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What makes a good, quality blog post?

blog at center of targetMarketers throw the term “good, quality content” around in content marketing conversations and articles because it’s the center of a solid online marketing strategy—and flippantly, like it’s the easiest thing to achieve (you just write a great post, right? ha!).  Most often, that content is written for a blog, one of the most common content marketing tactics in online marketing today.  But what actually classifies a blog post as good, quality content?

This is where we issue a disclaimer: there is no hard-and-fast rule for a great blog post.  Just as everyone is looking for a different version of the “perfect house,” when house hunting, the same goes for a blog post.  That being said, there are some basic elements that should be included in every good, quality blog post.

Relevant Subject

Start every blog post with a subject and a goal—and know that both might change as you write.  That’s fine as long as you write a post with purpose.  Choose a subject that fits your target audience; for good content marketing ideas, use common questions from your customers, hot industry topics, calendar or seasonal ideas, or related search engine query phrases (we’ve given you a few content marketing ideas in a recent post).

With regards to search engines, a good blog post with keyword phrases is worth its weight in gold.  However, keep your posts human-focused, not keyword-focused.  The days of keyword stuffing are over; the top search engine optimization experts deliver optimized content for humans and search engines.  Don’t hesitate to use their expertise to get quality content for your blog—and to keep getting quality content on a regular basis (the key to content marketing success); we’ve said it before: there’s no shame or blame in outsourcing.

Strong Headline

A strong headline grabs your readers’ attention (higher click through rates!) and a good intro keeps them reading. A good headline draws a reader into the post and is TRUTHFUL. Avoid click bait headlines; you may see an increase in traffic, but you’ll also see an increase in bounce rates. Good headlines include questions (How can I fix this?), lists (5 Ways to fix your problem), or strong words (5 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making Fixing Your Problem).

(Good) Images

We never publish a blog post without an image, and there’s a good reason why.  Images enhance a blog post, giving the piece an essential visual element and breaking up a big block of text.  When choosing a good image, be selective; your image should be high quality, relevant, and free to use (no stealing…you can’t use just any image you find on the internet).  Note the first criteria listed: high quality.  The days of posting a blog post with a sub-par image are over.

“Teacher-Approved” Content Your Audience Can Read

Write a blog post your high school English teacher can be proud of: with proper grammar, perfect spelling, and correct sentence structure.  Any mistakes or typos are an instant turn-off to readers.  Don’t just write; edit and re-edit until your blog post is ready to be published error-free.

Call to Action

Once your audience is done reading, what do you want them to do?  Make this crystal clear when you write, and realize that the answer is not always “buy our product!!!”  A call to action can be “for more information…,” “get regular updates,” or “learn more…”  The goal of content marketing is to build trust.  You’re not going to build trust if every blog post is a screaming, high pressure sales pitch.

Share Buttons

What good is a quality blog post if it can’t be shared?  Make it easy for your audience to share your blog post via social media and email—and that you set a strong promotion plan so your content is read.  After all, you don’t want to write a good, quality blog post only to have it end up like the proverbial tree in the forest that fell with no one around to hear it.

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