Blogging is not just about writing a post and publishing it. There are other factors you need to consider.
You may be blogging for pleasure or as a business prospect. It could be to reach out to a larger audience. You could also be blogging for your organization. Whatever your reasons for blogging, a blog is not just a piece of writing that can be casually put together and published. There are certain things you need to establish before you publish it.
Language and punctuation: This goes without saying. A shoddily written blog riddled with spelling errors or bad punctuation can put off many readers. Take pride in your work and ensure that it is error free. Read and reread your post carefully.
Check if the title is appropriate: A catchy headline or title draws people to your post. So, don’t go for some dull title that readers will ignore. However, ensure that your title is in sync with the topic you’ve written about and has the appropriate keywords.
Ensure the topic is suitable for your target audience: Whether you are blogging for yourself or your organization, you should have a clear idea of who is going to read your blog. Make sure the content is interesting and apt for your target audience.
Pay attention to formatting: These days, the attention span of people on the internet is diminishing. So keep your blog crisp and to the point. Break up the monotony by adding subheads, bullet points, box items, etc. And don’t forget attractive visuals. A sea of copy will put off readers. Pepper the content with eye-catching photographs, graphics, illustrations, charts and graphs.
Make your intro interesting: While the headline or title may draw people to your blog, it’s the introductory paragraph that will actually make them read it. So write an interesting intro that encapsulates what your blog is about. It could be an anecdote, a little-known fact or even humor, if it goes with the subject of your blog.
Add a meta description: This is a short description of what your post is about and is what Google and other search engines will show in the search results along with the title. A good meta description can significantly boost your click-through rate so spend some time getting your description correct.
Add categories and tags: This is important for you to drive traffic to your blog. Assign a category to your blog and also add tags – the more the merrier. But don’t go overboard and use arbitrary tags. They have to relate to the blog topic.
Ensure that your blog is SEO friendly: In today’s internet era, if your blog is not SEO friendly, chances are that, unless you already have a dedicated following, it may just slip into oblivion! Your blog should be at least 300 words, the keywords should appear in your title and the content. Depending on the platform you use, you could install SEO plugins that will give you valuable tips and suggestions to improve your SEO score.
Add links: You could link the current post to any of your old posts that are relevant to this topic. You could also add external links to other blogs, articles or videos. For Google and other search engines, a link from one site to another site is a plus-point for the website that has the link pointing to it. So, external links must be accompanied by rel=”nofollow” unless you want to endorse that person/company.
Add a call to action: It’s always good to engage your audience. You could request them to add comments. You could end your blog with a question asking them for their opinion. Also request them to share you post, tweet it or pin it.
Craft your ending: Do not end your blog post abruptly. Always have a concluding para to round up the post. Either write a succinct conclusion of the article or review the important points.
Write a promo for your post: Once you have finished writing your post, write a short and catchy promo to go with it. This will appear along with your post on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Make sure it is appealing so that it catches the eye of potential readers.
Get someone to read your post: As writers, we tend to be close to the content we write and sometimes, it’s not easy for us to spot mistakes, unnecessary verbiage, typos, etc. Get a colleague or friend to read your post before it is published. They may have valuable insights to offer.
Do a final review: Yes, I’ve already said read and reread. Have a checklist on hand to check SEO, meta description, your headline, intro, the overall layout, etc. Check each point on your checklist and once you are satisfied, your blog is ready to be published.
At the end of the day, it’s all about attention to detail. The content may come easily to you but when you are publishing on the internet, there are so many other factors to keep in mind. Once you pay attention to all these factors, your blog post will have the potential to attract larger audiences.