If you’re blogging for business, there are three areas of every post you need to spend more than half your time on. Strangely, it’s not the body content.
This aspect alone affects whether most readers decide to click the link or not. If they don’t like your title they won’t click the link. You need them to click the link in order to read your brilliant post.
But how do you create an enticing title?
There’s no one right answer. The answer lies with your audience. Some audiences react to salacious titles, while others respond to provoking insecurity such as
“The Number One Thing You Don’t Want to Do on Your Website”
Some people will click so fast they break a nail just to see if they’re guilty of the one thing they shouldn’t be doing.
Numbers are often popular. People like lists. They can skim them quickly.
Try a variety of title types and see which ones produce more clicks. You can also post different titles of the same article to social media to see which ones receive the click-thrus. Ultimately, go with what your audience “tells” you.
Assuming you have the title down, your reader will now look at the first two sentences. WordPress will pull the first 150 characters or so for the meta description, if you don’t provide your own, so you want that to be equally enticing.
Make it tight. Every word in the first 12 must carry its weight, no fillers. Tell your audience what they will learn and allude to how it will solve their problem(s). Don’t tell them how it will. They won’t read the rest of the article. Seduce the reader with a bit of information. Imagine the first couple of sentences as a well-constructed, grammatically-correct tweet.
Every business blog post must have a call-to-action. Yes, every one. If you don’t have something for your potential customers to do, why should they be customers?
You have their attention. They’ve made it to the end of your post. Don’t end your time with them without asking for the next “date.”
You can invite them to answer a question at the end of the blog, download some free materials, or contact you for more information.
If you hate remembering a call-to-action with each post, create a standing one through a WordPress plug-in or with the help from a designer. This call-to-action footer will appear at the end of every post so you don’t have to think about it.
The only time a call-to-action may be inappropriate in business is when you are a guest poster on someone else’s site. In that situation ask the host what closing they feel most comfortable with. Some will allow you a call-to-action for your business while others want the call-to-action to be theirs.
Once you have the title, first few sentences and call-to-action perfected, you’ll be surprised how quickly the body content comes together.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.