In a marketing report published by Hubspot in 2013, it states that “82% of marketers who blog on a daily basis acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% of marketers who just blog monthly.”
While daily blogging is an effective tactic for gaining more customers than your competitors, it’s not enough to make your blog great.
What do I mean by a great blog?
A great blog is the most successful in its niche. It is the market leader.
In the marketing space, blogs like Moz, QuickSprout, and Copyblogger are top leaders. These blogs are worth multi-million dollars. And they have made their respective founders wealthy and famous.
Do you want to become a rich and well-known blogger?
Well, it’s possible but there are some things you must do.
What are they?
That’s what I will share with you in this write-up. So, are you ready? Here we go.
Always Write Catchy Headlines
Your articles’ headlines are the soul of your blog. They are what people will see on search engines, social media, and emails.
Your great contents won’t get read if your headlines are weak.
And if your blog contents aren’t getting read, it means you won’t generate any income from your blog. That’s bad considering the energy and time you’re putting into every article you write for your blog.
Great bloggers know how to great headlines.
Unless you start writing catchy headlines that will make people click on your post, you won’t become a great blogger. So, you won’t be famous and wealthy if you can’t write great headlines.
I have a good piece of news for you. What is it?
Here’s how to write great headlines:
Focus on Keywords
Keywords are those phrases your prospects are typing into the search box on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Unless you put those keywords into every headline you write, people who need your content won’t find it when they search for it on Google.
If your content is about losing weight, by including the keyword “how to lose weight” in the headline, it’s likely that people who are searching for this information will find your content on Google.
Every article you write must include the keyword people are typing into the search engines. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest and Keyword Tool will help you find these keywords.
Types of Blog Post Headlines That Works
There are different types of headlines, and some tend to be more effective than others.
List headlines can arouse people’s curiosity, thus making them click on your article when they see it.
You must have come across many list posts on the Internet. This is because they work.
To get the best out of your list posts, you must beat what others have published out there.
For example, if your competitors have written “20 uses of honey”, you should beat them by writing “30 uses of honey” or more.
When someone comes across both headlines on search engines, they’re more likely to click your headline because they will learn more.
How-to headlines are also effective for getting people’s attention.
Most people are looking for information on how to do something better. When you use a how-to headline, it tells people that you’re providing an educational content which is exactly what they’re looking for.
Assuming you’re searching for educational contents about blogging, you’re more likely to click on a headline that says “How to Become a Successful Blogger” than another headline that says “Blogging like a Pro”.
Question Headlines are another effective headline type that produces the result. But the question must relate to people’s needs and the content must also answer that specific question.
People have questions. That’s why they go to search engines to see if there is any information that answers their questions.
For example, if someone who’s having difficulty sleeping at night turns to Google and find an article that reads like this “Why You’ve Not Been Getting Much Sleep at Night?” they’re more likely to click on this kind of headline.
These three types of the headline are very effective and you must start using them if you really want to make your blog great.
Hook Readers with Your Introduction
After you’ve made people clicked on your article, the next thing they will see is your introduction.
The introduction is so important that Eugene Schwartz, the legendary copywriter often spend an entire week on it.
People are more likely to read your full blog post if you can get people to read the first two sentences. This is why you must make your introduction so interesting that the reader can’t wait to start reading the rest of your article.
How can you write an introduction that will help you capture your readers’ attention?
Here are five tactics great bloggers often employ when writing their blog posts’ introductions:
Ask a Question
Questions can arouse curiosity in people’s minds. It makes them think. In this article, you’ll often notice that I ask questions a lot. It’s because it works like magic. It keeps you reading.
In the third and sixth paragraph of this article, you will see that I asked questions.
Questions are powerful only if they resonate with people.
By asking relevant questions at the beginning of your article, you’ll get more people to read the rest of your article. Why is because they’ll want to know your answer to that question.
Share a Relevant Quote
A quote from a well-known authority can work wonders for you. It can help you hook readers before they start reading your main content.
