This morning I was the “10 Minute Speaker” in my BNI chapter located in Greenfield, Indiana. A “10 Minute Speaker” is when you get the opportunity to speak for 10 minutes about a topic related to your business. For 10 minutes all eyes and ears were on me. For my 10 minutes I spoke about how to write a good blog article. I also shared how being committed to blogging for your small business is a key ingredient to attracting new customers as a part of your inbound marketing strategy. If you are still not convinced that your small business be blogging. please read my post where I give seven reasons why your small business shouldbe blogging.
In the graphic below the first step to attracting strangers to your small business website is providing good content.
10 Elements to Include in Every Blog Post You Write
1. Title Tag
- The title tag is the blue link in search engines, so make it enticing.
- It’s how search engines identify your content, include important keywords.
2. URL or Permalink
- Include important keywords in the URL
3. Blog Post Title
- The title is a promise to your reader
- Be sure what you write is exactly what you promised in the title. Be sure to include important keywords
4. Sharing Buttons
- Put social media share buttons new the top. I use a WordPress plugin called ‘Share Buttons by AddToAny’
- Giving your readers the ability to share your content can amplify your reach
5. Compelling Content – Use Short Paragraphs
- Make the first few paragraphs short and scannable
- Long paragraphs are a sure fire way to discourage people from reading
6. Title and Sub-titles
- Allows readers to scan
- Format them in H1 and H2
- Use keywords in your titles and subtitles. Has high SEO value.
- Relevant, interesting images make a huge difference in the reading experience
- Include important keywords in the file name and in the Alt-tags
- Give credit to the image author
8. Hyperlinks – Internal and External
- Link to a page inside your domain, like a product or service your offer that solves the issue highlighted in your post.
- Use anchor text instead of “click here”. This improves your SEO.
- Video adds richness and emotional appeal
- Find a relevant video on YouTube and embed it. Be sure to give credit to the author.
10. Call To Action
- If appropriate, include a call to action graphic that directs the reader to do something
- Link to a landing page that converts the reader into a lead
Use a Blog Post Template Before You Write Your Post
I really liked what Michael Hyatt had to say on this subject in a blog post he wrote on the same subject called Anatomy of an Effective Blog Post. Hyatt shared with his readers that when he sits down to write a blog post he uses what he calls a blog post template. He always starts with the following six components when writing his posts:
- Compelling Title. Advertising legend David Ogilvy once said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” This is also true with blogging. If your title doesn’t lure them, they will never get to the rest of what you say.
- Lead Paragraph. This is key. If you take too long on the wind-up, you will lose readers. You have to get into the premise of the post and make it relevant to your readers. After the title, this is the second most important component of your post.
- Relevant Image. I use images for the same reasons magazines do: I want to pull my readers into the post itself. Pictures do that. I get 90 percent of mine from iStockPhoto. Occasionally, I use a screenshot or an embedded video or slideshow.
- Personal Experience. I always try to share my personal experience. Why? Because readers connect with stories. The more honest and transparent I can be, the better. In fact, my most popular posts generally come out of some failure on my part.
- Main Body. Everything to this point has been an introduction. I always try to make my main content scannable. I use bullets, numbered lists—and often both. This makes the content more accessible to readers and more sharable via Twitter and Facebook.
- Discussion Question. For the past few years, I have ended every post with a question. I don’t intend my posts to be a monologue. Instead, I want to start a conversation. As a result, I measure my effectiveness at this by how many comments I get.
What about you? Do you use a similar strategy when you write your blogs? What process do you use when you sit down to write your blog posts?