3 power tips to craft an outstanding blog



Blogging has become an essential part of PR and marketing pros’ repertoire.

HubSpot reported
that 60 percent of marketers consider crafting blog posts their top inbound
marketing priority. The focus makes sense, as WordPress reported that more
than 409 million people view 23.3 billion pages each month.

Tech.co’s Zac Johnson wrote:

With over a billion active websites on the internet today, and more than
300 million blogs, it’s no wonder why more people are starting personal
sites, hobby blogs, and even business and brand blogs to make their own
little space on the internet. At the same time, blogging isn’t just about
having your own space on the internet, it’s also a serious component of
running a successful business or brand.

Google is now ranking websites that have original content or blogs as part
of their content creation and marketing strategy more than sites that are
simply static. Blogs have also transformed the way social media is used to
connect others with individuals, brands, and the latest breaking world
news.

HubSpot also revealed that 43 percent of consumers skim blog posts, so
crafting offerings that entice people to read and share is crucial to the
success of an organization’s blog—and its online presence.

Ready to jump on the blogging bandwagon—or breathe new life into your
existing efforts? Consider these three tips:

[RELATED: Attend the Business Writing Summit, and start writing more powerful press releases, blog posts, internal memos and more.]

1. Pick a stellar domain name.

“Next to the name of your business, your domain name is the most important
branding tool you have,” says Maris Callahan, director of PR for Donuts. “It’s your online ‘calling
card’ and you want it to be meaningful, memorable and creative.”

Hostgator’s Casey Kelly-Barton wrote:

There are so many top-level domain options today that making a decision can
be intimidating. Here’s a timesaving solution: Go with .com if you can. Even after all these years, .com
is still the market leader and
.com still appears to have a trust advantage with internet users.

However, you shouldn’t despair if your coveted name is taken, because you
don’t have to use “.com” to stake your claim online. Callahan says names
that are meaningful are easier to remember, and that includes the suffix of
your website’s address.

“Names that end in .agency, .digital, .marketing, .blog, .media and .news
are all great choices for PR and marketing pros,” Callahan says. “Gone are
the days when you have to settle for your second, third or even fourth
choice. Now, you can pick the name you want to the left of the dot …that
best describes who you are and what business you’re in.”

Consider future readers when you’re selecting a name, too. You’re going to
build your branding efforts upon your domain name, and readers must be able
to remember and spell it, Callahan says:

Before you pick a name, think about how it’s going to look on marketing
materials, including printed and digital, and consider that it will be easy
to spell, say and read. …A Chicago marketing agency dropped their .net name
in favor of a .agency. Not only is it more descriptive now, but I think
it’s cleaner looking, too.

There’s another upside to simple and memorable domain names, too.

“[P]ronounceable domains are easier to remember and more likely to be
shared,” Barton wrote.

2. Think of your readers when creating content.

Just as you should think of journalists and their readers when you pitch
stories, consider your readers when you craft content. Your blog posts
should be informative and packed with information that internet users—and
potential customers—will find useful.

“Think of five to 10 questions that a prospective client or customer
typically asks about your services and products,” says Anh Nguyen, owner of Amplified Marketing and host of
#MobileChat. “Write a blog post answering each question or addressing that issue.”

Crafting relevant blog posts is especially important as you look to boost
your reach on Google, Facebook and more.

Using a number of keywords and key phrases in outstanding blog posts, along
with writing about hot topics, will help increase your blog’s visibility on
search engines. On social platforms, more relevant and helpful content can
not only net you more shares, but also help you avoid decreased reach.

On Thursday, Facebook announced that it would bury links to low-quality
websites in users’ newsfeeds and would refuse to carry ads for them to
“stop misinformation” and “reduce the economic incentives of financially
motivated spammers.”

In
a blog post, the platform wrote:

We have had a
policy in place since last year to prevent advertisers with low-quality web page
experiences from advertising on our platform. Now, we are increasing
enforcement on ads and also taking into account organic posts in News Feed.

With this update, we reviewed hundreds of thousands of web pages linked to
from Facebook to identify those that contain little substantive content and
have a large number of disruptive, shocking or malicious ads. We then used
artificial intelligence to understand whether new web pages shared on
Facebook have similar characteristics. So if we determine a post might link
to these types of low-quality web pages, it may show up lower in people’s
feeds and may not be eligible to be an ad. This way people can see fewer
misleading posts and more informative posts.

Focus your marketing message in a call to action, and concentrate on
writing a compelling blog post that consumers want to read. Follow these
tips to create
a more clickable headline.

3

. Use tools to plan for, create, edit and share your posts.

Creating enough content to increase your online traffic and entice readers
can be daunting. However, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel to write
blog posts that consumers love.

“Use an app like Google Docs Voice-to-Text to just dictate your blog,” says
Rachel Moore, owner of Really Social
and creator of Business Unusual podcast.
“It makes it conversational, takes away the hang up of typing that first
word and lets you edit it into the final copy.”

Along with dictation, there are many tools that can help you research,
schedule, share and edit your posts.

Google Trends
or Buzzsumo can help you find current
trends and social media users who are making a splash online, which you can
then use as the foundation of your post.

Using a calendar can help you plan for and schedule blog posts to ensure
that you’re regularly publishing content that brings readers to your
website. FollowMyCal enables you to
create public calendars with your blog posts, along with other events, such
as trade shows where you’ll be exhibiting or Facebook Live Q&As. You
can share individual events on social platforms and via text, and followers
can RSVP to get event reminders.

Increase your social media shares by using BufferHootsuite or Sprout Social, which offer features
that include blog feed integration, social media scheduling and analytics.
Make your blog post more visual by crafting images using Canva or Adobe Spark. Both tools are free and
can help you create images to accompany your posts, illustrate a point or
make a line of text pop.

Many bloggers swear by Grammarly
to ensure that their posts are mistake-free and easy to read, and
Grammar Girl offers an app to help make sure your writing is clean and tight.

Stuck for ideas? Use

Lists for Writers
or
Hubspot’s Blog Post Generator to get your creative juices flowing.

(Image via)



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