Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

August 23rd, 2020

Writing Great Blog Posts (Part 3)

by Rahimah Sultan






In my last article I covered writing great blog post headlines. If you missed it Click here to read Part 2



You got your readers to click the headline, enticed them down the page with your introduction, and now it’s time to give them what you promised.



Now the rules for delivering valuable and easy-to-consume content.


CONTENT RULE #1. Add Stopping Points

Use subheadings as stopping points.

Readers are scanners, because there is so much content to be had.

Subheadings are a way to prove your content is valuable. To keep enticing them back into your post when they want to leave.



Four Tips for Writing Your Subheadings:


1. Add a Subheading Every few Paragraphs

Add a few subheadings throughout your post to lead readers down the path your post is heading, making their experience feel clear, easy and enjoyable.

Remember, your blog posts are all about the readers’ experience.

When readers are scanning and see too much text, they feel overwhelmed.

Example:

A short post with subheadings.


2. Avoid Subheading Mistakes That Make Readers Disappear

Subheadings serve the same purpose as headlines; to make readers curious so they keep reading.

Avoid the following mistakes:

The Plain Label Subheading
Again, don’t bore your readers. Treat your subheadings like mini-headlines and be sure they arouse curiosity.

The Spoiler Subheading
Hold back information in your subheading so readers feel compelled to continue reading.

The Cryptic Subheading
Readers don’t like to play guessing games, so don’t try to be witty. Adding curiosity shouldn’t come at the expense of clarity.

Example:

If you’re talking about the effects of diet for good health, your subheadings might be:

The Importance of a Good Diet
Eating the Right Food Will Improve Your Overall Health
Skip the Junk and Feel Better


The first subheading is rather generic, the second doesn’t encourage you to keep reading, and the third doesn’t say much of anything.

The following subheadings will do a better job of getting readers’ attention:

Diet is Important for Good Health
Eating Right for Your Overall Health
Foods to Avoid to Maintain Good Health


3. Compare Each Subheading to Your Main Headline

Each subheading must be related to the overall headline of your post.

Your subheadings must all lead to what you promised in your main headline.

If the subheadings get off track and don’t deliver on the overall headline, readers will feel lost and confused.

If that happens, you’ll have to change your subheadings or your main headline.

Example:

If you’re writing a post titled “Benefits of Meditation in Daily Life” and you include the following subheadings:

1. Using Meditation in Everyday Life
2. Reducing Stress and Anxiety with Meditation
3. Using Meditation to Maintain Focus in Spite of Distractions
4. How to Gain Mental Strength, Resilience and Emotional Intelligence Through Meditation

The fourth subheading is a little long and disrupts the flow. It’s also differently structured by beginning with “How.” The first three subheadings are fine and relatively short.

This inconsistency is distracting to readers.


4. Follow a Format

When you’re listing different “tips,” “steps,” “ways,” “methods,” “signs,” etc., to attain what the headline of the post promises, keep the format consistent.

Let’s say your post is “13 Ways to Invest in Yourself,” and you have a subheading for each of the ways.

If you take your subheadings from the post and list them, you can see if any stray from the pattern.

Example:

So, your first few subheadings are:

Try to Meditate
Make a Gratitude List
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Get Plenty Sleep

There is Nothing Like a Morning Walk to Clear Your Mind

Something in the last one seems a little off.

The first four are about the same in length and start with a verb.

The fifth subheading suddenly changes the format and interrupts the flow. It doesn’t start with a verb and it’s much longer than the others.

This may seem like a small detail, but it distracts readers.



CONTENT RULE #2. Add a Little Surprise

Your post needs to be unique, bold and eye-opening; not the same old boring advice.

You can list your main points and add a unique perspective or something unexpected to them.

Do you know something that most people don’t? Is there some system that you challenge? Do you use methods that others won’t know about?

Example:

Seth Godin puts a unique spin on serious topics.

Don’t overdo it just for the sake of shock value. Your information needs to be genuine and useful. You want to challenge yourself as a writer and educate your readers.



CONTENT RULE #3. Follow a Format

This post has a very consistent format.

Each section is quite similar in length. All the subheadings follow a pattern. Each section ends with an example.

Consistency in your posts makes for a better experience for readers.

So you write a list post about seven steps to accomplish something. If the first step is 300 words, the second and third steps are 500 words, the fourth step is 200 words, the fifth and sixth steps are 400 words, and the seventh step is 100 words, it doesn’t look very neat.

You want your readers to have a great experience. Be attentive to small details.

