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Think you know how to write an effective blog post? Think again. While people blog for different reasons, I see errors in what they do almost on a daily basis.

Yes, blog posts are traffic drivers – you write them to drive traffic to your site.

Yes, blog posts are optimizers – you use keywords and SEO strategies to get the most you can out of ranking.

But in reality, blogs are so much more.  Blog posts are ways of staying in touch with people that like what you have to say.  And the only way to get them to stick around and read what you write day after day is to develop a strong blog ethic. Are you doing these four things with everything you write?

The Title

Yes, your title should be keyworded and written to attract an audience. But think outside what Google thinks is good and write instead for your best customers. What would they think is important? What would they stop everything for in order to come and find out what you have to say?

One of the best title creators ever is Cosmopolitan magazine. Year after year, decade after decade they continue to write titles that attract a healthy readership to their magazine. They wouldn’t be in business if they didn’t. Which makes them an expert at coming up with triggers that reach out and grab attention.

Work to turn your titles into magic. For instance, a while back I wrote an article on the importance of small business insurance for one of my blogs. I could have titled it:

Why You Should Have Business Insurance

But who would have read that? The keywords are there, but the interest isn’t. Instead I titled it:

How To Lose A Million Dollars In 3 Seconds

It was picked up by a wide variety of blogs and social sites and spread all over the Internet.

The Story

What do you have to tell your audience once you get them there? Is your post informative or merely trying to gain traction? If you’re bored writing it, your readers will be bored reading it.

Go back to your favorite writer and write down why you like him or her. What motivates you to read to the next page? What motivates you to want to pick it up when you have a spare moment?

Your story must have a purpose. What are you trying to teach? Is it a fun method of teaching? The deeper you can get with your story, the more details that can align with others reading about it, the more action you will receive.

The 4 Most Important Parts To A Blog Post

The Passion

Writing a story is one thing; having passion about it is another. Your passion shines through from the way you write. Are you excited to get the story out? Would you talk about this 24/7, no matter what?

Passion shines through when you love what you do. Use those as case studies. Use those to showcase what you do in a detailed way. Those are the stories that will stand out above the rest. Those are the stories that will be shared.

And yes, you might say “How can I be passionate about taxes?” (Or whatever business you are in.) But if you are out online trying to find business by blogging, chances are you are doing it for a reason. Maybe you remember a single mom who thought she would lose her house because she simply couldn’t make her business work. You offered her tax saving advice that saved her thousands, and allowed her to turn her business around and make it into a million dollar company.

The Goal

Start with the end in mind. Great advice when it comes to blogging.

What do you hope each blog post will accomplish? It can be as simple as promoting a new product you have. Or more complex to build up a following to a specific landing page. Or something in between.

But if you don’t know what your goal is, how do you know if you accomplished it? Map out your goals and understand everything you do and create. Use my handy Social Ghost Blogging Planner to help you along the way.

The more you know, the easier it will be to promote. And the easier it will be for people to follow what you do.