Machines are all around us. You used a machine to get to work today, or helped you make breakfast. A machine is letting you read this post. One thing these machines have in common: they need a lot of different parts to work to their full potential.
A good blog post is like a machine. It has a number of components that need to be in place to function properly. And you’ll need solid blog posts to make your inbound marketing strategy work. (Sort of a machine within a machine.)
Here are the things you’ll need to do if you want to build a killer blog post.
Write a Standout Headline
“Headless Body in Topless Bar.”
That was the New York Post in 1983, reporting on a gruesome murder at a club in Queens. It remains one of the most famous newspaper headlines ever written.
We’re not saying you need to craft anything quite so memorable, but your headline does need to get attention if you want it to get clicks. It also needs to appeal to your buyer personas.
There are a number of different directions a headline can take, including:
- You can make a numbered list. (“20 Ways to Fix Your Outdated Website”)
- You can tell people why they need to adopt new practices (“Why Social Media Will Save Your Job”)
- You can appeal to personas who need things done NOW. (“The Fastest Way to Get New Leads.”)
- You can share knowledge. (“What I Learned When I Broke My iPhone”)
A good headline will capture viewers’ interest by being catchy, but also by telling your customers and potential customers “We have something here you need to know.”
Tell a Story, Solve a Problem
You’ve used a strong, attention-getting headline to get readers to click on your content. What will they see next?
Your post should tell story, something that’s relevant to them and helps them solve their problems. It doesn’t have to be about exactly what your company does. For example, we’ve suggested to our private school clients that they could write about events at the school, but also about dorm room décor tips, homework help, and how to deal with being away from home.
People who find your site aren’t necessarily in the purchasing phase of the buyer’s journey. Create content that helps them solve problems, and they’ll see you as a trusted authority in your field.
Organize Your Story
Here’s some advice we got from an editor years ago that’s worth passing on: People don’t read online, they scan.
Try to break your posts into a bulleted/numbered list, or into sections with subheadings. (Or do both, the way this post is structured.) This will help ensure more readers make it all the way through your content.
Have you ever stumbled upon a website that’s just a big block of text? It’s like going back in time 20 years. Pictures can help tell your story, while also making your content more engaging.
It’s especially helpful if your image is an infographic, something that can be shared independent of your written content. Remember that Tweets with images receive 150 percent more retweets than those without, and Facebook posts with images account for 87 percent of total interactions.
Craft a Call to Action
When you’re doing inbound marketing, the end goal is to have your blog post generate leads. That’s why a blog post should end will a call to action: Download this Whitepaper, Sign Up for Our Newsletter.
We’ll even offer a real call-to-action: if you want to learn more about creating great blog posts and other forms of content, Contact IQnection Today to request a free consultation.
IQnection can help you produce blog posts and other written content that has two goals: to appeal to visitors to your site while also meeting the strict criteria set by search engines.
When you populate your site with great content, you’ve made sure a key piece of your marketing machine is running smoothly.