Content Marketing, Social Media Strategy, Blogging and Content Creation, Social Media Marketing

8 Ingredients of Intoxicating Blog Posts

blog post ingredients 300x188 8 Ingredients of Intoxicating Blog PostsIs there a method to your blogging madness?

Blogging isn’t new, but the notion of blog authorship contributing to marketing effectiveness is very much gaining favor in the U.S., resulting in a flood of new bloggers, especially B2B.

Encouraged by inbound marketing proponents like Hubspot, Chris Brogan, Michael Gass, (and me), organizations are jumping on the blogging thing like a nine year-old boy with a pogo stick and a can of Red Bull.

And for good reason. It’s at least 97% true that if you commit to taking what you know, “atomizing it” (coined by Todd Defren), and giving it away in digestible chunks, it will eventually lead to new business. This is especially true for professional services providers, but not exclusively.

I work with many PR firms and corporations that are giving blogs a warm embrace for the first time. Most of these organizations are opting for group-written blogs to lessen the burden on any particular team member.

That makes sense from a social media strategy standpoint, but makes consistency a challenge. Many (most?) of the contributors have never written a blog post before, and sitting them down and saying “Go for it” makes for a pretty daunting circumstance.

Blogging Isn’t As Hard As Bloggers Make It Sound

In an effort to provide new bloggers with a framework for how to write an effective posts, I developed the Blog Post Worksheet seen below.

Blog Post Worksheet – Convince and Convert

8 Ingredients for Blog Post Success

The premise here is that like solid blackjack play, or Mel Gibson’s career demise, a good blog post can be segmented into its contributing, component parts.

1. Blog Post Headline
You must have a good, intriguing headline. It must fit in a tweet, so 120 characters or less (leaving room for RTs). Problogger.com and others have suggested that posts containing numbers work well (like this one). I’ve seen a similar effect in my own blogging here at Convince & Convert.

2. Main Point
Also known as “your thesis” – but not since college. What’s the point of your post? You have to boil it down to just one.

3. Secondary Blog Points
In addition to your thesis, what other points of view are you trying to convey? No more than two, please. This isn’t a manifesto (that’s a whole different worksheet).

4. Search Term
If you had to pick one search term (phrase) that best describes your masterpiece, what would it be? Figure it out (more specific the better), and incorporate it into your post. (great post from Lee Odden 37 Tips for Blog Optimization)

5. Subheads
It’s always a plus to give readers’ eyes somewhere to land, and breaking up long passages with subheads accomplishes it, while also giving you some SEO extra credit. I prefer 2-3 subheads in most posts.

6. Photos/Art
No question in my mind that thoughtfully selected photos and other art improve the readability and enjoyment level of your blog posts. I usually use Flickr’s Creative Commons search engine to find good photos.

7. Resources, etc
Where are you linking in your blog posts? To other bloggers? To online resources? How can you improve the usefulness of your post by directing readers to other great content?

8. Blog Post Call to Action
The aforementioned Chris Brogan told me to end posts with a question to generate more comments. I have found that he’s right (as usual), and recommend finishing with a question or some other call to action to solicit comments from readers.

Do you find this blog worksheet helpful? Would you use it to plan your own blog posts?

Might you also be interested in my social media strategy worksheet?

(Photo by Pingu1963)

  • http://www.fuelingnewbusiness.com/ Michael Gass

    Jason,

    An excellent post. I’ve forwarded it to all of my clients as a must read. The blog post worksheet and the link to your social media strategy worksheet also right on target and very helpful.

  • http://www.fuelingnewbusiness.com Michael Gass

    Jason,

    An excellent post. I’ve forwarded it to all of my clients as a must read. The blog post worksheet and the link to your social media strategy worksheet also right on target and very helpful.

  • http://thelostjacket.com/ Stuart Foster

    If you follow these 8 rules on a regular basis…it’s almost impossible to fail if you have great content.

    Seriously…

  • http://thelostjacket.com Stuart Foster

    If you follow these 8 rules on a regular basis…it’s almost impossible to fail if you have great content.

    Seriously…

  • http://www.offthegrid-pr.com/ Lisa Thorell

    Great post, Jason. I’d add two items: (1) I pre-plan blog posts, keeping a file of topics i want to write about.(2) Related to above, I try to connect in at least 2-5 links to related posts to connect it into related postings on topics in the blogosphere.

  • http://www.offthegrid-pr.com Lisa Thorell

    Great post, Jason. I’d add two items: (1) I pre-plan blog posts, keeping a file of topics i want to write about.(2) Related to above, I try to connect in at least 2-5 links to related posts to connect it into related postings on topics in the blogosphere.

