As a blogger, finding the right words can make all the difference. And today, with 2.7 million blog posts published every day, that difference can determine your success.
While every blog post won't be a home run, you will get better with each word you write.
When asked her secret to writing award-winning content, PD James, an English crime writer replied,
"Don’t just plan to write—write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style."
So how can you develop your own style and write a powerful blog post that connects with your audience?
A recent Infographic by QuickSprout sheds light on the six critical elements of a powerful blog post.
If you're ready to boost your blog traffic, read on for tips on writing the perfect blog post every time!
1. Include engaging graphics
Visuals are a powerful tool. If you've spent any time on my blog or social channels, you know my commitment to creating visual appeal. Not only will the right visual brand your business, but it can also improve visibility.
In data collected by MDG Advertising, articles including a relevant image received 94% more total views on average than one without. This says to me that while you can write compelling content, posting it without a branded graphic leaves your blog at a disadvantage.
If you're eager to gain additional traffic, don't forget the value of visual social giant Pinterest. If you’re not creating a pinnable image within your blog post, you’re missing a huge opportunity.
Pinterest is now the #1 traffic driver on my blog. Want to know how I moved that needle from #6 to #1 in a matter of months? I consistently create branded images that are clean, easy to read, and simple to collect or bookmark.
Below is one of my top-performing pins, "How to Create a Winning Social Media Strategy," and one that continues to drive traffic to my blog, even though the post is nine months old. You can see the current social shares.
Here’s a few ways to use graphics:
- Offer a tip, advice, or how-to
- Tell your business story
- Share a quote from one of your posts
- Promote an upcoming webinar
- Offer a solution to a top reader problem
2. Use a clean design and layout
There’s a saying, “a confused mind won’t buy.” The same holds true for your website. A cluttered design causes confusion and overwhelm.
While the perfect blog design might be up for debate, there’s no denying the value in simplicity. Keeping your site uncluttered and easy to navigate is critical.
Look to your website design if you're not converting enough buyers or selling your latest product. What surrounds your call to action? Are there bright buttons, confusing ads, too much text, all amidst a messy design?
If you want to improve credibility and build relationships with your readers, take the time to spruce up your site.
Here’s a simple to-do checklist:
- Declutter your sidebar
- Update your contact information and make it simple to find
- Simplify your navigation and menus
- Stick to the rule of one and create one main call to action on your home page
- Be clear in who you're talking to and speak their language
- Update your content - add paragraphs, bullet points, and other separators that make it easy to read
One of my favorite websites is "Born Creative," the Sacramento design company spawned by Jennifer and Jason Bourn. The website makes an immediate impact, sharing their personality and talent for web and visual design.
3. Have a unique voice
With over 81 million new posts written on a monthly basis, it’s easy to see how your blog could get lost in the noise. This makes it imperative that you write and share what you know in your unique voice.
Marie Forleo has been a longtime favorite of mine. There's no denying her unique style. From her website design to quality videos and viral reach, it's evident that Marie has found her rhythm and voice.
So, how can you find yours? It's not as hard as you might think.
Too often, bloggers look to other bloggers for advice. While this is a great place to gain inspiration, the downside is emulating what they do rather than learning through their example.
As Marie says, "create a brand you can smell from miles away."In other words, just be you.
Write what comes naturally and you'll quickly begin to set yourself apart.
4. Connect with social media
I might step on a few SEO toes here, but my feeling is this.
You can write a great blog all day long. In fact, you can write the greatest story ever told.
But without the reach, credibility and authority that social media can bring, you're spinning your marketing wheels.
Now don't get me wrong. Social media isn’t just about promotion. It’s about relationships. It’s establishing rapport and creating reciprocity.
It's also hard work, just like building a blog. It requires that you do more than simply hop on and shout out your latest article. Take the time to build a tribe, one that edifies and supports your blog.
A great place to do this is Triberr. I've been a member/fan of Triberr for years and can attest to the power of aligning yourself with people committed to sharing your message.
Find a tribe, connect with active bloggers, and share content that's relevant to your target market.
5. Use a call to action
Take a look at your latest blog post. How many comments did it receive? One or maybe none? Let me tell you why.
You didn’t ask. If you don't ask for anyone’s opinion, they're not going to give it. You must give your readers a reason to get involved.
"Call to action" isn’t just a marketing term. It’s a word that should live and breathe in all of your online copy. From your blog to social media, make sure you tell your readers what next step to take.
With each post you write, determine what your call to action is. It can be as simple as asking a question or pointing towards another helpful article.
Whatever the case, don’t let that opportunity slip by.
6. Go against the grain
When was the last time you got angry? Whether it was at your spouse, child or the grocery store clerk, I guarantee they knew you were mad.
How did they know? They heard it in your tone of voice and saw it in your body language. They could feel the frustration that you willingly shared.
Think about that the next time you sit down to write a blog post. What about the topic was interesting to you?
Did it make you feel:
If you want people to stand up and take notice of your blog, you must take a stand. Let readers feel as if you're talking directly to them and make them feel your words. Mark Manson, the author of "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" has an incredible way with words.
The first time I read his 2015 post that turned into his best-selling book, I was mesmerized by his raw, direct, and brash communication style.
It shook me, and I suspect - it did the same for many readers who clamored for more of his writing.
You can take a queue from his style. If you find yourself editing your thoughts, stop today. Everybody does it, but here's what happens when it becomes a habit.
Instead of writing as the words flow, you stunt your creativity. Second, guessing each word that spills out of your head.
I encourage you to start sharing your opinions, the real ones, today. Not the ones you slide under the rug because you’re worried about what others will say.
I can tell you firsthand that it will show if you don’t have strong feelings about your topic. It will not only show in your writing, but also in your following, traffic and social shares.
No one wants to read a blog with ideas, visuals, and concepts that have been spewed a million times over.
They want to hear your take on a subject. They want to feel your words and most of all, they want you to draw them into the conversation.
How are you creating conversation around your blog?
Commit to incorporating these six elements to write the perfect blog post every time!
Grab the infographic
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout
About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.