Writing a successful blog post does not end after you hit the publish button. For a content marketer, you have to ensure that your blog post reaches enough eyeballs and converts those clickthroughs into sales or new leads for your business.
But with all the competition out there, how can you stand out from the rest of the noise and write a blog post that converts? Here are a few essential pointers:
1. Identify your target reader profile
Before you get to writing, take a few steps back and first think about who you are writing for.
- What market are you targeting?
- What sort of audience do you want to attract?
- What are their needs, wants, problems, and goals?
- What do you think you can offer your target readers that will make them want to listen to you, like you, and, more importantly for the long run, trust you?
Once you have answers to these questions, create your target’s profile and plan your content from there.
Example of a customer profile:
Middle-aged, C-level executive of a digital marketing company is harassed at having to use several CRM tools.
Problem: The tools cost a lot of time to learn (and teach to assistants). They also literally cost a fortune since the company pays subscriptions for more than one tool.
Goal: Susan is looking for ways to find a more all-in-one tool flexible enough for third-party app integrations.
This is the type of customer profile ripe for, say, a blog post about a more scalable, affordable, easy-to-use, all-in-one CRM tool.
2. Construct an intriguing headline
A 2016 study by a group of computer scientists cited by the Washington Post found that 59% of people share news on social media without actually having read it; that is, they simply relied on the headline.
Which goes to show how powerful your title is.
Headlines determine whether or not any of your target readers even click through to read your article at all, so better make your headline stand out.
When crafting your headline, start with a number, then follow it by dangling valuable information to keep your target interested.
If you’re targeting a content marketer, for example, here are a list of potential titles that can be of interest:
10 Steps to Creating a Blog Post that Keeps Converting
7 Reasons Why Your Clickthrough Rates are Dismal (and how to fix them)
12 Foolproof Strategies to Get More Return Visits to Your Website
5 Things Never to Post on your Business Social Media Page
It’s always best to draft more than one headline for a single article, so if you’re running out of ideas, there are also free headline tools you can use.
3. Write a compelling lede
Once your catchy headline hooks your target readers in, follow this up with a just as intriguing opener. This is what’s called a lede and, as defined by Merriam-Webster, this is the introductory section of your article meant to “entice the reader to read the full story.”
If your lede can tell your readers that your article will have the answer to their questions in concise sentences, easy vocabulary, and perfect grammar, then you have a perfect recipe for a lede that can keep your readers reading onwards.
4. Tell a captivating story
Don’t let your readers down with a clickbait headline only to fall short where your article’s actual content is concerned. If your title says you have 10 tips to increase social media engagement, give your readers these 10 tips, and make them clear and actionable. Otherwise, you’ll just leave your readers disappointed and not raring to come back to your site.
5. Cite your proof
Unless you are sharing lessons from experience, always support your statements with facts.
Readers are not so easily convinced these days— and shrewder ones may even start getting suspicious— if you simply rattle off assertion after assertion without any strong proof to back up your claims.
To become a true thought leader capable of converting readers into returning followers or buyers, back up your assertions with studies and statistics from legitimate sources. Make sure your source materials are recent.
A good rule of thumb is to stick to sources within two years of publication. Any reference older than two years is stale and possibly rendered unreliable by age, especially stats as time-sensitive as search engine algorithm updates, social media sentiment, online polls, and other fast-moving sectors.
6. Leverage the power of influencer marketing
One way to fast track your path to gaining your target audience’s attention and trust is to get influencers to back you up.
- Conduct a search of your target niche to see who the influencers are in your space. Social media can help you check who’s who. Usually, people (your target readers) will share tons of posts authored by these influencers.
- Next, check out the influencer’s blogs. Read what they have to say. As in step 1, try to profile their needs, wants, goals, and what you have to offer them.
- Then, see if you can find the influencer’s email address.
Based on the profile you’ve created of them, start tagging these influencers to third party articles you think they might find relevant.
Say, you post a link to an upcoming social media marketing webinar or social media marketer’s forum and tag one of your target influencers: a social media manager.
On the other hand, you can also write your own blog post about social media marketing, link to one of your influencer’s posts about social media marketing—even insert a quote or two from your influencer, then post a link and tag your influencer on it.
A good way to then check if you’ve gained your target influencer’s attention at all is if the influencer re-shared or liked your post.
If your influencer did like or reshare, now is the time to follow up.
- Craft a message that can pique the influencer’s interest.
“Hey [influencer name] I’m glad you liked my article. I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I thought your ideas were great, so I couldn’t help but cite them.”
There are two things you can then do from here:
- Invite influencers to guest post on your blog
- Do an expert roundup blog post featuring your target influencers
If you succeed in either endeavor, you are well on your way to skyrocketing your article’s social proof up the blogosphere. Once you share an influencer guest post or expert roundup blog post on social media, especially with said influencer’s support, the influencer’s followers will start paying attention to you as well.
7. Never forget to sound your clarion call
As with any blog post that aims to convert, a clear call-to-action (CTA) is always par for the course.
A CTA is where you then lead your satisfied readers to take action, such as in the following examples, where you pitch them to:
- Sign up for a newsletter
- Subscribe to a free trial of your services
- Buy a one-month (or annual) membership of your app
- Order your ebook on Amazon
Your blog post’s conversion success is measured by how many readers actually follow through on your CTA. So make sure to put your CTA somewhere easily visible. Foolproof your CTA by writing clear instructions with visuals, such as screenshots or a video.
With millions of blog posts published per day, publishing a standout blog post that converts can be a challenge. But you can never go wrong with well-researched, personalized content supported by influencers and a clear call-to-action. Try it out, and see how it works for you.
Do you have any other ideas on how to write a blog post that converts?