The perfect blog post is a dish stewed with many ingredients -- and the cooking is not as easy as it might look.
In this age of information overload, having something interesting and important to say is not enough. To get people to notice your content, read, and eventually share your work, your post must not just have compelling content but also include other elements such as organisation, ease of navigation, the right kind of design and format, among others. Here, we look at some of the things that you can do to take your blog from good to perfect.
Watch that headline
Content experts can't stress the importance of an enticing title or headline enough. Arguably the most important part of your blog post, the few words you use in your title can make the difference between going viral and getting lost in the internet wilderness. In fact, many content writers say (only half in jest) that ninety per cent of good writing is obsessing over the perfect headline.
Internet readers are notoriously fickle and many surveys have often confirmed that nearly 60 per cent of readers don’t read past the headline. Though there is no single formula for the perfect headline, in general,
- the title should not be long-winded and unwieldy
- it should ideally be funny or informative, ironic or curiosity-inducing
- it should be relevant to the content and grab attention with specific keywords
Tell your story and tell it well
Though you have to employ storytelling techniques to make your post attractive, you don't want to keep your main point for later like in a novel or a movie. After all, you are not writing a novel. A blog post needs to be treated as a more 'urgent' short story if you will. Make sure your introduction says exactly what the post is about; or at least make the reader curious enough to go on. Use humour or surprise; ask a question or make a big promise (that you know you can fulfil). Draw in the reader but let him know what he is about to read.
Include multimedia elements
Even if your content is rich and compelling, the inclusion of multimedia content will only help engage your readers better. Relevant images can reinforce your matter while video and audio recordings can greatly help illustrate your point and prevent your reader from drifting away.
Meta-descriptions, keywords and clickbait
Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that explain the contents of your page and along with the headline and your URL, it is a vital factor in convincing users to click on your link. Thus it is important to pay attention to what you write in your Meta description. Similarly, using relevant keywords wisely in your headline and throughout the body of your text will make it easy for search engines as well as your audience to find your post.
Thirdly, a good blog post needs to have a significant number of outbound links so that other users notice your work and give you return links. This will also increase the reader's feeling of trust in your writing.
Focus on the actual content
Now that we have covered how attractive your headline ought to be, how to include multimedia and ensure that your tags and keywords are in order, the focus should be on the actual content. Needless to say, it should be original, if possible funny as well as deep. It should connect emotionally with the reader or give him crucial advice/knowledge/information. It should not be too long and ideally should be punctuated with smart sub-headers that guide him seamlessly to the conclusion. It should stick to the point, and yet, it should make your reader pause to think, reflect and even better, argue.
Nobody said striving for perfection is easy but no one can deny the value it can bring to your work.