Shelley Widhalm of Shell’s Ink Services holds up a tiny house. It’s not true that if you build it, they will come when it comes to blogging.
By Shelley Widhalm
It’s not true if you build it they will come, or if you post it, they’ll read it.
That’s because there’s science and a bit of magic that comes with blogging.
First, to make blogs authentic and real with meaningful content avoid the content mill.
The Term “Content Mill”
The term “content mill” is slang for a website, company or organization that provides cheap website content and pays low rates to writers—the writers have to write quickly to make their time investment worthwhile with the result of less craft and polish.
Websites and organizations hire content mill writers to generate massive amounts of SEO-driven content with the aim to boost their rankings on Google and other search engines. They’re not trying to cater to the needs or desires of their readers.
Today, blogs with quality content generate the desired SEO, because Google continually changes its algorithm to give lower rankings to sites with junk and low-grade content.
Blogging with high quality in mind takes a little more time and effort, but the end result is a higher ranking with more traffic and leads.
Search engines give greater exposure to original content that’s not a copy or duplicate. The content is relevant, timely and fresh and meets a specific audience need, while providing marketing and brand building for the company or organization.
Tips to Creating Quality Blogs
- Start with a strong headline that summarizes the blog content while sparking interest from the readers.
- Begin with a story, anecdote or example instead of facts and ideas to give readers a sense of time and place and a reason to care. Or use a story later on to expand on or to clarify a point.
- Offer an answer to a question that can be keyed into search queries, but make sure the information that is provided is readily apparent and easily explained.
- Use bullet points and subheads to make the information easy to scan and find.
- Write something that’s engaging and provokes thought, reflection and further questioning.
- End with some kind of action, encouraging readers to apply the information, follow through with a tip, do more research or check out a link or website.
- Edit what you’ve written for grammar, mechanics and organization and fact check for accuracy.
- Make sure to include pictures, images or videos to add visual appeal and to break up paragraphs of text.
- Respond to comments and like other blog posts to generate a conversation.
- Vary the type of posts from short to long and include things like summaries, lists, how-to explanations, reference guides and article-type posts with quotes and multiple sources.
Write Clearly and Concisely
Lastly, my favorite piece of advice is to write clearly and concisely, an adage used by journalists and writers alike. Make the post short and to the point, packed full of information and do not wander into directionless, non-topic blah and fluff.
Most importantly, keep blogging. Don’t blog and stop. That’s boring. Plus, the search engines will bypass the blog and your website—SEO becomes So Easily Overlooked.
(Note: I’m offering a special for the month of July. I have room in my schedule to help three people with their blogs, which will be professional high-quality blogs with research, interviews and storytelling. My special is $600 for four blogs a month. If you are that person, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-689-1900.)