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Anybody can write a blog but not all blogs develop into highly regarded and engaging content platforms. A  thought-leading influential blog is what most businesses need; in this blog we discuss a number of ways to maximise your blog.

Its value lies in the fact that a great blog serves three very important purposes:

1. Introduces regular and new content to your website.
2. Leads visitors to your website which increases your website reach through page views and clicks. Each new blog post generates a new website URL which introduces another new search ranking prospect for your website.
3. Provides useful and relevant information to the reader that will (hopefully) inspire them to subscribe to receiving your blog updates in their inbox and establishes your brand as a credible source of information.

Over time, blogging will improve your organic search engine ranking due to all the new links being created and the fresh content posted on your website regularly. A well-planned, properly executed and well-managed blog can potentially become a highly valued business asset that showcases your brand values and tells your brand story in a way that few other platforms are able to do.

What boxes need to be ticked to maximise your blog?

We cover some of the most important aspects in our view, below:

Raison d’être – A reason for being
What is the purpose of your blog? What do you want readers to think once they’ve read it? Your blog should be useful to the reader and relevant to their lives. Therefore, you need to research your target market very well in order to fully grasp who you are generating content for.
Your blog should add value to the readers’ lives and be worth the number of minutes they will spend reading it. A true test of reader satisfaction and the positive impact of your blog is if the reader feel sufficiently inspired to share it with their friends and colleagues.

Punchy headline
A captivating and well-crafted headline should incite curiosity and promise reward. Punchy, memorable and accurate in its description are three characteristics of a great headline.

Content structure
Blog content should be properly planned and presented in a logical, engaging format. Rolling out the story one step at a time creates the desired suspense and starts with grabbing the reader’s attention with your opening line. A great opening line (and paragraph) is often the hook that inspires the reader to the whole blog. It helps to include a really interesting and relevant fact or statistic in this paragraph or to ask a question to which the reader anticipates an answer at the end of the post. Frame your story well and keep it informal and engaging.

Quality content with a unique angle
A good blog often includes a really interesting angle to an old subject or an interesting twist in the story. Quality content is unique and well-written; poorly written content will not be read to completion and duplicate content will not be ranked well as this will increase your bounce rate (the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the website after viewing only one page). You want your visitors to stay a while and to browse more pages. If your blog is to be useful and relevant, it should be aimed at adding value to the reader’s life – you will only be able to do this well if you know who the audience is.
Ensure a flawless blog post with a thorough spell check. Ask a colleague to proof read your blog post before publishing it; a fresh set of eyes may result in picking up on an avoidable mistake. Nothing decreases the value of your blog and your credibility as a writer like poor use of grammar or spelling mistakes.

Bullet points and sub headings
Blog posts should be laid out in a way that doesn’t look cluttered. It is best practice to organise your blog post into paragraphs with short sub headings and bullet points where necessary. The objective should be to create a layout that is easy to scan and assimilate without looking intimidating and overwhelming.

Your blog image is very important
Choose an interesting and well-suited image that supports your headline and invokes curiosity in the reader. Your image should be captivating to the point that it keeps the reader’s attention for longer than usual. Images can be very effective story hooks.

Keywords and optimisation
As with all on-page website content, your blog should contain relevant keywords and should be optimised for optimum search engine ranking. Use an SEO programme to score your blog post on the basis of a readability test, the amount of keywords contained in your blog post and the strength of your opening paragraph and blog title.

Frequent posting
Posting regularly is also important in order to build a loyal following. There is no ideal number but the trick is to be consistent with regular publishing. The more established a brand is and the more competitive the environment, the more often you will need to post a new blog to break through the clutter.

Share, promote and advertise
Every post should contain social sharing buttons so your readers can easily share your blog posts. It goes without saying – the more shares your blog post gets, the higher the influence amongst your readers and this will be reflected in your organic search engine ranking for that related keyword. This will also increase the perceived value of your blog on the web.

An opt-in form where readers can subscribe to your blog is another essential element for a successful blog page. Encourage interaction and make commenting easy for readers to increase the engagement levels. Finally, promoting and boosting your blog posts on social media platforms are necessary to broaden your reach.

Don’t hesitate to also make use of paid-for advertising to maximise your reach on posts that get traction with your existing followers. When you maximise your posts in this way, you extend your reach beyond its intended shelf-life and further cements your organic ranking because of your social shares.


Author: Lize Sadie

More blogs by Contentum:

Why your business should absolutely have a blog!

5 Ways to generate good blog topics