Blog Creation: How to Write a Successful Post

Blog Creation: How to Write a Successful Post


How do you create a blog that
successfully gets those results? Let’s dive into some blogging
strategy and best practices. The first step is to pick a topic
and a title. At a high level, write educational content. In
order to attract someone to your blog, you need to answer the
questions and problems that they’re searching for answers
to. Put yourself in the shoes of your buyer personas. What are
they going to be searching for? What do they want to know about?
What will resonate with them? Consider what you know about
your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up
with a topic for your blog post. And when it comes to a topic,
make sure to write about your industry, not yourself.
Remember, you’re trying to attract strangers to your blog
who have never heard of your company before – so they’re not
going to find you through search engines if you’re just blogging
about yourself. You have the rest of your website to provide
that information. Next, brainstorm a list of specific
topics that you could blog about. If you’re looking for a
place to start, then ask your co-workers from other teams like
sales and services for some ideas. Here are a few questions
that you could ask and they could answer: what are the most
frequently asked questions you hear? What do our customers need
help with? What do you wish people knew about our industry?
What are industry bloggers, social media, and even your
competitors talking about? Before you even write anything,
you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be
pretty general to start with. For example, if you provide
running shoes, you might start out thinking you want to write
about running shoes. Then you might be able to expand off of
that — in other words, iterations or different ways of
approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For
example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “best
running shoes for marathons” or “lifetime of running shoes.”
When picking your topics, do keyword research. Keywords are
the words and phrases typed into search engines. They’re the
topics that people are trying to learn more about. Which keywords
do your buyer personas use? Which are associated with your
industry? Optimizing your blog posts for keywords is not about
incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible.
Nowadays, this actually hurts your SEO because search engines
consider this keyword stuffing.. It also doesn’t make for a good
reader experience — a ranking factor that search engines now
prioritize to ensure you’re answering the intent of your
visitors. You should use keywords in your content in a
way that doesn’t feel unnatural or forced. A good rule of thumb
is to focus on one long-tail keywords per blog post. While
you can use more than one keyword in a single post, keep
the focus of the post narrow enough to allow you to spend
time actually optimizing for just one keyword. Why long-tail
keywords? These longer, often question-based keywords keep
your post focused on the specific goals of your audience.
Website visitors searching long-tail terms are more likely
to read the whole post and then seek more information from you.
In other words, you’ll generate right type of traffic: those
visitors who convert. And for your blog post topic, don’t try
to solve every problem in one fell swoop. This will make each
post clearer for your readers and for search engines. It will
also make sure that your post gets more qualified traffic,
because you’ll know that the people clicking through are
looking for information about that specific topic. If your
brainstorming your topics, there’s a good chance that will
create a long list of ideas for topics you can cover and posts
you can create. This will help create a longer-term blogging
strategy, make a list of topics that support a specific
conversion. For example, if you have an long-form guide that you
want to create and promote, then consider making a list of blog
topics that support this guide’s content. This way, if someone
finds your blog post and finds the blog helpful, it increases
the chances of them wanting to click a call-to-action to access
a relevant offer. Think of your offer as a heart and your blog
posts as the arteries. Your blog posts keep a steady flow of
relevant prospects connecting with your offer. Now, let’s talk
about picking a title. Think about how you read things
online. You read the title first, before you commit. It
needs to catch your interest. And the title is one of the
first things that your prospects will see. Start by creating a
working title for your blog post. A working title is
something to “work” off of as you begin to write your post.
Start here to narrow your topic down and focus on one single
angle. A topic, like “social media” could breed multiple
different blog posts. A working title, like “social media
channels for live video” is now specific. Next, include the
long-tail keyword in the title. Be sure that the keyword fits as
a description of what the blog post is all about. Also, make
the value of the post clear in the title. Your title should
help readers and search engines understand what your post is
about. Set the right expectations – what is the
reader going to get out of your blog post? What information is
covered? What format is the blog post going to take? In this
example, the blog post title explicitly tells you that you’ll
be reading about how to create an infographic. Not only that
but it sets the expectations that it only takes an hour to do
and there’s also free templates included. You know exactly what
you’re going to get from this blog post – how it’s valuable to
you, and how much information it contains. When it comes to the
art of the perfect blog post, HubSpot did some research and
looked at how our own titles have performed. Here are the
consistent principles that were found: The ideal blog post title
length is 60 characters. Headlines between 8 and 12 words
are shared most often on Twitter. Headlines between 12
and 14 words are liked most often on Facebook. HubSpot also
found that headlines ending with a bracketed clarification — for
example, like the earlier example — performed 38% better
than titles without that clarification. If you’re having
trouble trimming down the length of a title, run it through Moz’s
title tag preview tool and Twitter to see how the title
will appear on a search engine results page and when it’s
shared on social media. Technically, Google measures by
pixel width, not character count, and it recently increased
the pixel width for organic search results from
approximately 500 pixels to 600 pixels, which translates to
around 60 characters. Title too long? That’s okay! Make sure to
create a title for your reader first. When you have a lengthy
headline, it’s a good idea to get your keyword in the
beginning since it might get cut off toward the end on a search
engine results page. In this example, the title got caught
off, but the focus keyword “data visualization” is at the front.
