13 steps to failing with a bang when writing a blog
Kelly sat there with this unhappy look on her face.
The blog title in the search results was spot on and the tiny description backed it up. But when she got to the point, her excitement quickly wore off.
Everything she read in that minute made her want to go outside and walk in front of the bus.
It was one of the 1440 minutes she couldn’t get back that day.
Kelly returned to the search results and continued reading other titles and descriptions. She was on a simple journey looking for just the right information about (insert your content here).
You don’t want to make Kelly mad.
After Kelly clicked on your site because your title and meta description piqued her interest, she received content that answered all of her questions.
She bought your product or service and continued to interact with your brand through the frequent and authoritative content you produce.
As for this first entry, the title and description excited, but the content quickly deflated Kelly’s interest. This was a huge mistake for this company because Kelly went elsewhere when she was ready to buy.
With over 40 000 Google searches every second, these types of situations are endless.
The problem is that many fail miserably at blogging.
Most of them do not follow the absolute basic rules of creating digital content.
If you do any of the following subtitles, you are wasting time. But don’t worry – the solution is right under the subheading.
Also remember that these solutions will work best when the website’s technical platform is sound, which means optimizing all technical SEO from load time to CSS. Without a technically sound platform, these blogging efforts will not produce the results that a website needs to really stand out.
1. Who needs keywords?
Those who do not complete keyword research are missing out on a lot. Even minimal keyword research to check monthly volumes and who is ranking for what can have big results.
I really learned this last year while optimizing existing content for not one, but four of my clients in 2017/2018. Two of these clients had exclusively written content, but the posts were not optimized for keywords.
One client’s ranking on multiple blogs dropped from page 4 to page 1 for the target keywords we optimized each blog for.
If you don’t want your blog to fail, do some keyword research – even if it’s minimal.
Another part of my business strategy is to use copywriters with experience and passion within my client’s subject matter. I rely on an army of freelancers, each one relevant to my client’s theme, because they:
- They have a grasp on the subject.
- Will use many keywords and converting keywords related to this industry.
- They write with great authority and efficiency.
Some of my writers don’t even know what SEO means, but I provide them with the right keywords and related keywords and other SEO tips for writing each article.
2. Creating boring headlines
Do not do it.
Put as much creativity into creating a compelling title tag as you do into the article. By noticeable I mean one that stimulates interest or curiosity.
Some, as a rule, write titles first and then articles. I do this about 10 percent of the time; the other 90 percent of the time I have my topic in mind with a target keyword or two and create my exact title after writing my article.
According to SEO best practices, the title should be no longer than 50-60 characters to avoid it being reduced in search results. This may cause creativity problems for some, but you can always say more with less.
As Walt Whitman says: “Simplicity is the glory of self-expression.”
With this Whitman quote in mind, remember to be creative, but don’t overdo it. Worry more about stimulating interest and curiosity.
Sometimes you spend so much time on creativity when a simpler headline would be more effective. This is the genius of A/B testing, a tactic used by Search Engine Journal.
3. Forget about meta descriptions
The title tag is the first thing that will naturally attract interest in the search results. But sometimes that’s not enough for a click.
Here, meta descriptions should amplify the energy created by the title tag.
Do not allow the search engine to automatically generate meta descriptions.
Also, keep SEO best practices in mind – you only have about 160 characters before the reduction starts.
This is your chance to excite your potential reader even more. Remember: we say we blog here.
If it were a product or service page, the focus would be on special offers or what’s really unique about that product or service. For blogs, this is a much harder sell; make those 160 characters count!
Although keywords are not a ranking factor in meta descriptions, include your target keywords. They will be highlighted in bold in your meta descriptions when that keyword is searched for, which will get even more attention on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
4. No engaging content to capture attention
Once your keyword headline and meta description grabs attention and rewards your site with a visitor, your content should jump right in. And we mean immediately, as people’s average attention span is now eight seconds.
In professional bull riding, riders must stay on the bull for eight seconds before they can score points. This brutal eight seconds is about the first eight seconds of content. If he gets bored within eight seconds, the visitor will leave as if thrown from a bull.
And again, creativity reigns here.
Every copywriter will have completely different processes when creating their attention-grabbing paragraphs. I use a hybrid of techniques based on my creative energy at the moment.
Sometimes I write the middle of the blog, then the beginning and the end. In other cases, I will start from the beginning and finish. Sometimes I write from top to bottom; it all depends on the creativity at the time.
5. Sounds like a robot
The title is important, but so is the rest of the article. Work to continue to entertain and engage your audience from offer to offer.
