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I wrote an article today on my main site blog about business social media, specifically how professionals can write for social media with blogs. It includes some touch points from Darren Rowse from Problogger and Dustin M Wax.

Darren Rowse of Problogger fame has an excellent guest post by Dustin M Wax regarding "Nine Signs of an Effective Blog Post". Many good writers fail to realize some of the subtle nuances in writing online (such as for blogs or online communities) and this piece by Dustin breaks down some exceptional points. For additional pieces like it here, you can also read Effective Social Media Writing and Blogging Like a Kid. "You sweat blood all night, hunched over your keyboard, typing away at your blog’s next masterpiece. Finally, you click "Publish", the post flies into the ether, and then, you wait." The following nine points are all well defined in Dustin's article, but I also think there is some wonderful knowledge trapped in the basic essence of his nine points:

  1. The headline draws the reader in.
  2. A concrete detail or visual illustrates the benefit promised in the headline.
  3. The lead expands the theme of the heading
  4. The layout is clear and skimmable.
  5. The post covers the topic in a logical sequence.
  6. The post is persuasive.
  7. The post is interesting to read.
  8. The post is believable.
  9. The post asks for some action.
These points are a good resource for any writer trying to grab a hold of the ideas behind social media and blogging. On a more technical level of moving readers into a post, I would also point out that writers looking to harness the promotional and viral aspects of blogging go through some additional steps before posting an article:
  • Analyze Your Keywords - This article on social media keyword tools shows you how to look at keywords and phrases that will help draw relevant traffic to your article.
  • Have a Traffic Strategy - while browsing through social media keywords, think about the bigger picture of who and why you are reaching readers. If you are reaching journalists, your information should be provided in a more concise format for reprint. If you are reaching consumers, tone your message to the audience appropriately. In either case, realize that monetizing your traffic may have a delay depending on the length of your sales cycle and the information you are presenting.
  • Ask Readers to Subscribe- this may sound simple, but check the bottom of this article and look at the "if you like this article, why not subscribe?" button. Selling your services and keeping your readers informed are often the same thing when it comes to social media. Provide useful information on a consistent basis and you will develop a longterm audience that provides a healthy marketing channel over time.
  • Link to the post to your other articles- Once you have someone on your site and they are reading your information, encourage them to stay around a little and read more information. By directing readers to other helpful information you can increase your traffic and develop stronger relationships with your readers.
  • Keep Your Articles Focused - if you are trying to develop a readership, try to keep on-target with your core articles. This also applies to the technical side of search engine optimization for your articles, if you are trying to rank for competitive keywords you may need to produce 3 to 10 articles that revolve around the same relevant keywords.
  • Use Related Keywords - Before publishing articles on your site, try to plan a few articles in advance so that you can coordinate keywords between them. As good example is for real estate terms, if you want to rank for the phrase "seattle real estate" then you could produce several articles on other local terms such as "Bellevue Real Estate" or "Bothell Real Estate"