5 brilliant tips on how to start a blog post with a bang 

start your blog post with a bang

Most blogs suck. 

You might have the most brilliant advice, but nobody reads it. 

The solution starts withthe start. 

A recent survey found that only 30% of readers make it to the end of a post. Just like a YouTube video – if you dont grab your readers attention in 3 seconds its sayonara.  

Theyre gone. 

In this post you will learn a 5 step approach to quickly retro fit old posts gathering digital dust, or tweak new posts to start working miracles.  

Lets jump in with some mind work on how to start a blog post.

1. Enter the conversation

To capture your readers’ attention you have to first enter the conversation going on in their mind (Robert Collier). In other words, grab their attention with something theyre already thinking about. 

– If youre a financial planner, tell me how to avoid costly mistakes.
– If youre a realtor, tell me how to make more money when I sell my home.
– If youre an IT consultant, tell me how to choose the best IT consultant. 

Not sure where to start? Start with a list of the most common questions your prospects ask you.

2. Get my attention

water splashing in woman's face

This is keymake me stop and want to read more. Your reader found your latest post via your email or social media. But, theyre not committed yetwith the click of their mouse theyre gone – never to return to that post. 

So, hook them with bait that makes them hungry for more. 

Start with your first sentence. Its job is to get me to read your second sentence. And so on.  

In your #blog, the job of your first sentence is to get me to read your second sentence. And so on. Click To Tweet 

Dont force me to wade through a muddy dissertation. Instead, start with a bold statement, a bit of controversy or a question. 

For example, I could have started this post with something like: 

The problem with all too many blogs is that they fail to get the attention of readers and, as a result, dont drive traffic to your products or services. 

Ugh. 

Instead, I started with: 

Most blogs suck.

3. Tell me the Problem

person holding question mark to face

Heres a blogging secret. If the reader doesnt care about your topic, they wont care to read about it 

So, make it obvious. 

In the first 2 sentences you need to TELL ME THE PROBLEM you will solve. 

Here’s a blogging secret. If the reader doesn’t care about your topic, they won’t care to read about it. Click To Tweet 

Even better: choose only one problem to solve. 

Here are 3 examples from our blog:

1. In this post we tackled time management:
Lets get one thing straight. I waste time, you waste timeeveryone wastes time.

2. This post is all about getting more traffic:
And its time to get serious about your business and your blog. You want more trafficthe right traffic.

3. This post is about restarting your blog writing:
You havent published for at least a month – not so great.

4. Make a promise

Every salesperson worth his/her salt knows this. To keep your prospects attention you need to make a promise of what you have to offer. 

It could be as simple as Let me show you how we can fix that, or I think I have the perfect solution for you. 

Its no different in your blogonce you get my attention, tell me what comes next.  

For example, this post is about blog performance:
In this post were looking at super simple tune-ups to make your blog work better and, maybe, even a bit sexier. Sound good?

5. Please get to the point!

time on site screenshow showing how to start your blog post with a bang
The average time we see on our client’s blog posts is 2-3 times more than other pages.

Finally, a great blog gets to the point. 

You got my attention, you entered the conversation going on in my mind, you even described a problem you know I have – great! Now, get to the point and deliver the goods.  

The average visitor time on our clients websites is about one minute. The average time we see on their blog posts is more like 3 to 7 minutes. Wow! 

Your blog has the ability to stop readers from clicking away. Your blog can also drive traffic to your revenue pages.  

If you do it right. 

A few small changes to the start of your post can improve time on site, list growth – even conversion to sales.  

It all starts withthe start. 

Enjoyed this post on how to start a blog post? Here are 3 more all about blog writing: 

5 easy steps to publishing your next blog post (even if you dont have time)
90 seconds to becoming a better writer
How to never run out of blog ideas ever again

How to get more blog traffic (142%!)

How to get 142% more blog traffic

Let’s face it – if you have a blog you want traffic – right? But you need to know how to get more blog traffic.

It makes sense: more traffic equals more business…

In fact, companies that blog receive 55% more traffic than companies that don’t. And according to at least one study, 83% of consumers trust the advice of a blog.

The trick is to first get people to read your blog. And for that I have some help. In fact, I’ve used these same strategies to increase my blog traffic by 142% in one year. Not bad when you consider most blogs we watch trickle along with a modest 5-10% annual growth.

Before I get to my solutions on how to get more blog traffic, let me ask you a question:

Are you writing your content to be helpful?

