How to Create the Perfect Blog Post

if hemingway wrote the perfect blog postBlogging is not something that happens by accident. It is a skill that includes a process. Here are the key factors that go into creating “The Perfect Blog Post.”

Use an Enticing Headline

The title or headline is the first thing that people will see and it’s what shows up in search results, emails and social media platforms. A good title can be what makes or breaks your success for catching a reader’s eye. It should be concise and have an impact!

Don’t Forget the Visuals

Images, graphics and other visual pieces are what draw in readers. They make a blog post more interesting by breaking up the text. There’s nothing more boring than a long page of text. Make it POP with relevant images. Spend some time to search for royalty free images, or if you have a bit of dough to spend, buy some great stock photos to liven up your posts.

Don’t Write a Book

Keep your blogs post short and to the point. Even if you have aspirations of writing a book, don’t do it on a single blog post! If it’s too long people won’t read it. On the flip side though, your post needs to add value, so don’t just write a sentence and add a link to something else. A good length is between 450 and 650 words. Also, use headers, bullets and other formatting to break up the copy and make it easier for readers to digest.

Give It “Shareability”

Give readers a reason to share your content and make it easy for them to do so. Most blogging platforms have plugins that will allow readers to share your content with one click. Use them! Also, use a SEO/Social plugin and make sure you have added a good enticing description. This will encourage more people to read and share your blog posts.

 

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Blog – Online Marketing Term of the Week

Blog

noun:

  • Definition of BlogA website or web page where an individual or individuals record opinions, updates, news and other timely information.

verb:

  • To add new material, news updates and/or other information to a webpage or blog.

 

Blogging Should be Your First Social Media Platform

blog word cloud

There are many social media “gurus” out that would have you believe that your first step into social media should be Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn or maybe something else. Many will even tell you can skip building a website and use one of these platforms as your main internet presence. There are so many choices out there, how do you make the right decision?

These are all great places to be, and yes you should have a presence on the platforms where your target market is. However social media platforms are well known for changing their terms or algorithm without notice. What do you do if you are using Facebook as your main or only presence and they decide to eliminate Company Pages for the next big thing? You might have to start over from scratch.

There are so many choices out there, how do you make the right decision?

I’m a big believer that your website should be the center of your online universe. So the first step you should take to get your company into social media, is to start a blog.

Here are 3 reasons why:

  1. You control the format, structure and the way it looks.
  2. You control how people find your blog. Facebook recently changed their algorithm for the news feed and many brands are feeling the sting because they audience is no longer seeing their posts.
  3. You control the analytics and database. By using lead capture forms, calls to action and other lead capture techniques on your blog, you can create a database of prospects and customers that you can directly contact. Plus, no third party company can use them or take them away from you.

Bonus: You can still use other social media platforms, but use them to drive traffic to your blog!

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Simplified Blogging – Blogging Before the Internet Age

Think blogging is new. This is what it looked like before the internet age.

simplified blogging

The Internet in 60 Seconds

60 seconds may not seem like much time at all, but look at what happens online every 60 seconds.

the internet in 60 seconds

SEO Best Practices for Blogging

I recently had a client ask about SEO best practices for creating title tags for blog posts for their network of bloggers. Currently when the title and link to each blog post shows up in their network it shows a very generic title that gives very little indication to what the post is really about. So, below is description of SEO best practices for blogging networks.

First you need to ask a few questions.

  • What’s important for the blogs?
  • Do you want people to find them because they are part of the Blogging network, for keywords, for the person that is writing, etc?

This will determine the order of what you include in the title of each blog post.

Also are the writers aware of SEO practices. Is this a recommendation for them as well? Do they know to include the main topic of the blog post in the title? Witty or fun titles are nice, but may not do much for SEO.

Below are some examples:

  1. For example:  You have three elements: The Network, the author and the subject or title (including keywords) of the post. If the most important thing is that people find the blogs because they are part of the blogging  network, the second most important element is the subject/title of the post and finally the author is third in importance, then the structure would look like this:Network Blogs: Improving Your Health – John’s Blog
  2. If the subject/title of the post is most important, the author is 2nd and the network is 3rd:Improving Your Health: John’s Blog – Network Blogs
  3. If the author is most important, subject/title is 2nd and network is 3rd;John’s Blog: Improving Your Health – Network Blogs

Long story short, the most important element should come first followed by second and third, etc. Please see the examples below.

