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Five Essential Questions To Ask Yourself Before Publishing A New Blog Post

Written by Taylor Hawes

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

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As more and more businesses launch blogs as a way to connect with prospective customers, it’s important for you as a business owner, marketing director, or webmaster to develop great content that will help you differentiate from competitors in your industry. In the following article, we’re outlining five essential questions you should be asking yourself before publishing a new post on your company blog.

 

Is My Content Original?

This is one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself before publishing your blog post. When it comes to getting the most out of your content marketing and SEO strategies, creating and sharing original content is key. According to reports, “61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content.” Consumers aren’t the only ones paying attention to authentic (or inauthentic) content. In recent years especially, search engine giants like Google have been stressing more and more that posting unoriginal content will not help a website in terms of improving page rankings and attracting visitors. In fact, they have even started penalizing webmasters for sharing unoriginal content on webpages and in blog posts.

In a support section on their website, Google states:

“Some webmasters attempt to improve their pages’ ranking and attract visitors by creating pages with many words but little or no authentic content. Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly by just showing scraped or other cookie-cutter pages that don’t add substantial value to users.”

Before publishing your blog post, ask yourself how original the content within it actually is. If more than 50% of your content is obviously repurposed from somewhere else, consider rewriting it.

 

Does My Content Help Solve a Problem?

In addition to publishing original content, it’s also important that you share content that your audience will actually find valuable. Consumers are constantly scouring the web for information that will help solve their problems. As a business owner, webmaster, or marketing professional, you have an opportunity to connect with prospective customers online by becoming a trusted resource for them to go to in order to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. Before publishing your blog post, make sure you have created content that solves problems. Your goal with each new blog post you share should always be to continue leveraging yourself or your company as an influencer and expert in your industry.

 

Does My Content Include Clear Call-To-Actions?

We’ve mentioned it in previous blog posts, but it’s worth bringing up again: the blog posts you share on your website need to include clear call-to-action messaging or images. Why? It helps your readers understand what you want them to do next. According to Hubspot, “a call-to-action (usually abbreviated as CTA) is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It is, quite literally, a “call” to take an “action.” The action you want people to take could be anything: download an ebook, sign up for a webinar, get a coupon, attend an event, etc. A CTA can be placed anywhere in your marketing — on your website, in an ebook, in an email, or even at the end of a blog post.”

Before publishing your blog post, think about what type of call-to-action you could include in order to help your readers understand what they are supposed to do next. Could you direct them to an ebook that expands on the topic you wrote about in your blog post? Or could you direct them to a product you sell that will help solve a problem they have? These are just two possible examples of CTA’s you could be including in your blog posts. To start creating and using effective call-to-actions, follow the tips we outlined in this blog post.

 

Is My Post The Right Length?

This is another important question to consider before sharing a blog post on your site. When it comes to blogging, there is really no secret word count that guarantees success. There are, however, a number of factors you should keep in mind when thinking about post length. First, think about the topic you are writing about. If you’re writing a light-hearted or entertaining blog post, it generally doesn’t need to be as long as blog posts that focus on informing or educating the reader (guides, How-To’s, 101’s, etc.). Second, think about who your audience is. In your opinion, do they have time to read long blog posts (1,000+ words), or do you think they would respond better to shorter posts that still offer a good amount of value? Finally, keep in mind that the goal of blogging is ultimately to provide value, not fluff. If you’ve said everything you need to say in order to get your point across and you’ve only written 300 words, go ahead and publish. You don’t need to fee guilty about a short blog post if the value is truly there. It’s much worse to add words to a blog post that don’t really need to be included. Your blog readers will be able to tell if you’re just adding useless information to make a post look longer or simply for SEO purposes.

 

Is My Headline Strong Enough To Inspire People To Keep Reading?

This is one of the last questions you should ask yourself before clicking the publish button on your post. You can spend all the time in the world developing great content for your blog post, but if you don’t spend any time crafting an effective headline to attach to the post, you’re not going to be able to reach or connect with as many people as you would like. Your headline is the most important part of your blog post. It’s what persuades readers to take the time to stay on your site and continue reading. To create better headlines, consider the following recommendations:

  • Use numbers (ex. 10 Ways To…)

  • Use interesting adjectives (ex. Essential Tips For…, Incredible Solutions For…, etc.)

  • Use unique rationale (ex. Great Reasons…, Secret Lessons…, Helpful Tricks…)

 

What other questions do you ask yourself before publishing your blog post? Leave a comment below!

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