Blogs: A few important reminders about the content in content marketing
Content Marketing is nothing new and blogs are powerful if used correctly. Whether you are new to blogging or a veteran with the digital battle scars to prove it. Just a few reminders to make you time, effort and creativity effective.
1. Is your blog post consistent in format?
We all know the importance of good content, but how diligent are you? Here are the top ten questions to keep us all at the top of our game. Consistency is key. Creating a style guide for your blog is the answer. Once in place, don’t negotiate with your guidelines. Ask yourself:
- Are all your headers formatted the same way, and do they have a similar tone? (Some bloggers write headlines like titles, while others write headlines in complete sentences.)
- Are you consistent with how you spell and format words and phrases? (e.g., “Q&A” versus “Q and A.”)
- Have you used the right tags and categories? Including consistent tags (blog tips, SEO, headline writing, etc.) helps readers easily navigate your site and find related content.
Don’t forget the visuals. Use the same font, colors, and general format for blog headers. It creates a cohesive look and feel and supports ongoing branding efforts.
2. Have you proofread your post?
Bad grammar and typos are unacceptable. Before publishing:
- Did you read your post more than once?
- Hint: Read your post out loud. It can sometimes be easier to catch mistakes this way. And if something sounds off when read aloud, it will probably be amplified when you post.
- A fresh set of eyes is invaluable even if you’ve read the post ten times.
- If you run a one-person operation, consider installing a proofreading app or browser extension like Grammarly to help you spot mistakes and ensure the content is reader-friendly.
3. Does your blog post contain at least one shareable image?
Images make blog posts boost the fun factor. They also can highlight essential information and increase readability by breaking up large blocks of text.
Ideally, every post would contain at least one image. In addition to a header image, other asset options include
- Embedded social media posts
- Stock images
NOTE: Know the rules on what images you are allowed to include in your posts.
4. Have you added titles and alt text to your images?
It’s not as simple as just adding a photo to the post. Some common multimedia mistakes can cause serious damage to your content.
Adding titles, captions, and alt text to the images you use ensures Google can understand what the images are about and increases chances that they will rank higher in search results.
5. Have you included the right keywords?
Your blog traffic will not increase if people can’t find your blog — Amazing content is not enough.
Having keywords in your post’s title can help people find your article. Their intent should drive the types of content you’re creating, as well as the keywords that are written into it.
Make sure some of those keywords lie within the text of your blog post. But don’t overdo it — your text should still read naturally, and the keywords should be included organically. Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.
Make sure relevant keywords are also included in the metadata of any multimedia assets.
6. Have you checked your links?
Links are a critical piece of SEO and must be addressed in your writing process. The three link-related items are worth double-checking before publishing:
- Did you include internal links?
- Internal links help keep readers on the site longer, allowing them to move from one piece of content to the next. They also support SEO, allowing Google to crawl the site and find related content. What does all this mean to you? Link relevant thoughts and ideas in your text to past blog posts.
- Did you include outbound links?
- Having a mix of internal and external links helps you build a healthy link profile for your site. Make sure you include outbound links to other trusted sites with high-quality content. Think of an external link as a thumbs up to the end site. — Don’t promote a low-quality site or article and ensure you fully understand the best practices for external links.
- Did you test your links?
- Stating the obvious is necessary. A broken link is a bad user experience and may deter a reader from coming back to your site. It’s also a good idea to set up links to open in a new window. This way, if the reader wants to finish your post after clicking a link, they don’t have to backtrack because the blog is still open.
7. Did you provide a call-to-action?
If you don’t include a clear call-to-action in your posts, you’re risking a reader leaving your site as soon as they’ve read a page. Why would you ever do that?
Ask yourself: What do you want a reader to DO once they hit your site? Whether it’s buying a product, signing up for a newsletter, downloading a report, make that desired action easy, and did I mention easy?
8. Would your post appeal to you?
Would you be interested in reading your post?
Formatting can make or break the kind of traction you want. Don’t get lazy and rely on numbered lists and bullet points. Add section headers where it makes sense. Consider adding images or videos. Embed tweets or Instagram posts. Infographics are great, too.
Bottom line: Make your posts impossible to ignore visually and easy to read!
9. Is your content easy to understand?
Did you use any shorthand, slang, abbreviations, or jargon your reader may not understand? Tools like Grammarly and Hemingway are good options to help you figure out if the text is reader-friendly and point out sentences that would benefit from being reworked and simplified.
10. Are you proud of your post?
If you aren’t proud of it, why should anyone else read it?
Source: Cision/PR Newswire