Blogging can be daunting, especially for beginners, but by following these top four blogging best practices, each and every one of your articles can be a success.
BY LAUREN ESPACH
Blogs are not only a method to convey thoughts, ideas, opinions and news on certain topical spaces; they also serve a functional purpose, especially from an SEO and content marketing perspective.
The statistics are overwhelming; for example, businesses that blog generally receive around 88% more B2C leads per month than those that don’t blog.
Blogs also serve the following purposes:
- Creates original content collateral – adds to the content marketing mix
- SEO purposes
- Generates new and returning visitors to the website
- Increases sales
- Supports brand positioning and authority
- As a tool to increase engagement and shareability
Understanding the many functions and purposes of a blog is just the first step in creating a relevant, engaging piece.
Next up, comes the best practices.
Best practice 1 – Be Linkable
Always use links in your blog. Use a mix of outbound and inbound links, linking to other related websites and sources, as well as linking to other pages and articles within your own website.
Don’t forget to:
- Use strong, relevant keywords in your anchor text
- Interact with other blogs and link back to your own
This is paramount for good SEO and quality links will help to increase search engine results.
Best Practice 2 – Be Scannable
Breaking your text up into easy-to-read and scannable chunks is essential for maximum web readability as users scan the page for the information they’re looking for.
An effective blog post can be broken down into four parts:
- The headline
- The into
- The body
- The conclusion
Always remember to:
- Use an inverted pyramid intro: start the article with the conclusion – about 170 -180 words
- Use images and headers
- Use numbered lists and bullet points
- Break up your writing and make it visually appealing and succinct
Best practice 3 – Be Social
Social media not only helps to significantly enhance your blog’s visibility, as well as SEO ranking, it also helps to engage with your online blogging community and lends strong credibility to your blog.
- Social sharing buttons are a must for any blog article – gives readers the chance to share your article online
- Post your articles on your social media channels – this increases visibility
- Respond to comments on your blog
- Engage readers in conversation
Best practice 4 – Be Searchable
Optimising your blog for SEO will ensure your article is ranked and indexed by the search engines. That being said, SEO is quite involved, with many different factors that need to be considered.
Here are the basics to remember when blogging:
- Use keywords – find a main keyword for your heading and focus on 2 – 3 long tail keywords to include in your article
- Optimise your URLs and meta description
- Use alt text on your images
Now go and blog!
Blogging for beginners doesn’t have to be scary; in fact, it should be fun and enjoyable. If you remember to follow the top four blogging best practices, you’re sure to have an article that is relevant, engaging and successful, every time.
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