Moving on to the body of your blog post, format and optimize
the post so that both people and search engines can easily read
and understand it. Write an intro and make it captivating.
If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even
sentences — of the introduction, they will stop
reading even before they’ve given your post a readthrough.
Grab their attention, use humor, be empathetic, or grip the
reader with an interesting fact or statistic. And describe the
purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem
the reader may be having. It should be a follow-up to the
title that they found interesting. Nobody likes
clickbait, so you want to make sure your post is about what the
headline says it is. This will give the reader a reason to keep
reading and give them a connection to how it will help
them improve. If you read the first few lines of this blog
post, would you want to keep reading? What about this blog
post? Keep your buyer persona in mind and think about what would
entice them to keep on reading. And what about the rest of your
blog post? The body of your blog post is where your readers will
undoubtedly derive the most value. HubSpot did an analysis
and found the ideal blog post length is roughly 2,100 words,
but that will vary depending on your topic. Always solve for the
reader first. Make sure you cover your topic in full and
have met the expectations that your blog title promised.
Mention your keyword at a normal cadence throughout the body of
your post and in the headers. That means including your
keywords in your copy, but only in a natural, reader-friendly
way. Don’t go overboard at the risk of being penalized for
keyword stuffing. Whenever you create content, your primary
focus should be on what matters to your audience, not how many
times you can include a keyword or keyword phrase in that
content. And no one likes an ugly blog post. Use formatting
and visuals to make your blog post that much more appealing.
When you blog, whitespace is your friend. Whitespace is the
empty space on the page. It allows the visitor to focus on
the content, not the clutter. Don’t write long paragraphs that
form into huge blocks of text – this will make your information
look dense and hard to read. As you can see in this example,
there’s plenty of whitespace on the side margins of the post,
around the title and first image, and between the
paragraphs of text within the post. The space makes the post
more easily digestible – nothing is crammed together, and though
the post is long, it doesn’t feel overwhelming or hard to
read. You can also break up the text in your blog post by using
sub-headers, and bullets or numbered lists to highlight your
points. Sub-headers are another on-page SEO element. Sub-headers
organize and break up your blog post into different sections to
signal to Google (and your reader) what the post will
cover. Sub-headers should be written with H2 tags or smaller
— never H1 tags, which signal a title. Use sub-headers to split
up sections of your blog post — making sure to integrate the
keywords you’re using this post to target. Bolding important
text can also help readers quickly understand the key
takeaways from the post. And include visuals and multimedia
elements to break up your text. It’s hard to grab a reader’s
attention and this can also help your readers understand the post
at a glance. Featured images usually sit at the top of a blog
post and are another element to draw readers in to learn more.
The image should reflect what the story is about, intrigue
readers, or provoke them. It doesn’t need to directly
illustrate what your post is about, but they should be
loosely related to your content. While most people enjoy a great
cat photo, it may not always be relevant to your content. And
for throughout the body of your blog post, use multimedia
content wherever it’s possible to break up the blog post and
re-engage your reader. Add images, videos, audio
recordings, and social media posts. HubSpot sometimes
includes an audio version of the blog post. Or includes a video
that’s on the related topic. It changes it up for the reader but
also helps them digest the content in a different way.
Changing up the format of your blog post will provide
additional value to your reader while making sure their eyes are
focused on what they’re reading and seeing. See the difference?
The blog post without any visual looks a lot less welcoming. The
next step is all about lead generation – promoting your
offers on your blog. As you attract more and more visitors
to your blog, that increased traffic means an increased
opportunity to generate leads. If you really want your inbound
marketing efforts to pay off, then it’s crucial that you
strategically promote the majority of your blogs to
corresponding or relevant offers. The goal should be to
attract someone and provide content around the topic they’re
trying to learn more about, then be helpful and offer them a
relevant next step. Make sure the CTA doesn’t disrupt the user
experience. Again, the goal is to be helpful, not pushy.
