Have you started blogging?
Whether you've been blogging for years or are thinking about finally giving it the old college try this year, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you publish each post you write.
1. What am I trying to say? Did I say it clearly?
The length of the average consumer's attention span is 140 characters. So if you take too long to get to your point, you are going to lose your audience. Write your first draft and then edit and cut anything that isn't necessary or furthering your point.
2. Is my post useful?
You could write a blog post about your dog, but will your customers care? What does your dog have to do with insurance? Will he help your readers reduce their risk or save money on their insurance? Consider whether your customers will find your post useful and why they might share it.
3. Will my title grab attention?
Often many consumers will only see the headline of your blog post. That title needs to grab their attention and make them so curious they have to click to read more. Ask yourself if your grandmother, neighbor or friend saw your headline, would they be interested enough to click to read the full blog post.
4. Are my spelling and grammar correct?
Misspelled words and incorrect grammar can turn an otherwise great blog post into a post that will hurt your credibility. Take the time to read your post over before publishing it so you can catch those errors before someone else does.
5. Did I cite my sources?
Stealing content is never a good idea. If someone's else blog post inspired yours, link to it and let the original blogger know. More than likely, he or she will share your blog post boosting traffic to your website.
6. Did I write a similar post I should link to?
As you write more and more blog posts, chances are you will revisit various topics. As you write more posts, link back to your older posts on a similar or related topic. This will introduce your older posts to those who are new to your website while keeping them on your website longer as they continue to click.
7. Did I add a visual point of interest?
Add visuals to your blog posts to help break up the text. Pictures and graphs are popular visuals that will help enhance your post. Plus, when you share your post, most social networks like Facebook and Google+ will pull the image and share that with your link. And visuals receive more engagement on social media than just text or links.
8. What do I want my audience to do? Did I tell them?
Do you want your audience to call you? Comment on your post? Share it on social media? Make sure you tell them at the end of the post. By prompting them to do something, you will most likely start a conversation.
9. Am I ready to publish now?
Many times I like to write my blog posts and then leave them alone for a day or afternoon. Then before I publish, I read through it again keeping in mind all the questions above. This helps me catch mistakes as well as make sure my message is clear.
What do you ask yourself before you publish a blog post?
About the Author
As vice president of marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s growth through marketing and drives the overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include advertising, social media, email marketing, content marketing and public relations. Becky has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder