• PerOla Hammar

Tips for Creating a More Engaging Blog

Ever wonder why your blog posts never trend?  Have you felt like you've just been throwing your thoughts into the void, never to be read again by another person?  Well fear not, the answers to a more engaging blog are at your fingertips!  A well crafted blog post should wow the readers, rank in search engines, and increase the distribution of your content through shares, in order to get more visibility. Below are the top six tips to follow when creating a more engaging and trendy blog post.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Applying sound SEO practices enhances your visibility to search engines and increases the chances that your page will be connected to a reader who is interested in your content. But what are the steps to boost SEO in your blog? The following is a helpful checklist for increasing SEO.

-Use SEO friendly URLs.  Using hyphens between words and keeping the URL short are two ways to do this.

-The first 100 words of your article should contain a keyword or two that you think people will use to search for your article.

-Use title tags in your HTML.

-Use long-tail keywords - a very specific set of words that uniquely link to your page.  For example, "Weight lifting exercises for left-handed people".  Be as specific as possible.

-Link to other articles you've posted.

-Use the right keyword labels for any added photos, including name, title, description, alt tag, and caption.

-Write long form articles of 1500 words or more, as these rank higher in Google.

Ramp Up on Visuals

Articles with an image once every 75-100 words have doubled their social share figure compared to themes with fewer photos. Utilizing visuals to complement the text results in a better experience. Infographics are a must when data needs to be presented in a more user friendly way.  Videos can also be helpful, however this is often a time consuming medium to use correctly, and if you don't have the appropriate setup it should be avoided.  By utilizing various visual content aids, you connect with multiple learning preferences and styles, expanding your influence and reach.

Speak to Your Target Audience

When writing your blog posts, its helps to speak directly to your audience.  If your blog has been around for a while, make sure to utilize prior feedback from readers to hone in on your most likeable posts, and stay away from the material that your key users dislike. Speak with a similar conversational tone that you would use in face to face conversation, as this tends to be a more relaxed and readable way to convey information. The number one goal is for your audience to be able to relate to you, and for this to happen you must be genuine in your tone.  As a result, a blog post that speaks to your targeted audience also develops "buyer personas", and allows you to market to these audiences in the future. 

Offer Freebies

The sad fact is that many visitors to a blog are not going to come back.  How do you deal with reader retention?  The best solution is by providing your readers an incentive to come back, such as free content, or a coupon code for some merchandise.  In order to get this free content you can ask readers to sign up for your mailing list.  By doing so, you open communication outside of your site, and are able to send updates to a large user base about what's new in your blog.  This may entice users to come back when the blog is discussing something they are interested in.

Leverage Collaborative Content

Embrace the concept of Web 2.0 by allowing users to interact with your site.  The inclusion of interactive content categories such as survey polls, quizzes, calculators, games, and some interactive slideshows not only enhances the quality of your blog, but also helps keep readers on your blog longer, which benefits SEO. Using surveys has the added advantage of helping you to gather more data about your target audience, and can be used to plan better blog posts in the future.  Sustaining a blogging audience is essential to create buzz that will, in turn, draw new readers.

Call to Action

A call to action about a specific topic that advises readers to complete a certain action after reading your blog can significantly increase responsiveness or click-via rates. Utilize any media that encourages subscribers to publish the content to customer's social networks. Clarify directions about how the reader can get involved in your cause, and give readers precise directions about how to keep the movement going.

Now you understand why creating engaging content isn't just a matter of coming up with great textual content.  Utilize some or all of these tips on your next blog, and you will be trending in no time!

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