Anatomy of a Blog Post: Writing Blogs Using Templates
February 3, 2012
by Justine Parsons
Using a template to write your blog post will increase ROI, reduce writing time and ensure consistency of formatting and content.
Before You Start Writing, Decide Which Keywords You Will Optimise
Before putting fingers to the keyboard, think about what you will write about and which keywords you will optimise.
For example, you may want to write a post on how businesses can use LinkedIn. Ask yourself what would someone type into Google in order to find this post? Some of the phrases they might search for could be:
- How do businesses use LinkedIn?
- How can LinkedIn help my business?
- Does my business need to be on LinkedIn?
- How do you get started using LinkedIn?
This is how many of us use Google. By asking a question we want answered. So taking the above searches in mind, here are some possible blog post titles we could use:
- 5 Innovative Ways Businesses are Using LinkedIn
- Should Your Business be on LinkedIn? Here’s how to decide.
- How to Start a LinkedIn Account for your Business in 10 Minutes.
Use Google Adwords Keyword Tool or some of the other analysis tools to research common search phrases (Raven Tools, Keyword Discovery, Word Tracker). These keyword phrases should be repeated in your article up to three times.
With that decided, let’s get started. Let’s break the post into its main components.
Search engines use a maximum of 60 characters when looking through your title so keep it short, preferably with your keywords toward the beginning of your title. Think about what people want to
know and what they will be searching for. Your title should be strong enough to make the reader want to open your article; whether it makes them curious, solves a problem or is something they want to learn more about.
Header tags <h2> are an element of your blog posts that search engines will crawl and analyse for keywords. Not only are these tags good for SEO, they also draw the reader’s eye and break up the content – making your post easier on the eye.
Your content needs to be easy to read with plenty of ‘white space’ for the eye. Use bullet points, paragraph breaks, tables, charts and images to break up your text.
Writing a good blog is all about being specific to your subject, including links which enable the reader to drill down for more information and backing up facts with statistics and reference points where applicable. For instance, if I am writing a blog about which social network has the highest demographic for B2B customers, I would back this up with facts to support my statement.
Proof your content for any spelling, grammar or punctuation errors. While the odd error may be forgiven by your readers, an error free article is professional and relays a good impression. Ask a friend, co-worker or your virtual assistant to proof your article before it is published. I like to save an article as a draft and leave it before coming back to re-read. Often when coming back to an article fresh I see where I can make improvements.
Include internal and external link with your keywords. Linking to another page will drive traffic to a certain page and can be used as a tool to move readers through to other parts of your website; increasing their time on site and the probability that they will engage in a conversation. Ensure that the page you are linking to is relevant to the anchor text you select otherwise you will only frustrate and annoy your readers.
Ask for comments and make sure it is easy for readers to comment on your blog post. Ask a specific question based on the content of your article. When you do receive a comment, be sure to reply and thank them. It makes people feel good about the fact that they took the time to comment and is a step further down the path of building a relationship with your readers.
Include Sharing Options
Make it easy for readers to share your article with their networks using one of the many sharing tools available. Including social sharing buttons leads to 7x more mentions.
Create an Author Byline
Please like to know about who is writing the blog post. It’s also important to know that with because of the Google Plus search updates, not only are social media results beginning to return more frequently in search engines but actual author pages and user posts are returning in results also.
Allow Readers to Subscribe and Follow You
If your content is good and of value to your readers, they may want to follow your blog posts by subscription or follow you on other social networks too. Let them do that right from your blog page with social subscription buttons and boxes.
Tag Your Blog Posts
Writing a blog post is fine but in order for people to find specific information from your page it helps to tag to identify and categorize your articles. Tags are also crawled by search engines and over-tagging can lead to duplicate content issues. If you haven’t done so, create a list of tags you are going to use on your blog. Refer and stick to this list, going back to re-tag any posts which don’t conform.
For more information on blogging for your business, please contact me directly to discuss your particular requirements.
So, do you blog? [Your Virtual Assistant blogs]
Should professional services firms blog? [Kaleidoscope Marketing]
Your turn: While I have captured the basic ‘anatomy’ of a blog post, there is so much I cannot cover in one article. What advice do you have for those struggling to write effective blog posts?