To look even more professional, you can look at the beginning, middle, and end of each section and create a guiding format. You can start each section with a story or a daring statement. Use the middle section for your advice. You might want to add a graphic. Then end each section with a call to action.

Adding formats to your posts makes for easier writing, and they look more polished.

Example:

Here’s a bare-bones example of a blog post format that can be used as a starting template.



CONTENT RULE #4. Be Outrageously Giving

Don’t worry about giving away too much in your posts. After all, your goal is to have people sign up for your paid products or services.

If you’re not giving with your readers in your posts, they’ll have a negative impression of your paid products.

Carefully go through the problem with your readers. Give them thorough solutions and compelling advice. Be outrageously giving and they will become loyal readers and customers.

Example:

This 3,000-word plus post by R. L. Adams is extremely generous. I’ve read longer ones, up to 10,000 words.

Never fear. You can wow your readers with your generosity and thoughtfulness, just the same, with a 1,000-word post.



CONTENT RULE #5. Begin and End Strong

Not only should your introduction and conclusion grab your readers, but you want the main body of your post to also begin and end strong.

Every section should have great content, but if you’re presenting seven ways to achieve something, save your very best tips for the first and seventh. The first will get your readers’ attention while the seventh will leave them totally pleased.

Example:

Nathan Thompson gives you 7 Proven Tips to Create Blog Posts That Convert Like Crazy.

Make an outline containing your main points before writing the main sections of your post.

Make it clear and simple so your post will have clarity and conviction.

Now, it’s conclusion time.


Rules for your inspiring conclusion:


CONCLUSION RULE #1. Motivate Your Readers

Give them a pep talk. Show them what they’re capable of, how far they’ve come, and how things will look once they’ve applied your instructions.

Motivate your readers by showing you expect more of them. Encourage them to immediately take action.

Make them see that no matter what they’ve struggled with in the past, they should believe in themselves. They can achieve the goal you promised in your headline.  They can do this.

Example:

Read the encouraging conclusion in this post.



CONCLUSION RULE #2. Include Nothing New

A common blogging mistake.

Don’t all of a sudden include new information or tips in your conclusions.

It really throws your readers off and leaves them befuddled as to why you didn’t just include it in the body of the post.

Example:

In this post Alex Nerney lists nine blog ideas and topics.

His conclusion begins with, “Okay, that’s it…”

It would be jarring if he added another idea or topic after that.

When writing the conclusion, imagine how your readers are feeling or what they are thinking. How will things change for them if they use your advice?

Put more thought into your closings.

Most readers just skim. Reward those who trust you enough to read to the end. Take the opportunity to tell them the next step to take.

Now that you’ve written your post, carefully edit it. One way to do this is to read it out loud to check the flow, unnecessary wording, and sentence structure.

There are so many things to learn. Blogging platforms. Social media. Content marketing techniques.

So, before you start down the blogging trail, you need to know how to write professional blog posts above all else. The rest doesn’t matter if you don’t.

Good news!

Writing good blog posts is a skill you can and must learn.

Inside you are compelling words and ideas waiting to be released. To transform readers’ lives.

When you’re ready, use this information as a guide.

Your audience is waiting.


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August 8th, 2020

Writing Great Blog Posts (Part 2)






In my last article I covered writing great blog post headlines. If you missed it Click here to read Part 1



Now that you’ve intrigued your readers and drawn them in with a great headline, you have to keep their attention. As a blogger and copywriter you have to write in a way that keeps readers from taking a quick glance and moving on.



Following are rules for creating an introduction that draws in your readers.



1. Don’t try to sound overly academic

Up to 90% of people that lose weight end up gaining most or all of it back within


Research is valuable, but not in this context unless you’re a healthcare professional. As a blogger you don’t want to bore your readers with statistics.


You want to put yourself in their shoes by showing empathy. Let them know you understand what they’re going through.


You’re sharing the tools you used to overcome a problem.



Example:

Do you hear that?

That little voice speaking to you?

That little voice whispering to you that there’s something else you really want to do. Telling you to go ahead and make the change.

But you’re afraid.

You’re afraid to quit your job and do what your heart is pulling you to do.

You’re afraid of not having what you need to survive; a place to live, food on the table, a car and on and on.

But, mostly you’re afraid of making a mistake. You doubt yourself. You’re afraid of being wrong.




You don’t need to start every post with the empathy aspect. You can choose something else, maybe a story.



