Writing for the web is not a case of collecting your ideas and putting them. Before you actually write one phrase of content, you need to think about what you are going to say. You ought to have your keywords organised into some sort of coherent list – and you should be weeding out those you’re not thinking about using. Once you’ve done that, you need to sit back and plan down your site. You will need to plan at least 20 contents and choose some kind of posting schedule.
Once you’ve prepared your content, you can begin writing your posts. You can queue your articles as you are writing them, providing you the additional benefit of having the ability to post series and have them ready to go, without dropping your flow. We always advise that you stay at least three posts ahead of your posting timetable – because of this, if you strike a dry area, or find yourself too busy to create; you’ve kept ‘disaster’ content on tap, till you can re-evaluate.
What should a blog post BE?
Blog posts should follow one of a few formulae, but before you look at them – you should probably consider what they can and can’t contain. There are always a couple of ‘no no’s’ in blogging. To start with – your blog should be advertising light. People don’t want to read about your latest and greatest advert. They would like to read about your thoughts and your topic. They want to know that you actually know what you’re discussing, and most importantly, they would like to discuss, not be sold to; which means that though your blog will do the work of promoting your product, you have to do it without being blatantly advertorial.
You CAN write about products – talk about why you’re so passionate about them – their features, things that cause you to want to utilize them – or the services, or problems they solve. You also won’t need to just WRITE – you can upload pictures, podcasts (audio), video, multimedia system – in truth, the more interactive your blog is, without intruding on the knowledge of the common visitor, the increased traffic and return site visitors you’ll get and the more comments your site will garner.
Writing for the web
Writing for the web is an art. You should employ short phrases, with sub-headings, usually one per paragraph. Those sub-headings should be bold, to stand out, because studies have proven, without a shadow of a doubt that most internet users, especially people that have a lower technical savvy than typical, skim read. They skim read because we have been conditioned to trust a couple of things about the internet: there’s a lot of good information out there – but it can be incredibly hard to find, even on ‘trusted’ sites. Google’s quality, page rank and duplicate content algorithms go a long way to assisting to sift the dross from the perfect, but we are still left with people gaming the machine, or even worse, not having the ability to clearly state what we, ourselves are looking for.
Keyword searching is a really good technique to learn, but for most people, keying in short phrases, or whole questions, is the way to go, filled with punctuation. Depending on the sophistication of the software used, they might get just what they want, but the same studies that suggest people skim read, also tell us that people really do not understand how to get the most from the internet. It is the case of knowing that the truth is out there. But where?
Effective Blog Post Formula
Blogging has fallen into several styles, like articles in newspapers and magazines. You are able to write and opt for several different formulae, but in the long run, you have to find a way, and a method of writing that is comfortable for you. The most common and most effective way of blogging is ‘problem – solution’. You take one universal problem or current trend, or newsworthy subject, and you ‘solve’ it. Solving it could be as easy as providing your thoughts and opinions, showing where you stand on any given issue, or it could be offering a genuine solution to a problem most of us encounter.
Problem – solution or ‘action – reaction’ blogs are extremely popular with a vast majority of visitors, but aren’t without their inherent problems. For a start, if you are ‘solving’ a current newsworthy problem, although you are giving people a view of the fact that you are human, you can also find that unless you are being careful about expressing your views, you are going to upset someone, somewhere along the line. This can be a good thing, however, as it can promote conversation on your blog. You must take the good with the bad and accept that whatever one does, you will always ruffle some feathers – just like in real life.
A different type of highly popular blog post is the review. It is fairly straight forward to write a review post, but you’ve got to be careful. If it generally does not match the theme of your blog, you’ll find that it actually damages your overall traffic. Your blog should always be laser beam focused on the niche you want to talk about, and related areas to the niche market. You can’t set off topic! The very popular blog, http://lifehacker.com is full of these techniques – an article centred on resolving a problem. The issue may well not be implicitly stated, but instead handled in general terms. The alternatives are always bang on the money, which makes this blog a good read. Its style is easy to emulate too. What problems does your specific niche market have? Are there other alternatives that you know of? And is it possible to express them basically?
The final type of post that is very popular and easy to create is the feature – features can be one article, or several long articles, with links to one another. They have to cover something important and become packed filled with information. Keyword rich, you want your readers to come away feeling like they’ve really discovered something, and search engines to come away with a complete new platter of wonderful content to increase their indexes.
The Art of Writing Itself
You have to remember that though some blogs are founded for personal gains, if you’re working on it to make any kind of income in any way, you will need to consider that your blog is a marketing project. You’re either marketing this content, your business, or in some cases, yourself. Once you have come to terms with that, you’ll also understand why you can’t use slang, or make spelling or grammar mistakes, but more importantly, you’ll realize that blogging might be the main ‘voice’ or face you show people, so you’ll need to offer a dependable and interesting brand.
There are specific types of post that work well with blogs from an internet marketer’s point of view – like information about your business. Go beyond FAQ’s and contact details, and share information about your operation. Make your blog readers feel like they are getting in on a secret of some description. Or share something that wouldn’t ordinarily be online – such as your motivation for going into business. You can also recommend other marketers that you like, without appearing too fawning, if you’re honest. Talking about experience is a sure fire way to improve on both your customer image, and your professional image.
You can use your blog to archive articles and other freebies for your business. More importantly, always ensure that you have somewhere on your blog where people can join your mailing list. Giving them the option to do that will also mean that you’ve got multiple streams of traffic to and from your blog. People are more likely sign up for your newsletter if they like what you’re posting on your blog. It has been suggested that there’s a definite link between people that sign up for your newsletter, and people that comment on blogs attached to newsletters – and these people are the ones that are interested, interactive readers. They have a vested interest in commenting on your blog.
Blogging isn’t just about providing search engine content, and though it’s a great way to make connections with your customer base, the most important thing to remember is that shallow content breeds shallow contacts. What this means is that if you’re posting trivial stuff, people that are interested in little more than the trivial stuff will read your blog, and no one else. Though you will start out with a strong plan, and should try to stick to that as much as possible for the first few months (so as not to confuse yourself or waste the research you did in founding the blog) you should also consider the needs, wants and interests of your readers. Do THEY comment on more of one type of content? Can you write to fit the things they are raising?
Blogging is about sharing your passion, your enthusiasm, and your experience with others, and to do that, you’ve got to believe in what you’re writing. If you don’t, then how can you expect your readers to enjoy and comment?
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