Do you know how many blog posts we’ve written at Super-Trainer.com? To date, it’4000 and counting!!! Phew, let me tell you — time sure flies when we’re having fun! Over the course of our blogging, we’ve learned quite a bit. We’ve had our blogs rank on Google’s first page for terms like “fitness marketing” and “top level personal trainers.” Pretty cool, huh?
Every month, we pour over the statistics to see what people are keen on reading, what they read after looking at our posts, and which posts have a love affair with Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines. You’ll hear it time and time again, but ranking well is simple when you have content that everyone wants to read! In this post, you’ll learn what sort of fitness blogs people are hungry for.
Online, people shop from Amazon because they have great prices on just about EVERYTHING you can imagine. They can throw DVDs, dog beds, baby clothes, bicycles, groceries, chain saws, patio furniture, Sony PlayStations, and coffeemakers into the same cart.
You want your fitness blogs to have the same sort of variety. Google loves posts with a lot of links to external sources. This shows that you have researched your topic and sought to provide readers with the most valuable information possible. Before publishing, always reassess whether you can provide added value.
Have you ever sat through a 3-hour college lecture and wondered to yourself, “Does this prof just like to her him/herself talk or what?!” Yet, if you’re taking notes, you realize there is a tremendous amount of detail being covered – and that information will help build your in-depth understanding of the topic. After all, that’s why you’ve come to college – to become a master… not to get a 30-minute elementary school lesson.
Here you’ll notice most of our posts top 1,000 words. There are bloggers like Seth Godin who are masters of the 300-or-less blogs. Indeed, when the Internet first came out, people cautioned that audiences had “shorter attention spans” in this environment, so brevity was exemplary. However, this myth has been debunked. We now know that the average internet user spends HOURS reading online! You’ll notice that all the news sites – be it USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, or Vanity Fair – are using multiple pages of content and long articles. An added bonus to loads of text is that Google absolutely LOVES this. The more words, the merrier!
The key to motivating audiences to keep reading your post is to break up the text with different items of interest. Think about when you go to the movies. You can sit through the previews because there are many different ones – just a few minutes long each. If you don’t like the current preview playing, you can stick around for the next one. Imagine if, instead of multiple previews, there was just one 20-minute infomercial for “Snuggie” or “Pajama Jeans.” You’d probably leave to get yourself a bucket of popcorn if that were the case.
So here are my recommendations for breaking up your text so people will stay interested:
- Lists: Last year, Josh Dunlop published his list of the “Top 20 Blog Posts of 2011.” What’s most interesting is that 15/20 of those posts were written in LIST format! This is an easy format to master and allows readers to scan through your post relatively quickly.
- Step-By-Step Guides: Similar to lists are step-by-step guides that bring readers from start to finish on a given task, whether it be setting up a social media profile or completing a good abs workout. You want to break down a task into manageable steps for them to follow. I do this in “Six-Figures In 67 Days”
- Images: Eye candy will dazzle audiences and help them make sense of a 2,000+-word monstrosity. You can use photos, infographics or embed YouTube videos into your posts to make it look a little prettier.
- Bullet Points: See? We practice what we preach here! Bullet points give readers the most salient information in a nutshell. The average reader is terribly curious about bullet points, wondering, “What does the writer think I should glean from this massive article?”
- Quotations: You gotta love a brief amalgamation of words that hits the nail on the head. Quotes effectively summarize common sentiments and give words to what people are feeling. Block quotes are usually indented, bolded and italicized for dramatic effect and do a good job at breaking up an otherwise plain article. Quotes can also create a powerful impact on audiences and also add authority to what you’re saying.
Get To Work!
Now that we’ve covered the basics, you should be ready to get down to business. If you’re a little scatterbrained, you may want to jot down some loose notes before you try to write more eloquently. This can clear out the “brain cobwebs.” Worry about formatting at the end, so you don’t disturb the flow of your writing. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to crank out your masterpiece and have your favorite drink on hand. (If writing is not your cup of tea or you have limited time, consider hiring help!)
Before you hit “publish,” be sure to visit Google AdWords and find a few keywords to pepper into your post. After all, you want people typing search terms into Google to find you! Ask yourself: “If I wanted to find this post, what would I type into Google?” You’ll then get a helpful list of variations to use in your post. Look for phrases that have a high number of searches, but low to medium competition. Remember you only want to use these sparingly, so your fitness blog doesn’t sound spammy.