Sometimes writing your own blog is kind of like a carpenter working on his own house! (two things I know a thing or two about!) You forget what’s best practice when it comes to your own content. So, I thought I would share a secret five step formula with you that creates winning blog posts every time and is sure to get you noticed when you pitch for guest blogs or articles.
Step #1: Write a Headline That Can’t be Ignored!
You have exactly sixty minutes to write a post and your job depends on this post! How much of your time should you devote to the headline?
If you are like most writers, you probably think it should be your last concern, right? After all it represents a very small percentage of the post!
If this was your answer, you might have just lost your job!
Experts say you should spend twice as much time on your headline as the body of your post!
Shocking, isn’t it?
Most people agree, but statistically it has been proven that your headline will carry as much weight in driving traffic as the entire rest of the post!
If you were submitting this post for a guest blog position at an even halfway decent blog, the editors there will know this and without a rock solid headline, you are not getting published!
Unless you really want to do your post and your writing career a disservice, spend a lot of time brainstorming ideas for your post. In fact, make this your number one priority!
Step #2: Write an opener that shows the reader you are on their side!
Bill Clinton proved this…
Do you really think he could have survived his scandal ridden presidency had he not convinced most Americans that he “felt their pain”?
This is one of the most interesting stories of a public figure seemingly being bullet proof when it came to anyone placing the blame on him! It goes straight to the heart of the modern writer’s job!
If you want people to follow you through whatever journey your blog post is going to take them on, you first have to make sure they understand you are meeting them right where they are! They need to know you get it and you've felt their pain.
Open that post by showing them why you’re on their side! Empathize. You can use any number of roads to get there, but you must! Tell them a story of how you survived their worst fear, or someone else suffered through it, voice their fears for them right there on the screen!
The punch line is this…
Any reader who does not believe you understand and empathize with where they are coming from by the end of the first paragraph, will not be around to read the last! They will leave you.
Step #3: Teach the Reader Something They Didn’t Know!
The quickest way to end a conversation with a new friend?
Be predictable and tell them exactly what they expect to hear.
If you were writing a post about becoming a stronger athlete, you would probably want to mention that they needed to do traditional workouts, right? That is the surest way to lose your audience!
Regardless of the truth of your statement, athletes have had this drilled into their heads from childhood. And just like when their coach says it, it goes in one ear and out the other! They stop paying attention the second they assume they know what you are going to say!
That doesn’t mean it isn’t true. This is a funny thing about human psychology we tend to ignore what is potentially lifesaving advice, just because we think we already know it!
The world isn’t perfect. In a perfect world, you would gain an audience by telling them what they need to hear, whether they had heard it before, or not! But, in the real world of online content publishing, you must always be able to shock them with something new! 100% of the time.
What are your options?
· Be argumentative and share ideas from someone who defends bad diet and says workouts just make athletes tired! Fly in the face of conventional wisdom.
· Try sharing some bit of information they haven’t heard before such as sharing with them how some Olympic athletes have proven that imagining a grueling workout can have the same results as getting in the gym and breaking a sweat!
· You could stir up conversation by arguing that professional eaters are the strongest athletes and showing how their training regimen leads to increased performance!
Whichever course you choose, you are sure to keep their attention, but the one thing you must do under any circumstances is tell them what they already know and expect to hear from you! It chases away readers faster than any other method I know!
Step #4: Show Them Examples of Your Insights!
This right here is freelance writing gold! Pay attention!
You should absolutely, without fail, tell at least one story, or give an illustration of at least one of your points in every single blog post. Period.
A lot of freelance writers want to rely on the research and the facts, but the truth is, that doesn’t relate your information back to the real lives of your readers.
Sharing one single example can make your ideas more real than pages of statistics.
Tell a good story and people will line up to buy whatever your writing, choose not to and they will likely use your writing to line their cat boxes, or avoid your blog like the plague!
Step #5: Write a closing that pumps your reader up!
Here’s another solid gold tip!
No matter what subject a person is reading about, most readers do not read to learn anything! Really, even if you are writing DIY articles, they don’t come to you to teach them!
They want to feel good! They want to believe they are awesome! Or sexier, or stronger, or smarter!
Make them feel good and they will not only buy everything you write, but they’ll send their friends to buy it too! An entire billion dollar industry is based on ideas that men like Norman Vincent Peale understood a half century ago when he wrote, “The Power of Positive Thinking” people want to feel good. They want they will share anything that creates positive feelings, because they want to feel positive about themselves!
Now, what’s the best way to leave your audience with a “warm fuzzy”?
Write an ending that inspires them!
When I was a kid, I played a lot of baseball. I wasn’t much of an athlete, but there wasn’t much opportunity to act in the small towns I grew up in. One thing that I got from that experience, was the dugout speech! A good coach can step in and take a team that is down and put them on top by making them believe they can do it!
Give your readers a good old fashioned pep talk!
Not only will people want to read it, but, you’ll be surprised at how many shares you’ll get! That’s not all, but those editors at those blogs you’ve been pitching will eat it up with a spoon! Why, because it’s not every day they find someone who cannot only write, but will make readers fall in love with their site at the same time!
With this formula, you might as well be pouring love potion on those blogs, it is that powerful!
So, can you do this? Sure you can!
Reading this post, you might think you’ve never heard a lot of this before, but it’s just playground 101!
Let me show you…
· The kid who tells the best jokes gets the most attention! (headline)
· The kid who understands when you’re down always has company! (opening)
· The kid with the inside scoop will always have an audience! (teach them something)
· The kid with the best lunch extras never sits alone! (give a good example)
· The kid who gets everybody excited is never picked last! (pep talk ending)
You learned all of this before you left the second grade! You’ve been doing it so long you’re an expert. In fact, I bet when you go to apply this to your next post, you’ll be surprised at how natural it feels!
I think you’ll be surprised at how well you can do this already, without even trying!