1. Do think about fit and finish. No one wants to waste time on something that is boring or difficult to read.
Include an efficient title; your blog post title should include the following:
· Who/what the post is about
· Why the subject is being written about
· What the reader can hope to gain from reading the post
Employ good formatting with posts that are a few short paragraphs, and use bullets and numbers to neatly organize ideas. Use images for exciting presentation – they also have good SEO value with ALT tags.
2. Don’t sound like an advertisement. Though you are ultimately trying to gain exposure to your product/service/company, readers don’t want to feel like they are being sold something when they are merely seeking information. Avoid a heavy promotional vibe with content that serves to educate the reader.
3. Do make reasonable use of in-text links. Using in-text links shows search engine crawlers that the keyword used as the hyperlink is among the most important in your post. Determine a few related keywords to focus on in each post that will link back to specific web pages on your site. Ideally, aim for no more than one link per every 100 words, otherwise you risk having your post branded as spam.
4. Don’t Plagiarize. Content scraping is a black-hat practice in SEO; while you may not be using entire articles, search engine crawlers can identify similar information between web pages, remember where it ‘originated’, then determine your ranking based on that. However, more importantly, readers can identify having seen something before and if they feel you’ve just stripped someone else’s information, they can discredit you. Sourcing is just a good practice.
5. Do determine who is meant to read your article, and stick to it. Your customer base is grouped into segments and you can’t expect to effectively appeal to all of them – doing so makes your content broad and uninformative. Decide based on what you’re writing which market segment and demographic will read your post, and then write in a manner that will grab and hold their attention, and no one else’s.
6. Don’t overshare opinions, and be conscious of what opinion you’re sharing. Simply put, if you’ve plastered an unbridled opinion throughout your post and the reader doesn’t agree, you’ve lost them and cut your traffic considerably. Content needs to reflect the opinions of your organization, which helps hold onto traffic that is relevant and filter out that which isn’t.
7. Do include a call-to-action, and measure it. Stimulate conversation. Ask readers to sign up for a mailing list. Offer promotions or contest for readers to enter. Solicit feedback. Offer a bookmark option. Figure out a way to have the reader interact with you and build some sort of rapport with your brand/what you’re writing about – it will keep them coming back. Then, employ the use of a tracking tool so you can understand if these calls-to-action are helpful.
8. Don’t forget about social media and syndication. Make the option available to Tweet and share your content on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. More importantly, ensure you are leveraging all your resources to put your content on the wire. It’s good for you, why wouldn’t you?
9. Do ensure you know what you’re talking about, and follow up regularly. You are the greatest resource for information on your company/brand/products, however if your content stretches your comfort level, make sure you’re at least knowledgeable enough about your blog content that you could carry a conversation on the topic. If your post consists of generic information that could be found anywhere, readers won’t use you as a resource. Further, if they ask you something and you don’t know enough to answer, this will also discredit you as a resource.
10. Don’t forget to proofread. The easiest way to lose readers and search engine ranking is to post an article laden with spelling and grammatical errors. You appear incompetent, unknowledgeable and careless. All your hard work and content research could end up in vain with a single error – always, always be sure to employ your best writing skills.