You keep hearing that you need to include a blog on your website. Create content! Draw people to your website! Give them great information! It sounds good in theory (and in reality, it is) but what does it all mean? Today, instead of hounding you to start creating blog content – by writing posts or recording videos, let’s talk about what your blog posts need to be considered good.
A Not-Awful HeadlineThe headline of your blog post is one of the most important parts. Without a good title, people have little reason to click on your post and actually read it. You have a lot of options for writing a decent headline:
- Ask a question your readers might ask. Is a Home Inspection Really That Important?
- Write a numbered list. 15 Things to Do Before You Sell Your Home
- Explain something. How to Find Your Perfect Home
Hook ‘Em in the First Few LinesOkay, so you had a decent headline, and people clicked on your post. Now you’ve got to keep them long enough to get them to read your blog. The best way to do that is to start with a story. No, I don’t mean a 3,000 word tome on buying a home. It’s simpler than that, I promise. Consider your blog post topic and think about one person you want to talk to. It could be the young wife who was very anxious about the extra costs of buying. It might be the older man who couldn’t understand why he had to paint over his fuschia walls before putting it on the marketing. Talk to that specific person. It’ll sound something like this: “You’ve looked at so many houses, they’re all starting to run together in your mind. You’ve figured out your budget down to the penny and refuse to go any higher. But now, you’re being told you need a home inspection, something you didn’t budget for. How important could it be? Just imagine…” From there, tell a (brief) horror story about the buyer who didn’t get the home inspection – you know you have one and then explain why a home inspection is so important. You’re talking directly to one person, but there are a lot of those same types of people out there. You’ll have related to your ideal reader from the very beginning and given them a reason to find out more.
Break Up the ContentGuess what you should never ever do when you write a blog post. Keep typing all the way down so that everything is in one or two really long paragraphs. Most people will never even attempt to read your post if you do that. There’s a better way.
- Have you noticed that each section as it’s own heading? That’s called a heading or subheading.
- Did you catch the bullet point list up top? They can be bullets or numbers.
- What about the short paragraphs of two to three sentences? Yes, sometimes more, sometimes less.
Include Links When It Makes SenseLinking to other relevant content on your own site gives people a reason to stay a little longer and read more of your content. Let’s say you mention a specific neighborhood in a blog post. If you’ve got an information page for that neighborhood somewhere on your site, link to it. (And if you don’t have specific pages for the neighborhoods you specialize in, now is the time to start adding some.) Maybe you reference home inspections in a blog post on the closing process. Link to an older blog post you wrote about home inspections. It takes a while to build enough of a library to be able to do this, but it’s worth it. When people like the information you’re sharing, they’ll click on those links to keep learning more. If you cite statistics, data, or hard facts from other online sources in your blog posts, link back to them within the post itself. Try not to link back to content that requires a log-in or registration in order to view it. This gives people the opportunity to see where you get your information, as well as the opportunity to investigate a little further.
Add a High-Quality Image – But Don’t Steal ItA good image or two in your blog post will do a few things.
- Give the reader something to look at in the initial scan before they read.
- Give the reader an idea of what your post is about.
- Make your post more shareable on social media.
Add a Call-to-Action at the EndYou drew a reader in with your headline and relatable introduction. Their eyes didn’t glaze over because you kept your paragraphs short and added subheadings. Your reader learned something, and they liked it well enough to read to the very end. Now what? Give them something to do. This is called a call-to-action.
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- Leave a comment.
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- Contact you with questions.