Most bloggers write to be read. If that’s your aim, you must create content that your audience loves reading.
Here are five methods to write blog posts your readers will love:
1. Think Bite-Size
Blog posts come in all shapes and sizes. It’s not length that matters but the value of the information you share.
That said, as a general rule, you can pack more value into a long post.
How can you keep attention for hundreds or thousands of words? Break down your article into bite-size chunks. The simplest way to do this is through headings and paragraph breaks. You can also break your article down into stories.
2. Appeal to Visual Learners
Most blog posts these days include an image, but the more images you feature, the more engaging your blog post. That is, as long as the images are relevant to what you’re writing.
You can use images to:
Tell a story
Convey a metaphor
Illustrate your headline
As well as keeping readers engaged, images help visual learners store away what you’re teaching them.
3. Find Out What Your Readers Want
Many bloggers make the mistake of assuming their blog is all about them. This is a mistake because it’s only half the truth.
A blog is a community of interaction between you, the writer, and your readers. If your readers don’t benefit from your blog, they’ll go elsewhere. There are plenty of other sites where they can find what they want.
So if you want to build a loyal tribe of readers, you must find out what your readers want. You can do this by:
Paying attention to their comments. What do they ask you about?
Asking questions in your blog posts.
Setting up a survey, for example on MailChimp.
Reader feedback is invaluable. With it, you’ll flourish. Without it, you’ll struggle to create engaging content.
4. Open With a Hook
Most bloggers these days know all about the importance of writing great headlines. But how long do you spend crafting your hook?
Your hook is the opening sentence or paragraph of your blog post. It should arouse curiosity and pull your readers in – otherwise you’ve lost them before you’ve started.
Hooks can be:
A statement of a problem facing the reader
A promise of what you will offer your readers in the article
5. Try the Reverse Pyramid Approach
The reverse pyramid is the structure journalists in newsrooms all around the world use when they need to hammer out an article fast.
To create a reverse pyramid, you top-load your article with the most important information first.
Why would you do this? On the one hand, it increases your chances of losing a reader halfway through your article. On the other hand, it shows you care about your readers’ time. You’re helping them find the information they need as quickly as possible.
If you aren’t blogging on a regular basis, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. In the changing business environment that we live in, missing out on something could mean the difference in earning more money, attracting new clients, getting more speaking gigs, or even that promotion you’ve been hoping to get.
For many “soloprenuers” and small business owners, the life and death of your online reputation can rely on this very simple fact: You must be blogging.
We know that blogging increases the bottom line of a smaller businesses by increasing leads and sales, but what about your personal brand?
Why Is Blogging So Important For Your Professional Success?
This advice is true whether you’re a consultant, a designer, an accountant, a lawyer, a doctor, a real estate agent, a therapist, a life coach, an author, a public speaker, or any other professional who’s business depends on what YOU know. And let’s be honest, in many cases, it isn’t WHAT we know but WHO we know that really helps grow our businesses.
What you know and who you know — both affect your personal brand. The best way to strengthen your personal brand is through a strong online presence backed by consistent blogging and social media.
For my professional life, blogging has been a key factor in growing my network and building my authority. With more authority comes more trust. And with more trust comes more clients. It’s a simple equation.
How Does Blogging Impact Your Authority?
1. Blogging Puts Your Name Out There
It’s all about the byline folks. Every time you blog, your name is attached. The more your name is out there, the more people will start to remember you.
2. Blogging Brands You As An Expert
When you blog about industry related topics, it shows you know what you’re talking about. And because you took the time to write about it, it shows you are dedicated to educating the world around you. It demonstrates that you are capable of providing value.
3. Blogging Gets Other People Talking About You
If you’re creating valuable content, people are going to share it, source it, and even link back to it. Talk about a nonstop referral chain!
4. Blogging Gets You Found Online
The more you blog, the more “places” you can be found. And you shouldn’t limit yourself to a restricted list of “target keywords.” Sometimes it’s the things that you might not expect that people resonate with.
5. Blogging Gives You Something To Show Your Clients & Prospects
Have you ever needed that extra push to make the sale? By blogging, you can explain different topics from a different medium. You can show your expertise and look more official to your prospects.
6. Blogging Allows You To Answer Common Questions
I’m sure there are tons of questions you get day-after-day. Guess what? People are searching online for the answer. When you can answer their burning questions immediately, you earn instant trust.
7. Blogging Grows Your Network
This is a no-brainer. When you share your content, people will be looking to you for more content. Start blogging and watch your network grow!
8. Blogging Keeps Your Website Fresh
Google is very keen on showing results from websites that have fresh content. Blogging is the best way to keep your website constantly updated with new, timely content your customers and prospects will love.
9. Blogging Gives People A Reason To Revisit
There is nothing worse than losing a visitor because you haven’t updated your blog. Keep the traffic coming to your website by blogging frequently and consistently.
10. Blogging Associates Your Name With Industry Trends
When someone thinks about your industry you want them to think about you. Consistent blogging allows you to blog about different topics and trends in the industry and keep your name relevant.
Sold on blogging?
Article by Stephanie Frasco is a leading social media marketing consultant. Over the past 7 years, she has worked closely with clients from all over the world to help each of them get more results from online social networks. Through experience, Stephanie has mastered some of the most powerful social media websites. Today, Stephanie provides exclusive social media consulting services to a handful of global clients. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Sharon Beck entered my office three months ago with apprehension. She self admittedly didn’t know much about social media marketing. Her only experience was the occasional post on her personal facebook page. She never used Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter and frankly the idea of it made her nervous. What she did have was a great domain name (kosherprivatechef.com) and a great idea-to offer high end kosher private chef services nationwide. Sharon had an amazing idea, she just needed help getting it out there.
According to Sharon, her business is primarily a word of mouth business. A satisfied customer tells her friend and that friend contacts Sharon. After many years of growing through referrals, Sharon was ready to grow nationwide. With all her connections throughout the country built through the 20 years of experience in the food industry her and her chef husband (Jay Beck) share, she knew she could do it.
We started with a logo.…all things start there. She wanted modern, high end, clean just like the services she plans on offering. We came up with a few choices and she chose this one.
Next we worked on the website. We kept it clean and visual because that is how food should be portrayed. We made sure to add all her new social media icons and her new mailing list sign up. In the past Sharon emailed her clients from her private email the latest menu for the holidays. We set her up with madmimi.com, an email marketing service that is far more attractive and professional and keeps track of how many actually opened her email.
I taught Sharon the basics of Facebook/Instagram marketing and we launched her new page with an amazing giveaway that we knew would get traction. As predicted it brought her several hundred fans and a lot of attention. We connected her Instagram to facebook so that she could post once and share on facebook. This serves to kill two social birds with one stone. In addition we connected facebook to twitter so that her twitter was being updated without any effort. Three social birds with one stone.
Once Sharon got comfortable with Instagram and Facebook, delicious and interesting images were being posted by her daily. Naturally she got great feedback which only emboldened her further. I promised her a few months back that if things go well, she will become obsessed with posting and sharing and Sharon found that to be true. It is a very satisfying feeling to share your thoughts and work and have people take notice. Although Sharon understood that growing your fans is a daily job that requires constant creativity and effort, the feedback and interest after every picture she posted was encouraging.
Today, only three short months after making the decision to makeover her logo/website and utilize social media, Sharon Beck’s business is booming. She is getting calls from all over the country from California to Miami and everywhere in between. She is being approached daily by chef’s from all over the country who are interested in being part of her team. Social Media has changed her business from being referral based to reaching an endless market of clients. Her attractive professional site that comes up when people google Kosher Private Chef only adds to her credibility and her attractive posts on Facebook and Instagram of all her latest dishes entices people to inquire.
Her next step is to continue building her brand with creative posts, informative blogs and continuous marketing. We wish her and her team all the success in the world! We know with her passion and culinary talents, there is nowhere to go but up.
Now that I just finished making my oldest daughter’s Bat Mitzvah I would love to share some details of the behind the scenes of what went into designing the event, from concept to completion. My daughter Eliana is very into acting so naturally it felt right to go with the hollywood theme. I feel it’s very important when choosing a Bar/Bat Mitzvah theme to go with something that excites the kid.
For me, everything starts with a logo. The logo, whether for business or for an event, sets the tone and even color scheme. Because Eliana starts with an E, the E! Hollywood logo felt like a perfect match for me.
I also loved the idea of bringing the word Hollywood into it and it just seemed like a fun fit to change the spelling to HollEwood with the E logo replacing Y.
Next invitations! An invite definitely gives guests a hint of what’s to come. I chose to do a pop up invite that definitely portrayed the feel of the party.
I added custom stamps as a finishing touch. Here are the designs for the stamps. I needed 2 stamps because the postage ended up being high. In the future I would design based on what I want to pay for postage…since invite couldn’t bend it meant it was considered a parcel and was charged as such.
I also designed seals to seal the envelope. The one I used had the return address written in the black circular border.
Instead of response cards I opted to do a website partywitheliana.com where people can rsvp and get to know Eliana. Of course I customized it to go with my invites and theme. I definately saw that response wise, you have to be more on top of your guests when you have a site. Most forget to do it. However it definitely is a nice touch and allows you to share with your guests much more tha an invite allows.
Now that invites and site were done (And it’s best to take care of invites right away as making lists and gathering addresses take a long time) it was time to come up with the decor.
I knew I wanted hollywood colors…red, black, gold. I contacted a very talented centerpiece designer named Danielle from party excellence and we came up with a game plan.
We decided on Black and red feathers in LED vases and custom E! centerpieces as well as a big “Welcome to HollEwood” sign when guests entered and big E! logos on either side of the stage.
I contacted Dina from D Squared for the linen and we picked the nicest gold and black velvet cloths as well as some cool red leather cloths for buffet to add a pop of red. Here is the result.
No Hollywood theme is complete without a Step and Repeat complete with celebrity cutouts and a red carpet.
Of course it’s also all in the details..Kippas…benchers.…sign in books and a sign in mirror (instead of a board) , sunglasses and a giveaway bag modeled after the bloomingdales bag with logo earbuds.
