Statistics show that 61% of consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post in 2013. When you consider that along with the fact that over 6.1 million people are currently blogging, it’s important to ensure that your blog stands out in the crowd. Which is why in our special Christmas edition of Coast TV (signified only by the attire worn), Copywriter Sam Antrobus shares his thoughts on what makes a successful blog post. If you have any questions or feedback then we’d love to hear it in the comments below.
Hello, and welcome to an extremely festive and slightly ill-fitting edition of Coast TV. My name is Sam Antrobus and I’m a copywriter here at Coast, and today I’m going to talk about what makes a great blog post.
So without further ado, we’ll get to our top 10 and start with our first point, and that’s the title. Now the title is incredibly important on 2 different phases, so first of all you want to make sure it’s relevant and got keywords in that people are searching for, but don’t stuff it full of keywords, make sure that it’s enticing, that it’s teasing the content of your blog post, so for example when it’s shared on Twitter, social media and the like, the title is the first thing that most people are likely to see, and if it’s keyword heavy people aren’t going to want to read it. So make sure that you’re creative – we’ve used “10 Ways to Make a Great Blog Post”, but we’ve found that using other ones such as “How to Make a Great Blog Post”, “Why this Makes a Great Blog Post”, those sort of titles draw people in and it’s enticing.
Second point – authorship and date! Now a date might not seem particularly important on your blog, but in fact it plays a huge role in helping people define the relevance of your blog. We’ve put the date up here, the 19th December 2013 – if it’s not up there then people don’t know if it’s written this week, last week, last year, and if it’s like a news article or something along those lines, if people don’t know when it was written they might be more reluctant to share it, so make sure people can decipher when it’s been created and that might help them share your content. Authorship, again, the same sort of lines, I wrote “By Sam Antrobus” so I can take all the credit when this gets shared hundreds of times on social media, but also, it’s putting a face to the blog – if you’re using the “By admin” feature it’s very generic and if people can’t put a face to a blog, it doesn’t seem very credible. You can also use Google authorship markup as well, so by taking your Google Plus account and linking it to your blog, in Google search your article will appear alongside a picture of yourself and your name as well, so that again helps add to the authenticity of your blog and putting a face to it.
Point number 3, social sharing buttons, incredibly important, but also making sure you pick the right ones for your audience. So if you’re doing it towards a B2B audience and that’s the style of your article, make sure LinkedIn is up there, ultimately using a Pinterest button and the fluffy world of cupcakes and the like that are on Pinterest, it’s probably not going to be quite as relevant, though if you are a cupcake retailer, LinkedIn is probably not where you’re going to get all your stuff shared is it? Make sure you bear this in mind, put relevant buttons up for the relevant audience.
Point number 4 – heading 2. Now the heading 2 (again, like the normal title) has a 2-fold effect, so here we’d have that as our H1 title and the heading 2 would be our H2 tag, so for search purposes it’s incredibly important, but also it helps break down your article. We’ve all been there before – we’ve clicked on something that we like and we’re greeted by a huge amount of copy – copy, copy, copy, and people don’t want to see that. People want scannable copy that they can digest, so by putting in a couple of subheadings people can access the bit that they want, they can flick through your article quickly and it just helps the user experience of your article, so make sure you’ve got them in there.
Point number 5 – comments and engagement. Now look, we all get comments, good or bad (and believe me, you get some bad ones along with the good), but it’s important that you respond to all of them, make sure that you’re swift in your response, and you’re informative. So even if someone’s just put “Hi, I like your blog”, respond to them and say “Thank you, you can subscribe in the click-through box above”, again, just make sure that you’re responding because it also helps you keep the content fresh – more comments equals keeping the content fresh and Google likes that, giving your blog more prominence, and it’s going to feature more prominently in search.
Number 6 – the in-blog search capability. Now this might seem something pretty mundane but too often it’s left out, and why? If people are on your blog and they like what they see, help them find more of it, the search feature’s so basic, on WordPress and all similar systems, they all have them so embrace it. If people like what they read, guide them to more of it, and that brings me on to point number 7 – categories. Same sort of thing, say for example I’m on an online marketing blog, I’m interested in SEO and PPC, but affiliate marketing, I don’t want to know – not my cup of tea. If I’ve got the categories there, I can filter out what I do and I don’t want, and that’s important in helping me stay on the site, helping me read more content, helping me even want to subscribe to the blog, so make sure you have both the search feature and the categories on your site if possible.
Point number 8 – call to action. Incredibly important, even if you’re just looking to help people subscribe to your blog or whether you’re an eCommerce site and you’re pushing product, make sure the buttons are there that people can click through and that they can have the access to either buy something or follow more of your blogs, and access more content.
Number 9 – social media block buttons. Now the difference here is that people can already share the content, but why not give them the opportunity to join your social circles as well? Whether they want to follow you, whether they want to like you, follow you on LinkedIn, give them the opportunity – your social media block buttons are there, they like your content, why wouldn’t they want to? Don’t miss that opportunity.
And last but not least, we’ve got the image. Now it could be any form of rich media, it could be a video, it could be a slide deck, or it could just be a normal photo – make sure you’ve got it on there, it helps bring your blog to life and help people want to engage with it. And also in social media streams such as Facebook, it’s helping give more visibility to your blog post, which is incredibly important. So make sure whatever it is, that you’ve got some form of image or rich media on there.
Ultimately, these are guidelines, it’s not like a holy bible of content, but it’s there for you to take and enjoy, so if you’ve got any comments, please use the comment box below! Engage with this video 🙂 Again, hope you have a lovely Christmas, thank you for watching, I’ve been Sam, have a good one!