When I first started blogging back in the late 90s, I didn’t care about structure. I was an abstract poet and I was being rebellious against writing rules and, even though my blog had nothing to do with poetry, I just wanted to get out whatever I wanted to say and express myself without any structure. Fast forward to now, smarter and wiser, I know that readers crave structure and ease of use. Here are just a few tips to help you craft a shareable blog post.
This is probably the most important marketing piece of your entire post. Far more people will read your headline than your post. How crazy is that? Actually, it’s not crazy. It makes perfect sense. You know how it works when you browsing through your news feeds or Google, if the headline doesn’t grab you, you don’t click on it. Your headline should be to the point, clear, honest, descriptive, compelling, and attractive to your readers.
A few samples of epic headlines…
- 4 Tips for _____ Your _____ _____
- 10 Secrets for _____
- How to _____ in under 10 minutes.
- My Top 50 _____
The First Paragraph
If people have gotten past your headline and are on your page, you have to keep them there. The first paragraph is the hook. It’s where you grab your readers and give them enough of a reason to stay. It should show that you know what you’re talking about and/or that you can help your reader solve the problem right away. It should get straight to the point about what value you are going to provide for the rest of the post.
This is where you deliver on your promise that you made in the headline. Use your personality to communicate your objectives to your readers. Here is the place where you solve the problem or go into full detail of your story. Most readers are skimming articles and not really reading word for word so make sure you use bulleted lists and insert line breaks and/or spaces in your content whenever possible.
Wrap It Up
The conclusion is where most people slip up. It should summarize everything you promised in the headline and delivered in the body. It should absolutely always have a call to action and perhaps links to related blog posts, links to a sales page, or to a download. It might also be a good idea to ask a question of your readers to make sure they leave you comments.
Image is Key
All blog posts should make use of some sort of imagery. The image must resonate with your audience and it should be aligned with your branding. You can take photos yourself, create graphics in Illustrator/Photoshop or any of the free online services. Any way you decide to do it, your image should be crisp and high quality. This is crucial especially if you want to create an uber shareable post.
If you want people to find your site, you’ll have a much easier time if you make it easy for search engines. I have been using a free WordPress plugin called Yoast. It’s really easy to use and it is effective at making sure your post is optimized for search engines. You will also want to make sure that you categorize and tag your post for easier navigation. Categories are literally all of the different categories of your site. For this site I might use categories like “All About Branding ”, “Brainstorming and Mindmapping”, “Blogging Strategies”, “Growing Your Business”, “Get Technical”, and “Up With Social Media” and tags would be smaller topics covered in a post like “blogger”, “action guide”, “case study”.
Promote and Repeat
The last step in the goal of creating a blog post that people want to share is to promote the post. In whatever channel you see fit. Be it Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, or all of the above. Share it and get it in front of your audience. Make sure to be as descriptive as possible and think about what terms users might use to find your content and use those words. If you have an e-mail list, send out a new campaign to let your people know about the latest addition to your site.