Developing killer blog content is important. Why? Let’s just put the amazing benefits in a tiny nutshell, shall we? Quality blog content can promote new traffic from the search engines to your website, improve relationships with your direct audience and consumers, and show people that you know what you are talking about, by establishing you as an authority.
What is Blog Content?
That’s really great. But let’s check out the fundamentals first. What is a blog? If you google “what is a blog”, you will find over 4 billion results, and without actually following any links, you can learn the following:
- A blog is a website on which a person or company regularly posts opinions, informational links, and other useful or promotional content.
- Blog as a verb means to add new content or updates to a blog.
- The word blog originated in the 1990s as a shortened version of the word weblog.
So if this term has been around since the 1990s, and continues to increase in prevalence, shouldn’t you have gotten on board with it already? The answer is yes. And if you haven’t, well, let’s put it nicely—you’re about to get run over by a Mac track in obliterated SERPs rankings if you don’t get moving on starting a blog. (Sorry, that may not have been all that “nice”.) But I’ve got good news. Luckily for you, due to the popularity and importance of blogging, there is a ton of information available to help you get started.
10 Great Tips for Developing Killer Blog Copy
Because there is so much information available, you may have trouble sifting through it all to find good advice for creating great blog content. To simplify your search, what follows is a list of 10 great tips for developing killer blog content, gathered from the masses of information out there.
What’s in a Name?
Shakespeare may be right when he says that a rose would smell as sweet by any other name, but would you be likely to stop and smell the roses if they were called garbage, or feet? The title of a blog post gives it a name, and is assuredly one of the most important things to think about when creating content. The title will draw the reader in and make them want to read more. You might think that a title is there as a place holder, or just as a convention, but according to Pamela Vaughan, it is a potential reader’s first impression of your content, and can make all the difference. A strong blog title is:
- Concise, about 7-10 words in length
- Informative, sums up the content
- Catchy, makes a reader stop to look further
This may seem like a lot to ask from a simple sentence, but these are just title basics, which can make or break your blog post. Start out with a solid title, and the rest will follow.
Heading in the Right Direction
Blogs need structure in order to be more easily read and understood, and the best way to structure your content is with headings. There are different levels of blog headings, which are described in great detail by Joost de Valk on Yoast.com. Some important heading information found here is:
- H1 is the most important heading, and there is usually only one
- H2’s and h3’s are sub-headers which break the text into sections
- Headings should contain valuable keywords
- Headings help a reader effectively navigate a piece of writing
In the case of your blog, the H1 would be your title, the name of your post, and would be the largest text in the piece. Any further subheadings would be smaller, and serve to break the text up into manageable sections and make it easier to read. A piece looks much less intimidating if it is structured with headings, and readers are less likely to get lost in or impatient with large blocks of text.
Get the Picture?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that means using pictures can sometimes convey just as much information as an entire blog. In fact, people would often prefer looking at a picture to reading an article, so if you incorporate images into your blog, you are appealing to your readers. Some great information about images in blogs can be found at problogger. There are many different kinds of pictures you could use:
- And more…
Images are more likely to catch a reader’s eye than a block of text, and can be used to emphasize a point. Content becomes more stimulating and attractive when there are images to provide variety and perspective. It is important to remember that while images are a great way to spice up a blog post, they need to be relevant to the material. A picture of a kitty cat can be very nice, and in fact many a cat picture has been shared and viewed on the internet, but it is unlikely that it will have an effective part to play in your blog content. Be sure you are using images properly, and not throwing them in haphazardly. Appropriately incorporated images can take blog content to a whole new level.
List of Demands
As a few tips have already discussed, breaking up your text is important to make the reader more comfortable and more likely to continue reading. Lists are an excellent way to diversify your text and present information in a clear and simple manner. There are many different ways lists can be used, and 3 main types of lists for content marketing blogs:
- Brief Lists – these usually contain short, informative statements or words, often with bullet points.
- Detailed Lists – these often communicate more complex information, and each list item is a complete thought or paragraph.
- Hybrid Lists – these combine elements of both list types above, and are very versatile for blogs.
Lists can change the appearance of a blog post to something much more attractive, and can help a writer organize information very effectively. Sometimes, an entire blog post can be written in list format, and the results are great.
Take a Second Look
Revision is a very important part of the writing process, no matter what is being written. Sometimes it can be difficult to revise what you have already written, because it feels like you have a usable finished product as soon as you have completed a piece. It is always a good idea to take a second look at your work, to check for errors, or even parts that could use a little tweaking in order to read better.
