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How to Write an Insanely Popular Blog

The most popularly shared articles online, regardless of industry, topic, or even author, often share these similar traits.

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The most popularly shared articles online, regardless of industry, topic, or even author, often share a similar cadence, intonation, and anatomy--and that's no accident. Slingshot SEO's Enterprise Blog Post Optimization Guide reveals the trends and techniques found in highly shared articles and acts as a roadmap for blogging success.

Once you've mastered these techniques you'll be rewarded with increased traffic, conversions and a buzzing online community. Below are several important areas, according to our guide, to consider when crafting a killer blog post.

Title

Even the most interesting and value-add articles can be set up for failure with a poorly written title. A lot of time and effort should be spent on crafting the best title for your targeted audience, as this is your first opportunity to sell your post to the reader.

The guide explores 10 techniques for writing attractive titles:

  • News Jacking
  • Popular Culture
  • Humor/Absurdity
  • Bold Statement, Declaration, Controversy, Logical Fallacy
  • Ego Stroke
  • Breaking News
  • How-to
  • Top X List
  • [Bracket] Title
  • Thought Leadership

Structure

Many people who are new to blogging will search for the "holy grail" formula to writing successful posts. While there's no secret formula, there is a very simple structure that works well.

The most effective blog structure is rooted in keeping things simple, since increased granularity can stifle creativity and production. You want as many employees interested in contributing content as possible.

Your expert employees who love to educate will now have the opportunity to show off their thought leadership and build web authorship over time. This expert content will help build your brand community and attract more leads online.

Our guide takes a deep dive into the four basic building blocks of blog post structure. Here are few high-level excerpts:

  • Introduction: The post's introduction is the sales pitch for reading the post in its entirety. It also sets the tone and expectations for the reader.
  • Body: This is the put-up or shut-up stage of a blog post. If it doesn't deliver on the promises made in the introduction, you can forget about someone getting to the conclusion.
  • Conclusion: Just like public speaking, blog posts should provide a brief recap of the argument, value proposition or takeaways.
  • Call to Action: If someone takes the time to read your content from start to finish, you're obligated to tell him or her what to do next.

Optimization

This section of the guide provides a checklist of common techniques used in SMO, CRO and SEO. Social media optimization (SMO) enhances success by adding the ability for users to create social signals by sharing the article.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) has the ability to grow your conversions without adding any traffic! Fundamental SEO efforts communicate the value, content and intent of the article to search engine algorithms.

Setting yourself up for success in SMO, CRO and SEO is crucial for squeezing the most value out of your blogging efforts.

Content Governance

While organizations need to create quality content on a regular basis, they also need standards and guidelines. Content governance is the management of the content guidelines related to style and delivery. This is a balancing act between risk and reward. An example governance policy, complete with editorial and style guidelines, is also provided in the guide.

Goals of Content Governance:

  • Foster consistency, as opposed to uniformity
  • Create principles, as opposed to rules
  • Enhance the brand
  • Minimize exposure to risk

Final Thoughts

Once you've mastered the art of creating an optimized blog post, the entire process becomes fun, easy and quick. Combine that with the fact that you're already writing about a topic that interests you, and you may be surprised by how much high-quality content you can produce in a short amount of time.

The Enterprise Blog Post Optimization Guide in its entirety is available for free in both Kindle and PDF format.

IMAGE: boellstiftung/Flickr
Last updated: Jan 16, 2013

AARON ADERS is co-founder of DigitalRelevance, a national leader in earned media and inbound marketing services. Building on more than a decade of Internet marketing experience, Aders steers the strategic vision behind DigitalRelevance's market research and collateral.
@drelevance




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