In my short time at BlueSky, I’ve written a lot of blogs. This has meant a fair amount research on what makes a great post, and also reading some which aren’t very good at all! If my experience has taught me anything, by making sure you do these often overlooked things, you can take your blog to the next level. So, here's my list of 8 overlooked ingredients for a successful blog post...
1. Make a point
This might seem obvious, but many blog articles have nothing to say. Well, they might have something to say, but they don’t have a point. When your blog has a solid hook, it gives readers a reference point to latch onto, making them more likely to share, comment, and engage.
2. Give away knowledge
Many bloggers and companies alike hold back their best knowledge in fear of giving away their ‘secrets’ for free. However, with the wealth of information available on the internet, your ‘secrets’ are probably not as valuable as you think, and this information will end up being put out elsewhere – by someone else. By giving out as much value as you can in your blogs, you’ll become more attractive to visitors.
Subheadings help blogs visually. They guide readers through pieces and prevent them being rigid walls of text. When divided into separate points and paragraphs, readers can easily navigate blogs to find sections of interest. Subheadings are also great for SEO. Google uses them to help it understand content, and whether it’s relevant enough to appear on searches.
4. A call to action
The call to action is a crucial ingredient in a blog post. Whether it’s creating an account, visiting another page or purchasing a product, you need a call to action for every post.
5. Internal linking
Internal linking - where you link to related posts within your own site, can enhance your blog and website. Firstly, you’ll need enough content to link to. There’s no point sending readers to the same few pages over and over. Then, start creating links. Try to direct audiences to ‘deep pages.’ The deeper the page is within your site, the better. This means don’t send them to your home page, or other major pages on your website. Finally, ensure where you’re guiding audiences is relevant for engagement and SEO purposes.
6. Optimise your alt text
Blogs with images need optimised ‘alt text’ which tells search engines what images are about, helping a post rank higher. Adding relevant keywords to your alt text may seem like an insignificant thing - but it’s worth the extra effort to change something like "IMG735450" into something accurate and descriptive in the hopes it pushes your content up the rankings.
7. Optimise the meta description
A meta description is the small bit of text that appears underneath your link on Google. It gives people information to determine whether your content is what they're looking for. Using this space wisely is key, as in the split-second decisions that people make when choosing which link to click, this could be the factor that sends them to yours.
8. Write timeless, or ‘evergreen’ content
Finally, try to put out lots of evergreen content. These are posts that stay relevant—similar to how evergreens retain leaves all year around. While much of your blog may revolve around topical material, always writing material based on current events means that it’ll get dated pretty quickly. By writing more general, wide-ranging content that will be relevant regardless of circumstance, you’re more likely to pull in visitors.
Ultimately, while these tips won’t turn you into the next HuffPost overnight, following them will certainly ensure your blogs are not only more attractive and engaging, but also help them start climbing search engine rankings so that your potential audience can actually find them. Good luck!