…And 4 Things You Shouldn’t Be Doing
The rules of blog posting are straightforward, or so you’d think. If you want to boost traffic to your site and establish yourself as a thought leader, here are four blog posting tips to help you on your way.
Do: Write Something You’re Passionate About
The term “write what you know” is a cliché for a reason. The more you do it (accurately), the more credible you become.
Also, don’t forget the cardinal rule in our new age: Authenticity. Is. Everything.
If I wrote about something like coding or the stock market, it would lack fervor. If you write about something that you’re passionate about, it shows. We tend to be enthusiastic about our passions. There’s a reason why I’m writing an entire blog series about content writing — it’s what I know!
Don’t: Write About a Topic Because It’s “Trending”
If Damien isn’t interested in politics, he shouldn’t write about it.
Insufficient passion will show in your work and increase your bounce rate. Also, you’re far more likely to burn out before you see significant traffic. According to BlogTyrant, bloggers must lose interest in the topic they’re writing about long before they gain a following.
Think of blogging in terms of writing a book. First off, completing an entire manuscript even if you’re interested in the subject is worth a standing ovation. Go, you!
Can you imagine how much harder it would be to write an entire book about something you’re not interested in? Don’t write the next Harry Potter if you’re not interested in fantasy. Stay in your lane, and you’ll have a much better chance at success.
The Exception to the Rule
There’s an exception to the rule above. If you can take a trending topic and relate it to your subject matter, you absolutely should.
If Damien, who hates politics but loves cannabis, decides to write an article about the legalization of cannabis, that would be on brand.
Research what people are talking about these days. Are there ways to tie in how it affects what you’re writing about? If so, take advantage of the current trends by adding your unique perspective.
Do: Blog Posting With Video
You’re gonna hear me say this a lot. Make videos!
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video is worth 1.8 million. We are visual learners. We retain more information if it’s explained through moving pictures. In the marketing world, it’s now the #1 way leads discover brands they later buy from.
Not convinced yet? Here are a few more compelling stats:
- Viewers claim they retain 95% of the information in video format
- 84% of marketers say video has helped improve traffic on their website
- 93% of brands report getting new customers because of videos on social media
- 74% of people use Facebook, 72% use YouTube, and 63% use Instagram every single day, according to broadbandsearch.net.
Pair your blog post with a video. The video can be an intro to the post, a few fun additional tidbits, or highlight a few key takeaways.
Sift through some of your older posts. Are they still relevant? If so, update them, pair them with a video, and retarget your audience.
You don’t need to be a videographer to create compelling visual content. Most TikTokers don’t have NYU film degrees.
All you need is a:
Don’t: Recant your whole post in video
Reciting your post via video is like repeating every word on a PowerPoint presentation. It gets redundant and eliminates the need for the post.
Most videos are short for a reason. 56% of videos published in 2018 were less than 2 minutes long. We’ve got goldfish memory, kids! 2060 Digital states that optimal video lengths should be:
- 2 minutes for YouTube
- Less than 2 minutes for Facebook
- 60 seconds or less for Instagram
- 30 seconds for Twitter
Any longer than that and people lose interest. Keep in mind that a person speaks between 125-150 words per minute. When you write a video script, staying concise is key.
Do: Offer Free Downloads
If you’re using a template to get your point across, offer it as a free download or in exchange for an email subscription. Share this on social and include it in your newsletters for those who have already subscribed. If you’re looking for additional ways to attract subscribers, we’ve got you covered.
Don’t: Miss Golden Opportunities
Don’t “set it and forget it.” Think about how your readers can get the most out of every post. One of the best things about blog posts is their versatility. For example, if Desmond writes a blog post reviewing a strain of cannabis, he can:
- Use an cannabis-related image on social media with a link to the post
- Use a pull quote from the article on social media with a link to the post
- Create a short video on social media platforms with a link to the post
- Start a YouTube series about reviewing cannabis products
- Convert the post into a chapter for an ebook
Desmond can also share his posts with other cannabis bloggers, especially if he used some of their source material. It’s a terrific way to make connections and motivate them to share your work with their audience. It could even be the start of a social sharing tribe.
Do: Keep It Casual
Google loves posts around an 8th grade reading level. There are some exceptions to this rule, but try to keep it simple.
Writer’s Work has a great reading score indicator that can help you get your content to this level. The Flesch reading score on the WordPress plugin Yoast is also useful here.
Your blog posts should be both educational and conversational. Be a little loose with your style choices. In the blogging world, things like ending sentences with prepositions or starting a sentence with an antecedent are usually okay. We talk this way all the time.
However, it’s also important that your language is on brand. If your voice or tone doesn’t match the rest of your site, it will come across as inauthentic.
Don’t: Ignore Your Engagement
Blogging is largely about informing, entertaining, and starting a conversation. If you ignore the people who comment, liking, and sharing your posts, you’re missing out on opportunities to convert these people into customers and/or brand ambassadors.
By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to blog posting more successfully. To learn more, check out my post on hiring a content writer.