Blogging is a very popular form of writing content and sharing thoughts these days. A blog was termed as a personal online diary but now it is mostly used for commercial purposes rather than personal ones. If you are a blog writer, writing an article can be termed as a sequential process where some steps have to be repeated every time a new blog post is written. Although, these sequential steps vary from author to author, we list down some of the most common and important steps to check out before publishing an article.
1- Pay extra attention to the title?
This is quite obvious and the most basic principle. You should have an eye-catching topic that can gain the attraction of not only the regular readers, but passers-by as well. Your post title should contain about 60-70 characters. This is not mandatory but recommended because the search engines will mostly display the first 70 characters of the title. Having a cut out title gives a bad impression to the users. Use maximum keywords in your title so as to ease the task of search robots trying to reach you.
Another important point I would like to mention is the use of numbers in your post titles. For example, if you are explaining converting mpeg4 to mp3; a suitable title can be:
This reminds me of the questioning words; use ‘How to’,’ Why ‘,’ What’, ’Will’ in your titles as people are mostly looking for answers. Be simple in your vocabulary because searches are made in a simple language. The titles like ‘Perfect transformation steps for mpeg4 to mp3’’ will be less useful.
You can also use the words Best, Hot, Top and synonyms while you publicize your collection but readers are more attracted to these kind of titles. You should use these words only if you are at least 95% confident about your list else you will lose your credibility.
2- What should be my article length?
This has been quite a debate in SEO and blogging forums. But the questions still remains to be answered about the optimum length of the article. If we analyze the technology niche, we will see that some articles around 100 words will perform very highly while many will suffer. Some long articles of 800 words or more will provide great results while others will fall back. This is where Google’s advice comes into play. Google’s advice is to write something unique. Just try to provide something that has not been covered by any of the existing competitors. It may be 100 words or 1000 words but the quality should be measured as discussed above.
3- Optimize your article for SEO
Blogging is not only about producing awesome content but You need to know what search engines want in addition to producing great content so that your content may gain the deserved readership. And to be honest, there are some expert SEO Consultants who are receiving admirable readership for simple and ordinary content as well. So, the moral of the story is make sure your article is optimized for search engines.
Although the classic SEO stuff should always be taken care first but you should know that SEO has expanded with the release of Google Panda, Penguin and EMD updates. Here are some points that you should take care:
1. Make sure that you are providing the exact thing that the searcher is looking for. Since Google and Bing may, directly or indirectly, have bounce rate and user satisfaction as a ranking signal, satisfying the user should be your top priority.
2. Make sure you are using all the micro-formats that are being used by Google Search. These include the authorship format, Video XML sitemaps etc. This will certainly give a boost in CTR even if you are not ranking very highly on a specific search term.
3. Make sure the loading time of your blog is less than 5 seconds. You can use various tools like Google PageSpeed, Yahoo YSlow, Pingdom tools to see the best practices and what is lacking in your blog.
4. This is really tricky and the most important. The title of the article, as discussed above should be socially sharable. You should provide easy ways to share the content on popular social networking platforms.
Personally I use this technique a lot. Inter-link your articles so readers can continue surfing from one post to another. This will lower down the bounce rate and will make sure that the user stays on your site for more time. Although linking manually is the best way to interlink, you can use automated ways to create internal links automatically..
5- Schedule the Post
If you look into the hourly stats of Google Analytics, you will be able to figure out the time when there are maximum amount of visitors on your site. You should schedule your post for publication when there are people on your site. This will give instant readership boost to the freshly baked article. It is also recommended that the same posting schedule is maintained daily. The regular readers will have an idea when a new article is published and will be more consistent while visiting your blog.
I hope this will serve as a guideline for all bloggers while writing their content regularly. What steps do you follow before publishing an article?