What makes a good blog for lead generation?
Blogs are a key part of a content marketing strategy. They offer your prospects value, power your email and social media activity, boost your website’s SEO and capture the attention of people who need your help. So, here’s a handy checklist to help you understand what makes a good blog for lead generation.
1. Know your what and why
Before you write a single word build a solid foundation by answering the following questions. This will give you a clear structure to follow and make things a little easier from here on out.
- Who you’re writing for
- What problem or challenge you’re helping them solve
- Why they should pay attention
2. Craft the right headline
Between 60-80% of readers don’t make it past the headline so the first hurdle is writing one that grabs your reader’s attention AND compels them to read on.
Start with your answers to #1 and incorporate them into the title. Examples:
- How to start a marketing business
- Our guide to digitisation for small businesses
- Five ways to plan your B2C blog calendar
3. Choose an image
A great headline can stand alone, but you will boost its impact and draw in visual learners with an compelling image. Perhaps it goes without saying, but any image you choose should be legal to use and relevant to your content. It doesn’t have to be on the nose, it can be subtle – depending on your brand and audience.
4. Add compelling sub-headings and a killer introduction
The sub-headings and introduction offer a few benefits here. The reader should be able to understand what your blog is offerings by skimming the sub-headings, a snippet of the post that sums up what is to come. It also contributes to SEO. The introductory paragraph following this continues the job of drawing the reader in to your post.
Both need to hook your reader. A great way to do this is to provide a compelling statistic to pique interest or you can hint at what is to come with a question, cliff-hanger or set-up.
5. Build a great body
The components of a great blog body are:
- Insight and information: The core of your blog needs to provide the reader with insight and information that helps them in some way. It should reflect an aspect of how you could help them.
- White space: little white space makes your blog look like hard work. No one wants to plough through an essay if they don’t have to
- Visual interest: break up the paragraphs with sub-headers, bullets, data such as stats (written as numbers, not words), pics, video and audio if the blog calls for it (all useful for skim readers and visual learners)
- Valuable, well-written content: make it relevant, helpful and easy to read
- Appropriate length: this will depend on your audience, the topic and the frequency of your posts. Longer posts can be effective, so if you have the insight you don’t need to be brief.
6. Finish well
Finish your magnum opus with a neat recap that briefly concludes what you set out in your headline and provides next steps, which could be additional reading or resources or…
7. Call to action
To gain maximum value from your blog post, don’t let the interaction end there. Close off with a compelling call to action (CTA) directing your reader to:
- like, share or comment
- visit a related blog post
- visit your service/product page
- take up an offer/discount/exclusive
- use the contact page
- ask for a demo
- access advice
- a sign-up page
Use the CTA as an opportunity to continue the experience or build a relationship. But, as with any offering, ensure it answers that all-important “what’s in it for me?” question.