Many people draw inspiration from quotes they read online. They get fired up after reading those quotes.
Quotes will help you put people in the mood you want them to be.
So, search for some nice quotes that will make people feel better and happier before and after writing your article. It’s all moods playing.
If a quote touches people’s heart, you can be sure the rest of your content will get read. No doubt about that.
Invoke the Mind’s Eye
Your readers have dreams. If you can recognize what those dreams are, you can use them to produce a mental image in their minds.
For example, let’s assume your reader’s dream is to lose weight. By telling your reader to imagine himself slim and running a marathon, you’re creating a mental image in the reader’s mind. This will immediately help you capture your reader attention because this is his dreams.
The imagination is a great faculty you should use to draw the reader attention. By getting into your reader’s imagination, you’ll be using one of the timeless marketing weapon most of the great bloggers uses.
Mention an Interesting Statistic or Fact
People love real data. Maybe a statistic they’ve never come across before.
Is there a new fact that people haven’t hear about? By including that in your introduction, people will get hooked and they’re more likely to keep on reading.
At the beginning of this article, I share with you an important blogging statistic collected from Hubspot. It tells you a fact and that should keep you hooked.
Tell a Story
People love stories. They want to relate to other people’s experiences and only storytelling can do that.
A wonderfully crafted story can put people’s brain to work. So you can activate your readers’ brain by telling them stories. I mean interesting ones.
We depend on others for our survival and happiness. If you can tell people stories that will make them happy, they’ll become hooked on your blog post.
Many great bloggers use stories to excite their readers. And the introduction is the place most often uses it.
Write Like How You Speak
Read great bloggers like Seth Godin, Brian Clark, and Darren Rowse, you’ll hear their natural voices coming through their articles.
You have your own distinct voice too. It’s just that you’re not using it or you’re afraid that it doesn’t sound cool. But that’s how you should be writing.
If your natural voice isn’t coming through what you’re writing, it simply means your writing isn’t perfect, yet.
Now, when you hear the advice “write like how you speak” it doesn’t indicate that you should write “umm” or “ahh” in your articles. Don’t do that.
Assuming you have few minutes to pass an important message across, you won’t say “umm” or “ahh”, you’ll quickly express your thoughts in a way that it will be easily understood. So speak well to write well.
You shouldn’t be rambling in your articles. Your writing should look polished, tidy and smooth. And your natural tone and flow should come across very well.
Remember that writing is only half the story. Getting down your ideas using your tone is a great start. Editing is what will make your great post sound cool and entertaining.
Use Images to Convey Your Message
They say “A picture is worth a thousand words”. This is true.
Visuals let you engage with people’s imagination. This makes it a powerful element in blogging.
If you’re blogging and you’re not using images, you’re missing out big time. Some of your readers will still have some difficulties understanding your messages.
A blogger who I so much respect for his uses of visuals is Brian Dean.
Brain Dean writes about SEO on his blog. But the way he writes and uses pictures makes it so easy for any newbie to understand his topic. You can check out Backlinko.com to see how he does this.
A good image can make bigger impact on your readers. Of course, it depends on the relevancy of that image to the text. Using an irrelevant image that says different thing won’t work. That’s why you should be very picky with the images you use on your blog.
A good image will make your post more memorable, though your headline is also an important factor.
The eyes can easily get tired when reading online. A good image can serve as a resting place for the eyes. It keeps the reader interested in your wonderful piece of content.
There are many sites where you can get pictures. Flickr is a great place to find quality pictures you can use on your blog for free. But you’ll have to give credit. Pixabay also has lots of quality images and they allow you to use their pictures for free with no attribution required.
If you want higher quality and relevant images, the answer will be stock photos.
Stock photos aren’t free. They will cost you money. My favorite sites for getting stocks photos are iStockPhoto.com, Shutterstock.com and Fotolia.com.
Create Flow in Your Writing
Having a flow in your writing is very important. A writing that lacks flow will be difficult for people to read.
