Before I even published my first post, I knew I needed to focus on gaining some serious traffic to my blog. Blog traffic is important for any blog, of course, but especially for a new blog. You need to get as many eyes as you can on your new baby, so you can show it off and keep people coming back! So, how do you do it?
Well, think about some of your favorite blogs out there. Why do you like them so much? It could be the killer photos and the gorgeous layout of the blog, or maybe even the blogger’s personality that shines through in their writing.
It’s probably all of these things and more, but ultimately what likely keeps you coming back to these blogs again and again is because they consistently have bomb foundational content.
If you haven’t started a blog yet, here’s an in-depth tutorial on how to start one today!
WHAT IS FOUNDATIONAL CONTENT?
Foundational content is a kick-ass blog post that solves some sort of problem for your readers and portrays you as an authority in your field. It’s the kind of content that leads to more shares, more followers and, essentially, a successful blog.
To truly create this kind of content, you’ve gotta really know your readers. Not just your current readers, but your ideal reader. The people you want to attract to your blog.
Why does your audience matter? Girl, your audience is everything! A second ago I said that foundational content solves a problem. But how do you even know what problem you’re trying to solve if you don’t know who you’re writing for? So, you need to figure out what your readers want and how you can provide it for them. (BTW, if you’re not sure where to even start on defining your ideal reader, I’ve gotcha covered.)
WHAT MAKES FOUNDATIONAL CONTENT STAND OUT?
Not every post is a game-changer for your blog, and that’s okay. But, if you want to consistently produce content that packs a punch for your readers, these things separate the bland posts from the amazing ones.
CLEAR, CATCHY HEADLINE
You can have the most beautifully written, amazing blog post out there and not have a single person ever read it if the headline isn’t amazing. A headline makes or breaks a readable blog post.
Sometimes I see bloggers try to ‘entice’ their audience by making an extremely vague headline. Like, ‘This One Little Trick Changed My Life. Click to Find Out More!’ That tells me absolutely nothing and doesn’t interest me in the slightest.
You don’t want to confuse your readers before you’ve even gotten them to read your post, so make sure your headline is clear. If I’m going to click through and read your post, I need to know exactly what I’m getting myself into before I read the post.
That’s what the headline needs to do. It should be specific to your post and include catchy words that convince your reader that they just have to read this awesome sauce post that you’ve written.
For inspiration, I like to look to popular blogs and websites and see what kind of words they’re using to get people clicking to their posts.
Take Buzzfeed for example. It’s a great place of inspiration for catchy headlines. Here are some Buzzfeed post headlines with powerful words/phrases:
16 Incredibly Helpful Subreddits That’ll Actually Improve Your Life
31 Pieces Of Makeup You’ll Never Want To Breakup With
- 21 Minimalist Bullet Journal Spreads That Are So Pretty, You Might Sigh Out Loud
7 Skin-Care Must-Haves That Won’t Break The Bank
Ultimately, just be creative with your headlines! They don’t have to be complex or anything, just try adding a little character to them.
SOLVES A PROBLEM
We already kinda talked about this, but I just want to reiterate that foundational content solves a problem for your readers, rather than just tell a story (although you can definitely tell a story while you’re solving a problem! More on that next.)
Let’s say I’ve got a post that talks about my day at work yesterday. Maybe it’s fun to read for some people, but there’s nothing really helpful to you in a post like that, so you don’t really want to share it.
That’s not foundational content. Does it hurt to create posts like that? Not necessarily. Some bloggers (especially ones who’ve been blogger for years) write posts like that all the time and they’re very successful. But for the majority of us, we need to create content that counts. Create posts that people want to read and would LOVE to share.
I lovelovelove bloggers who can infuse a little personality into their posts. It makes me feel like we’re already BFF’s and we literally don’t even know each other. That’s the secret to adding personality to your blog- writing like you’re just talking to your best friend.
Infusing your personality into your writing is how you help define your blogging voice, and having a strong blogging voice can go a looong way for you and your blog (Helene over at Helene in Between has a great post on how to find your own blogging voice!) You want to jam-pack your post full of helpful information, but you also want to make your post entertaining!
So, feel free to add a little personal touch to your posts, tell a relevant story that adds value to the point you’re making. That’ll help your readers relate to what you’re saying and remember your blog.
Evergreen content is content that can bring in traffic year-round. A post full of Fall-themed blog post ideas is not evergreen, since you’ll probably only get hits on it around the holiday season. How to start a blog, on the other hand, is evergreen content, since it’s a post that will bring in traffic any time of year.
Now, I’m not saying seasonal content is a bad thing! It’s just not going to consistently bring home the blog traffic bacon, y’know? If you’re working on building foundational content, you’re going to want to make your posts evergreen as much as possible.
HAS A PINNABLE, BRANDED IMAGE
You want to make foundational content irresistable, but not just in your writing. Our society is filled with very visual people. Heck, many social media platforms run on beautiful images, especially on Pinterest and Instagram. So if you have a great post but don’t have gorgeous images to go along with it, you’re selling yourself short!
You should have at least one image in every post that’s pinnable and fits your brand. A pinnable image is a long, vertical pin that’s crisp and clear. I’ve got info about what I use for photos on my blog here, including where I find my stock photos! Stock photos are a great option if you don’t have a good camera or just want to make sure your blog’s images are consistently gorgeous.
Foundational content is one of the most important things for a new blog. Make sure you put the time and care into each post that it deserves, and it can really change the game for you! If you’re having trouble writing and editing all of your posts each week, I’d definitely suggest creating an editorial calendar! Totally saved my life!
MAKE SURE YOU PIN THIS SO OTHERS CAN FIND IT!
What are you going to do differently to your posts to make sure they’re foundational content?
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