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What Makes a Great Blog Post

Creating and maintaining a blog that consistently provides value to your target market is an invaluable marketing tool. How do you provide value to your blog readers? The true measure of value comes from well-written posts your readers will look forward to reading and recommending to friends.

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I’ve been writing blogs for well over nine years and here are a few blog writing “how-to” tips I’ve learned:

1. Write in your own voice – be real, be human and be consistent. I consider writing a blog post as more informal than writing an article, a term paper or a doctoral thesis.

The tone of your blog post should be conversational, in your own style and with your own voice. Your posts provide a wonderful opportunity for your target market to get to know you, like you and trust you.

2. KISS – Keep It Super Simple. Most readers want to read and absorb what you are sharing with them quickly. My suggestion is to keep your posts around 250 to 400 words. Give your readers the maximum amount of information in as few words as possible.

3. Use headlines – catch the reader’s attention throughout the post. Most readers will make the decision to read, or not to read, your post within 2 seconds. How do you catch their attention? Learn to write well thought out headlines – headlines that are relevant to your post and pique the curiosity of your target market.

4. Use relevant keywords – in your headlines and in the post. A keyword is defined as a word you type into a search engine to look for certain stories, articles or images on the Internet. Keywords help you increase your rank in the search engines. A word of caution: Don’t overuse or misuse keywords.

5. Make your post easy to scan – use white space, bullet points, numbered lists and headlines. Make sure your post is appealing to the eye and easy to scan and read. Remember, your reader is deciding to read your post within 2 seconds of clicking on it.

6. Spell and grammar check – have someone edit your work. You will lose readers if you don’t edit your post before it goes “live.” Use your spell checker and read over your writing several times before you post it. I know from personal experience, it is easy to leave out a word or overlook a misspelled word. It’s worth having someone edit your post for you.

7. Share relevant links – to your products, your website or other posts you’ve written on the subject. Don’t stuff your post with affiliate links but, do direct your readers to resources that will provide them with more information or additional materials. You can also provide links within your author resource box directing them to your website or products.

8. Add audio or video – readers want to listen and watch. One of the reasons you post to your blog is help your target market get to know, like and trust you. What better way to get to know, like and trust you than to see and hear you? YouTube makes it easy to place a video in a blog post. If you don’t have a video or podcast on your blog, you are missing a great marketing opportunity.

9. Be consistent with your posting! To gain loyal readership, you must commit to posting new posts on your blog with regularity. Set yourself a schedule and work your schedule consistently. Gaps between posts will lose you readers.

10. Keep your posts fresh and relevant – stay current with your subject and your target market. You can find ideas for new posts by looking at print magazines, top selling books in your field, forums that attract your target market, conduct a survey or, look at discussions on Facebook and Tweets on Twitter. Word of caution: Don’t plagiarize – write all your posts in your own words with your own voice.

I’ll say it again, I believe having a blog that provides value to your target market is an invaluable marketing tool. Blogging, if done well and consistently, is well worth your time and effort. Are you ready to write great blog posts?
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