If you sound like a robot, people will get bored and leave. And quickly.
Boring content is a kicking bull.
Watch your language and use catchy anecdotes when necessary, even if they involve fictional characters like Kelly above – the girl who represents anyone looking for something.
6. Use clichés
Clichés dilute writing.
Here is my example. Don’t get caught between a rock and a hard place using clichés. From coast to coast and to every corner of the Earth, your blog writing will make readers think they’ve been treated badly. “
Did the cat understand you? Fine.
Don’t use clichés. They are written by a suicide.
7. Create long paragraphs
The longer the paragraph, the faster the reader will lose interest.
Long paragraphs look difficult to understand on a PC or Mac – and those difficulties are increased 100 times on mobile devices.
Keep paragraphs short. This creates an “air” around your offers and they are more pleasing to the eye.
And don’t be afraid of single-sentence paragraphs; they exude meaning.
8. Forget about content
These lists work because they allow people to quickly skim through an article and read what interests them.
Not every article requires a list style, but many sections can be broken down into smaller sections; a subhead that informs readers of this makes it easier for them to find something of value.
I live the 80/20 lifestyle and put my energy into 20 percent of the activities that produce 80 percent of my results. This applies to my online reading; with only 1,440 minutes each day, I try to choose my time wisely.
Like many others, I’m always looking to get the most important information that will get me the most out of an article, and that’s much easier when subheadings are used to bring together certain topics in an article.
9. Not regular blogs
Here’s another area where more is better. The more you blog, the more authority you gain from the reader’s and search engine’s point of view.
Obviously, quality and relevance should be the priority of every blog.
Each situation is different, but for my clients who provide services (for example, financial and energy), a minimum of five per month is necessary to increase readership and conversion. A minimum of 10 is required for customers who provide products (such as auto parts).
If you are a news or informational blog that usually relies on advertising, the minimum number of blogs required on a monthly basis increases dramatically
In addition to running my digital marketing company, I am also an online editor for a motorcycle website. I need at least 25 articles a week – and I write a lot of them.
10. Write a blog of 300 words
The more the merrier, but every situation is different. Anything as short as 300 words won’t do much.
Breaking news can be as little as 500 words and do very well, but anything that’s ever appeared to benefit readers has to be much more.
For educational content like the ones distributed by Search Engine Journal, I would never go below 1,500 words – a number that seems to be the magic bullet for success in terms of traffic and time on page – although most are over 2 000.
A longer length is a must for blogs and in some cases for business pages, although some pages are more like a sales funnel to get the reader’s attention in an easy way. In these cases, shorter is sometimes better. Most of these short pages usually lead to fatter pages where the more content the better.
11. Forget about using internal and external links
In the same way that not having a unique meta description, not taking into account on-page SEO elements such as internal and external links can reduce the value of your content. Again, this is both from the reader’s point of view and from the search engine’s point of view.
For readers, internal links provide additional resources to learn more. This keeps them on your site longer, increasing the SEO value of your site as they increase their knowledge.
Using internal links between official pages and blogs also improves visibility of your site. The page that the anchor text is linked to also signals to search engines that you value the content on that page, helping to increase the authority of that page.
12. Who needs images?
Don’t forget the visuals. Please them with images. If necessary, use infographics.
Not only do images help amplify your content, they are also easily shared, helping your blog go viral.
Never forget that there are SEO best practices here too. Make sure all images are compressed for faster page speed, and have optimized header titles and alt texts (don’t forget to use targeted keywords here!).
13. Think you can write everything yourself
Want to make a real impact? Whether your blog is covering the latest news in your industry or telling readers about your latest products or services, the more content the better.
But don’t think you need to write it all down.
Many people in business underestimate their time to write, and the task of updating the blog even on a weekly basis is negated by other priorities such as business meetings or travel.
If you’re struggling, don’t worry – you don’t have to do all of this. Hire a freelancer who is an expert in your field or bring in your in-house staff.
And if you need your name in every article to establish your authority, hire a ghostwriter. I continue to ghostwrite several executives who are constantly looking to increase their brand awareness. Some just can’t write, and others just don’t have the time.
Their solution is to delegate, and there’s nothing wrong with delegating blog posts – which has a big impact on personal and business brands.
A blog is the lifeblood of your website and a key element that really strengthens your brand’s digital presence.
Don’t force Kelly to disconnect from your site and go somewhere else. Make her your client with quality blog writing.
Then keep entertaining your readers with interesting content to keep them as your customers and spread the word about your blog’s values.
Don’t fail your blog by doing one of the 13 steps above; true online success depends on it.