Having worked out your individual needs for your blog, (view part one of this series) think about your content presentation
Write content that will be of interest to the audience you are trying to reach.
It is unlikely that all of your posts will be of interest to all of your readers of course, but aim to captivate as many as you can.
What sort of content is of most interest may take some time to work out, although research will help you get started. Visit popular blogs about a similar topic. Find them by doing search engine searches, Google blog searches, visiting popular bookmarking services such as del.icio.us, Stumbleupon, technorati. Deduce from this what you think are popular topics, or sub topics of your particular subject area. Even if your content is quite unique, visiting successful blogs can provide you with useful information.. Once your blog gains readership, popularity of posts is easier to determine. You have such tools as backlinks, comments, bookmarked posts and email subscriptions and site statistics to guide you.
Present your content well
I will cover the layout/design and writing styles in more details in later articles but for this purpose I will talk about some basic steps. From the top down:
Your post title and post URL
Capture attention with your title. Research by doing blog searches and see what titles raise your own curiosity, what sort of titles have high ratings in e.g. digg and technorati or directory/popularity sites related to your own topic.
- Be succinct but descriptive.
- Use keywords that relate to your post or blog to attract readers and for search engine optimization.
- Follow trends. e.g. The Top 10 (20/30….) reasons/ best/worst ……. (fill in the blanks yourself). A quick blog search revealed quite a selection of these. Just a couple:
(The dichotomy of these two titles appealed to me.)
- Use your keywords and secondary keywords for search engine optimization.
- Make good use of headings to delinieate your post content
- Use white space wisely. Don’t crowd your post.
- Use lists where possible for ease of reading and quick content scanning.
- Tag or Categorize your post with keywords relating to its content. Most blog software has either inbuilt options or extensions that allow this.
- Give your readers easy ways to revisit your blog.
- Allow them to easily:
- bookmark/favorite your site.
- add your RSS feed.
I prefer to offer options as to what service to save bookmarks to by using, for example, the Addthis.com buttons