Is effective and successful blogging an art or science? Volumes can be written about it but as a person who is just starting to blog you can’t afford to miss these 5 best practices to begin with.
1. Stick to a single topic: While choosing to write, bloggers often tend to get carried away and mix and match things in such a way that they leave the reader confused in the end. The first thing while writing a blog post should be to focus on a single topic and re-enforce the topic again and again in the blog post so that the user doesn’t get disoriented and knows what he’s reading about. This will also help the blog reader in having a clear idea on what he should expect from the blog post as evident from the title.
2. The post length: A great debate can occur on what should be the ideal length of a blog post – every expert has his/her own point of view and has written from anywhere between 300 to upwards of 1000 words per post. Given the recent updates on SEO front from major search engines, trend has started to emerge favoring a blog post with content around 600-1200 words per blog post. Giving due respect to the word length, an ideal blog post should efficiently satisfy the user’s query without beating about the bush. Being concise, authoritative and lucid always helps. A reader who finds your blog post via a search query should be able to get a satisfactory answer in it. Even 200 words post have shown to be popular among readers for this reason alone.
3. Give value to reader: This point builds upon the previous one because unless a blog reader is able to derive value from your blog post, he won’t even care what literary magic have you weaved and will straight away move on to another site. This means a lower level of user engagement for that particular set of query to your blog post. With increasing sophistication of search algorithms and a great importance being given to user engagement metrics, this could possibly lead to a decrease in rankings and traffic for your blog. Social sharing of your blog post also is a big factor on gauging how valuable your post is in the eyes of a reader. The more the shares, the more value your blog is providing to the reader and you have a reason to smile because your effort has not gone in vain.
4. Add some trust: Everybody likes information from trusted source. The AuthorRank algorithm by Google gives the reader the ability to identify how trustworthy a blogger is by providing his/her social popularity index. At a blog post level citing as many trustworthy sources in support of your argument or solution will help create an impression in the reader’s mind that you have done your research well. Giving quotations from top bloggers help you tremendously. The trust in your blog and you as a blogger will come step by step by creating good niche specific blog post which are well researched and presented in a clear cut manner. When you gain this you are socially bookmarked and shared more, people tend to remember your blog name and more importantly recognize you as a trustworthy blogger. So when they find your post in the search results for a particular query chances are good that they will click on your site. Other perk of being a trustworthy blog is a good increase in type in traffic and readers coming to your site looking for solutions via site: search queries.
5. Putting it all together: There is a thing called readability index and it is good to have posts which are more readable for users. It improves your engagement metrics and gives a good experience to your user. Creating blog posts which have attractive and keyword rich titles proper heading tags, incorporating bullet points, quotes charts and infographics to reinforce your point helps the reader. Of course this doesn’t mean in any way to sacrifice SEO factors and proper call to action so that first of all the search engines are able to find your blog post and rank them and secondly you are able to elicit actions from readers that help your business. Readers should be able to skim through your blog post without finding it too taxing on the intellect and yet deliver the right message. The idea is to strike a perfect balance between the user experience, satisfying the search engines and achieving the goals of blogging.
Nobody claims that they’ve perfected the art of blogging but then there are those who stand out from the crowd and others who are simply not able to gather any attention what so ever. A good point at starting blogging is to follow successful bloggers and carve out your own niche. The goal should be to create an impeccable style and trust among the blog readers. Remember it will come with time but it is always good to take the first step in the right direction.