Don’t get me wrong – it’s great that you want more business. But, if your blog is all about click-through rates and opting into lists – it will be obvious. Like the old saying: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

If your blog is all about click-through rates and opting into lists - it will be obvious. Like the old saying: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. Click To Tweet

Here’s the good news…

If you write your blog to be truly helpful – without expecting something in return – you will build a tribe and eventually get what you want. It might not be gangbusters overnight, but you will attract people who like your approach. That will happen.

With that caveat out of the way …

Here’s a quick summary of all 25 points on how to get more blog traffic – Slideshare style:

Here’s my favourite (all white-hat) 25 tips on how to get more blog traffic without breaking the bank or staying up all night.

  1. Know this is important work and publish on a regular basis. Once a month is much, much better than – as Tim Urban puts it: We publish every sometime.
  2. Write shorter posts. If you insist on writing Ulyssey’s-length essays you might be losing a lot of readers.
  3. Notice what works and do more of that (this is my fav. overall strategy – read this).
  4. Write in the second person (“you”, “your”, not “me”) – after all, every reader cares most about themself.
  5. Write about your failings. “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker.” Denis Waitley
  6. Share on social media (hey! we can do that for you).
  7. Take a risk – like write a short post (#2), admit you suck as something (#5), take a bold stand (#19), or start with a personal story (#24).
  8. Do (just a bit of) research. As a minimum, use a tool like buzzsumo to find top ranking blog posts on your topic.
google analytics
With a little strategy and some hard work I was able to increase my traffic 142% in one year.
  1. Be funny (at the very least choose a funny image.)
  2. Write stuff people will want to link to.
  3. Be remarkable.
  4. Don’t interrupt your writing with a lot of links (except for this post, of course.)
  5. Keep adding to your idea pile (I use Evernote and tag them as ‘unused blog posts’ to capture ideas on the fly.)
  6. Kill and bury old, low traffic blog posts. This is a good SEO strategy, but also good for your readers.
  7. Edit ruthlessly. Pro writer’s tip: don’t start editing until you have completed the first draft.
  8. Experiment with your blog on video, SlideShare, illustrations, cartoons or finger paint.
  9. Be patient! Great content with some promotion will attract the readers you want.
  10. Quote bloggers with big followings (then let them know on social media).
  11. Take a stand—a strong voice will cut through the Internet fog and, like a search light, will find the readers you want.
  12. Make it easy for readers to share your blog. We use the floating share button from sumo.
  13. Ask your readers to do something. Like add a comment, share the post or download a guide.
  14. Read lots of inspiring blogs. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” Stephen King
  15. Don’t be boring. That’s worth repeating: don’t be boring. There.
  16. Tell stories.
  17. Assume every day is a new beginning because you always have new readers.

I know you’re reading this because you care. You care about results but you also care about helping people with your blog. That’s cool.

Knowing how to get more blog traffic can be confusing

Blogging is hard work.

Some months I struggle with every blog I write. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time, or the topic, or the damn thing just stalls out in the middle and I don’t know how to wrap it up in a meaningful way.

What keeps me going is knowing that __________ (fill in your monthly website traffic) people are coming into my “hotel room” to read what I wrote. And most of them are new (point #25). That’s a big and exciting responsibility, opportunity and role that I play.

If you’re up for that, I know these 25 tips and actions on how to get more blog traffic will help to fill your hotel room.

Thanks to Seth Godin for inspiring this short post. And Jeff Goins for adding to Seth’s post with his own list.

 

Want more help getting results with your blog? Check out these posts:

Tips and Encouragement for Bloggers who Doubt
21 Traffic Building Tips from Professional Bloggers
Build blog traffic while you sleep

(and our cool download “Get more blog traffic now”)

 

Is your content boring?

Got boring content?

We all know blogging is a major traffic driver in the online business world.

In fact, WordPress has found that users produce about 73.9 million new posts per month – that’s 2.4 million posts per day or about 1,670 posts per minute. And that’s just on WordPress sites.

In order to make your post stand out and not suck, it has to be not only informative but also engaging and even entertaining.

Is your content boring? ‘Cuz if it is, you’re not beating the 1,600 other posts published at the same time as yours.

Oh… and boring means bad things for SEO, too.

Here’s what you need to know:

What makes “good” content?

