3 Suggestions for Launching a Better Blog
The Sprocket Report
Do you have big plans for your business in 2017? In January lots of folks plan to launch new blogs that they swear to keep updated this time around. One great incentive for writing posts is having readers, so here are three tips for creating a better blog.
Craft an eye-catching headline
It doesn’t matter what you write if you don’t grab their attention in the first half-dozen words. While we are all wary of headlines that begin with “One Weird Trick,” plenty of advertisers used that phrase because it worked.
Headlines need words with action, emotion and quirkiness to catch a reader’s eye. Studies show what works best so you might as well take advantage of the research. Once you have a feel for what the experts suggest, try this headline analyzer to see how well you did. You can tweak your headline and re-analyze it to try improving your score, but don’t get so hung up on perfection that you never get the blog posted!
Write a great first paragraph
The next big hurdle is the first couple of sentences. The goal is to entice the reader to keep reading – and that’s not easy when folks have so much info thrown at them from all directions. Pop culture, humor and controversy attract attention, but it can be tricky to incorporate those elements naturally.
Picking a topic of interest to the kind of reader you are hoping to entice goes a long way. Good writing also helps, although experts suggest keeping to an eighth grade reading level. Try an online tool to help you clean up your grammar and hit the right reading level.
Use the right search terms
The right topic and the right search terms will help readers find your post. Google Trends gives you info on how often a term is searched for over time and by region.
Trends also suggests related terms that might be even better than your first choice. And don’t discount “long-tail” terms. They usually aren’t as popular, but they tend to be laser-focused.
There are several similar search term tools online. This one gives you a word cloud for a visual representation of the most popular terms which is kind of neat. Just remember to use the best search terms naturally in your writing and as soon as possible, like in the headline or the first paragraph.
These tips are more about technique than content. If coming up with what to write is perplexing you, try laying out a content calendar. It really takes a lot of pressure off and you’ll be much more likely to keep your new year’s resolution to blog regularly.
If you are resolving instead to let someone else handle the blog work, give us a call. We offer several options to take over that task so you can focus on what you do best. Just ask – we’re happy to help!