What makes a successful blog post
Content marketing is an important strategy for many individuals, organisations and businesses around the world, looking to entice and introduce new audiences to their websites and brands. Blog posts are the cornerstone of content marketing and while writing a content piece is fairly easy, creating a successful one that achieves meaningful objectives is much more challenging.
We thought we’d explore some of the fundamental elements we think makes for a successful blog post.
A topic of interest
When it comes to creating a really successful blog post, the first and most important factor is the topic and its title. Topics and titles, draw people in. They are a reader’s first impression and just like human interactions, first impressions matter.
With content marketing, you’ll likely find yourself in one of two situations when it comes to topics. The first is you’ll be given a topic by your boss/client and the second is you’ll be asked to come up with one.
When working with a given topic the biggest hurdle you’ll face is trying to find a way to make it unique and interesting. This might be despite the fact that it is excruciatingly dull. In the second instance, you’ve arguably the greater challenge of coming up with that unique and interesting idea yourself.
Research, research, research
In both cases, thorough research is your friend and ally. By doing research you’ll gain a greater understanding about your topic at its core. You’ll see what others have already covered and what they haven’t. You’ll see what’s trending, what’s fresh and what’s topical.
By informing yourself in these ways you’ll feed your mind with existing content giving you a much greater chance to look at it with fresh eyes. This could be by creating a piece that connects others together. It could be by creating content depth where it’s lacking. It could be by taking an alternative perspective on recent and relevant events.
Algorithms across search engines and social media platforms where your blogs will mostly be shared are increasingly favouring unique forms of content because that’s what users want. That is what engages them and by becoming a strong authority on your topic, you’ll be more likely to bring something new to it.
A strong objective
Another thing you need to establish before you’ve made that first keystroke is your objective or goal(s) for creating it in the first place. What is the reason for your blog post to exist? Why have you been directed and paid (hopefully) to write on this particular topic? If you haven’t been given a topic then what’s the objective in the one you’ve been tasked to find?
Blog posts with objectives are always easier to write as they naturally become more focussed. As a writer, you’ll feel there’s a purpose behind the piece which will organically come through in your text. If an objective isn’t forthcoming from the client/boss (not an uncommon occurrence) try and create one for yourself.
At the very least, an objective gives you something to write towards. In a pursuit that can often feel lonely and distant, an objective will keep you on that path towards your goal.
Storytelling has been a point of difference for humanity since our earliest forms of communication. Countless artforms and medium have been created to facilitate storytelling. Sketchings, scriptures, music, paintings, books, poems, photography, radio, television, films – a list which goes on and also includes blogs.
Blogs gave people the opportunity to tell stories, with its infancy in the early 2000s to a point where there were 50 million blogs by 2006 according to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere Report. It flourished because it gave people the ability to share their stories and engage in others from all over the world.
Thinking of your blog post as a story is a way of making it familiar, not just to you as a writer but to your readers as well. People know stories and when they’re engaged with one, they are more likely to create a connection to it. If your readers can have an experience where they create that connection for themselves then they may even be willing to endorse and share that same experience with others too.
Writing for all
Storytelling can be structured in all sorts of interesting ways and there have been many talented writers who have done so in some very clever ways. You too, might be equally talented, but in the content marketing world, where time is precious and clients have budgets, keeping it simple often works best.
Simple can mean a few different things in this respect. It can refer to the structure of a blog post and having a beginning, middle and end. It can refer to the language and vocabulary used where in some instances you might, for example, curb your expression or resist complex word choices.
In the context of a blog post, it can also refer to layout in a digital mobile-friendly world where short sentences rule and paragraphs become miniaturised versions of themselves so users aren’t confronted with a mobile device full of text without breaks.
The increasing pace and pressures of modern has exhausted patience like a forgotten virtue. If your objective is an especially important one, making its delivery and comprehension as simple as possible is a good way to go.
Appeal to the eyes
Blogs started out as almost a purely text-based format but the development of technology has and will continue to change that. Each year, mobile devices including tablets are released with more pixels providing for richer and more vivid displays with the same for desktop monitors and workstations.
These are the devices on which blog posts are being read and it’s an asset that needs to be taken advantage of. The good news is that it’s not that hard. High-quality photography is readily and easily available at low cost (sometimes free with sites like Unsplash and Pixabay) and can be used to complement your piece very nicely.
You can also now more easily produce professional-looking charts and infographics with tools like Canva and Fotor. Not only do they give the eyes a break from text but they can help illustrate a point ways which would be more challenging than with words. They can also give more authority to a blog post and help increase trust and that all-important connection with your reader.
Easy ways to make a blog post more successful
As you can see, there are some straightforward and easy ways to make the blog posts you create more successful. By following some simple steps you can make the process easier for you and more enjoyable for your readers too!