If your writing lacks flow, most people who land on your blog won’t read your contents. They will be so irritated because it’s difficult for them to get your points.
So how can you make your writing have flow?
Here are five things you need:
- Logical connections
- Topic Sentences
- Clear, concise wording
- Varied wording and sentence structure
Now, let’s dive deeper into them.
Each of your sentence or point must connect with each other.
Here’s an example of writing that lacks connection:
I was at the beach with my girlfriend yesterday. She taught me how to swim and I enjoyed the experience. I was drunk.
The last sentence doesn’t connect with the first two sentences. This is an example of a paragraph that lacks logical connection.
If your ideas aren’t connecting with each other, it will be very difficult for the reader to get your points and enjoy your article.
This acts as a sign that tells the reader what you’ll talk about next.
See how I used topic sentences? It lets you know that I’m through with “logical connections” and moving into a different sub-topic.
If you don’t use topic sentences in your writing, it will be very hard for the reader to understand what you’re talking about when you’re talking about it.
Transitions are the king of flow. They are like a bridge that connects two roads together.
Words like “therefore”, “however” and “additionally” are transitions. It makes your writing sound smooth. They guide the reader and let them know that you’re still on the same point.
Clear, Concise Wording
When you write online, you want to sound like you know your stuff. Clear and concise wording helps you do that. It makes your writing sound perfect.
For example, when you talk in public, you want to avoid repeating some words and phrases too many times. You want to pass your message across with few words. That’s what clear and concise wording will do for you.
The below lacks flow.
Online education means education in an online format where you are not face-to-face with your teacher and classmates, can help a student become more proficient in their area of expertise or field, which in turn can also help a student show their leadership skills.
This is too long. It will be hard for the reader to get the point.
The sentence could have been written like this:
Online education helps students become proficient in their field.
I think the above is much clearer. Isn’t it?
The good thing about it is it contains very few words.
Varied Wording and Sentence Structure
Repetition is a flow killer!
Instead of repeating the same words, you should use similar terms. This will make your contents look neat and your point clearer.
(Noticed how I replaced “words” with “terms” in the above sentence?)
That’s why we have synonyms.
Have Your Own Voice
This is completely different from writing as you speak.
I’ll give you an example to help clarify my point.
Before Brian Clark started Copyblogger, he realized that many people were already blogging about blogging. He needed to find an angle to differentiate his blog from competitors.
What he did was simple: instead of teaching wannabe bloggers how to blog, he started teaching them copywriting skills. This is something people aren’t doing. He found his own voice and today Copyblogger is a multi-million dollar online business.
Don’t focus on a crowded niche. You can do better by being original. Do things many people are currently overlooking.
Want to start a fitness blog?
Don’t do that! The fitness niche is already over-crowded. Instead of starting your own fitness blog, I’ll advise you to start a fitness blog for stay-at-home moms. This is what I mean by having your own voice—being different.
Be Social, and Be Friendly
According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites.
If you want to become a great blogger, merely trying to rank high on Google won’t help you. You’ll have to develop a relationship with both your niche influencers and prospects. That’s why social media exist—to connect you with people who will help you become great.
You won’t succeed all alone. You need people.
For example, if you respond to someone tweet on Twitter, that person will recognize you. If you keep it up, you’ll eventually become friends with that person. Now you can always reach out to that person, he/she will be happy to help you.
Social media also connect you with people who may be longing for those wonderful contents on your blog.
People are tweeting their displeasure on Twitter and sharing their pains on Facebook. If you’re on these platforms, you should reach out and help these people. You should tell them how your blog contents can help them. If your contents truly satisfy them, they will go back to those platforms and tell their friends about you. That means more readers for your blog.
Social media gives you the opportunity to learn more about your prospects. You’ll know their needs and the type of contents they like to share. This will help you create the type of articles people want to read and share with their friends.
You want to become famous and wealthy? Blogging can help you achieve that.
But blogging won’t help you if you don’t follow the instructions laid out in this article.
Thanks for reading. Please share this article with your friends on social media.