Updated at 2014-07-21 19:49

Blogging is creating content that all focus one topic like cats, yourself, fashion, startups in Finland, RPGs etc. Blogging is usually a part of content marketing strategy.

Blogging is hard at first, but becomes easier. Hitting your first 2,500 readers will be hard but hitting 10,000 after that is a breeze.

Use clean design and layout. Focus on readability and use of whitespace.

Use a sidebar to show additional content. Always have your content on the left side of the page and the sidebar on the right side. Never use two side bars. Show most popular posts on the sidebar.

Following information should be available on each blog page:

  1. What is this blog about?
  2. Newsletter sign-up. Top of the sidebar, after the content and possibly a popup after reading. Sign-up should also be on the home page and about page. State that you will never share the email or spam it and it is free.
  3. Popular or related blog posts.
  4. Link to your main product.
  5. Who writes this blog?
  6. Your social media presence. Don't include the ones you dontt actively use. Also consider scrolling social media buttons that stay on the screen all the time.

Create two types of content. Creating shareable content is a must if you want to grow your blog influence. Still, you should also create more serious content from time to time.

  • Shareable Content: Top lists, infographics and fun content that people like to share. Meant to attract visitors and widen your audience.
  • Insightful Content: Serious and in-depth content that are more helpful and less entertaining.

Show only snippets of your posts on post listings like the front page. Your search engine rank is reduced by duplicate content and people want to be able to select only content that they want to read.

Before you can write a post, you need a topic. Avoid "We Are Doing This Too" and "Sorry I Haven't Blogged In A While". There are advice how to think up a topic in content marketing notes

Prefer longer blog posts. Blog posts with 1500+ words rank better on Google. But do not stretch your content if you have nothing to add, it will get you nowhere. Your content should be naturally and minimally long, not forced.

Start by provoking interest. The first part, e.g. sentence, of the content should be as intriguing as possible. Avoid yes-no-questions.

In business, it's important to learn from your mistakes.

So you noticed, eh?

Make your post skimmable. Most people do not like reading so make your content understandable with minimal amount of reading. More about writing inviting text in copywriting notes.

Make one point per paragraph. State that one point in the first sentence of the paragraph. Paragraph should not be longer than four sentences. Visually a paragraph should not be over 5 lines long. Paragraphs can have only one sentence. Add a bullet list or two. Use a lot of pictures and captions.

Always include an image after the title. Images make blog posts more compelling and grab attention. The best approach is to create the image yourself or get a friend to create it for you; even stock photos are better than nothing. Having multiple images is even better.

Close with a summary. The last part should be a conclusion. Short recap and summarize your main point. Good writers tie the conclusion to a detail you told in the introduction.

End the post with a question for the audience. When someone has the time to read your whole blog post, they are likely engaged enough to comment on it. By ending with a question, you may give that last push they need. Use general questions related to your topic, but avoid going too technical.

How else can you get more traffic?

Use threaded comments. Having a system where you can answer to another comment will increase visitor engagement. Avoid using Facebook for comments because it will help less to boost your search engine presence.

Creating a blog post draft:

  • Decide the main topic.
  • List ideas you want to present.
  • Turn ideas into full section titles.
  • Write out the sections.
  • Write introduction.
  • Write conclusion.

After creating the draft:

  • Sort sections to a logical order and split them into smaller pieces.
  • Check that the post is scannable. Sentences should be 25 words max. Max 4 sentences per paragraph. Paragraphs should be 5 lines max. Each paragraph starts with a sentence that summarizes the whole paragraph.
  • Add illustrations that support your main point.
  • Remove all parts that do not support your main point.
  • Replace some of frequently used terms with synonyms.
  • Once again go through an remove all the needless extra.
  • Check spelling and grammar with a tool e.g. Microsoft Word.

Lastly, create the headline. There is a big list of headline templates in content marketing notes. More about the art of creating headlines in copywriting notes.

Check what other people are writing about:

  • Alltop
  • Search content with a lot of back links with a tool like Open Site Explorer. Copy the topic and make it better, but never steal. Include property attribution and references. E.g. 7 best SEO tricks => 11 best SEO tricks.