How to Create a Successful Blog
Blogs are a great way to answer your website user’s questions and promote your business. Learning how to create a successful blog involves learning how to create content for both users and search engines. When people use search engines, they may be asking questions to educate themselves about a topic or industry. If you are an expert on the topic or industry, creating a blog post can answer those questions. Providing information and answers, is a great way to establish trust and credibility with your potential clients right from their very first interaction with you.
When doing keyword research, you want to think about what your potential clients could be searching for. What kinds of questions would you ask if you wanted to create a successful blog? For blog posts, it’s usually a good idea to use long tail keywords. Here is the process I went through for this post.
I am sure there are plenty of other terms you could think of. I chose this one because it is a long tail term with medium competition (I like a challenge). “Successful blogs” is a term with high search volume as well (and lower competition), but isn’t really the long tail keyword I would want to answer a question. Mainly, the purpose of my blog post, is to answer a user’s question “how to create a successful blog post.” It’s also a good idea to throw your keyword term into a search query to see what kind of results already show up. It helps you gain understanding of who has already been successful and what kind of competition you are dealing with. For more information on free keyword research tools, check out our advice here.
Creating Successful Blog Content
To learn how to create a successful blog, it is crucial to consider the search engine because it is an important factor when it comes to how your post will appear in search results. Optimize your blog post around the long tail keyword you chose. Place it in your title tag, headings, and within the URL of your post. It also be the title of the post whenever possible. Keep the post title under 60 characters.
You should also use the keyword within the content. It is important to shy away from overdoing the keyword term throughout the content. My personal rule of thumb is to include the keyword no more than four times and make sure it flows naturally within your sentences. Here are examples from this post:
Here again in this sentence……….
When writing content, it is also important to keep your readers in mind. Who are you trying to communicate with? If your target audience has very little time, keep the posts short and to the point. If you are targeting someone doing research, you can go into more detail. Make important information bold so that people who are skimming your post can still get the full value from it.
For better readability, use white-space. Break up your text with pictures and use bullets, headers, and numbered lists where possible. This creates less clutter and gives your reader a chance to decide which parts of your blog they want to read, if they don’t have time to read the whole post.
Use external links in your blog post to other resources on the same topic. This helps your readers gain more information if they are interested. It also helps search engines understand the concept of your blog because it is now linked to similar blogs, websites or articles. I have heard recommendations of no more than two sources per paragraph, but I would say even that is too much. Using too many sources can take away from originality, and originality is very important for content. I used external links in the next section of this blog post to demonstrate how Hubspot did an excellent job encouraging their users to sign up for their eBook.
When linking to another website other than your own, make sure that you have the link open in a new tab, so that your users are not completely directed away from your site.
Using internal links within your blog post is a great way to keep readers on your website, learning more. Here is how I did it earlier in this post:
Earlier, I discussed the topic of keyword research. I also have a blog post that gives information on free tools for keyword research, so it was a good place to link to that blog post.
Internal links can also be used to strategically promote offers, encourage subscriptions, or gather more information from your readers so you can communicate future offers to them. To see a great example of this, checkout this blog from Hubspot. You will notice that at the end of the page, there is a way to get their free ebook. When you click on the link, you are taken to a form where you enter your information. Once you fill it out, they have your email address and have now started a business relationship with you. Not only that, it’s something you were actually interested in, so they haven’t wasted their time trying to push the ebook to people who aren’t interested.
You can also use the sidebar to show other blog posts. This is useful because if a reader enjoys your blog, they have easy quick links to get to other blog posts. This keeps your users on your site longer. Here is an example of how we do it at Clicks and Clients.
The important thing to remember about putting any links in your blog post is that the links need to be relevant to the topic. It is important that links flow naturally within your content.
Call to Action
Place a call to action on the sidebar of your blog, or at the end of the blog post. Ask people to subscribe to your blog, or share it using social media buttons. At the end of your blog post, place a call to action that tells your reader that your company offers a service that answers their question or solves their problem. Here is an example of how our blog encourages users to subscribe to it.
Now I find it awkward to put a call to action here at the end of my blog post, but I would be contradicting myself if I didn’t, so here it is:
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Shannon’s passion for helping small businesses began as a child due to her father’s company which still runs out of the family’s garage. She has a first-hand understanding of how difficult owning a business can be. Online marketing is rewarding to her because success can be tracked and business owners can truly see the results of their marketing efforts. She enjoys analyzing campaigns, devising strategies, solving mysteries and making people smile.