Blogs follow this rule as well, and if you find it difficult to review your work and revise it yourself, it may be a good idea to have someone else look at it for you. An outside look could catch typos your eyes skimmed right past, or find a bit of awkward phrasing that could use some work. When you revise your blog posts, you are taking precautions to put up work that is accurate and dependable. Your information is much more likely to be taken seriously if it is free of mistakes.
Developing blog content can be tough, especially because some information has been covered by many other people, and you want to put a fresh perspective on it. Just diving right in to content creation can work short term, but in the end could end up failing you. Creating an effective content strategy can be challenging, and some of these challenges include:
- Finding enough topics to cover
- Establishing flow of good, reliable content
- Creating and preserving a tone for your audience
- Finding the right theme to work with
It is important to take a close look at what kind of website you have, what kind of information your audience will expect, and how many different topics you can effectively cover. A great idea for creating your content strategy is to start a calendar. You can list the dates you want to post on for an entire year, and start developing topic ideas well ahead of schedule. This will keep you organized and help you find topics to write about each week.
Link it Together
Credibility is a big deal in the blogging world, and readers want to be sure they are getting information that is correct and helpful. A great way to establish the credibility of your information is to include links in your blog posts. Links can do several things for your blog:
- Help you avoid plagiarism by citing references
- Promote your own website or other blog posts
- Show that your information is well researched
- Back up your information or opinions with credible, supporting sources
Anytime you reference information you found on another website, add a hyperlink. This will also make your blog content more interactive, and help your readers find more information they need. This is especially useful for newer bloggers, who are establishing credibility. Supporting your ideas with those of well-established writers and documented research are very effective writing methods.
Keep it Relevant
When writing blog content, it can be easy to branch a little too far off topic in your enthusiasm on the subject as a whole. It’s great to show your in-depth knowledge on the subject, but sticking to the topic at hand will help you and your readers. A good way to rein yourself in and stick to your topic is to create an outline before doing any actual writing. If you write up exactly what you want to cover, you will be in less danger of veering off course. By adding as much detail to your outline as possible, you will also be assured of having enough material to create an effective blog post.
If you aren’t an outline person, and don’t want to try to adapt, then it is important to review your content before you post it. If you find yourself getting a little off topic, that’s okay. Make some revisions, and use it to your advantage. Write down the information you were including that wasn’t working with this specific topic, and use it to come up with more topics for later blog posts. This will help you with your content development calendar, and allow you to use your well-written material that wasn’t quite fitting in. Nothing goes to waste!
Make Every Word Count
A fairly recent idea has come up about the length of blogs, which we took a look at with a blog on is longer better for content? The newer idea is that longer content is better than shorter content. It used to be widely accepted that blogs were meant to be short, because that’s what readers prefer. With new updates to search engine software, it has been found that longer blog posts are doing much better than previously.
That doesn’t mean that you should make your blog content long just to follow the trend. If you don’t have enough quality content to add that length, your blog will ramble fruitlessly and the length won’t help you. The most important thing to remember is Quality. This is what readers want when they go searching for blogs. The information needs to be useful, correct, and up to date. If the topic you are covering only needs 500 words, then that’s all you need to write. Stretching it out won’t help, and will lower the worth of your content. That being said, using an outline to find several useful directions you can take in your blog post can help you add valuable length which will optimize your content and give your readers a more satisfying product.
Keep up with the Competition
As stated before, there are many different blogs available now, because blogging has been around for decades. If you are looking to start developing blog content, or maybe to revamp your blog, a great place to start is checking out other blogs. Especially if you have competitors blogging in the same category as you, looking at what others are doing can help you find what will work for your site. This content is available for everyone to view, and you can bet that your competitors and fellow bloggers are doing the same thing.
There are certain standards that readers expect when it comes to blogs, and these standards evolve as technology does. Just as you would research information to help you write your posts, you should research other blogs for tips on what to do and what not to do. This can help you create more effective blog content that will keep readers coming back for more, and maybe even choosing your blog over others.
There are many different sources of information available about creating killer blog content, but these are some basics to help get you started. You can also take a look at SocialMediaExaminer’s excellent blog writing blog posts and Hubspot’s post on creating content that spreads naturally. It is still a great idea to keep researching content methods and techniques, to keep yourself current and in the know, but if you follow these keys, you will be well on your way to creating blog content of which you can be proud.