We know blogs must have certain elements to look the part. In its simplest form, a blog page should be structured into a clear layout of columns, headers, posts, and sidebars, but let’s take these blog essentials a step further. What else does a specific blog post really need? Taking some advice from Debbie Hemley’s 26 Tips for Writing Great Blog Posts, let’s take a look at the required materials for building a blog for success.
Every blog should have a title. Most blogs can’t be written without one. That’s because the platform that the blog is written on simply won’t allow it to be posted without a title; however, just having a title won’t cut it. For people to read your blog post, the title should capture their attention and make them want to read it because it is interesting, relevant, useful, and timely. This may be your only opportunity to get people to read your worthwhile post. Make it count! If you can capitalize on an interesting title by simultaneously optimizing your post’s SEO, even better.
Links in your blog post are also very important because they direct readers to different landing pages. They may lead the reader to another blog post on your own blog’s site or to your company’s home page. They may also guide your audience to an article or another blogger’s post that you reference in your piece. This type of link has its advantages. It gives other writers the recognition they deserve and you the credibility of using a reliable resource. As a result, you can build trust with your readers who can come back knowing you provided them with the best and most helpful information. It also builds a healthy relationship with the authors who may just check out your blog and link to one of your posts.
Social Sharing Buttons
You want your stuff to get out there don’t you? Then social sharing buttons should be clearly marked with their own icons at the top of your blog for optimal information sharing. If the social buttons are above the fold of the page, then people will be more inclined to click it, and even though you’d like them to read your entire post, some readers don’t make it all the way down to the bottom. Make it easier for these people and allow them to share without scrolling down the page. Also, try to have as many platforms that would be appropriate to spread your influence on the sites as possible (ie-Facebook, Twitter, RSS feed, etc).
Images are interesting. People don’t want to read a post that is filled entirely with text. That gets boring after a while, so images help to break up all the words in a post. The most obvious image your blog post can have is of the very subject you are writing about; however, for some posts, like this one, it is difficult to pick something that presents your material in a way that will make sense to your readers. In these cases using your image as an analogy or relating it to your title may be the route to go. If you have statistical data or facts use images as visual learning tools like graphs, tables, or charts. These will clearly illustrate your results or can help to prove a point you are making in your writing.
Call to actions are the last thing that you should include in your post. What you want your CTA to be will depend on your post. For example, sometimes it’ll be enough to just ask people for their opinion. In this instance you should request that they leave you questions in the comment section or to email you directly with any thoughts. Other times, you may ask your readers to go to another link to take some action there, or you may even suggest that they sign up for a webinar. Just be sure to have some sort of clear CTA. Your blog should get further interaction from readers, so be sure to be clear about what you want them to do and, if they found your post interesting and compelling, they will want to follow your directions.
There you have it! These are the basics to building a great blog that people will want to read and interact with. Do you have any other suggestions or questions? Please leave Katie a comment below, and she’ll be sure to get back to you!