Written by Kipp Bodnar
Some of the most common blogging advice is to write great posts. The problem is that few experts (if any) actually go into detail about how to actually write compelling and interesting blog posts. That ends today. Today, we are going to review the elements of great blog posts so you can use these traits to write the best blog post ever.
Part of writing amazing content is being willing to ignore previous assumptions of blogging best practices. Here are common blogging assumptions to ignore on your quest for the perfect blog post.
1. Length Matters – The number of words in your blog post doesn’t matter and is not a predictive indicator of the success of a piece of content. The truth is that people have been successful with all variations of blog post lengths. Brian Solis tends to write long, in-depth blog posts while Seth Godin usually sticks to very short posts. Both have been very successful, which helps demonstrate that length simply doesn’t matter.
2. Comments Matter – Maximizing the number of comments for a blog post should not be your goal. The goal of your business blog is to drive visits, leads, and customers. As Dan Zarrella recently pointed out, comments do not contribute to these important metrics on which a blog should be measured. Comments don’t matter.
3. Perfection Matters – Yes, grammar is important in a blog post. Yes, the idea must be conveyed clearly. However, perfection is the enemy of great business blogging. Being timely tops being perfect. Publishing content on time even if it is only very good and not perfect is critical to great blogging. Blogging is an iterative process. The more you blog, the better you understand your content and your audience. Perfection stops blogging progress and ultimately doesn’t matter.
Now that we have outlined what doesn’t matter, let’s instead focus on the key characteristics that, when combined, make the best business blog post ever written.
7 Traits of Great Blog Posts
1. Actionable – Whether they found the blog post through a search engine, an email, or a social network share, the core reason people click through to an article is to solve a problem. What makes people share a post with others is the actionable insight it provides to solve a problem. Provide clear takeaways and actionable steps in blog posts to ensure your idea resonates with readers.
2. Combined Relevance – Metaphors are a timeless storytelling element. Don’t leave metaphors to novelists. They should be an active part of blog posts. Comparing two seemingly different things and drawing connections between them is a valuable way to combine relevance and generate more intense interest in a subject.
3. Urgent – Journalists write articles based on who, what, when, why, and how. As a blogger, answering the “why” isn’t enough. Instead, it is critical to answer “why now?” The web is flooded with content. Content that is urgent and timely wins in the race for attention.
4. Visual – Making a blog post visual doesn’t mean filling it with images and videos (not that video and images aren’t important in blog posts). However, they aren’t the only ways to make a blog post visual. Use section headers, numbers, bullets, and other text elements to make it easy for readers to understand your idea quickly.
5. Solution-Based – As we said earlier in this post, on the web, people are looking for solutions. Products aren’t solutions. They are part of a solution. Don’t cram a blog post full of product content. Instead, provide educational content that runs parallel to your product offering.
6. Entertaining – Informative doesn’t mean boring. Just because you sell sheet metal, doesn’t mean your business blog can’t also be entertaining. Have your shop crew make some fun and timely creations out of sheet metal and post an image or video of each new creation. Have someone outside your company review your blog post to check for entertainment.
7. Definitive – Great blog posts aren’t meek or subtle. They are clear, direct, and definitive. Take a stand, make strong word choices, and don’t waver on your advice. Be the expert on your topic.
How do you write great blog posts?
Photo Credit: cliff1066™
Bonus: took my niece to a safari today… nailed it