My name is [insert here] and I am a [select one from below]:
- Content King
Wait, you’re not any of those things?
Oh, that’s right.
You’re a small business owner.
Your job is to grow your business and implement strategies that generate revenue.
Blogging needs to be a part of your content strategy. You know that.
You’re blogging about things that matter to your audience, but it’s just not clicking. People are responding.
Audience or share wise.
You could hire someone, but spending the money right now isn’t an option. Free and low-cost guest bloggers abound (here’s how to find them), but your blog needs a consistent voice.
You don’t have time to deal with freelancers and edits.
Still, content must be generated, concerns addressed, help provided. If you want to build your online presence, blogging plays a vital role in the success of your online presence.
Every blog post you publish builds your brand.
Your brand’s attitude is most obvious in blog posts.
What’s your blog really saying?
If you’re just throwing up some words and thoughts on your blog, freeze.
Unless you’re a really good writer, those random posts are scaring away potential customers.
You have to write the right thing, share shareable things, and connect with your audience. That’s how a blog supports a business.
Here’s the thing.
You’ve got experience, knowledge, and insights that can help your audience.
You’re an expert in your field or entering a new market with a fantastic idea worth sharing.
There’s two things you’re not.
- A copywriting conversion expert
- A master writer
With practice, courses, and training, you could be.
Who has time for that?
What’s a need-to-be-blogging business owner to do?
How do you create consistent, high-quality content and keep your voice intact?
As Jon Morrow points out in his brilliant
“The best writers are the best thieves.”
Don’t get your panties in a wad.
We’re not talking plagiarism.
We’re “stealing” ideas. Sort of. Format, structure, layout.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and all that.
Book genres are great examples. Notice how every few years a new niche pops up, and all of the sudden that’s all your hear about? (Teen paranormal fiction, anyone?)
There’s a reason for it. The audience has spoken. They want it, like it, and want more of it.
Publicists won’t argue. Readers pay the bills. So they produce more of the popular genre, and the genre trends.
Channel your inner publicist and publish posts readers read.
But staying on trend, or ahead of the marketing curve, takes a time commitment you probably don’t have. If you’re scrambling to do it all, these timeless and always on-trend blog post formulas help you write more and share your message in a way readers respond to.
Blog post formulas are generic templates. Readers have expectations, and missing the mark on what they expect to read and what they end up reading will cost you business.
You need to know what you’re writing (and doing). But not in that annoying, know it all kind of way.
Nobody likes a snob.
Here’s 5 no-fail blog post formulas that work every time, with examples.
1. Get to the Point
With the average online reader giving you somewhere between 1.7 and 8 seconds to keep their attention (depends who you ask), getting to the point matters. Enter the List Post.
List Posts are:
scannable(since people don’t read anymore, they scan)
Copyblogger’s 7 Reasons Why List Posts Will Always Work sum up the appeal of list posts nicely.
Here’s an ultimate (video) guide to creating list posts, by Neil Patel of Quicksprout. Save yourself hours by watching for a few minutes.
You can’t just build any list.
You have to build the right list.
- 17 Copy and Paste Blog Post Templates by Smart Passive Income (Use ‘em. They’re good.)
- 10 Best Places to Find a Travel Bargain in 2015 Yes, please.
- Mark and Laura write about 6 Reasons to Stop Being Hard On Yourself. Sounds good to me!
Headlines are key for list style posts. Don’t disappoint your reader. Use a headline analyzer to make sure your headline is attractive.
2. End of the World
If you don’t do this, your business will crumble and your wife will leave you.
Your world will end.
Actionable advice is here!
Actionable advice blog posts are:
solvers resource providers calls-to- action uplifting(at the end)
- Is Poor Grammar Killing Your Content Marketing Strategy? Study Says 69% of Brands Fail to Make the Grade Okay, now I’m scared. And terrified of how terrible my grammar is. Must read.
- The One Word That Is Killing Your Relationship OMG. What?
- Why Your ‘Secret Sauce’ Is Killing Your Business Business owners are sabotaging their success…tell me more!
Actionable advice posts must always end on an uplifting note. Unless you’re trying to kill your blog. Give your reader an call to action, or a “You can do it!” takeaway.
Don’t leave them sad and lonely. Help them.
3. Round It Up
Want people to notice you?
Don’t feel like writing?
Time for a round-up. Group a bunch of people or resources that your audience should know about, and share them.
Often referred to as an Resource Post, these posts will generate retweets and inbound page links like crazy…when done right.
Resource Posts are:
honest(if there’s a competitor that does a good job with someone, tell them)
- A Round Up Post About Round Up Posts – pure genius. And ranked #2 in “best round up post” in the SERPs. Not too shabby.
- 21 Posts That Will Help You Decide What Type of Write You Want to Be means the reader gets to read instead of write (which is what they should be doing). Win.
- 34 Top Blogs About Blogging A round up by 10 bloggers. Makes for interesting links, guaranteed to see promotion by the people featured in the article.
Resource posts need to share relevant content, but anything can be rounded up. Get creative.
4. You Didn’t Know
How could you not know about that amazing Ikea hack?! Do you live in a cave, or only have dial-up internet?
Does dial-up internet still exist?
Why do roots vegetables sprout while above-ground veggies rot?
You didn’t know you wanted to know, but now you want to know.
Solve a problem people didn’t know they had. Reveal a little know fact or secret.
Revelation posts are:
- What Your Craving For Change Might Really Mean This tiny little post saved many a person from hacking off their hair. People are still saying thank you. Feels good. 🙂
- How Black Friday Became a Thing on Buzzfeed. With all the holiday shopping don’t you just want to know?
- Your Late Night Emails Are Hurting Your Team And here we thought we were helping…
5. How To… Anything
Google anything and someone will tell you how to do it.
…….get away with murder
(That the predictive search result Google tried to show me when I typed “how to” into the search box. Wonder what Google thinks I’m planning!?)
The How To blog post formula could be considered a list post, but are separated because the style involves steps, not categories.
How To posts are:
- Helen writes on Successful Blogging How to Create Captivating Blog Images in Less Than 3 Minutes. This detailed how-to walks you through her strategy to save time and money on design work.
- How to Interview Influencers (Even If You’d Rather Curl Up and Die). ‘Nuff said.
- How to Write a Great Round Up Post by Cornerstone Content. Don’t you just love truly useful links?!
Ready to try one of the no-fail blog post formulas? Great!
If implemented properly.
Time for your common-sense PSA announcement.
Is the post post you’ve decided to write:
- About your audience and their needs? (Not you!)
- The right length (Buffer offers a great infographic on the subject of length.)
- Sharing a clear message (Tip: Write the headline first. Helps to stay on point.)
- Uplifting at the end (Think happy thoughts! What can your reader do next?)
- Actionable (What’s the takeaway?)
Experts Use Formulas For a Reason.They work.
Blog post formulas help order your thoughts, share information, and meet reader expectations.
There are countless bloggers and companies that test formats, headlines, and text—for a living. They’re giving away the research and results for FREE.
The great thing about blogging is posts can correlate to your business, but don’t have to be specifically about your product or market.
If you sell a product to small business owners, think outside your market. What’s something most small business owners struggle with? Personal finances. Present an easy way to build up an emergency fund, and pass that helpful info along to your audience.
Your readers will thank you for it.
(Well, they thank Dave Ramsey, that’s for sure.)
Content kings have learned the art of merging information into formats that convert readers into customers.
That doesn’t make them better.
It makes them smart.
Formulas give you permission to use what works, and discard the rest.
Formulas will make your life easier.
Give ’em a try.