2. Get Into the Role

Trigger your readers’ emotions. Think about the range of emotions you want them to feel then get into that role as you write. Is there fear, doubt, anger, sadness, happiness, love, hope, and so on.


As you feel the emotions yourself they will come through in your writing and will be authentic.


So, decide on the emotional journey you want your readers to experience and put that in your writing and your audience will feel that.


Although this rule applies throughout your post, it is of utmost importance for your introduction.
When we write our words reveal our feelings.



3. Entice Readers down the Page


A) Open with Question a Short Sentence

This is a proven technique to draw in your audience.

If you start your post with a long paragraph readers will feel overwhelmed just looking at it.


B) Use Fewer Words

Use as few words as possible.

Write efficiently to give your words power. Whatever the number of words you use in your first draft, cut that in half.

The more you apply this technique the more proficient your blog writing becomes.


C) Set the Tempo

All writing has a pace and rhythm.

The pace of your introduction should be a little fast. Later, you can slow things down by:

Using short sentences or even sentence fragments
Keeping paragraphs to a maximum of three sentences long
Using delayed transitions to weave sentences together
Making each sentence a paragraph that leads into the next one
Reading the post out loud to be sure it flows properly and is moving forward smoothly


You want your readers’ journey to be fast and slow. To ebb and flow. To keep their attention.


That gives your words pace and rhythm.


Example:

“You’re not stupid.

You know what writing is truly about.

It’s a never-ending battle for your readers’ attention.

Every sentence is a link in a taut chain that connects your headline to your conclusion.

And you are just one weak sentence away from losing your reader forever.” — Shane Arthur


He then slows things down in the section that follows with longer sentences.



4. Make Them Beg

Have readers begging for your solutions by adding some fear to your opening.

What are readers’ concerns? What will happen if they don’t solve the problem you’re addressing?

When you expose those fears readers feel your empathy and are more eager for your solution.

Let them know we all have fears and don’t need to hide them.


Example:

Maybe the skeptics are right. Maybe you’re foolish to think you could earn an income doing something you love, instead of tolerating what you’re doing. Who knows?


The fear of failure is painful. Giving a voice to that fear is validating and makes your audience excited for the solutions that will set that fear free.


The fear of failure is painful, yes. But giving voice to it is validating and makes readers eager for the solutions that will set that fear free.




5. Hint at the Solution to Come

As you wrap up your introduction, hint at the solution to come.

The promised purpose of your post. What readers will gain when they follow your methods.

Don’t give it all away. Just a hint to keep readers engaged, because they bore easily.

An introduction is for setting the stage for all the sincere advice your post will provide, not to give answers.



Example:

You’re thinking about setting up a blog to advertise your side gig. You know nothing about blogging. Where do you begin?

A post for beginning bloggers, 4 Blogging Tips



I didn’t know much about blogging, but started anyway.

I used it for an affiliate program I signed up for online.

The program owner offered




Of course you’ll keep reading.


When devising an introduction, try writing two entirely different versions approached from different angles and sparking different emotions. Doing so will highlight the techniques and emotions that work best for both your audience and the content of your post.


Your introduction must satisfy search intent or readers will click the “back” button and you lose them forever.


Search Intent is the reason for the Google search.


It is a large part of SEO (search engine optimization) which would be another article by itself.


If someone searches for “5 Tips for Business Success,” and the post begins with an anecdote people will click away without ever reading the rest of the wisdom-filled post.


Figuring out a keyword’s intent is one of the first things to do. It forms your headline, meta description, introduction, word count, and more.


Take time to analyze results in Google so you know why people enter the particular query your blog post will be targeting.


Figure out the intent, and then make sure your introduction matches it.



Part Three will be covered in my next article.



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July 24th, 2020

Writing Great Blog Posts (Part 1)

by Rahimah Sultan







Although there are many tutorials that can teach you the mechanics of blogging, there is more to writing fantastic blog posts.

Here are some rules to follow when creating your headlines.


1.You Need a Great Topic


Decide on your post headline (title) prior to beginning to write the article. This is your map to follow in order to stay on topic and not confuse readers. You want your readers to reach the intended objective as easily and efficiently as possible.


If you want your blog post to get opened your headline must promise readers the answer to their concerns, what they’re looking for.


To find out what your readers want research:

Review comments on your posts and on posts of other sites in your niche.

Send your subscribers surveys asking them what their greatest struggles are.

Use tools like BuzzSumo to find out what the most popular posts in your niche are (which gives insight into your target readers’ needs).

Read the reviews of books in your niche on Amazon (you’ll find a gold mine of feedback to explore.)



