By Anupum Pant
The following is not a cheat sheet to double visitors, conversions or rank better on search engines. Like AweSci’s tagline says, this article is meant for “being a better person through Science”.
Even though I’m doing good with Google search results, I’m not much of an SEO enthusiast. I blog because I love to do it. I don’t like to craft posts to trap clicks from a search engines. I write about things that really interest me, and not necessarily about the things that are most searched.
However, I don’t mind making a few logical alterations to my style, that would NOT change the kind of articles I really want to write, and at the same time would add better value to people reading it. My aim would be to write for that person, who would search for something on Google, would end up here, and thank me for giving him/her the answers he/she was searching for. That would make me a better person.
The science of it
Blogging gurus will tell you to “produce quality content”. To break down the meaning of “quality content” in a detailed way is impossible in a single article. However, here are some of the most important things that will turn your content into “quality content”. The two major studies I discuss here are no less than full-blown psychological studies (is the reason I put it in the Psychology section) – They don’t mention the hard science separately, but they essentially deal with the psychology of your readers.
While going through a blogging guru’s blog yesterday, I noted the following interesting things that can clearly help you newbie bloggers stand out and create real value on the internet. And I think it is worth knowing. For millions of people out there looking to start a blog, or the ones have just started blogging, a careful initial look at “Blogging” with the magnifying glass of science would definitely make them better people on the internet. That, I think, should be anyone’s aim with a blog. So, here is the basic science of blogging better –
First study –
Firstly, a study says 82% of the people like to follow those blogs where the author tells a story or has an opinion. Also, 81% of people (in the U.S) trust information and advice from blogs. Now, 81% and 82% is a huge chunk of people! Blogs we write, should help to add value to these people’s lives. We should not forget, before pro-bloggers came in with their bloated fluff, blogs were actually meant for that – for publishing out your own opinion. Remember, blogs are not mere money-making information archives.
What should you do about it?
So, if you are thinking of starting a blog, or have just started one, keep in mind that you should strive to be open with opinions and advice on a blog. Even if it attracts attention of internet trolls, it does more good than bad. Write in first person.
For instance, if you like to review things, say phones. Instead of re-listing the specifications of the phone and describing its buttons (which BTW adds no value, people would rather read it on GSMarena or FlipKart), try publishing your own opinion about the phone’s specifications, material texture and buttons. Most phone review websites on the internet have commercialized to such an extent that they no longer have useful opinions to share. Their reviews just don’t help. You can easily stand out and create real value by writing a first person detailed review; something like this review of a Nokia Lumia 520 is what I’m talking about.
What should I do about it?
With AweSci, even though I was doing well researched information posts one after another, I was clearly writing much less of opinion and advice based posts. And there is a reason for that. If one person writes one article everyday, it is impossible for him to churn out opinions at that rate. So, of course we’ll still have those well researched information posts appearing here regularly. But I’ll try to maintain a sweet balance by publishing first person advice / opinion posts more often; like this one!
Second study –
The right way to write about something is to write everything about it. Wait a minute, by saying “everything” I went slightly overboard with it. Still, if you choose a topic, write about it in a detailed fashion. There will be a greater chance that someone would find it useful.
What should you do about it?
Let’s take the last example again. So you have thought of starting a phone review website. A good way to write posts on it would be to ensure that you include very tiny details in your review; the ones which people actually come looking for and never find on commercial review websites.
For instance, with your daily use of a phone you have observed that some times the volume of the music playing does not change even when the volume buttons are pressed (Happens in my Lumia 520). Suppose you’ve figured that the solution for this problem is to change the song, mention that in your review! And more of such things in a review… There is a great chance that someone among those billions of people would come searching for this, would find a solution on YOUR blog and would be thankful to you. You’ll feel great to have blogged about it. You’ll be a better person.
What should I do about it?
I do keep my articles dense with information and reference links. But it is again impossible to churn out completely comprehensive posts on an everyday basis.
Conclusion + 5 Bonus tips
Besides writing in first person and mentioning tiny details in your articles, it might be needless to say that:
- You must try to write regularly. That means, it is always better to keep up with a schedule and post your articles everyday, weekly thrice or weekly twice. If you are doing anything less than one post in two weeks, you are doing no good to your followers. Since I do it everyday, I just have to keep it up.
- Sum up your articles in a sentence or two. Like I did above. I have noted that I should do it more often.
- Very less people actually take the time post a comment under your articles. Commentators are important people. So, give them the required attention. Make it a rule to reply to every one of the comments you get on your blog. I do it all the time.
- Keep your blog your own. Have your own ideals, your own voice, and put them to use on your own blog. In a race to generate more content, don’t start outsourcing it to a “content manufacturing plant”. Guest blogs, here and there are fine, but please do not make your own blog a Guest blog.
- And remember to have a skeleton decided before you start, divide it up into sub-headings, use lists, bold important points – Observe how I’ve done all these things above. You will be good to go!
Tell me about your blog in the comment section below.