  • Jennifer H.

    Thanks, Jason, for yet again practicing what you preach (giving away info in digestible chunks) to create great value for your readers. Just another reason why convince&convert is on my short list of daily blog must-reads.

  • http://YourWebsite Jennifer H.

    Thanks, Jason, for yet again practicing what you preach (giving away info in digestible chunks) to create great value for your readers. Just another reason why convince&convert is on my short list of daily blog must-reads.

  • http://EightTrails.com/ Ed Tankersley

    Very sharp tool you’ve put together there. I’ll give it a spin planning my next couple posts.

    I’d like to hear more about how you select images. Yours seem to be visual puns, so they add color and visual interest to the page but don’t add much in the way of relevant information. Is this strategic, or a limitation of using Flickr as your photo source?

    Ed Tankersley’s last blog post..10 Questions to Ask About Your Website

  • http://EightTrails.com Ed Tankersley

    Very sharp tool you’ve put together there. I’ll give it a spin planning my next couple posts.

    I’d like to hear more about how you select images. Yours seem to be visual puns, so they add color and visual interest to the page but don’t add much in the way of relevant information. Is this strategic, or a limitation of using Flickr as your photo source?

    Ed Tankersley’s last blog post..10 Questions to Ask About Your Website

  • http://blog.crowinfodesign.com/ [Charlene]

    Another great post, Jay. Thanks for sharing your worksheet. I must say, when you tweeted that you were working on it, I salivated just a bit, hoping that you would share it.

    I’m going to go back through some of my posts and see how I might improve my own posts going forward.

    [Charlene]’s last blog post..Twitter School

  • http://blog.crowinfodesign.com/ [Charlene]

    Another great post, Jay. Thanks for sharing your worksheet. I must say, when you tweeted that you were working on it, I salivated just a bit, hoping that you would share it.

    I’m going to go back through some of my posts and see how I might improve my own posts going forward.

    [Charlene]’s last blog post..Twitter School

  • http://blog.crowinfodesign.com [Charlene]

    Another great post, Jay. Thanks for sharing your worksheet. I must say, when you tweeted that you were working on it, I salivated just a bit, hoping that you would share it.

    I’m going to go back through some of my posts and see how I might improve my own posts going forward.

    [Charlene]’s last blog post..Twitter School

  • http://www.jackhumphrey.com/ Jack Humphrey

    This would be one of those posts. Sending off to my clients as well. Great job.

  • http://www.jackhumphrey.com Jack Humphrey

    This would be one of those posts. Sending off to my clients as well. Great job.

  • http://adamhcohen.com adamcohen

    Jay – great stuff as always. This is very helpful – I’m helping build out a blog strategy for a client and while I have interested folks, providing them tools like this one will help them get their “sea legs.” Thanks for sharing it.

    Adam Cohen’s last blog post..Is User Generated Content the New Campaign Standard?

  • http://adamhcohen.com adamcohen

    Jay – great stuff as always. This is very helpful – I’m helping build out a blog strategy for a client and while I have interested folks, providing them tools like this one will help them get their “sea legs.” Thanks for sharing it.

    Adam Cohen’s last blog post..Is User Generated Content the New Campaign Standard?

  • http://adamhcohen.com Adam Cohen

    Jay – great stuff as always. This is very helpful – I’m helping build out a blog strategy for a client and while I have interested folks, providing them tools like this one will help them get their “sea legs.” Thanks for sharing it.

    Adam Cohen’s last blog post..Is User Generated Content the New Campaign Standard?

  • http://www.spaighttalk.blogspot.com/ Sue Spaight

    Your Message

    For a new blogger like me this is a great distillation of information that saves me from floundering for months trying to figure it all out. SEO-related tips especially helpful. Thanks for sharing your experience and insight with the rest of us.

    Sue Spaight’s last blog post..Yes, I AM Specialized. Do you care?

  • http://www.spaighttalk.blogspot.com Sue Spaight

    Your Message

    For a new blogger like me this is a great distillation of information that saves me from floundering for months trying to figure it all out. SEO-related tips especially helpful. Thanks for sharing your experience and insight with the rest of us.

    Sue Spaight’s last blog post..Yes, I AM Specialized. Do you care?

  • http://www.vistasad.com/ atul chatterjee

    Good to get back to basics organise them and a little more. If a group is in-charge of a blog it would still have to be one person overall incharge. Something like a Chief Editor in a newspaper.

  • http://www.vistasad.com/ atul chatterjee

    Good to get back to basics organise them and a little more. If a group is in-charge of a blog it would still have to be one person overall incharge. Something like a Chief Editor in a newspaper.