Rand Fishkin, founder of SEO company Moz, believes good content takes four things:

  • Serves visitors’ intent by answering their questions and helping them complete their goals
  • Delivers an easy, pleasurable, accessible experience on every device and every browser
  • Gets the right information and experience to visitors FAST
  • Does all of the above better than any of the competitors in the space

So, in order for your content to be good, it has to be valuable to your readers and better than the competition. But you can write something that’s valuable and better, but still boring.

Why does it matter if your content is boring?

Boring content is bad for SEO. Boring content is bad for your readers. And, worst of all, boring content is boring to write.

Because boring content is boring, people won’t engage with it. This means:

  • A shorter time on page (which lowers your search rankings)
  • People aren’t actually reading your posts
  • You won’t receive as many comments, shares, or opt-ins

How to make your content more interesting

Even if you’re writing about an incredibly boring topic (like insurance agency acquisitions, or something) you can still use some basic writing elements to make it entertaining!

To make your content better, try these:

  • Use interesting analogies and metaphors. A great metaphor is like a gummy vitamin – they turn a bad-tasting (but good for you) habit into something tasty.
  • Provide plenty of media. Images, charts, graphs, videos, infographics… the more the better, as long as they’re relevant.
  • Format your blog posts for easy reading. Huge walls of text are boring and intimidating.
  • Let your personality shine through! This will get easier as you practice writing more.

Conclusion

While content is still important, quality matters far more than quantity. Focus on what your readers need, do away with the self-promotion, and add some jokes here and there. You’ll find these steps will take a drab post and turn it into something fun and entertaining.

What methods have you used to spice up your writing? Let us know in the comments below!

SEO 101: Using Keywords in Your Blog Posts

SEO 101: Using Keywords in Your Blog Posts

Using keywords is a major part of any good blog. Without them, your content won’t be found in search engines like Google!

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be daunting at first, but once you learn the basics, it isn’t so bad.

In this post, we’ll discuss the most basic of SEO principles: Researching, using and ranking for keywords.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Research Your Keywords

Before you write a blog post, you should know what keywords you want to rank for. (But before you do that, make sure you have Google Analytics set up!)

To find your keywords, you must first know your topic. What are you writing about?

Pro Tip: You should be writing about a single topic. One of the most important factors to ranking in Google include covering every sub-topic within your main topic. Don’t be too random in your topics or it will hurt your SEO.

Once you have a topic in mind, start by searching for it in Google.

For example, let’s say we’re writing about “How to get more traffic to your blog”. Here’s what comes up:

Use Google to find keywords

From this one simple search, we now know what else people are searching for. We can add “how to get more traffic to your blog for free”, “how to get more traffic to your blog wordpress” and “how to get more traffic to your blogger” as potential keywords to use in the article.

Next, let’s take a look at the related searches at the bottom of the page:

Find keywords with Google's related searches feature.

It’s like our birthday! We now have eight more keyword phrase ideas to add to the list.

Pro Tip: You can also use these methods to generate topic ideas. For example, “how to get more traffic to your blogger” can be a different topic than getting traffic to a regular blog. Also, you can continue to look at the suggested and related searches for each of these new phrases, increasing your potential for ideas.

Another great way to do keyword research is a tool like SEMrush. They show you the difficulty of ranking for a keyword and tons of other information as well. You can do a few searches for free, but after that you have to pay.

Alternatively, just plug your keywords into the Google Keyword Planner to get some interesting info.

Using Keywords in your Blog Post

Once you’ve got a good list of keywords, it’s time to add them to your post.

Personally, I like to write the post first, then go back and add in the keywords where it makes sense. This makes it easier to focus on writing so you don’t interrupt your flow.

Don’t over-stuff your article with keywords!

A good rule of thumb is to put your keyword in once for every 300-500 words. Any more than that and Google may flag you for keyword stuffing and push you out of search results.

Besides adding them in your copy, you also want to put them:

  • Once in your title
  • In your heading tags (h2, h3, etc.)
  • In image alt text
  • In your meta description (this doesn’t effect SEO but may effect click-thru rate which in turn affects SEO)
  • In your URL

There you have it! A super quick guide to using keywords in your blog posts.

Conclusion

Finding and using keywords doesn’t have to be as complicated as it looks. While this article only covers the absolute basics, it still gives you a fighting chance to rank on Google.

Of course, there is more to SEO, like backlinks, usability, site speed, and more. We didn’t cover any of these in this post. If you would like us to cover them in a future post, leave us a comment to let us know! Comments help us understand what you want to read about and directly affect what we write about.

Also, don’t forget to share this article if you found it helpful!