Is this the year you finally get a blog for yourself or your business on the web? If so, you’ll want to learn a few things to make the process of content planning, search engine optimization, and blog promotion as simple as possible.
First, read our guide to starting and setting up a blog. Then, check out our best tips for beginners to turn your blog into a successful one.
Best Practices for Blogging Beginners
There’s a lot that goes into creating a blog that people want to not only visit but also stick around on and keep coming back to. These tips will keep you drawing people in to grow and engage your audience and meet your blogging goals, like monetization or business marketing.
Your blog topics should fall within just a few categories, all of which are relevant to your blog’s focal topic. The best way to find new topics is to research them. Browse other blogs in your niche, see what content is doing well, and choose topic ideas based on them but with a unique spin.
For example, a post on a marketing blog might be titled, “5 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Ads.” You can put a different spin on this topic and write a blog titled, “11 Ways to Get More Traffic from Facebook Through Optimized Targeting.”
Try to plan content for several months at a time and include tentative writing and posting dates to keep yourself on schedule.
Blog Post Length
Blog posts can be a range of lengths that depend on your goals. In fact, Orbit Media found that posts of 500 words or less perform the strongest for 22% of reporting bloggers, but 55% of bloggers report their strongest results with posts of 2,000 words or more.
For quick, news-type items, you’ll want to shoot for around 300 words. More standard blog posts that don’t require a lot of detail fall between 600-800, while highly shareable posts are usually within the 1,000-1,500-word range.
If you’re creating cornerstone content – content that links to other areas of your site and has the potential to rank well in Google – you’ll want to write 2,000 words or more. However, your content should be beneficial, informative, and organized to catch the attention of Google and your readers.
The answer to “How often should I blog” may look different for everyone because your audience, topics, and goals for your blog differ from those of other bloggers. Still, plenty of research has shown that the more blog topics you have, the higher your potential traffic can be. That means that, eventually, you could bump down your posting frequency and still see an influx of new traffic to your site.
While you’re building your blog, though, it’s essential to have at least one or two new quality posts each week. If you only have time to write one quality post each week, do that instead of squeezing in two lower-quality posts. Frequency is important, but it won’t do your blog much good if your posts don’t consistently show the authority you want to portray.
Blog Post Formatting
Your blog’s bounce rate and session duration both factor into how important search engines think your site is. A high bounce rate and low session duration mean that visitors aren’t spending much time on your website, which could affect your relevance in search queries.
An excellent way to fix that is to make your posts more engaging. Using different levels of headings to break up your content, along with bullet lists, images, videos, and other elements that make your post more scannable, can encourage visitors to read through it. Proper formatting also simplifies the scanning process for search engines, helping them know what information you’ve included in your post.
Internal and External Links
Linking to your other blog posts (internal links) can keep people on your site for longer, reducing your bounce rate and increasing session durations. Linking to other websites (external links) boosts your credibility and thanks them for their helpful information.
Both can be just as important for your site. External linking connects you with other sites in your niche, which is not only great for building relationships, but it also helps search engines know what your site is about. Internal linking weaves your pages together for a more user-friendly experience and act as a way to grow your SEO organically by helping search engines understand your topics.
Your visitors want to know what to do with the information they take away from your site. What’s the best way to help them figure it out? Place a call-to-action (CTA) in each blog post.
A CTA tells your readers what they should do after reading your post, whether that’s heading to another page, signing up for your email list, or downloading some resources. A strategic CTA can keep visitors on your page longer, encourage them to engage with your site, and can even cause them to become a returning visitor.
Promoting Blog Posts
You can’t write a blog post and expect it to get visitors or go viral magically. You need to promote it, just like you would an eBook you wrote or a course you created. And blog posts usually require well-planned promotions across your social media channels and email list to take off. Read these blog promotion tips from the experts for some ideas.
Once you begin getting consistent traffic to a post, you can rely more on sharing tools to do some of the legwork for you. Place share buttons in an easily visible and accessible place on each blog post (our simple code will do all that for you!) and watch your visitors share your content with their networks. The addition of share buttons on your site is one of the simplest ways to automate the blog promotion process.
Social media share buttons make it simple for your blog visitors to share their favorite posts from your blog with a single click, but growing your social media following is important, too. Social media follow buttons, such as our Instagram follow button, enable your readers to follow you on their favorite social media platforms with just one click so you can start growing your Instagram following today – effortlessly!