We all know the basic recipe for a good blog post — fresh, crisp content; saucy social media posts; tasty visuals and a killer headline (with a pinch of salt and pepper). But what about something new?
During the last SEMrush Twitter Chat, more than 100 participants joined our guest expert Joe Griffin, co-CEO and co-founder of ClearVoice and iAcquire. He shared tips and tricks that are sure to help you unlock your blog’s potential and deliver the content goods to your hungry audience!
Sound delicious? Read on!
A1: Blog posts should inspire the readers to engage, share the content, and other journalists should find it link worthy. #semrushchat
— Joe Griffin (@joegriffin) 19 ноября 2014
Sounds like Joe Griffin described the perfect blog post. To achieve this level of content, Joe recommends beginning posts with a headline and following a clear format: “100 percent - the title and every one of the headings need to great for scanning.” Joe Griffin
When you get deeper into the text, be sure that it contains a call-to–action, visuals and facts.
Here are other elements of the great article you should focus on:
A1: Unexpected hook, credible internal and external resources, in-depth/comprehensive guide or information about the topic #semrushchat
— Venchito Tampon (@venchito14) 19 ноября 2014
All participants agreed on one thing, as it was distinctly phrased by Adam Dince, “The most key element is passion for what you're writing about. Without that, the rest doesn't matter.” Your passion and in-depth insight into the topic — the two most precious ingredients — guarantee that your post won’t be just good, but inspiring!
And there is no way you’ll be able to do this by feeding your audience inedible content.
Hear that? Listen to your audience! Social media, comments, feedback from your clients, Quora and Reddit — look there, and you’ll find a lot of ideas for blog posts.
During the discussion Venchito Tampon mentioned the FAQFox tool, a tool that helps you find hot topics your target audience is talking about. “What if a blog post is just about your feelings? Will it solve your reader’s problems?” – Mike Blazer asked. I love the answer from Adam Dince: “It either has to solve a problem or make a person's day a little better.” Sometimes that’s what people need!
A2: As a publisher you should seek to host relevant voices about the topics important to your audience - do that wisely #semrushchat
— Joe Griffin (@joegriffin) 19 ноября 2014
How do you decide whether or not to accept guest posts?
I can't disagree with Brandon, but there are some aspects you should remember. The first step is to expand your army of writers.
Some of our participants said they would never take guest blog posts from strangers, and I see their point; nobody wants to turn their blogs into an open-mic hangout. The main thing to keep in mind? Quality always comes first!
Good content needs to be promoted. The new readers who will come with a new author are priceless.
ClearVoice: Guest posts allow you to expand your audience by utilizing an influencer’s social reach. So how do you find your industry influencers?
Allie Gray Freeland also recommended using FollowerWonk, Kred and Klout. If you are on the other side — you are blogger who is looking for place to write — take a look at this article: “How to Use Guest Blogging for Lead Generation,” by one of our participants Brandon Seymour.
So what kinds of techniques have to be applied? Let’s start with the basics.
Now let’s talk about tool kits. WordPress is powerful, and with a certain number of useful plugins, you can get out of it as much as you want.
However, Brandon Seymour warned everybody: “If using WP, don't use too many plugins. They can conflict with one another and slow down your site.” Adam Dince offered a solution: P3 Plugin Performance Profiler.
We discussed blogging the bare minimum, but is it enough? ThinkSEM answered, "The hard thing about blog posts is that MOST can't stand on their own in SERPs, no matter HOW MUCH on-site you do."
Everybody agreed that the bare minimum is not enough; SEO is a long-term, hard job, so take it seriously. And once again — talking about content — we can’t stop talking about the audience.
There is no way to run a successful content marketing without planning. Discipline and accuracy lead the way.
Save an open slot for an “emergency” post. Be prepared to cover some latest news and react on recent events, if you want to provide your audience with timely news or analytics. Also, an indispensable part of planning is deciding on the frequency of your blog posts. If it doesn't harm the quality of your content, blog as often as your audience will accept.
While planning, think about your resources; be sure you can actually achieve your goals.
Every post starts with an idea. As Rohan Ayyar said, “You should have ideas all the time. If you don't get them, be worried.” We talked about it already, but here is some more advice. ClearVoice recommends that you “stay on top of trending industry news.”
Yes, we are talking about audience again, and I think it’s OK to remind ourselves to take care of our readers. And the best way to show our readers we care? Create quality content with passion. Tony Dimmock: Make sure you're writing about things that mean the world to you or subjects you're passionate about. Many don't and instead churn out post after post of drivel. When you post anything, make it the BEST there is on the subject.
There is no way to cook something without the right kitchen supplies, and there is no way to create something delicious without a great tool kit.
Our participants shared a lot of amazing tools:
- Brandon Seymour: Might sound really vanilla, but GA and GWT have just about everything you'll need in terms of analytics.
- Venchito Tampon: FAQFox, OSE, Gmail with Boomerang or other CRM tools (for promotion), Quora and Google.
- Joe Griffin: For WordPress bloggers, you gotta love @Coschedule. Yoast for SEO of course. @Topsy and @reddit for ideation.
- Kunle Campbell: Twitter/Google+/Facebook (for content discovery), Basecamp (organization), WordPress, also Evernote.
- Adam Dince: 1. WordPress and Plugins 2. Canva 3. My Twitter Stream 4. Portent Content Idea Generator 5. Questions my network asks.
- Reva Minkoff: WordPress, Reddit, Sentic, TweetDeck and Taboola, are my favorites.
- Matt Banner: Yoast, Boomerang, Check My Links (broken link tool), Topsy, SEMrush :D, Ahrefs/Majestic/OSE, the list goes on!
- MikeBlazerX: Haha — we love WRITING things down, too...old school but it works! #semrushchat — ThinkSEM (@ThinkSEM) 19 ноября 2014
We hope you discovered a lot of new tools that will help you take your blogging to brand new level! Lastly, we wanted to share some great news from our guest experts from Clear Voice. On the SEMrush Twitter Chat, Joe Griffin made an announcement:
That’s it for today! We hope you’ve enjoyed this Twitter Chat and all of these recommendations. If you want to share your experience and expertise, don’t miss the next SEMrush Twitter Chat every Wednesday at 11 a.m. (EST). Use #SEMrushchat to join!