Blogging: How to Write an Effective Blog
September 16, 2018
The Growth in Blogging
Have you recently stepped into the blogging world? You're definitely not alone. The very first blog was created in 1994, climbing to 173 million in 2011, and doubling by the end of 2011. Over the past 7 years that number has climbed to well over 440 million, and that's just on WordPress, Squarespace, and Tumblr. Point being, since almost half a billion blogs have been created in just a short 25-year period, there must be a good reason.
The Importance of Blogging
Statistics show that "companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website." More links to your website means more traffic and ultimately more sales. Simply starting a blog and getting your content out there will instantly boost your SEO score, sending your website closer to the top of search results. More than half of marketers believe that blogging is their number one priority when it comes to marketing. Because of these statistics, we encourage every company to start their own blog.
However, not just any blog will produce the desired results. You can't simply throw some words on a page and hope that your message comes across. An effective blog requires intention and attention. It needs to demand attention and provide a clear, direct message that exudes intent. In order for your blog to shoot your company to the top of the SEO charts and double the traffic on your website, it has to contain a few key traits.
Which leads in to our topic for today: How to Write an Effective Blog.
But First, Logistics
Before we hop into the juicy details of your blog, there are a couple logistical measures that we need to cover first. You need to make sure your blog reflects these subtle, yet influential pieces of information. These subtle differences lie in the title and the length of your blog.
Research shows that blog titles ranging from 6-13 words attract the most consistent amount of traffic. Your title should grab a potential client's attention and encourage curiosity, but not be so short that the client doesn't understand what the blog will talk about. For example, the title of this blog is seven words long. Once reading the title, the reader knows this blog post will be about how to write a blog. By using the word "effective" in the title, the reader becomes curious as to what exactly makes a blog effective. Our title provides information, but also leaves the reader wanting more. Therefore, make sure your title is at least 6 words, but not so long that your reader gets disinterested before they even finish reading the title.
The length of your blog post itself is important, too. Currently, according to standard SEO measures, the ideal blog is around 1,600 words. Today's society encourages us to soak up as much information as we can, so when we come across a blog title that we think is interesting, we want the post to be thorough in answering our questions. A short, 500-word post cannot provide that kind of depth of information. At the same time, the pace of life we live in today is super hectic and busy. While we want our information, we don't have time to sit down and read a blog post for twenty minutes. If your blog post spanned for several pages, your reader would run out of time and possible not get to the most important part of your blog at word 2,000. Therefore, in order to satisfy your readers without overwhelming them, we encourage your posts to stay around 1,600 words.
Another SEO standard for blog writing applies to subheadings. If your blog has a huge wall of text with no breaks in between, it's going to overwhelm your reader. Subheadings give your blog flow, making it easier to read and organize your post. The standard for subheadings is to have one every 300 words.
Applying all the logistical measures to your blog may seem tedious and insignificant, but these changes will make a huge difference for the effectiveness of your blog. The more effective your blog on social media, the better chance of it driving clients to your doorstep.
Now for the fun part of writing an effective blog.
An effective blog expresses intent. Your blog needs to fulfill a purpose, whether that be providing information or solving a problem. The number one reason bloggers start a blog is to solve a problem. Think about it: The blog you love to follow is probably your favorite because it solves a problem you have. It speaks directly to the issue you run into the most often in your life, and it provides answers. Someone who loves to cook and provide healthy meals for their family follows blogs that provide them with quick and easy, but healthy recipes. Someone that loves to stay fit and take care of their body follows a blog that provides fun work out tips.
Purpose of Your Blog
What problem and purpose do want your blog to relate with? First, determine who you want to talk to, your audience. Having a clear audience will give intention to your blog and help readers know you want to connect with them. We have found that blogs whose specific audience is a certain age group, such as millennials or baby boomers, are very successful blogs because they have a clear audience. More general blogs that can apply to a huge range of readers often lose ground by failing to focus on a specific niche of people.
Therefore, when determining your audience, make sure it is an audience that is specific. The more specific your audience, the better chance you have of not only your readers finding your blog, but also really connecting with your readers. Once your readers know and trust your blog, they can be converted from potential clients into buyers! Utilizing intent with your blog can turn your social media content into an effective technique for growing your company.
Attention Grabbing Graphic
Another trait for an effective blog is an attention-grabbing graphic. Blog posts with images receive 94% more total views than those that do not have an image. A graphic for your blog is just as important, if not more important than the sum of the words in your post. We say this because the graphic, apart from the title, is the first thing your potential client sees of your blog post. You want your graphic to not only catch their attention but drive them to click on the link and read more about what the graphic is conveying.
You want your graphic to reflect the current trend for social media graphics. As GraphicMama states, "In the era of digital art, graphic design trends can evaporate as quickly as they emerged." Therefore, it's important to stay on top of the changes. Ultimately, your graphic needs to be bold and authentic so that it stands out among all the other content in a social media feed. Use colors that command attention, but don't overwhelm the senses. Use authentic images with custom effects so that your brand is relatable. For an example of these two ideas, check out the way Spotify creates their graphics.
If you already have a decently-sized library of blog posts and followers of your blog, you may think everything is going well. However, if you are not using trigger words in your blog, you are cutting its potential short. Famous social media guru Julie Solomon defines trigger words as, "The right kinds of compelling and attracting words for your business." By right, she means words that are synonymous with your brand and that point back to what your company does and stands for.
Trigger words are imperative to the initial success and the future growth of your blogging presence. Trigger words were given their name because they do just that - they trigger your audience to take action. Our actions are motivated by multiple causes, those being our feelings, our thoughts, or our motives. Trigger words can tap into the emotion of your audience and encourage them to feel a certain way or cause them to realize something they may not have known about your brand. These thoughts then lead a reader to do what you want them to do. Trigger words can also motivate an audience to believe your brand and your words, convincing them to support your company.
With all that said, let us provide an example of how trigger words can affect a potential client. Imagine your brand targets the millennial audience, those in their 20's and 30's. Because your brand targets this age group, your company often posts content relating to health and wellness, philanthropy, marriage and parenting, etc.
Your company decides to post a blog about a trending topic in health and wellness. Trigger words such as "healthy," "wellness," "millennial," and "beautiful" give your blog direct intent. You want to sprinkle in these words throughout your blog post wherever you can. These words guide the reader to hone in on what you have to say and lead them to associate your brand with these topics.
When a reader relates with these words and trusts them, they will in turn trust your blog. Your blog post should provide the reader with a tangible way to connect with your company, whether that be a link at the end of the post, or a sidebar directive linking back to your website. Because the reader has connected with the blog post, they will likely click where you want them to click! Using trigger words will boost your blogging success rate and give your brand a greater presence on social media.
Ultimately, there is one key thing we want you to take away from this post: blogging is growing right now and therefore it is imperative that your company participate. Not only should your company participate, but participate effectively. We don't want you to waste your time coming up with lack-luster content that won't grab the attention of an audience. So, take these words seriously and apply them with fervor! Happy blogging!
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