Additionally, you might want to insert a CTA after the first few
paragraphs. To avoid looking too pushy too soon, try including a
passive CTA through hyperlinked text. It’s important to include
these passive CTAs, as you can’t always count on your visitor
reading your entire post and converting. Think about it. Do
you read to the end of every single blog post that you click
on? By not including a CTA near the beginning, you may be
missing out on a valuable conversion opportunity. HubSpot
performs CTA tests all the time–from image and text CTAs
to placement of the CTAs–we’re always looking for ways to
improve click-thru rate. Interestingly enough, we found
that text CTAs near the top of blogs posts produce the highest
click-thru rates. Something you might want to keep in mind and
test on your blog posts. Lastly, include a CTA at the end of each
post. This offer should be relevant to the blog content
that a visitor has just read. Your visitor is there to learn
something from your blog post, so provide an offer that gives
them more educational content to continue learning. This is a CTA
at the end of the same post that was shown earlier. The title of
the post is “Data Visualization 101: How to Choose the Right
Chart or Graph for Your Data” at the bottom a CTA for an ebook on
how to presenting data people can’t ignore. Another option is
a pop-up that the reader sees as they scroll down the page. The
offer is about the same topic as the post, so a reader who wants
to learn more would be interested in clicking through.
Next, you’ll want to optimize the blog post. When search
engines crawl your blog, they don’t read every word. Instead,
they scan certain parts of your post to understand what you’re
writing about and how trustworthy the content is. To
help search engines understand what you’re trying to
communicate, you’ll want to optimize the page around your
long-tail keyword, which you already did in the title and
body of the post, but you’ll also want it in the URL,
alt-text, and meta description. The URL of your blog post should
make it easy for your visitors to understand the structure of
your website and the content they’re about to see. Search
engines favor web page URLs that make it easier for them and
website visitors to understand the content on the page. What if
there’s a specific article you want to read, like the data
visualization example. Its URL structure denotes that it’s an
article from the Marketing section of the blog and that
it’s on the topic of data visualization. The URL doesn’t
have to match the title of the blog exactly. Keep the URL
short. In this way, URL structure acts as a
categorization system for readers, letting them know where
they are on the website and how to access new site pages. Search
engines appreciate this, as it makes it easier for them to
identify exactly what information searchers will
access on different parts of your blog or website. Alt-text
with images helps because search engines don’t just look for
images. Rather, they look for images with alt text. Because
search engines can’t “see” images the same way humans can,
an image’s alt text tells them what an image is about — which
ultimately helps those images rank in the image section of
search engine results. Your meta description is meant to give
search engines and readers information about your blog
post’s content — so be certain to use your long-tail term so
search engines and your audience are clear on your post’s
content. At the same time, keep in mind the copy matters a great
deal for click-through rates because it satisfies certain
readers’ intent. The more engaging, the better. The
maximum length of this meta description is greater than it
once was — now around 300 characters — suggesting it
wants to give readers more insight into what each result
will give them. So, in addition to being reader-friendly
(compelling and relevant), your meta description should include
the long-tail keyword for which you are trying to optimize for.
And include relevant internal and external links within the
post. Link to related blog posts or your site pages when
appropriate. If you’ve written about a topic that’s mentioned
in your blog post on another blog post, ebook, or web page,
it’s a best practice to link to that page. Seems
counterproductive? Well, it’s not. Blogging is start a smaller
part of your content strategy. In order to get found in search
and best answer the new types of queries searchers are
submitting, the solution is to use the topic cluster model:
Choose the broad topics for which you want to rank (like
you’ll do at the beginning with your blog posts), then create
content based on specific keywords related to that topic
that all link to each other (like your blog posts), to
create broader search engine authority. This model uses a
more deliberate site architecture to organize and
link URLs together to help more pages on your site rank in
search engines — and to help searchers find information more
easily. This architecture consists of three components —
pillar content, cluster content, and hyperlinks. So your blog
posts can serve as cluster content that then include
hyperlinks to more information location on your pillar content
page. It’s a better experience for you, the search engines, but
most important your visitors. Make sure you have easily
accessible options for your readers to be able to share your
blog posts. If a visitor finds one of your posts helpful and
valuable, then they’re likely to share it to one or more of their
social media channels. And don’t forget about mobile! With mobile
devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes
spent online, having a blog that’s responsive or designed
for mobile has become more and more critical. Make sure to keep
mobile in mind as you structuring your blog post. What
would the experience be like if someone were you read your blog
post on their mobile phone instead of a desktop computer.
You might change the length of the post. You can see what the
difference looks like here. Keep those smaller devices in mind!
At the end of the day, it’s important to write consistently
and frequently. There are a lot of blog posts out there, so make
sure to choose quality over quantity. Always. Commit
yourself to a blogging schedule. The more often you blog, the
more likely you are to get found. After all, each new blog
post is an opportunity to attract new visitors as well as
a continuation to your overall content savings account. The
more often you post quality content, the more you will see
your blog grow and influence your business. And there you
have it – the fundamental strategy and best practices for
getting your blog up and running, so that you can begin
to attract new visitors and convert them into leads.

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