Now you’ve decided on a topic.


Example:

You make jewelry at home. Your headline reads:


How to Make Jewelry


This title is so broad it’s unlikely to draw in many readers.


Tools and Materials Needed to Get Started in Jewelry Making


This is a narrow specific headline that makes your readers feel you have the answers they’re looking for.



2. Take Your Cue from the Pros

“How to” headlines and list post headlines are the easiest templates with which to start. They are classics and proven to work.


“How to” headlines:

 How to start a blog in 2020
 How to make money blogging
 How to make money writing


List Post Headlines:

5 Blogging Ideas
25 Tips for Content Marketing
5 Tips for Business Success
15 One-Sentence Chunks of Online Marketing Advice You Can Use Today



3. Engage Your Senses:

Add sensory details to your headlines. Place yourself in your readers’ shoes. Imagine what they see, feel, taste, smell or hear.


Example:

How to Start a Baking Blog


This is a good headline.


How to Start a Baking Blog on Breads and Delicious French Pastries


This is a better headline. It makes an enticing statement that encourages people to want to know more.


Questions are also a great way to construct headlines that get clicked.

For example:

Are You Making Any of These 7 Common Blogging Mistakes?



4. Give a Tease not the Answer

You want to draw people in to see what you have to offer. Don’t give a solution.


Example:

How to Build a List of Subscribers Using an Autoresponder


You’ve given the answer to a problem; use an autoresponder to build a list.


How to Build a List Faster and Easier


This headline is more interesting and piques curiosity and interest.



5. Don’t be Deceptive

For instance…


5 Steps to a Healthy Life Style


is fine until the 5th step ends up with no advice and leads to a sales page.



6. Streamline Text

Don’t fill your headline with unnecessary words that add no real value:


If You Want to Stay Slim and Trim Here are 5 Things You Must Avoid


Instead use:


5 Things You Must Avoid to Prevent Weight Gain



7. Don’t Use the “I’m intelligent” Aspect


The purpose is not to appear clever or educated.


Your headline should make sense to all readers. They shouldn’t have to guess what the benefit is.


When writing your headline, don’t use metaphors, jargon, rhymes, made-up terms, or anything that tries to be too clever or complicated.


How to be Happy on Life’s Highway


People want specifics related to their needs, not a metaphor.


And this:


How to Maintain Your Beauty as Life is a Fading Flower


What beneficial information can anyone gather from that to make them want to read more? You need to deliver clear benefits in your headlines.


You may be able to make a connection in your post and use it as an analogy, but readers are scanning headlines for things that apply to their particular circumstance. They have no clue as to why they should stop to read further so they probably won’t.



8. Stick to Your Style


Your audience already knows and trusts you, so don’t make any drastic changes.


As you continue to write your style will emerge. Once you decide your style stick with it, although you can gradually change it. Don’t make any drastic changes so your audience will still know, like and trust it’s you.


Create several (5-10) versions of the same headline. The more you practice the better you will become at writing clear, concise and curiosity-invoking headlines that readers can’t resist.


Keep your headlines to 60 characters or less so they don’t get truncated in the SERPs (search engine results pages).


Readers usually don’t click these links.


Example:


How To Start a Blog in 2020 – Easy to Follow Guide for …

www.bloggingbasics101.com › how-do-i-start-a-blogLearn to blog. Step-by-step guide to learn how to start a blog, choose the
best blogging platform and avoid the common
blogging mistakes made by newbies.



Part two will be covered in my next article.



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June 25th, 2020

Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing in 2020



by Rahimah Sultan








For a webmaster a traffic source is a platform (place) through which people find your website.

A media buyer’s platform is a place where you can purchase traffic.

There are certain aspects you should consider before selecting a traffic source.

You must first become familiar with each traffic source and look at the pros and cons. It is essential to understand the features and statistics of the source and which ones you’ll need to scrutinize the most.

The most important aspects to consider in a traffic source are:

The Niche or Target Audience
The Overall Quality Offered by the Traffic Source
Rules, Regulations, and Restrictions
The Cost of the Traffic Source
The Amount of Traffic Available from the Traffic Source
The Targeting Options that are Available


Read the article here



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May 29th, 2020

Affiliate Marketing Programs of 2020

by Rahimah Sultan







I’m sure that when you join affiliate programs your primary goal is to make lots of commissions by recommending products.


There are affiliate programs in many categories like web hosting, website builders, fitness, sports, music and many more.


If you don’t have a website, you can set up one with WordPress.


