Writing a blog post is a little bit different than writing a paper in high school. Blog posts need to be easy to read, informative, fun, and your post needs to make the SEO Gods happy all at the same time. Some of these things go hand in hand, others seem baffling to those who spent the last four years being berated for short sentences. If you are a little lost on crafting the perfect blog post, try to make sure these five keys are in each of your posts.
The Correct Post Length
The only hard and fast rule about post length is dictated by the search engines. 300 words or more will make the search engines happy, but what about your readers? Most readers favor blog posts in the 700 – 1000 word range, depending on your niche. Some technical niches might need to be longer to convey the information.
The most important thing about your post is not the length but the information contained in the post. Does your post give your reader good information and ideas in a relatable, easy to read way? Tools like Grammarly, Yoast, and the Hemmingway App all give you a clearer picture of how your post is coming across to your readers.
H2 or Heading 2 Headlines
Separate the text in your post using H2 (sometimes called Heading 2) headlines. Search engines love to crawl over these headlines and so do readers. Using these headlines gives your blog post structure. It tells the reader what they can expect to read in the following paragraphs. Again good for SEO, great for readers.
Readers hate staring at a wall of text. It feels like they are back in school rather than reading something they will enjoy. Keep the word count under each headline below 300 words to keep the search engines and the skimmers happy.
H2 headlines break up your text and draw the eye. Keep the wording in these headlines short, informative, and fun.
Images and GIFs
Pictures also break up walls of text. A stunning image driving your point home gives the reader a visual idea of what you are talking about. They give the eyes a break and engage the mind of the reader. Recipe posts, building posts, and repair posts all crave pictures to show the readers exactly how it is done. Lifestyle posts need images to convey the feeling you are trying to convey in your posts. Even informational posts like this one need pictures.
The biggest benefit of including pictures is social media. Setting a featured image will allow Facebook, LinkedIn, and G+ to pull that image to display with your post. Images like the one at the top of this page are perfect for pinning on Pinterest. This way if someone shares your post, it is all set up to display beautifully on whichever social media platform they choose.
I also like to use GIFs in my posts where they are appropriate. They show my silly side and can really drive a point home.
Yes, backlinks are good for your SEO. They help the Google crawlers understand what your post is all about but shoving random links into your post won’t help your SEO or your readers. Make sure your links are valuable to your readers. Earlier in this post, I provided links to three tools I use every day. I find them very helpful in writing intelligent blog posts and I am sure you will too. These are the types of links you want in your post.
If you are using affiliate links they should be designated as “no follow” links. There is some fancy coding stuff you can manually add to the end of a link, or if you are on WordPress, you can use a no follow plug-in. (see a helpful link!)
A Friendly, but not too Friendly, Tone
Blog posts are meant to be friendly and easy to read. In many cases, the information you are presenting to your readers is available in another form, so your job is to convey that information in a relatable easy to understand way. Many times I read studies to help my readers because I know they do not want to sit down and ready a boring study. Who does?!? I want to give my readers relevant information without making their eyeballs bleed.
Personal stories or experience is another great way to convey information. However, be cautious not to get too personal, We really don’t want to know what you did in the bathroom this morning.
Not getting too personal also protects you and your family. Unfortunately, there are still crazies in this world, and giving out too much personal information is a good way to invite them into your backyard.
You Can Craft the Perfect Post
These five keys are easy to follow and will have you blogging like a pro in no time. Use your headlines, keep your information easy to read and friendly so your readers will come back time after time. Give readers more information with links to useful things and follow the rules by using a no follow tag in your affiliate links.
Blogging is fun, follow these tips to make the search engines and your readers happy.