  • http://www.vistasad.com atul chatterjee

    Good to get back to basics organise them and a little more. If a group is in-charge of a blog it would still have to be one person overall incharge. Something like a Chief Editor in a newspaper.

  • http://edwardboches.com/ edward boches

    Really helpful. There is a balance between being yourself, trying to maximize SEO and crafting something that will be worth the time and effort of readers. Am finding more and more clients want to start blogs for all the reasons you suggest and are looking for counsel. I plan on using this when advising them.

    edward boches’s last blog post..AdweekMedia Connect Report: Social media still poses challenges, fears, and questions for brands

  • http://edwardboches.com/ edward boches

    Really helpful. There is a balance between being yourself, trying to maximize SEO and crafting something that will be worth the time and effort of readers. Am finding more and more clients want to start blogs for all the reasons you suggest and are looking for counsel. I plan on using this when advising them.

    edward boches’s last blog post..AdweekMedia Connect Report: Social media still poses challenges, fears, and questions for brands

  • http://edwardboches.com edward boches

    Really helpful. There is a balance between being yourself, trying to maximize SEO and crafting something that will be worth the time and effort of readers. Am finding more and more clients want to start blogs for all the reasons you suggest and are looking for counsel. I plan on using this when advising them.

    edward boches’s last blog post..AdweekMedia Connect Report: Social media still poses challenges, fears, and questions for brands

  • http://www.adampieniazek.com/ Adam Pieniazek

    Wow, you pretty much nailed all the crucial points of a great blog post. And you’re right, it’s not that difficult nor time consuming once you get into it. Knowing how (and why) you’re going to write is a huge part of the “battle”.

    Adam Pieniazek’s last blog post..Boston Young Entrepreneurs Recap

  • http://www.adampieniazek.com/ Adam Pieniazek

    Wow, you pretty much nailed all the crucial points of a great blog post. And you’re right, it’s not that difficult nor time consuming once you get into it. Knowing how (and why) you’re going to write is a huge part of the “battle”.

    Adam Pieniazek’s last blog post..Boston Young Entrepreneurs Recap

  • http://babajidesalu.wordpress.com/ Jide Salu

    Fantastic tips and a great site. Will definitely come back for more tips.

  • http://babajidesalu.wordpress.com/ Jide Salu

    Fantastic tips and a great site. Will definitely come back for more tips.

  • http://babajidesalu.wordpress.com Jide Salu

    Fantastic tips and a great site. Will definitely come back for more tips.

  • http://www.emergingwebmemo.com/ Ethan Yarbrough

    Great tips! I’m going to put these to use in my next post. Thanks for putting this together. I especially like the idea of increasing the value deliverd by each post by including links to other resources. Value is where it’s at with social media.

    Ethan Yarbrough’s last blog post..How Twitter Changes Everything: My Experience

  • http://www.emergingwebmemo.com Ethan Yarbrough

    Great tips! I’m going to put these to use in my next post. Thanks for putting this together. I especially like the idea of increasing the value deliverd by each post by including links to other resources. Value is where it’s at with social media.

    Ethan Yarbrough’s last blog post..How Twitter Changes Everything: My Experience

  • MassMedia CC

    @PRwise might have something to do with articles stating blogs are more likely to be read with #s in the headline http://tinyurl.com/qyv4xa

  • http://friendfeed.com/e/aba48e11-626f-4a85-bf0f-06c8d3ca7343 jeffreytsooey (Jeffrey T. Sooe

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  • Birgit-Edelgard

    Sometimes it’s really that simple, isn’t it? I feel a little stupid for not thinking of this myself/earlier, though.

  • Birgit-Edelgard

    Sometimes it’s really that simple, isn’t it? I feel a little stupid for not thinking of this myself/earlier, though.

  • http://YourWebsite Birgit-Edelgard

    Sometimes it’s really that simple, isn’t it? I feel a little stupid for not thinking of this myself/earlier, though.