In his article, 105 Best Affiliate Programs of 2020, Adam Enfroy covers the best high-paying affiliate programs of 2020 for beginners.



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February 11th, 2020

Blog Article Marketing Problem






In recent years, there’s been a lot of talk about article marketing still having a place in entrepreneurs’ toolkit. Like most digital marketing techniques, article marketing has just changed. It provides valuable SEO and is still considered a worthwhile marketing method.


At one time, even poorly written articles and those that weren’t original or grammatically correct performed well in the SERPs. With the change in Google and other search engine algorithms, relevance and context began to be rewarded.


1. Original content makes better blogs

After Google rolled out these algorithmic changes it’s apparent that article marketing has changed. It is no longer about keyword packing or mass-producing low-quality content. Instead, today’s entrepreneurs need to produce original content. One way to do this effectively is to…


More…


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June 4th, 2019

Blogging in 2019

by Rahimah Sultan






There’s a new strategy for setting up a blog and making money in 2019, that’s easier and faster.

Although the use of video content and social media platforms is so dominate, you might think blogging is out of date. That is not so. Companies, non-fiction authors, lifestyle entrepreneurs, and businesses with millions of potential customers are benefiting from blogging in 2019. There is always the inevitable failure that comes with starting something new, and the same applies to starting a blog. You will make mistakes. Most people fail and retry several times before having success. This is costly in time and money.

If you want to start a blog use the new way that speeds up the process of chasing a bad idea from months and even years to weeks or days.

Just getting your blog started is the hardest part. Take the step and see what happens.

Check out this AWESOME step-by-step guide by Jon Morrow and start blogging today.

Check this out for your blogging in 2019.



April 30th, 2019

Does Article Marketing Still Work?

by Rahimah Sultan




A large part of the reason that certain pages on a website rank well is due to good on-page SEO protocols.


To start with, use a free self-hosted WordPress platform. Make sure the homepage contains highly relevant textual content for the keywords that that you are targeting, and use plugins to help improve your site.

These suggestions and more are detailed in Joe Fernandez’s article titled How I Did On-page SEO For This Website.


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February 4th, 2019

How To Set Up Your Online Sales Funnel





Anyone who has an online business needs paying customers. In order to convert your website visitors into paying customers, you need to create a sales funnel .

The primary goal for your sales funnel is moving people from one stage to another until they are ready to buy from you.

From the first time your prospects hear about you until the moment of purchase, they pass through different stages of this sales funnel. The journey might be different for each, depending on your buying personas, niche, and the types of products and services you offer.

When designing your sales funnel, you can have as many stages as you want.

Generally, there are four main ones that you need to pay attention to:

Awareness
Interest
Decision
Action


You can read The Beginner’s Guide to a Sales Funnel for the details.

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January 16th, 2019

Blog Article Marketing

by Rahimah Sultan



Quality article marketing is possibly the best way to promote your website or blog. Following are some online marketing tips to include in your blog article marketing strategy to help you achieve your goals.


Keep Articles Simple
You don’t want a reputation for burying useful information under a lot of technical terms or unintelligible information. So try to keep your article simple and straightforward. Include something of immediate value, in your article, such as a current deal or a problem-solving idea that consumers can use.


Be Consistent
Consistency is key to your success. If you’re just starting out, make a schedule for writing and posting. Maybe you can complete and post one article a week. Consider what you can realistically do and what schedule you can maintain. Do remember that you must put in the work to achieve success, and that it will take time and patience.


Check Your Content
When you’re planning out articles or blog posts for your website, be sure your writing is filled with good original content and that it has no errors or misspelled words.


Proofread your work at least three times before publishing it. Use a dependable spellchecker. You can use Grammarly.com to check your grammar.


When first considering your blog article marketing or posts, write a quick rough draft just as you would speak, and then go back and check it for errors. Read it aloud to a friend or family member to get advice on how the article flows. You may need to make some changes. Make your writing personable so that you do come across to readers as someone real. After all, you want your readers to have a connection with you.


Do not use article spinners. You should write the articles yourself. Article spinners can’t write like a person. Respect your readers and be professional. Give them interesting content that you’ve written yourself.


Although you need search engine optimization (SEO), consistently check your articles for good-quality content, and deal with search engine tactics later as you learn how to use them.


In summary, keep your articles simple and free of unintelligible information. Be consistent with your posting, and be persistent and patient. And above all, check, check and recheck your work.


Follow these tips for your blog article marketing and you’ll be able to produce quality articles and engaging posts for your readers.


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