6 Essential Elements of a Successful Blog
Adding a blog to your website is one of the best ways to show your expertise and spread the word about your brand. But if you want your blog to be successful, you’ll have to do more than just posting articles every day.
Essential Elements to Creating a Successful Blog
You need to make every article count by producing original, high-quality content and paying attention to details such as catchy headlines, subheadings, and bullet points.
Articles also have to be well-written, complemented with appropriate visuals, contain internal links, and appropriate calls to action. Sounds overwhelming?
Luckily, we have a list of 6 simple steps to help you create successful blog posts every time.
Blog writers often disregard the importance of article structure. Considering the fact that the average attention span of Internet users is 8 seconds, most people will only scan your article.
Organizing your thoughts into subheadings and smaller paragraphs helps readers to go through the main points quickly and decide if they’re interested in reading the whole article.
Your article may be great but if readers see large blocks of densely-written text, they’ll probably leave without reading a single sentence.
In addition, structuring your article allows you to express your thoughts more easily. It creates a sense of organization and provides an easier flow for the reader.
Here is an article model you can follow:
The headline is your chance to grab people’s attention and make them want to read more. It has to let them know what your article is about without sounding plain or dull. What makes a headline catchy? Here are a just few ideas:
- Numbers and listings. People simply love numbers in headlines. Numbers seem familiar and make us feel comfortable. They let you know how long the article will take to read, i.e. how many points it covers. For instance, “10 Reasons Why Customer Satisfaction is Important”.
- Emotional adjectives. Use emotional adjectives to describe the reader’s problem like fun, effortless, essential, strange, incredible, etc. After reading the headline, readers should believe that you can solve their problem.
- Trigger words. Use trigger words like why, what, when, or how to enable or persuade. If possible, avoid using them together with numbers in the same headline.
Try to include a ‘focus keyword’ in your headline to make it easier for search engines to find your article. If you don’t know where to start looking for the best keywords, start by monitoring competitors and see which keywords they’re ranking for. Another way is to do a thorough keyword research using tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs.
SEO optimized titles have more chances to rank higher in search results. Make sure that your headline contains a maximum 70 characters; otherwise, it will be too long for search engines to index.
The first sentence or paragraph in your blog post is the introduction. It is your chance to persuade visitors to continue reading, so make sure it is short, clear, and concise.
Make your point fast and add enough information to tease the readers and make them want to know more about what you have to say.
Use subheadings for each point you want to make. Here’s what subheadings serve for:
- Break up the text into sections to make it look more organized and appealing
- Help readers navigate through the text more easily
- Boost SEO (search engine optimization).
#2 Valuable Content:
The body is the most important part of the blog post. Make sure it is unique and that it offers an original approach or angle. The content itself should be unique as well, i.e. it mustn’t be copied from other websites.
Unique content is more likely to get shared and liked, but it is also beneficial from an SEO perspective. Plagiarized content, on the other hand, can get you penalized or even banned from search engines.
Speaking of SEO, make sure to include enough keywords in your article’s body. It’s worth mentioning though, that keywords are not as important as they used to be.
Google’s algorithms get smarter and smarter and now they can understand what the article is about even without you repeating the keyword.
This is good news since writers can focus solely on producing high-quality, legible, and readable texts for human readers only.
The length of your article does make a difference. And yes, the rule is: the longer the better. Longer content performs better in terms of SERPs ranking, social sharing, traffic, and conversion rates. Whenever possible, your blog posts should be at least 1000-1500 words long.
#3 Great Visuals:
Great visuals break the text and make it more visually appealing, thus encouraging readers to spend more time on your blog. And since search engines measure the time users spend on your pages, adding visual elements will pay off in terms of SEO as well.
Make sure to use high-quality images that are not only appealing to the eye but also relevant to the article’s topic. Besides images, you can also add videos and infographics. Finally, pay attention to your blog’s color scheme and typography in order to make sure your site offers a complete visual experience to readers.
Note: Use interesting visuals when you promote your blog posts on social media as well.
Each one of your blog posts should have a call-to-action (CTA). CTAs come in different forms, depending on the action you want your readers to take. For instance, do you want them to go to another one of your blog posts, leave their email address, write a comment, download an ebook, or buy your product?
After you’re done writing your article, end it with a clear conclusion and add an explicit CTA which invites them to take the next logical step. If done right, calls-to-action will bring you more conversions.
#5 Internal Linking:
Including links to other articles is a great way to make people spend more time on your website, but also to enhance its overall value. Not to mention, internal links are also good for SEO.
Internal linking is not difficult at all. First, in order to have enough material (pages) to link to, you need to create a sufficient amount of content. Next, make sure to use relevant links, i.e. to link to pages that are related topic-wise.
This boosts the chances of attracting the visitor’s attention but it also increases both pages’ authority. The suggested number of links per post is 3-10.
Whenever possible, try deep linking. This means adding links to older posts, i.e. pages other than your homepage or other major pages.
#6 Pay Attention to Grammar and Spelling:
Poorly written articles can make readers frustrated and cause them to leave. No matter how intriguing the topic is, no one will want to spend an hour decoding your illegible sentences.
Of course, anyone can make mistakes but it helps if you proofread and edit your article before publishing.
Here is a quick guideline to help you write impeccable articles:
- Write the first draft of the article paying attention to the general structure and your writing style. Don’t focus on grammar and spelling at this point, just write.
- During the editing phase, you can intervene into entire sections and paragraphs of the text, change certain words or even whole sentences, or delete some parts that seem out of place. Always have in mind that the text needs to flow naturally and read well.
- Finally, proofread the copy. Use tools like grammarly.com to check spelling and punctuation. If possible, check the article twice to be sure it it satisfies all standards.
Simply posting article after article on your blog is not a recipe for success. The above-listed points will help you create blog posts that are high-quality, unique, and well-written. Follow our tips and you’ll soon see significant changes in the success of your content marketing.
Once you’ve mastered these techniques, you can further boost traffic and brand building by deploying growth hacking tricks. If you have no idea where to start from, seek a help from a growth hacking mentor.