A good blog post can help you drive engagement, generate leads, and boost conversions so you can make more money in your business.
If you are wondering what makes a good blog post, then you’ve come to the right place.
Creating an engaging blog post comes down to knowing your audience – their behaviors and expressed preferences – and being able to present them with ideas that are relevant to their needs and interests.
In this article, we take a look at 10 data-driven tips to help you create outstanding blog posts.
1. Choose the Right Topic
Your first step to crafting inspiring and informative posts is to decide what to write about. Rather than picking topics at random, use data driven tactics to help you choose the best topics for your blog posts.
Doing this will help you become more effective as a blogger so you can garner a higher audience response with each of your posts.
When your audience knows that you know what you’re talking about and that you also understand their needs, it helps boost your credibility and positions you as an authority on your subject.
This naturally leads to higher customer engagement as more and more people see that your content is insightful, helpful, and relevant to your readers’ needs.
Here are a few tips to help you choose blog topics that are likely to perform well:
- Determine what already works for you
- Find out what works for your competitors
- See what your readers are saying on social media, forums, groups, review sites, etc.
- Survey your webinar attendees, email and blog subscribers, etc.
- Get sales expert advice from your sales team about your customers pain points
- Use Google’s “People Also Ask” section
For example, a site like Preply that teaches people how to speak different languages might search for: How to learn Spanish” to find the following ideas for new blog topics:
2. Create Captivating, Data-Driven Headlines
As a marketer, you already know that more people read the headline of a blog post than the actual content. Even after they click on the headline, they tend to skim the post first before deciding whether or not it’s worth their time to read the entire thing.
That’s why it’s crucial to create curiosity-provoking headlines that will compel them to stay and read the rest of your blog post.
Below are a few data-driven tips to help you create attractive headlines based on your audience’s needs, desires, and pain points.
You can then add personal insights to any of the data-driven themes you come up with to help you drive for meaningful engagement.
- Use a headline analyzer like this one from CoSchedule.
- Build a headline around your main keyword. E.g. “Marketing Budgets” becomes “7 Genius Ways to Stretch a Small Marketing Budget”
- Search for headline ideas from popular blogs in your niche
- Use Smart Blogger’s proven headline formulas and follow best practices
This blog post from an Austin detox center on The Top 5 Most Dangerous Drugs on the Planet shows how powerful headlines can be for drawing the audience’s attention to your post:
3. Use Analytics to Inform Your Content Strategy
Your own website analytics can be a goldmine for data that will help you create interesting, helpful, and better-performing content.
You can search for the topics on your blog with the most page views. If you have been tagging and categorizing each of your blog posts so far, then this should be easy to determine. You can then focus on the common denominators you find in those blog posts.
You might discover, for instance, that your audience responds more to your infographics, list posts, and how-to posts. Or maybe your video posts get the most shares.
For example, on the AwesomeX blog, posts like this Wix vs. Shopify comparison review tend to perform particularly well.
You can also analyze core metrics like:
- Time on page
- Bounce rate
- Social shares
- Leads generated
- Email opt-ins, etc.
Gathering this type of information will help you determine which topics are most likely to attract and maintain your audience’s interest.
The Sender blog is another great example of how analysis of current posts helps them build a content calendar around the most popular posts that their audience is likely to find relevant and useful.
4. Use Real Images
A usability study from Jacob Nielsen discovered that images of real people were among the most engaging types of web content.
The data shows that users online spend 10% more time on pictures of real people than they do reading the content associated with those pictures.
Even though the content took up a lot of space, and was, therefore, more quantitatively dominant, evidence shows that the majority of people preferred to look at the pictures instead, as shown by the heat map image below:
But, the caveat to this is that they preferred real images as opposed to generic stock pictures that are purely decorative.
The use of real, high-quality images (whether it’s people or graphs, screenshots, etc.) in your blog post has been proven to benefit you in the following ways:
- Images help support persuasive copy and calls to action
- They increase customer retention and engagement
- Images also help establish the credibility of your content
Data from Blog Pros shows that the top 100 highest-ranking blogs and the Internet right now have an average of one image per 350 words. You can use this as a guideline for your own content creation to make your blog posts as impactful as possible.
You can also use graphic design tools to help you add text to images – a tactic that has been shown to be extremely effective for boosting engagement.
For example, a blog like this one that focuses on CRM with predictive dialer might use real images of people using their product with text explaining different aspects of the software.
If you’re not very good at creating or editing your own images, you can always hire a freelancer to get the job done quickly and professionally.
5. Write Longform Blog Content
According to studies, longer content is typically better for ranking at the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages).
As you can see from the graph above, the pages with more content have the highest positions. Notice that each of the results on the first page has content that exceeds 2,000 words. This means that good quality longer content is important for SEO rankings and will be something your SEO agency can discuss with you.
There are many reasons why longform content performs so well.
For instance, the more content there is on a page, the more Googlebot can index. Googlebot is Google’s web crawler responsible for indexing all content on your website. The more of your content that gets indexed, the better the post’s performance in search results. It’s as simple as that.
Another reason why longform content usually ranks high is that the longer your post, the better you can optimize your keywords.
Take this Bluehost vs. Hostgator in-depth post, as an example. It contains a lot of long-tail keywords which allows the site to rank for a multitude of keywords and boost the posts overall SEO (search engine optimization).
Also, the higher the word count, the more backlinks you’ll likely get from other websites in your niche. This is particularly true if your post contains a lot of statistics and data pertaining to your industry.
Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule.
For example, if your blog is in an industry where long-form content just wouldn’t work, such as a news blog or an eCommerce lingerie store, where your audience might not appreciate a 2,000-word blog post.
6. Create a Conversation
Your blog posts should never be a monologue, but rather, you should write in a conversational tone that helps to encourage engagement.
Use “you” and “I” when writing blog posts so you can create a conversation with your readers, otherwise, your post will read like a boring essay.
Do your best to be personable and relatable. Using a conversational tone will improve readability and ultimately drive a lot more engagement and comments on your blog.
Influencer Marketing is a site that does this particularly well and they get tons of engagement on each of their blog posts.
Remember to use a tool like Copyleaks to check your posts and comments for grammar mistakes to avoid looking unprofessional to your audience.
And don’t forget to ask your blog readers a question at the end of the post and encourage them to leave a comment. This not only causes them to stay longer on your blog, but it also gives you an opportunity to respond to each of your readers’ comments so they can return to your blog.
I hope this article has answered any questions you may have on what makes a good blog post.
The bottom line is that writing great blog posts doesn’t have to be hard. All you need is the right formula for choosing the right topics and post formats.
You can then follow current best practices to help you create engaging and useful blog posts that are relevant to the needs and interests of your audience.
What other tips do you know for creating outstanding blog posts? Share your thoughts in the comments below!