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What makes a good blog post?

Last week I posted about why you should rekindle your love affair with blogging. Blogging allows you to create a more authentic connection with your clients and audience than social media alone. It allows you to delve deeper into topics that are important to your audience, and provide valuable content to your readers.

So, what makes a good blog post?

Know your audience. It’s tempting to write about things you’re passionate about, or subjects that come easily to you – but those don’t necessarily do your audience any good. Our company has a good following of folks interested in a variety of things, but most of them work in advertising or marketing roles, or are business owners. Our blog posts tend to be about things in the advertising or media realm – tidbits of insight our audience might use for themselves. Luckily for us, we have a number of writers passionate about many things in our industry: PR, social media, digital trends and more.  So keep your audience in mind when writing, and offer up content that’s valuable enough to keep them coming back for more.

Speak to their need. Sometimes inspiration from a blog post comes from a hot topic. Think about things that your industry is talking about, and then consider a blog post from your business’ perspective on how it affects your customer. Things like new laws, latest trends, policy changes, technology updates and other hot button topics not only give valuable insight to your readers, but also keeps your blog fresh and current. Think about the businesses you frequent, what questions do you wish you knew the answer to?

Keep it simple. As I mentioned previously, your blog post don’t have to be a long dissertation that takes weeks to complete – that’s NOT what blogging is about. Personally, I prefer to read shorter articles – but if it’s a topic I’m interested in learning more about, I’ll read very long posts as well. 700 words or less is a respectable post – enough to make your point, but not so much that it appears overwhelming to the reader. However, if the content requires more explanation – don’t just stop writing when you’ve hit 700 words. There are many sources of information on the web with studies on the efficacy of long posts versus short posts. Generally, they all agree that as a writer, you need to focus on the content, not the word count, and say what you need to say succinctly, but informatively.

Include images or graphics. This one is sort of a no-brainer, but forgotten more often than you might think. Make sure to include an eye-catching image to go along with your post. Video, photography and infographics all work equally well. Without images, longer blog posts especially can look dull and overwhelmingly full of copy. Break up the copy a bit with not only a lead image, but also a few smaller images within the body of the pos

Ask questions, then engage and respond. Blogs are like anything you put online – they’re at their best when you don’t just post and walk away. Be responsive to comments, and answer any questions that come through in the comments. But before that – ask engaging questions within your post, or ask for thoughts at the end.

Tell me, what has worked for you in the past? There’s no secret formula that will make your blog posts explode with popularity. Getting good readership is more of a slow build; consistency over time will win far more often than an occasional provocative or controversial post. Stick with it, engage your readers and enjoy the conversation.

~Stefanie Brown

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