Witty commentary, check. First-person voice, check. Emotional engagement, check. Your blog is a collection of your writings and musings, and each post fits in well with your niche and the character of your blog. You take the time to write every post to perfection so you captivate and impress your audience. But a well-written piece of work isn’t enough. Your blog post should also include these six essential elements; check for them before you hit “submit.”
Carefully Researched Keywords
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a necessary evil. As a writer, you might not enjoy picking the words you used based on popularity, but as a blogger you know it’s essential for visibility and gaining new readers. Don’t just write a blog post on a popular or relevant subject. Make sure you find out which applicable search terms you should use to get the most bang for your buck, so to speak.
Something Useful to Readers
Every post must serve a purpose for your readers. If there’s nothing in it for them, they have no reason to read it. “Something useful” can take many different forms: hard facts, creative ideas, project suggestions, new insight into a popular issue, etc. Self-indulgent rants or personal posts can be useful only if they’re entertaining, or if they serve as an example of something with a wider application.
A Call to Action
Your blog posts should speak to your readers, and every one should invite them to act in some way. This can also take many forms. It can be as significant as encouraging them to write or contact their Senators, or it could be as obvious as inviting them to add their thoughts or experiences in the comments.
An Image or Photograph
The Internet is comprised of many different media: sound, video, pictures, words, graphics, etc. If people just wanted to read, they could pick up a book. You’re essentially unlimited in what you do with your blog. The best thing to do with simple posts is to add an image or a photograph to go along with. It can help people visualize something or just break up text. At the very least, it makes the page look more appealing when a picture accompanies your words.
If you’re including information or facts you got from another source, the proper thing to do is cite them. You can simply provide a link or hyperlink to the source within your post, or you can include a separate reference section. Either way it’s important to give credit where it’s due, or you risk losing the respect and trust of your readers.
Links to Related Posts
Don’t miss the opportunity to cross promote by linking every blog post to other related posts on your blog. It’s a great way to keep people on your site and get them interested in all your content, not just the one post they’re viewing. Find a way to connect at least one previous post, but it’s even better if you can link to three, four, or even five other posts you’ve written. This helps hook new readers.
Alayne Valentine is a freelance blogger and English student who considers herself an expert blogger. She loves to write and covers anything from interesting content to the use of grammar checkers.
Photo Credit: ajSEO