Blogging
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5 Things You Must Know Before You Write Every Single Blog Post

What goals did you reach with your last blog post? What information grabbed the attention of your audience to make them read? How was the CTA formulated?

These are questions you should be able to answer before you start writing every. single. post you ever publish for your business blog! By not having 5 key factors figured out before you write, its easy to lose sight of the big picture and have a compilation of posts directed at no one but yourself.

And we’re not trying to sell your work to yourself, are we? Answer the following questions to get your next blog post on the business track:

1. Who is your audience and what do they want to know?

When you’re using social media to persuade and grow trust with potential clients, you have to improvise when you can’t talk to them face-to-face. The new conversation is your blog post, and when you’re writing it you need to have a clear picture of what your audience looks like. What they want to know. What they should expect from you if they were to consider hiring you.

So, what does your audience look like, and what do they want to know?

2. What headline will hook their attention to read?

The first step to getting people to read your blog is to write about something they care about. The second part is using kick-ass copywriting skills to make them actually visit your site. You can use my headline as one example. Notice how I start it with the number 5, insinuating a list post — very popular for scanning. Next, I used the phrase “must know” to give the reader a sense of urgency. Last, I said what the list of things would affect. “Every Single Blog Post”. Now they’re really curious because there may be something important they’re missing every time they write. And so they click, and end up here. That’s how I got you, right?

How do you write your headlines?

3. What call-to-action does your post instruct?

Somehow. Someway. Your blog post needs to give your readers an action to take. Whether you work it into your writing or put it at the very bottom of your post. This is important because it proves the trust you’ve built with your audience and how comfortable they are to be a part of your community. Most of my posts (including this one) have a call-to-action asking for comments. These are very important to me because I know I’m not the only source on the internet with information about social media marketing (obviously) and I’m giving ANYONE an opportunity to share what they know as well for the betterment of my entire audience… even myself.

One caution for you online marketers out there. Promotional CTAs, like products and services to buy, might be the reason you’re blogging in the first place, but you can’t over do it. As Michael Port says in his book, Book Yourself Solid, stick to the 80/20 rule: 80% should be free content, resources, and opportunities, and 20% should be made up of offers, products, and promos.

What is your default call-to-action and why?

4. What keywords would your audience search for to find this post?

This piece of information is going to help you with your SEO while still writing for humans. As you’re thinking about the topic and headline for your post, you always want to consider how people might search for this information. What keywords come to mind and how can you  make sure they’re incorporated into the content? Keep a list with only the most important ones and keep them in mind as you write.

I don’t like my clients to get too hung up on how to optimize their posts for search engines because to be quite honest, the only way to help your blog get better SEO is to write about stuff people actually want to know (this also goes back to the 80/20 rule). So don’t go overboard with this because as long as you’ve answered the other 4 questions on your checklist, you’ll be in great shape to publish.

What do people search for to find you?

5. What is your goal?

Most of your blog post’s goals are going to be generally similar because you should mostly be trying to build relationships with your audience. For instance, my goal for my blog as a whole is to inform my readers and develop trust between us so that they might sign up for my newsletter and think of me in the future for their social media marketing needs. For this post in particular, my goal is also to attract new readers with compelling content. Yesterday, my goal was for you to get to know one of my current clients to find out more about his philosophies and how I help him market his work.

This stuff might seem obvious to you, but if you don’t keep your goals in mind as you write, you’re not going to blog in the best mindset to grow your business. You always want to have an end result to reach so you can reach it then continue to grow it.

What’s on your checklist before you blog? Leave a comment below.

Amy Schmittauer Visit Website
Amy is the Founder of Savvy Sexy Social and President of Vlog Boss Studios, a digital marketing agency specializing in video content creation. Connect with her on Twitter.
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11 comments
slbphoenix
slbphoenix

Thank you for this list of great questions. They are great questions and I'm going to bookmark them so I refer to them every time I post. Sally

Dharmesh
Dharmesh

Amy,

This is a good reminder post. The points you mentioned are very much applicable to my blog, except #4. I never thought about it before I read your post but it will surely be in my mind.

I am working on building traffic to my blog but don't want to get caught up and fall behind on producing content.

Thanks for posting.

melvinblog
melvinblog

To be honest with you, I really don't put much emphasis on most of these things although I agree with some of them. The reason is when I created my blog, it was intended to just be my personal blog and when it got a bit popular, I had to adjust. Long story short, I kinda have built a readership wherein people recognize me as a laid back quirky guy who posts stuff in a spontaneous manner. Not that I don't add any value but its laid out in my own tone.

As far as titling posts well and targeting keywords, I would say that's something that I started doing since I saw the benefits of it. Im not really big on SEO but I just learned that it doesn't harm to do the basic tweaks and stuff even though you're not much into it.

denharsh
denharsh

Amy really useful post and specially the take away for me from the post is What's the goal.. Is that post targeted to long term search engine traffic, or just to educate my readers about something new..!!

Though one thing which I really suck at right now is writing great post title...I use generic post title for now...Though at times I experiment by Keeping title more attractive but I guess I have to learn from my mistakes here....

Ricardo Bueno
Ricardo Bueno

You know what, I'm ignoring #4. Not on purpose (at least I don't think). I simply forget. I do try and pay more attention to it but frankly, sometimes it just takes up so much darn time and it keeps me from moving on to the next thing.

And the funny thing is I know it works too. Google "Rules of Online Etiquette" and I'm on page 1. So yes, this is very important and it could potentially drive a lot of traffic. You just have to make sure to bake it into your writing routine and stay consistent.

Latest blog post: The Sandbox

schmittastic
schmittastic moderator

@Dharmesh Glad you agree Dharmesh! I definitely recommend you start thinking about keywords more often so that you will have a better chance of being found through SEO. Thanks for your thoughts and I look forward to seeing you around her more often.

schmittastic
schmittastic moderator

@melvinblog Personal blogs definitely have their own sort of niche checklist. Once they grow in popularity, it's usually most important for the writer to just maintain their personality. Things change when monetization becomes a factor because you start blogging for more than just yourself. Thanks for your thoughts, Melvin!

schmittastic
schmittastic moderator

@denharsh testing your titles is important so you can get those first impressions! Definitely work on that and you'll start seeing a difference!

schmittastic
schmittastic moderator

@Ricardo Bueno I completely agree. Quite frankly I think #4 is annoying, but unfortunately important. Getting found through search engines can be a beautiful thing for the growth of your community, so you gotta put in the work. You don't want to let it hold up your writing, but at the same time it's not great to leave it for the end because you don't want to go back and edit based on what keywords are missing. Thanks for your input, Beezie!

melvinblog
melvinblog

Quickest reply ever to a comment that I've put. ;-)

Either way thanks for the tip. The funny workaround that I did for that is I created a new blog on a separate domain for my personal ramblings. Just so I don't anymore put 'rant' posts on my main blog and I dont anymore need to care that much.

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