Create a Great Lead for Your Blog Part 2


In our previous post, Creating a Great Lead for Your Blog, we continued our series all about blogging by discussing how to create great leads for your blog and gain readers.

In this post, we continue the themes from our last post with part 2 on creating great leads for your blog.

AttributionShare AlikeSome rights reserved by Jimee, Jackie, Tom & Asha

Write Scannable Text

Since your prospective readers are going to quickly scan your article to decide on its relevance, be sure to write in a way that enables scanning. This means no long, laborious, clause-laden sentences. Write in a shorter, choppier style that quickly imparts the information. And use lots of white space, especially between paragraphs.

Use bulleted lists. You may have noticed we have a lot of them in our blog posts. Take a moment and scan back through some of our previous posts. See how the bulleted lists attract your eye, and quickly give you a sense of what’s on the page, and what the topic under discussion is?

Notice that we use a lot of white space as well, often setting sentences off apart from the rest of the text.

That’s not the way you were taught to write in school, but that’s what works in the increasingly attention-deficit world we’re living in. So keep your paragraphs short, and don’t be afraid to make them only a sentence long. There’s a great example of how to lure the reader in on the Problogger site in a post called How to Craft a Blog Post — 10 Crucial Points to Pause.[1] Since the author, Darren Rowse, also uses type styles to attract attention, we’ve reproduced the beginning of the post in the next figure.

Blogging lead

Figure 1 — Example of a Great Blog Post Lead

Doesn’t this lead make you want to read the rest of the post? Rowse dares you to read on by taking the risk of placing a picture between you and the rest of the post. Brilliant.

By the way, the rest of Rowse’s article, and the series it’s part of, is killer, and we definitely re­commend you read it.

Keep it Short

Pundits differ on the precise recommended post length, but pretty much everyone agrees blog posts should be short. We think you should aim for 300-500 words. As a guide, the average 8 ½” x 11” page has roughly 400 words on it.

If your topic is long and involved, split your post into multiple pages, with about 500 words on each. If your topic really demands more extensive coverage, consider making it into a series of posts. We did this recently when a blog site asked us to do a guest post on business use of LinkedIn. They suggested 500-700 words for the whole article. We replied that there was no way to do the topic justice in that amount, and ended up doing a five-part series.

You’ll need to figure out the length issue yourself. We suggest you ask your community what they think. Perhaps you always leave them wanting more. Perhaps they get tired of reading you after half a page. Remember that it doesn’t matter what you think when it comes to these issues. It’s what your audience thinks. And the great thing is: You can ask them.

Next up: Good Blog Topics


Create a Great Lead for Your Blog Part 2 is the 148th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 382. At this rate it’ll be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Darren Rowse’s post How to Craft a Blog Post – 10 Crucial Points to Pausebit.ly/bGED2G

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About Social Media Performance Group

Social Media Performance Group is a premier enterprise social media consulting company that offers a unique approach to integrating social media into the enterprise — forget about the tools, it's all about the strategy! Rather than focusing on the tactics (do this or that on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube), first we work with you and your senior leadership to comprehend your corporate strategy. Once we understand your strategic objectives and goals, we show you how a comprehensive social media strategy can integrate with and support your corporate strategy. We take an enterprise-wide view based on our unique Enterprise Social Media Framework, which maps social media to all appropriate touchpoints in your enterprise. We go beyond the obvious quick hits — sales and marketing — and help you achieve social-media-driven results in areas such as product development, customer service, and employee engagement and retention. As a result, social media is not just bolted on; it is integrated with, and provides support for, your company's existing strategy and operations, yielding unprecedented results.
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