Sometimes, you have to go back to basics. With all of the blogging, social media and content marketing "experts," "gurus," and advice out there, the abundance of information can be overwhelming. We still get lots of questions from clients, prospects and friends about the fundamentals of blogging... why they should blog, what they should say and how often. So, here is a brief overview on the essential blog basics that every business should adhere to.
1. Establish a voice and keep it consistent. Establish a clear and compelling tone consistent with your brand personality. If multiple people are publishing to the same blog, ensure everyone on the same page and has read your style guide and editorial strategy.
2. Have a plan. Know why you are blogging and whom you are speaking to. Refer to your editorial calendar to keep topics on track and meet your goals
3. Short sentences and paragraphs work best. No one wants to read the Great American Novel in your blog posts. Blogs are meant to inform and engage rather quickly. Aim for 600 words per post, and make sure posts are easy to scan by using bullets for lists when possible.
4. Break up the content with Headers. Add interesting paragraph headers about every 200 words to keep the reader engaged and moving down the page.
5. Include images. Always post blogs with an interesting picture. Make one or use Google images if you don’t have one. Including a picture makes the post more appealing and adds visual interest when shared on social media sites.
6. Link to valuable information. Providing readers with other resources lends to your credibility and expertise on a subject. Link to relevant articles, books, products, news stories or posts on your site or legitimate news sites.
7. Examine your keywords. Always link at least once within your post to a page on your site using the appropriate keyword phrase. This will increase your inbound links in the eyes of search engines.
8. Add other content formats. This includes photos, infographics, videos, stats, charts, audio and presentations.
9. Include a Call to Action (CTA). Make sure to include a “next step”. For example: guide people to a similar blog post, ask them to leave a comment, invite them to download a give-a-way, guide them to a page on your site, ask them to contact you.
If you still have questions, check out some more valuable blog content development information! Remember, consistency, clarity and conciseness are key.
An editorial calendar can help you keep your blog content organized and efficient. For more information, download our new e-book Content Continuity: An Interactive Guide to Editorial Calendars now available in the iTunes store.