Header image from The Content Explosion 

By now, you know all about the benefits of content marketing for your small business – improved search ranking, increased social media engagement, better brand awareness, lead generation, etc. And, knowing all this, you are no doubt creating lots of high-quality, relevant content for your audience on a regular basis. But the problem is, you’re not alone. According to the data company Fractl, over SIX MILLION novels-worth of blog posts are being read on WordPress alone every single day.  Will your blog post be one of them?

WordPress section of The Content Explosion website

(Via DesignTaxi)

You can find this and many other eye-popping statistics on a fantastic responsive website (i.e. giant infographic) called The Content Explosion, which Fractl created to give viewers a sense of just how enormous the scale of content creation on the web is today.

So how can you make sure that your blog posts stand out in the rising tide of content?
Check out the advice below from social media industry expert Michael Hyatt, given as part of his keynote address at Social Media Marketing World, 2014.

1. Focus on the reader – either with a survey tool or in the comments section, get to know your readers so you can write for them, and people like them.

2. Speak in your authentic voice – people can tell when something is forced or unnatural. Be yourself when you write and you’ll connect much more deeply.

3. Create a powerful headline – don’t just describe your article; sell it! Things like number sequences, provocative questions, and how-to headlines get attention.

4. Include a relevant photo – visuals are key to getting read. Just make sure to avoid clichés or irrelevant images that will mislead or alienate your reader.

5. Lead with a personal story – people like to relate to the author they’re reading, so don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and authentic.

6. Write scannable copy – nobody likes a giant wall of text. Break up your paragraphs, use bold subheads, create numbered lists, etc.

7. Make your posts easy to share – having one person click on and read your content is great; having them share it with their 300 closest friends is better. Install a social sharing plugin on your blog, and encourage people to pass your content along.

(View the full Slideshare presentation here)

Do you have any advice about what has worked and what hasn’t in your own blog experience? Tell us about it in the comments!

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the resident blogger at Webs, where she also manages marketing for Pagemodo – a suite of social media tools. Loves marketing, small businesses, and whales. Get more from Sarah on the Webs Blog and Google+.

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