Blogging is the foundation of your content marketing business plan. Therefore, it is imperative that you understand how to captivate the attention of your audience and keep them coming back for more. Here are 14 tips that will help get you on your road to success:

know-your-target-audienceKnow Your Target Audience

If you don’t know who you are writing for, how do you propose what it is you will be writing? Knowing your target audience is crucial for successful marketing. Every blog post you curate should be written for your target audience. Don’t waste time catering to the masses. Be deliberate with your deliverance of quality, creative content that appeals to your businesses niche.

Be Consistent

Publish content to your blog consistently. The best times to publish new content online are Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon, Pacific standard time (PST). Stick to the schedule. You don’t want to lose your audience with sporadic postings. Trust that if they come knocking on your door and you aren’t home, they will go knock on your neighbors door instead.

extra-extra-read-all-about-itExtra! Extra! Read All About It

Give thought to what you title your blog post. Headlines are the first thing your potential reader will see. It is important that they engage the reader by grabbing their attention and sparking enough curiosity or interest to read further on. Try posing questions as your headline and try to keep them around 6 words.

The 5 W’s

Never speculate that your reader already knows anything about the topic in which you are writing about. Outline it in each blog post by defining the five W’s: who, what, when, where and why.

Keep It Simple

Remember when you are writing for your audience to use a language they speak and understand. Be mindful of the possibility that your audience may not be familiar with the jargon associated with your profession. Legal, medical and information technology (IT), might as well be Greek to the general public. Writing at an eighth grade comprehension level is suitable for most audiences.

visual-thesaurusAvoid Using the Same Word or Phrase

Use an online thesaurus to help you with producing blog pieces that are not full of the same descriptive terms or phrases. It is your new best friend, so please, get acquainted. There are 1,025,109.8 words in the English language. Translation? There is no excuse for excessive repetition. It is dull, boring, tedious, tiresome, uninteresting, stale, stuffy and mundane. Catch my drift? I realize (more than you know), when you are in a position of writing about the same topic repeatedly, some of the content will be duplicate information. To avoid the Google penalty for duplicate content and of course, losing your audience with a collective yawn, find new ways to say the same thing.

That’s Genius! 

Be unique, creative and a literary genius when curating content for your blog. When I say genius, I am being facetious; however, I am sincere in my instruction to produce the type of content that will elicit someone to respond with, “That’s genius!” before moving on. Make your reader take pause and really read what you have written rather than skimming over it or blindly tweeting it because you’ve utilized the proper #hashtag with your post. The goal is to have your audience take something away from what they have read. You don’t achieve it with mediocrity.

Speak Up

When it comes to blogging, people prefer to read a post that sounds as if you are speaking to them; versus say, sounding like a college Professor giving a lecture bogged down with industry jargon and a power point slide show taken directly out of the correlating textbook. Be real. Be you. This will help your tone and voice be heard online. Some will like you, others may love you. This is your audience. Of course, there will be people who don’t care for what you have to say. That is part of life. You know it, you accept it and you write on.

Get Linked

If you can incorporate a quality anchor text link that is relevant to the flow of your content, do it but sparingly. Be mindful of the amount of links you incorporate within your post. You don’t want your article to appear spammy or confusing to the reader. Keep them on your site by linking to other content sources you have previously published (not products), that correlate with the flow of your blog post. Outbound links should include a nofollow tag.

keyword-cloudKeywords: I’m A Bit Stuffed

Keyword research and the proper use of keywords that can help your content to be indexed, so that you will rise in the rankings is a part of the SEO involved with content marketing; however, don’t over stuff the bird! Writing content for the sole purpose of pushing keywords and achieving Google rankings is a foolish way to do SEO. Google is aware of the tendency of some to stuff the bird so full, you are loosening your belt before eating it and you will be penalized for it. Focus instead, on writing quality content that will allow for keywords to flow naturally within the text, rather than wrapping the text around the keywords.

Research And Then Research The Research

Always be researching and curating, not only for your current post but for future content. Watch the competition and take notes. This will help you with creating new topics to post about later. There is no shame in it and trust that if you are doing it right, someone is already watching you and taking notes. Remember, anyone can publish anything on the internet. When you come across information, don’t just take it and run with it. Check your sources.

Edits: Edit

Edit your blog posts before publication. The best practice for writing engaging content is to sit down and write it while your creative juices are flowing. Pound it all out before going over it with a fine tooth comb. Naturally, don’t forget to go back over it afterwords to rearrange paragraphs, reword sentences and fix any grammatical or spelling errors.

Be Indi- Visual

Images. I repeat, images, attached to your blog posts, receive 94% more engagement and page visits than those published without. Produce stunning, thought provoking, humorous, dynamic and unique images. Do not resort to utilizing stock or product photos, solely within the text. Be cautious about grabbing images from the web. Check the creative commons license and give photo credits when they are mandated. There is a hefty fine, in the ballpark of around $10,000, if you use an image such as a Getty image for your content without proper acknowledgement.

Get Social

After you have published your blog post, it is time to promote it. Social media is an equally important component to your content marketing plan. If you think you have produced a masterpiece and people are going to stumble across it blindly on Google, resulting in traffic backed up to get on your website, you are mistaken. Social media shares are your best venues for promoting your work. Be active on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the rest. As consistent as you are about publishing to your websites blog, you need to exercise that same consistency on social media. Interact with your followers for better engagement on these platforms.

In Conclusion:blog-big-or-go-home