While a good blog post will draw on a lot of resources, it should also be, in and of itself, a resource. Dictionary.com defines the word resource like this:
Re-source: a source of supply, support, or aid especially one that can be readily drawn upon when needed.
If you think about it, that is the very essence of what a blog post is meant to be. It's meant to supply people with information for a variety of purposes, and is designed to always be available at a moment's notice.
Most of our blog posts probably fit this description whether or not we look at it this way, but if we recognize that our posts should be sources of support and information, than we're likely to have a much easier time marketing them and getting other people to look at them that way as well.
Crafting a Post as a Resource
So to put a little bit of skin onto this process, we need to ask the question: What are the elements of a post that people would consider to be a resource?
Links to authoritative resources
Though they shouldn't be the centerpiece of what makes your post valuable, you should include links to outside resources in your articles. In fact, outbound links can even help your search engine rankings in some cases, as long as you're careful not to overdo it. Linking to authoritative pages is a good practice.
A good policy is to simply wait until you draw on information naturally from sources outside of your own body of knowledge. When those sources can be linked to, do so within the same sentence if you can.
If you're linking to another article from within your own blog, make sure you use keywords to link to the post. For example:
Instead of saying: Check out this article on how to grow lettuce in the spring here.
Link the keywords instead: Check out this article on how to grow lettuce in the spring.
A unique and fresh perspective on the issue(s) being addressed
It might be true that a lot of people have already written on the topic you are addressing, so to truly be a unique and viable resource, your post needs to include a fresh perspective or approach.
This sounds kind of tough, but don't overthink it. This can often simply come from your own experience. If you have expertise and experience in the topic you're writing about, your story is going to be unique from everyone else's story. Take advantage of that and use it to offer a different and unique view on the issue at hand, whatever it may be.
An easy to read and navigate format
Having a post that just reads like a useable resource can sometimes be half the battle. If people look at your post and see a lot of long-winded paragraphs with no titles or identifiable points or topics, then they aren't likely to stick around.
You need to keep paragraphs short, while using descriptive titles that let people know where certain pieces of information are.
For example, if you're going to start addressing a certain aspect of the issue at hand, say fertilizer (going back to our lettuce example), use a bolded title at the begin of the paragraph that addresses fertilizer.
When to Use Fertilizer
[Paragraph text talking about fertilizer…]
That way, if a person stumbles onto your article and is only interested in getting information about fertilizing lettuce in the spring, they'll scan the article, see your bolded title and read that particular paragraph. Otherwise that person probably isn't going to take any interest in your site.
Additionally, you should use bullet points and lists to add further detail to the paragraphs that you've already written. Bullets and lists are internet friendly and will draw a reader in because of the quick way that they're able to display information.
Above all, make sure that your information is broken up into short segments and easily identifiable through a quick scan.
An easily identifiable mission statement
Finally, you need to let your reader know what exactly it is that you're trying to accomplish. If you're trying to solve a problem or fill a need, make sure that's clear in both your title and your introductory paragraph. The best way to draw readers in is to let them know that your post is going to address a dilemma or issue that they have.
If they can know that early on from either your title or your introductory paragraph, they'll already view your post as a valuable resource and a potentially helpful and informative tool that they can use to solve their problem.
Jason Bayless is a professional blogger that gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. He writes for BestSEOCompanies.com, a nationally recognized comparison website of the SEO companies in the United States
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