A while back I wrote a post titled 10 Articles All Bloggers Should Read where I listed the 10 articles that I generally show to all my bloggers when they first start.
Since writing that article, I’ve come up with a list of 7 specific tips for writing the perfect blog post. These tips are simple yet are designed to maximize the effort that each writer puts into his or her writing. The goal of each tip: to increase the number of people who read and engage the material.
7 Easy Tips To Maximize The Effect Of Each Blog Post
1. Wherever natural, eliminate pronouns and replace with descriptive nouns.
The idea with this tip is to help the search engines identify the semantics of your article. Nouns help specify your article and also reduce the noise-to-signal ratio. For the most part, think of pronouns in the same way as clunky, excessive HTML code -> they keep your article from reaching it’s highest potential.
2. Choose Highly Descriptive Titles For Your Articles
This is not news to most of you, as it is the most heavily emphasized optimization strategy around. However, I usually add a few pointers such as the fact that in my experience an ideal title length is usually 4-7 words long. The title should accurately reflect the content of the article, but also hone in on the most important keyword phrases.
Instead of “She’s Hot Like That…” you might choose “Scarlett Johansson Looks Hot As A Blond”
3. Reinforce Your Headline Keywords In The First Paragraph
So you’ve chosen a rock solid headline. Well, you shouldn’t stop there. In the first paragraph of your article, you should supplement your title with:
A) an exact phrase match of a portion of your title (Every guy in the world thinks Scarlett Johansson looks hot.)
B) an additional sprinkling of keywords (But as a blond, Scarlett isn’t just hot…she’s smokin’)
4. Aim For Articles That Are At Least 150 Words
The thin content penalty can hurt. But having too many diluted words can hurt too. For newsy items I generally recommend 150-250 high keyword density, low-pronoun words. For how-to and reference articles, I generally recommend 500+ words. With 500+ words, it’s easy to overdue the keyword optimization, so to avoid unnatural pattern penalties I usually keyword load in every 3rd paragraph. Everyone has a different opinion on these items, but the important thing is to be mindful of the importance of article length. By trying different techniques out, you’ll eventually find your sweet spot.
5. Promote Your Article With Keyword Anchor Text
I’ve been doing some tests lately and I can’t overstate the difference it makes to acquire even just one link to your article. So the most important thing is get links. But almost as important is to get links with anchor text that matches the keywords in your article title.
The good news is that social media networks provide a quick and powerful way to start your promotional campaigns off. A link from Digg or Propeller can do wonders to push your article up in the SERPS. And the more people who vote for your article, the stronger the backlink ends up being.
But the work doesn’t stop there. Encourage others in your blogging community to use your post as a springboard for commentary. Every blogger is looking for writing topics, so a well written article is often well accepted. Over at College Startup, if someone sends me a good, well written article, more often than not I comment on it. My number one struggle is coming up with things to write on…so when someone else gives me the framework within which to write, I’m very appreciative.
6. Encourage Conversation
Every article you write is an opportunity to engage in conversation with your readers. There are many ways to encourage conversation, but the most important method is to explicitly request comments. Make it clear that you value your readers’ opinions. Ask them what they think. A provocative question at the end of a post can spur on some fantastic dialogs.
7. Make it easy to subscribe
You may not know it, but you really do want to build a base of feed subscribers. A feed subscriber is much more likely to return to your blog in the future. If you really want to get fancy, you might also consider starting up a monthly newsletter by building up a base of opt-in email subscribers. In either case, each of your posts is an opportunity to encourage people to subscribe. Whether at the top or bottom of your posts, a big bold call to action is in order.
Ok. So those are my 7 tips for maximizing the effect of your blog post.