Is Mashable Subtly Convincing People to Say Nice Things About Them?

I came across this today when I was reading a post on Mashable.com and I found it a bit curious.

Mashable comments

I guess you can interpret “constructive” as constructive criticism, but it sort of comes across as “say nice things so the community will like you?”

What do you think is this a good practice or does it sound like they are subtly saying they only want you to post nice comments.

Introducing TriStarr Staffing’s New and Improved Blog

I’m happy to announce the launch, or I guess I should say “re-launch” of the TriStarr Staffing blog.

TriStarr Staffing is one of our oldest clients. We’ve worked with them in many different areas of internet marketing including; SEO, Social Media, Website Analytics and Pay Per Click Adverting.

Today we are launching their new and improved blog. TriStarr’s previous blog, which we launched on January 23, 2009, was hosted on the free blogger.com service. The new blog is integrated into their main site with the sub domain: blog.tristarrjobs.com.

TriStarr Blog

Use this link for TriStarr Staffing Blog RSS feed.

Way back when we launched the blog in 2009 Scott Fiore wrote a post setting his goals for the blog and a little bit about the company. I’d like to share it with you here:

My trusted web advisor has convinced me to set up a blog. I’m old, and don’t really understand this stuff, but agreed to give it a try. What I hope to do is post news and other stuff here that may help people in their job search, career, etc.

We’ll see how it turns out.

Here’s a little about TriStarr.

TriStarr works with leading employers throughout Lancaster, Harrisburg, and York, Pa., giving you access to some of the most desirable administrative jobs available. We can help you secure temporary employment or a full-time, permanent position. At TriStarr Staffing, we are always on the lookout for experienced and motivated administrative and professional/management talent—high caliber individuals with a “get-it-done” attitude and the skills to back it up. If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place.

Scott, it’s two years later and so far so good! I’m looking forward to working with you to build on the base we’ve created so far. So, let’s get blogging!

How To: Five Things You Can do With Social Media Marketing

social media handymanSo you made the resolution to get a social media plan off the ground in 2011. Great! It’s already January 4, so let’s get started!

Social media marketing is the newcomer to the marketing scene and continues to be a hot topic. Many companies fail when they attempt to leverage it as a marketing tool. Often they just don’t understand what the potential of social media marketing really is. This list will help you see what it can do for your company:

  1. Bring links to you website
    Link building is a key component of search engine optimization and social media is a great way to get inexpensive links. Although many social media platforms use what’s called nofollow links (nofollow links tell the search engine bots not to follow the links) there are plenty of ways to get follow links as well. Don’t forget that blogs are also a form of social media. By posting relevant content and then promoting it through social media platforms you create many more chances to be found by bloggers, who in turn may post a link to your content in their blog. Plus, even if people link to you content via social media platforms with nofollow links, guess what, people follow those links.
  2. Bring traffic to your website.
    This ties into the links as well. As you create good content and link to it through relevant posts on social media platforms, this alone can drive traffic to your site. But when it really gets interesting is when an influencer gets a hold of your content and shares it with their connections and those connections share it with their connections this can quickly turn into a stream of traffic being driven to your site. This is what I like to call word of mouth on steroids.
  3. Create consumer brand awareness.
    It’s definitely true that brand awareness is good for your business, social media can help you create a good first impression as well as keep your products in the minds of consumers. If you are engaged with social media marketing and continue to post relevant thoughtful information, when consumers are in need of your product they will remember they saw your posts online and come to you. Recommendations are also a big part of social media marketing, and not just review site. Every time someone includes a link, or shares your content they are essentially giving a recommendation.
  4. Drive conversions.
    A conversion can be many things depending on your objectives. It could be downloading a whitepaper, purchasing a product online, filling out a contact form, etc. Whatever you consider to be a conversion. A well thought out social media marketing plan can drive people to convert.
  5. Start conversations.
    Today’s consumers don’t want to be spoken to they want to converse and they are looking for input from their peers. If you are getting links and traffic from your social media marketing, that’s because people are talking about you. On the flip side if you can get conversations started, then there’s a good chance you will also see more traffic and links to you site.

Official Release of WordPress 3.0 “Thelonsious” (Video)

As they said over on wordpress.org “Arm your vuvuzelas” because the new WordPress 3.0 release came out today! The new version is a combination of WordPress and WordPress Multi-User (WPmµ). Bringing the best of blogging and multiple blog platforms together. I know who cares what I have to say. Just watch the video…