We all blog for different reasons, but underneath those reasons exists a common purpose: we want to share a story and we want that story to be heard.
Telling our stories, and sharing our knowledge, is the easy part. The increasingly difficult piece is formatting our stories and catering to the infamous ‘search engine’ in order to ensure that our stories are actually told; that people can actually learn from us.
First, be sure that you’re writing for your readers. In most cases, that means you’re writing for a very information rich and time poor audience. Use bold headings, bullets, and short paragraphs to get your point across.
Second, always use compelling images that support your text. When your readers look at your media content (images, videos, music, etc.) it should either support, clarify, or reiterate what your text is trying to convey. By using a mix of communication formats, you’re ensuring that you reach all types of learners, visual and otherwise.
Third, create a gripping title that draws the reader in, creates interest in your post, and lets your readers know what it is that they’ll be reading about. My suggestion is to use a stand-in title to get you started but write your actual title after your post content is complete.
Resource: Blog Title Construction
Search Engine Optimization
For many people, this term or its acronym, SEO, can be very daunting. One way to think of it is making sure that our post can communicate with the various search engines (google, yahoo, bing, etc) so that the computer can do a better job of delivering your post to your readers.
For example, every time you send a letter through the postal service, you need to put it in an envelop and write the name and address of where it’s going so that the postal service can deliver it to the proper destination.
Just like there’s an extra step when sending a letter through the post, so is there an extra step when “sending” a letter through the web.
First, select unique keywords for each post. A good way to think about keywords is to think about what you do when you research something on the internet. You go to a search engine (google, yahoo, bing, etc.) and you type in a word or a set of words that correspond with what you’re search for.
For example, say you have to research the history of horse racing. You pull up your internet browser, find the search box, and type in things like: horse racing, horse racing history, the history of horse racing, where did horse racing originate, and so on and so forth. All of those terms are called, “keywords”
Thus, when you write your post, you want to have a good idea of what keywords your readers might use to search for the kind of content or the subject matter that you are writing about.
While we’re still on the topic of keywords, you’ll also want to use at least one of those keywords within the first 65 characters of your title.
Second, remember those compelling images we were talking about? Be sure to name your images according to what it actually depicted in the image. Leaving the title of, “IMG2075.jpg”, is not going to get you any bonus points and will not help to optimize your post to reach the greatest number of readers.
Third, actually fill out the “meta description” box. The meta description is the block of small text that appears below the article name when a list of search results comes up on google.
It also helps to include at least one of your keywords in the meta description to help with your SEO but remember, this too should be written primarily for your readers.
Blogging Best Practices
These are just a few quick tips to remember when whenever you decide to start a blog
- Have consistency in your posting schedule.
- Include clear social share links so that your readers can easily share your content with others (that’s the best kind of blog marketing you can get!).
- Link within your website if you’re referencing something that you’ve already written about.