You’ve written a great blog post on a topic you know your readers will love, and now you're ready to post it for the world to see. Not so fast! Before you hit “publish” make sure you blog post has these 5 key ingredients.
1. A Compelling Title
Write a blog title that captures your readers’ attention and entices them to read the entire post. I know, I know…easier said than done, right?
Well, start by thinking about your own online behavior. What are some blog titles that have compelled you to keep reading?
Also, don’t be afraid to test out different title techniques to see what works with your audience. Here are some techniques you may want to try:
- Lists: 10 Must-Try Restaurants in Phoenix
- Negatives: How NOT to Find a New Roommate
Still stumped? IMPACT has a fun blog title generator that can help get the creative juices flowing.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average human attention span is just a little over 8 seconds. You read that right -- 8 seconds!! Break up your blog posts (and make them easier for your readers to scan) by using techniques like subheads, bullets and numbering.
3. Captivating Visuals
Compelling images can capture people’s attention in a way words alone can't do. Plus, research shows that visuals can actually make your content more memorable. According to Wyzowl, people only remember 20% of what they read, but they remember 80% of what they see and do.
Think of ways you can show AND tell your readers what you’re talking about. This blog from social media expert Peg Fitzgerald not only tells you how Buffer can help you organize your tweets, it also shows readers a helpful screenshot of what Buffer looks like.
And, if you’re including data or numbers in your blog post, consider turning them into easy-to-digest infographic.
4. A Simple Way to Share
If you create great content, your readers will want to share it with their own networks. That's great news for you because it’ll increase your reach exponentially. But readers aren’t going to share your blog post if it takes too much effort. Luckily, most blogging platforms have plug-ins that make it simple for your readers to share a blog post on their own social media channels. Here’s a great example from HubSpot’s blog.
5. A Clear Call to Action
Think about what you want your readers to do after they’re finished reading your blog post. Then, clearly spell it out for them.
Let’s say you wrote a blog post about the best new restaurants in your neighborhood, and you want your readers to comment on your blog once they’re finished reading. You can end with a call to action like:
“What’s your favorite new restaurant in River North? Let us know in the comments below!”
Or, if your blog is about your community’s brand new swimming pool, and you’d like prospective renters to schedule a tour to experience the pool for themselves, end the post with a call to action like:
“Ready to spend your weekends by the pool this summer? Call xxx-xxx-xxxx or email email@example.com to schedule a tour today!”
What other must-have ingredients would you add to this list?