Not long ago I wrote a popular three-part series on why a blog is so important for your center, how to go about setting one up and how to more fully distribute and re-purpose the core foundational content that is (or should be!) your blog. This missive is a how-to for writing effective blog posts.
Basic Blog Writing Rules Worth Following:
- When writing, turn off email client and all social media windows so you can focus on writing!
- Use strong titles—and keep them to less than 75 characters. If your title stinks, the post will not be well read; it’s the doorway to readership. Numbers are good, i.e., “5 Ways to Improve Your Conditioning;” “10 Must-Have Superfoods to Keep in Stock;” “8 Ways to Lower Your Inflammation Load.” Integrative topics can be endless but those you choose to blog should reflect your specialty(ies). This trick has been used successfully for decades to lift sales of newsstand magazines. Write the title first; then deliver on the promise of the title. Write SEO-friendly titles by including strong keywords.
- Keep posts to less than 650 words—brevity rules!—use short paragraphs, short sentences and simple words
- Always use at least one powerful image—stay away from boring and predictable images and kitsch! You are primarily writing for a couple reasons: to surround your brand (i.e., your center or yourself) with quality-directed content in order to establish trust with consumers to build clinic utilization, and/or to establish or extend thought leadership within your area of specialty. Invest a few dollars for each post and use quality images. I use istockphotos.com.
- Curate a collection of powerful images that mirror the themes the define your work and interests and can be used in your posts
- Post 1-2x week (consistency and frequency makes a big difference for SEO; post as often as you can)
- Maintain a list of blog concepts/ideas—best to use a content calendar/production schedule
- Create an outline (based on writing frame; see #16!)
- Write (right brain), do not edit (left brain)!
- Complete the draft
- Now edit and format—shorten everywhere you can
- Add hyperlinks (to outside sources and to pages in your own site) and metadata (description, keywords, tags, category(ies)
- Read through twice, then read aloud once
- Proofreader(s) review if available
- Search engine optimization—if you use WordPress, publish a draft with a timed release and use WP admin panel and run through the Scribe plugin to analyze the content. Then incorporate provided suggestions for optimizing content to make more SEO friendly; Scribe target score: 100 (If you don’t use WordPress and are just starting to create fluid content like a blog, then use SEO tools available based on your website program and content management system.)
- Ready to begin? Use a writing frame:
- Strong title
- Lead paragraph (short premise)
- Personal experience (personal storytelling rules, but must always function as a doorway to serving readers’ needs)
- Main body—numbered points, bullets or both
- Break up with subheads to keep reader attention and move them through your content
- Conclude with a question to encourage engagement and comments (should you decide to turn the comments on, which I recommend as long as you have the time to monitor the responses and respond accordingly).
- Following these rules to activate the writing of your blog posts—even if you are not a prolific scribe—will help keep your writing focused. Posts of this size, say 350—650 words, can be researched, written, edited and formatted in less than 75 minutes. It will take some time to get there. You just need to get started.
FON is a leading integrative health and medicine business development and strategy consulting firm. FON specializes in custom solutions for growing patient volume, developing programs, and increasing product sales. Our practical business models are driven by innovative marketing, clear messaging, and customer engagement via branded storytelling.
Contact us today to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your business development or personal brand needs.