The highlight of the night for the kids is the montage. I love montages but often find myself drifting off when it’s too long and slow and repetitive. So for my daughters Bat Mitzvah I was determined to come up with a creative one. I teamed up with my daughters guitar teacher Lenny Manzo who happens to be a talented videographer and editor and together we worked months on a mini movie/music video. This is a parody of One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” video as well as a parody of Icona Pop’s song “We love her”. I was also lucky to have my comedian friend Elon Gold in it…he was amazing.
Here it is:
Of course the most important thing at the end of the day is enjoying the night, even if things don’t go perfectly, and of course the pictures! We were lucky to have Jerry Meyer Studio do our photography and we are thrilled with the results!
And of course matching thank you cards for all the gifts are always a great idea!
For more information on logo, invite and montage creations for your next affair contact me anytime. 917–301-2584
Is your business ready for Facebook Graph Search?
This could be the biggest thing to hit the Internet since Google. Seriously!
For your business, this new search tool represents an exciting new way for you to find customers, followers and for customers to find you.
So what is Graph Search?
Graph Search is Facebook’s latest feature and it’s being rolled out to users in the coming weeks. Some have it and some are still waiting for it to show up. Graph Search will allow users to search through Facebook’s content. It’s a search engine that searches only within Facebook. Unlike Google, results on Facebook will be more specified for each user and his or her social network.
The results will be based on three factors: Keyword, Category and Connection.
Keyword - Similar to Google, Facebook will scan all of the content on Facebook for words that match the user’s search terms. Unlike Google, the search results will be limited to Facebook content within the searchers network.
Category - In putting together search results, Facebook will scan the Categories that pages use to self-define their business. This is particularly important for Business Facebook Pages.
Connection - This is the key! Facebook will prioritize results based on who the searcher knows and who is in their larger network. (Friends and friends of friends for example.) Because we all prefer to take recommendations from people we know, Facebook will show results based on people within our networks and also relate them to location.
I still don’t get it. How does this work?
Let’s say a user searches for “Web Design” on Facebook’s Graph Search. Facebook will scan for the keywords, “Web Design” placing particular emphasis on looking for businesses that have Web Design listed as their category. Facebook scans profiles and pages for likes, check-ins, posts and comments. It’s important to remember that Facebook will only scan within the searchers network, so results are limited to pages with a connectionto the user. Connection can relate to physical location or shared connections that have liked, commented on or otherwise interacted with a page.
So how can you get your page ready for Facebook’s Graph Search? Dedicate some time to updating your Facebook Page. Just follow these 7 simple steps — and get ready for customers to start finding you!
1. Update Your Category
Take a few minutes to think about how you have categorized your business. Make sure the category describes what you do as accurately as possible. Your page category will hold significant weight in search results.
2. Location, Location, Location
Graph Search will look at the location of the searcher in relation to the location of businesses and other users, giving priority to results that are geographically close by. Make sure you have up-to-date address information on your Facebook page.
It’s also important to encourage your fans and friends to Check In to your business. This will help boost your ranking and the strength of your geographical location.
3. Write Your About Section with Keywords In Mind
When writing the About Section for your Facebook Page profile (see above graphic), think about what keywords your potential clients will be looking for. Use as many keywords as possible, but make sure the content is coherent and reads well. Use words that not only describe what you do, but also relate to specific search terms that you want to link back to your site.
4. Keywords are Key — Use them in Tags!
Graph Search will look at Tags when analyzing results. So Tag pictures and write posts using your keywords. Encourage your customers or clients to tag your business as much as possible as well. Whether posting new photos, links, graphs or video clips, tag them profusely with keywords.
Now that your Facebook content will be searchable, producing informative and compelling content on your Facebook page will be much more important. Post as frequently as you can.
Write posts that not only use your keywords, but also will attract likes, comments and interactions. Give people content they can use — whether to make them smile and laugh or to help them in their life in some way.
If Facebook sees that people are interacting with your page, it will get higher priority in Search results. And a larger network of followers on your page will mean you have a better chance of showing up in results. Each new Like or Follow connects you to a whole network of new potential clients!
6. Do Your Research.
Facebook’s Graph Search is new! New developments will be coming out all the time and even the experts are still learning exactly how Graph Search will work and how it can be used to help your business. Keep reading and learning about this new tool to make sure you know how to use it to best help your business.
7. Get on Early!
One of the best ways to ensure your business is on board and showing up in searches is to start using the tool as soon as possible. Facebook is releasing Graph Search in Beta version to users slowly. If you want to be one of the first ones to graph search you can sign up here to join the waiting list here:https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch
To sum it all up…
Graph Search is a whole new world and while it may seem daunting, it should be pretty simple to learn to use. Keep in mind the three keys — Keywords, Category and Connections — and you will master it in no time.
This new tool has incredible opportunity to help your customers (and their friends — and their friends’ friends) find you!
Most successful businesses know that the best kind of advertising is word of mouth — and Facebook Graph Search allows you to incorporate the power of personalized recommendations with the large scale of social media.