5 Elements of a Successful Blog Post

Photo by by Kristina B.

Photo by by Kristina B.

If you maintain a blog or thinking of starting one for your organization, there are five main characteristics that each of your blog posts should contain if you want to get your point across and generate some attention. We’ll explore each of these elements below.

Get attention  

If your posts do not draw the eye of your readers, they will most likely ignore it and your message could be lost forever. The online space is crowded—your audience is inundated with hundreds of emails clogging their inbox; their RSS feeds could run the entire length of their laptop screen; and they may have dozens of web browser tabs open.

One way to get attention with your blog posts are generating attention-grabbing headlines (which we discussed in Issue 2 of Western Pennsylvania Healthcare News). A good headline will stop readers in their tracks and compel them to read further.

Another way to capture your readers’ attention is with great visuals. An appealing image can get your blog post noticed. But be sure the image applies to the content of your blog post. Remember, you can’t just grab images using Google. Many images you find have copyright protection. Instead, use a service like istockphoto.com where you can purchase images or better yet, take the time to take some original photos on your own.

Focus on your audience

Keep the readers in mind as you write your blog posts. Always write from their point of view. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand their problems. For instance, if you’re writing blog posts for benefits managers at small companies, you may want to learn which trade magazines or website they read or even attend some of the same seminars or webinars they do.

The more you understand them and their problems, the more you can write effective posts that address their concerns. And always write in the second person. Pretend it’s a one-on-one conversation with you and one customer or client.

Include examples to illustrate your point

While you may offer great theories and have a tremendous amount of knowledge to convey in your blog posts, you still need to write your posts in way that your readers can easily understand and apply in their own workplace.

The best way to do that is to offer mini case studies or brief examples so they can better grasp what you’re trying to say. Concrete examples can help your readers better relate to your blog posts. These examples can be real-life situations; however hypothetical scenarios work just as well.

Add a call-to-action after each post

After each post, you want to direct your readers to take some call-to-action to keep them further engaged. These call-to-actions can include: following you on Twitter, subscribing to your blog, leaving a comment, joining your mailing list, or even buying a product or service.

If you neglect to include a call-to-action and your post just ends abruptly, you could potentially miss out on a good prospect. Some bloggers will include their call-to-action in the middle of a blog post; but we find it more effective at the end of each post.

Make your blog post easy to read

As we mentioned earlier, your audience is crunched for time these days. They’re not going to have the time or the patience to sit through a three-page blog post. Keep it short and to the point.

Use subheadings (as I did in this piece), bold or italicize your text, and insert bullet points to break up copy. Using these formats will make your post easier for your audience to scan and read.

What tips have you found to be effective when writing your own blog posts? Email me at writer@danielcasciato.com and we’ll share them with our readers in the next issue.

Daniel Casciato is a full-time freelance writer from Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to writing for Western Pennsylvania Healthcare News and Pittsburgh Healthcare Report, he’s also a social media coach. For more information, visit www.danielcasciato.com, follow him on Twitter @danielcasciato, or friend him on Facebook (facebook.com/danielcasciato)..

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About Daniel Casciato

Daniel Casciato has his own business as a social media consultant, freelance copywriter, ghostwriter, and ghostblogger. The Pittsburgh native loves his Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. Learn more about him at www.DanielCasciato.com.

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