Now that we’ve set up our WordPress blog, sorted out the backstage basics and added categories and tags, we’re going to take a look at how to write a great blog post and what you should do every time you post (before and after).
PLAN YOUR CONTENT
Before you publish a blog post make sure that you plan your content. You want your blog post to flow and each section to obviously follow on from one another. Also make sure that the content you are writing is relevant to your audience. There’s no point discussing how get your pet photo-ready if you’re a wedding photographer.
Remember to write in your own voice. If you’re fun and outgoing don’t try to write as if you’re serious and studious – it won’t sound like you. In my experience the posts you write in your own tone are the most popular – your audience can feel when you’re being yourself as well as when you’re forcing it.
INCLUDE SECTION HEADINGS
Unfortunately the majority of us scan a page and then decide if we actually want to read it. Help your readers out by including large relevant section headings so that they can get the gist of the article before they read it in depth. This should also help with the previous step of splitting your content, as writing out your section headings can show you where the natural breaks in your writing occur.
ADD A CALL-TO-ACTION
So let’s say you’ve written some great blog content, split it into relevant sections and hit “publish”. Your readers take a look, love what you’ve written and….then what? The majority of people will look around your blog for the next thing to do and if they find nothing they will leave. This is where a call-to-action comes in. A call-to-action can be anything from a list of related blog posts to a question for your readers. This gives your readers a reason to interact with your blog and makes them a part of your community.
DEEP LINK TO PAST POSTS
Deep linking is really important – search engines love deep linking as it makes your site look active and sends traffic back into your archives. Also it’s a great way of keeping readers on your blog for longer as chances are, if they’re reading one of your articles they’re probably interested in having more information on related subjects.
ADD AN SEO-FRIENDLY TITLE
Think about your post title. You want it to do three things – be relevant to what the post is about, include keywords that readers might search for and be persuasive so that readers click on it. Let’s say you wanted to write a blog post about why someone should hire you as their wedding photographer, instead of putting the title “Why You Should Hire Me As Your Wedding Photographer” try something like “10 Reasons Why You Need To Hire A Professional Wedding Photographer”. This not only includes keywords but the “10 reasons” is persuasive to a reader as they know before they even click on the post what they’re going to get.
ADD CATEGORIES, TAGS, FOCUS KEYWORD AND A META-DESCRIPTION
Make sure to include relevant categories and tags as well as a focus keyword to highlight for the article. Also make sure you include a meta-description giving a brief overview of what your blog post is about. This is all great for your SEO and the better your SEO the more likely it is readers will find you.
ADD A FEATURED IMAGE
If you are planning on posting your blog post to social media then you should include a featured image – social media posts tend to do better if they have an image attached as opposed to just text. This image is what will automatically display when you post your blog post URL into the social media text box. It might be a good idea to add text to your featured image (examples below) as a lot of people will be more likely to click on a link if they know what the article is going to be about and they know that it will interest and benefit them.
The best images sizes for social media are included below:
- Facebook – 1200 x 628
- Twitter – 1024 x 512
- Google+ – 800 x 1200
INCLUDE A PIN-FRIENDLY IMAGE
Pinterest has been taking the Internet by storm for a couple of years now however it’s only been recently that it has become the next big thing for businesses. If you want to get in on the action then I suggest you include a pin-friendly image. Pinterest prefers portrait images and they are more likely to be pinned if they include text across them (e.g. the blog post title) as it is easier to find something you’ve pinned if you just have to scan a board rather than read/click on every URL.
- The perfect size for Pinterest is 735 x 1102
Once you have published your blog post make sure you pin your post image onto your own Pinterest board, share it on social media and schedule your post to go out onto social media channels several more times over the coming days. Remember that this is only a guide and it should be tailored to suit both your business and needs.
How do you structure your blog posts? What strategy has worked best for your business?