Did you know that as of July 2011, there are an estimated 164 million blogs (that has increased from 3 million in 2004)? There are so many bloggers around the world that competing for various niches when you’re just starting out can be a little discouraging. Then there’s the A-list bloggers who seem to dominate the blogosphere with their thousands and thousands of subscribers and loyal readers. These successful bloggers are so good at what they do that it leaves the smaller bloggers wondering, what are their blogging secrets that make them so successful?
While we can’t really expect the blogging giants to share their secret formula for why they are so successful, there are some bloggers like Brian Clark of Copyblogger who shared the 22 Ways To Create Compelling Content For Your Blog [Infographic] which gives every blogger a good idea as to where to get great content ideas. Some of my favorite ways to get content ideas is to visit similar blogs and from their interesting posts, I often get inspiration as to what to write about. The post could be an additional resource or an added value to what I’ve just read. When running out of content ideas, it’s also good to share personal experiences that your readers could find value from and learn from.
There are different approaches for how to come up with an interesting content idea, and every blogger has unique strategies for how to approach their readers and capture their attention. I think one of the most essential elements of every blog is to have a captivating headline or title, just like what was previously shared in the Anatomy Of A Business Blog [Infographic].
In order to create the perfect blog post, follow the similar principles as highlighted in The Perfect Blog Post [Infographic] by Derek Halpern of Social Triggers. Now you may wondering if perfect blog posts really do exist. I guess they do, and they have the elements which make some of the most successful bloggers, well, successful. Below are the 9 essential elements that make up the perfect blog post.
Click Infographic To Enlarge
1. Attention Grabbing Headline
In real life, whether we like it or not, we are often judged by our titles and our designations. The same is true online. Your readers decide whether they would like to click on your link or read your entire article based on how well written your headline is. Headlines are crucial to every site’s success because if you’re not able to grab your reader’s attention right from the headline, there’s no chance they will read on to your other parts of the blog.
Remember how you easily got bored in plays because the opening sucks? The same is true with blogs. Nobody wants to read a blog that starts off with a not-so-catchy opening. It is one of the most important elements that every blogger should continue to work on, or else you’ll probably be losing a lot of potential return visitors.
3. Half-Width Image
Remember the time when you were just learning how to read, and you were more attracted to books that had lots of pictures than those that didn’t have any? Using images helps increase comprehension, and a study by the Management Information Systems Research Center at the University of Minnesota and 3M shows that presentations that have more visuals are 43% more persuasive. The same principle applies for blogs. Having images helps your readers better understand your blog post and appreciate the content thereof.
Giving your readers a promise as to what the post will be about, some sort of assurance that they will benefit from reading your blog, is likely to help them to keep on reading.
Marketers are pretty good at marketing because they tend to connect with their target market through their emotions. Trying to connect with your readers through your content will help you not only capture their attention but also encourage them to keep reading.
6. Call to Action (Soundbite)
This is perhaps the most essential of all the elements which make the blog post perfect. You need to incorporate a call to action, whether it be an invitation to subscribe or connect on social networking sites. [Hint: Look at the call to action at the upper portion of this blog ;)]
You’ve promised value on the first few parts of the blog post, now it’s time to fulfill that promise through this part of the post by providing the step-by-step actions. This might also be called the how-to part of the article.
8. Content (How-To Section)
Before the reader even finishes reading your blog, you can ensure that he or she will be back for more. You can do this by delivering what you said you would, and providing them with the value promised in the sub-head and headlines. One of the main mistakes that many bloggers make is they try to optimize the headline with over-promising titles but then they under deliver, or worse, you don’t actually see any of it in the body of the post. Nothing is more frustrating than landing on a blog post which you thought might give you a great step-by-step on something but ending up reading nothing but a sales pitch.
9. Call To Action
This is the ABC (Always Be Closing) with a nice call to action. Whether it’s just a personal blog or a corporate blog, readers won’t do anything unless you guide them. Finish off with an invite to leave a comment, to subscribe or maybe visit a similar topic.
Those are the 9 elements which make up the perfect blog post. Or, maybe what makes every blog post more effective and successful. Which among those elements have you noticed have helped you increase your traffic? Which among them do you consider working on improving?