  • http://twitter.com/alissapesta/status/3847668080 Alissa Pesta

    RT @tweetmeme No worries–blogging doesn’t have to be scary. Use @jaybauer’s template to get started. http://bit.ly/T9s5d

  • http://twitter.com/valeriehosch/status/3991553126 Valerie Hosch

    RT @tweetmeme 8 Ingredients of Intoxicating Blog Posts | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convince … http://bit.ly/T9s5d

  • http://twitter.com/elizabethsosnow/status/4009217619 Elizabeth Sosnow

    8 Ingredients of Intoxicating Blog Posts: great worksheet by @jaybaer to help you create the best posts http://chilp.it/?5b8e57

  • http://twitter.com/alltop_blogging/status/4084527316 Alltop

    8 Ingredients of Intoxicating Blog Posts | Social Media Marketing … http://bit.ly/q7HgQ
    Blogging.alltop

  • http://twitter.com/bloggingnewz/status/4087136194 BloggingNewz

    8 Ingredients of Intoxicating Blog Posts | Social Media Marketing … [Delicious/tag/blogging tips] http://bit.ly/q7HgQ

  • http://twitter.com/carolinamorning/status/4358470199 Carolina Mornings

    RT @tweetmeme 8 Ingredients of Intoxicating Blog Posts | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convince … http://bit.ly/T9s5d

  • http://twitter.com/zetacomms/status/6251802009 Kimberly

    RT @jaybaer 8 Ingredients of Intoxicating Blog Posts | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convince & … http://bit.ly/T9s5d

  • http://twitter.com/k0zm0zs0ul/statuses/6498713453 k0zm0zs0ul (Cori)

    Twitter Comment


    Can I just say I love this guys blog? [link to post] @jaybaer You’re one of my new faves, lol. Thanks for great content! – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/k0zm0zs0ul/statuses/6498713453 k0zm0zs0ul (Cori)

    Twitter Comment


    Can I just say I love this guys blog? [link to post] @jaybaer You’re one of my new faves, lol. Thanks for great content!

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  • http://twitter.com/k0zm0zs0ul/status/6498713453 Cori

    Can I just say I love this guys blog? http://bit.ly/XIrlB @jaybaer You're one of my new faves, lol. Thanks for great content!

  • http://twitter.com/tena_hartwig/statuses/7950981894 tena_hartwig (Tena Hartwig)

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    8 Ingredients for a successful blog post [link to post] (via @FuelLines)

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  • http://twitter.com/tena_hartwig/status/7950981894 Tena Hartwig

    8 Ingredients for a successful blog post http://bit.ly/Nmyv (via @FuelLines)

  • http://twitter.com/jeffhurt/status/8194640838 Jeff Hurt

    8 Ingredients Of Intoxicating Blog Posts by @jaybaer http://ow.ly/107Zi

  • http://twitter.com/storybookquilts/status/9149368669 Nancy Mattison

    Worth reviewing! 8 Ingredients of Intoxicating Blog Posts Convince & Convert … http://ow.ly/17zSR

  • http://twitter.com/lauramattis/status/10553502181 Laura Mattis

    I'm gonna need this this week, writing my 1st blog! RT @jaybaer: 8 Ingredients of Intoxicating Blog Posts http://bit.ly/T9s5d

  • http://twitter.com/lauramattis/status/10596849316 Laura Mattis

    @tidwelldd Hey, check out "8 Ingredients of Intoxicating Blog Posts" http://bit.ly/T9s5d (via @jaybaer)

  • http://twitter.com/jenn_harrison/status/12176031062 Jennifer Harrison

    RT @jaybaer: 8 Ingredients of Intoxicating Blog Posts http://bit.ly/yG2U6

  • http://twitter.com/amysaunders/status/14130031900 amysaunders

    RT @jaybaer: 8 Ingredients of Intoxicating Blog Posts http://bit.ly/yG2U6

  • Laura-Lee Walker

    Thank you for you post. I founding your point about Blog Post Call to Action especially important.

    I hope your readers can benefit from my blog called Top 15 Blogging Best Practices at http://bit.ly/bDTx4D to contribute to the blogging foundation you have created. Cheers!

  • http://twitter.com/webtechblitz Web Techblitz

    Thanks for the worksheet. I will be using this for my next blog post. I am feeling the motivation flowing already. Thanks again!

  • http://www.infoliocommunications.ca/ Cam Buchan

    The worksheet is an especially good tool when a company shares the blogging task. It means consistency of tone, manner and style across all blogs. Nice tool.

  • letstalkandchat

    I just found a great company that builds websites for info products. To keep your costs low, they’ll mentor you on how to create your site, design a marketing funnel (one of the guys works in Hollywood and makes really slick videos), and the other guy programmed Myspace. If you’re looking to have professional web design for your small business and not waste any time or money then check their site out. Check them out: http://www.mikelmurphy.com/easy-info-product-site-system/

  • http://www.ipnostudio.com/ Andrea T.H.W.

    Oh, this is something I was really looking for. I knew that Marcus the Sales Lion was giving a good advice with a link to your blog. But, given that downloading things from Scribd has become a pain is there another way to download this document? Just asking. :)

    Anyway great summary and advices,

    Happy New Year!