emotional response by tugging on heartstrings, addressing insecurities, conquering their objections or creating a sense of urgency or need.
Bonus: Can't decide on a headline? It's ok to craft several options and poll team-members for their input!
3. Brand Tone & Voice
Communicate your unique personality and perspective - trying to set yourself apart from competition by being DIFFERENT, not better. Embracing your authentic and genuine communication style will resonate most with your target customer persona, and if it doesn't they were probably not meant to be your customer.
Avoid being TOO casual though - spelling and grammar are still paramount!
3. Skimmable + Digestable Paragraphs & Lists
It's pretty simple: When you make your piece easy to read, then your reader will continue reading!
The average human has the attention span of a goldfish. You can keep your reader’s attention, improve your readability and encourage continued scanning/scrolling with
Simple, short and engaging sentences- at a third-grade reading level!
Section headers / sub headings (with the appropriate structure and hierarchy (H1, H2, H3, etc)
Brief paragraphs (no longer than 3 lines)
Plenty of whitespace
Bullet points or numbered lists.
Formatted text (Bold, Italics, Underlined words)
4. Multimedia Storytelling
Gone are the days of single-image posts. Today, there should be a relevant image, video, diagram, graphic or quote of some sport to support every fold.
The goal is to create dynamic visual interest and multiple text breaks so your reader stays engaged and continues to scroll... and scroll.. and scroll to stimulate their senses and get the full digital information experience.
Bonus: Seek out quotes from topic experts and SME's using professional PR query sites to really make your article stand out from competition and be uniquely yours.
DID YOU KNOW... Headlines that are 14-17 words in length generate 76.7% more social shares, according to a 2019 analysis by Backlinko.
5. External Linking
Involving other data sources or humans in your content is always a good idea. This strategy not only adds value and credibility to you as an author but also provides additional opportunities and channels to promote and distribute the content AND is great for networking and boosting your often non-quantifiable reputation.
Some ways to do this:
An expert story or key advice from a collaborator or partner
A powerful statistic or data point
A citation to a scholarly research
A reference to a relevant scientific study
A contributor's headshot or memorable quote
6. Internal Linking
Of course it’s helpful to link to sources and related outside content, but don't forget to also link to other pages or posts within your site. Reviving and reconnecting older posts will only help your SEO as it keeps people on the site longer, and helps your reader gather more information - thus leading them further down the conversion funnel.
Including 1-2 internal links per post is recommended.
The anchor text you choose for these links is important too. It should be linked in a natural, flowing way within the content, as well in a more formal place at the bottom.
7. Call to Action
You can cover the topic in-depth, but make sure not to ramble on too long. Data shows that the most SEO and user-friendly blogs range from 1,000-2,000 words.
Once you've got all of the above elements, wrap it up all up with purpose and a compelling CTA! This is the ultimate purpose of your post, after all.
Inspiring and guiding your reader toward action should become habitual but first you must know your reader's primary intent:
Informational - link to the next post, or related/similar content
Commercial - invitation to lead-magnet/gated content.
If hard-selling is not appropriate for the post topic, then in the very least encourage them to become a new subscriber. Capturing their email is always ideal in case social algorithms fail to deliver.
Get in the habit of including a brief bio or micro-pitch the bottom of every post. This will give new visitors some context and background and humanize you as the author and it can be a great place to add in key contact info or ways to keep them in the funnel.
9. Technical Tweaks
On the back-end of your post, the following technical tweaks are imperative!
Leave the time-stamp off. Unless your piece references a current event or is seasonally-relevant in some way, a date posted can quickly make your content appear outdated. Go in to update your blog as needed - or if there a many changes, create an all new post for the year.
Optimize your meta description. It's tempting to use the first paragraph of your blog as the "teaser", but try refining it further to fully summarize the topic you're covering, pain-points, and essential keywords.
Categories and Tags. These are often forgotten in a rush, but are essential in keeping your content organized on your page.
Social Feature Image. This is the all-important photo or graphic that will appear on social media when shared as a link. Make it click-worthy!
I hope you enjoyed reading these essential tips and tricks for your next blog.
I challenge you to commit them to memory - or better yet, incorporate them into your brand's official editorial guidelines. (Hack: Use this template as a draft saved in your own CMS, then simply duplicate for each and every piece of new content you publish. You're welcome!)
And Lastly, of course- don't forget to monitor, test, tweak and repeat YOUR winning formula. This data will reveal exactly what is resonating with your audience so that you can do more of that!
Hiring a professional copywriter can help ease your stress and anxiety. It's an art and science to create and publish quality content, so that's why the top writers can charge up to $2000 per article!
Skimping on your investment in a professional writer increases the risk of plagiarism, missed deadlines, generic and lackluster AI-generated content, or content riddled with errors, mistakes or misinformation.
Want help? Let's chat!
Erin Ratliff is a certified feng shui consultant, holistic business coach and organic growth marketer for earth-loving heart-centered soul-preneurs.
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