Blog Engage $500 USD Guest Blogging Qualifying Article

I saw Holly and Hajra back again with their amazingly awesome posts. I knew, I can’t possibly compete against them, but I said to myself: I have to try.

I have to be part of the excitement. So, here I am. I was wondering all day yesterday, how am I going to get a post idea awesome enough to compete against those two ladies?

So, you want to know how I got the idea of this post? Well, I was thinking about the last post I wrote here (it was a podcast on perceived value of Apple the brand).

So, I asked myself: Why not write on perceived value of our blog posts? Why not write on increasing the perceived value of our blog posts.

So, I took my art drawing book.

I began to think.

How do I increase perceived value of a blog post?

What things do I do?

And I got these:

Every blog post that we write has two types of values, actual value and perceived value. These values together determine whether our blog post will succeed as we expect.

Actual value is the actual value of the content presented in our post. The actual value changes with the experience of our readers. For instance: An experienced blogger might not find any value in posts that are written for blogging newbies, such as starting a blog.

The perceived value is the value that is understood or put by the reader. We, humans have the tendency to put perceived value of every single thing that we interact with. And the perceived value of things that we own or can relate to is very high. Take for instance the case of our home: The value of our home might be very high for us, because it is something we own.

In any case, perceived value has higher importance than actual value, because without a good perceived value, even a article with a very high actual can be unsuccessful (in terms of results it can gain). So, it is important that we keep that in mind and tweak our article or blog to gain higher perceived value. Let’s start:

Headline

Now, for a title, it isn’t about the title being a “killer” (by the way, what is a killer title? Most of the titles these days are just plain useless and similar. Killer titles are ones that are unique).

In the case of perceived value, your title or headline needs to define your article and its concepts clearly and in a simple manner (don’t make it complicated, because your readers might not be able to understand the concept at once, which is a bad thing, especially in this world, where readers don’t spend much time on reading one post). You can also increase perceived value by making your titles unique.

Examples

Instead of using the title “How to start a blog”, you should say “What’s the best way to start a blog”. Both of these essentially mean the same, but the second one is showing the best way to start a blog, instead of just a way to start a blog (perceived value; it isn’t a hard concept to understand, but it is hard to apply to real life situations).

Instead of “17 ways to get more traffic to your blog”, you could say, “17 awesome ways to get more clicks” or “Want more clicks? here are 17 ways”. It is about being unique (in this case, unique doesn’t mean absolutely unique, because there might be another headline that is essentially the same).

Introduction comes next

How you got the post idea or the concept – You could talk about your inspiration or motivation to write the specific post on the specific concept; Was it a follow up to a certain post you or someone else wrote? Was it inspired by pictures? How did you get the idea to write about it? I have got my best ideas in situations I least expected.

Tell your ideas how you got the idea, make it unique (use imagery to describe the surronding).

Examples

I was out walking, and after some time, I decided to sit down, watch the sun set. And I did. I saw the world coming to rest at night. I saw the trees talking to each other. And then, I got an idea, I thought, why don’t I write about our life? I could write about considering every day as our last day and living the best out of it. And so, I am writing on it.

We aren’t fictional writers, but we are writers. So, the imagery matters. The experience matters. It has a perceived value.

Your experience with the concepts presented in the post – If your post is about getting more traffic, you could start by saying, “In the past, I have struggled with getting more clicks for our posts. I tried every method those gurus said. And I realized, there isn’t any short cuts…..”.

Can you relate back to the concepts that you are going to present in the post? If so, how, describe it. Most likely your readers are going to find it relateable too, because most of us have had the same challenges with blogging.

What you are going to talk about in the post – This is simple, just describe what you are going to talk about in the post. You could say, “Today, I am going to talk about….” or “In this post, we are going to discuss about….” or “Today, we will explore several different ways to….”.

Analogy/Examples – You could also talk about analogies or examples in your introduction. For instance, if your article is about traffic building, you could say, “Building traffic is like a marathon. You need to be fast, at the same time, you need to distribute your efforts so that you won’t get tired easily”. You can also talk about examples in which the concepts are applied in real life.

Relate-ableΒ experiences – This one is related to some that were mentioned above, but I wanted to highlight this portion because it is extremely helpful to perceived value. Like I mentioned earlier, we tend to put a higher perceived value to things that we belong or things that we can relate to.

As bloggers, we know our challenges and most bloggers face those same challenges. Now, we could take that as an advantage and use it as a relateable experience. Now, relateable experience isn’t neccesarily your experience (it could be something that is generally present as a challenge to majority of bloggers or majority of your readers).

Conclusion

Just like your introduction, conclusion matters too. In conclusion, you can do several things:

Summarize the article – Summarize what you talk about, repeat the most important ideas presented in the article.
Action – tell your readers to do something that is related to the article. For instance: If your article is related to guest posting, tell your readers to what they can do now (like the first step).
Call-to-action – Tell your readers to comment, subscribe or share.
Extra tips– I have used conclusion as a stage for presenting extra tips to my readers.
Show appreciation – Simply, tell thank you to your readers.
Plant the seeds – You could talk about the next post you are going to write (plant the seeds, build anticipation).
Announcement – Talk about any changes that are coming in your blog.

Structure of Your Posts

The structure of your posts tell a lot about you and your experience as a blogger (for perceived value, we want others to think of us as a professional blogger). You need to be aware of your readers, leave lots of white spaces between paragraphs.

Note: I wouldn’t say much about headings or bullet points. They can help, but you don’t need them (I won’t talk much about them because I don’t use them. I like the conversational style of posts, so no headings to break off the posts). But, I can say that using bullet points, bolded and italicized texts, which I do use, can help you to make your posts skimmable (which helps your readers, but making it skimmable can end in your reader not reading the post at all).

What about the length of your paragraphs and the length of your post as a whole? Well, as a general rule, the lengthier the post is, the deeper it is (well, it is perceived to be much more useful, if the article is really lengthy). In my opinion, you should write as you like, because your readers are adaptable (and they will adapt).

Clean design

A clean design in your blog shows your reader that you are aware of the importance of design and you took action based on it (increases you blog’s perceived value as whole).

The media

Yes, what type of medium do you use? Text only? Podcasts? Videos? Presentations. I have used all these media in my blog posts (Although I still prefer text because of the time it takes to make others). Podcasts, videos and presentations generally increase your perceived value because they take time to make (and it shows your reader that you are a professional blogger who cares).

Newsletter/landing page forms

Yes, this too shows that you maintain a newsletter list (and shows that you are a blogger with purpose). If you giveaway ebooks or reports with subscription, that increases your perceived value too. Now, you might be asking, how this is related to blog posts – It is, in form of optin boxes you include in your sidebar/post footer.

Note: I realize that I don’t have any newsletter as of now, it is because I am planning to relaunch it in coming months.

Social Profile/Social proof

It’s a grey area, I know. But, it helps to your perceived value. Generally, articles that get more comments are perceived to be high of value (but that doesn’t mean you should go on and try to get more comments). Instead try to get more fleshy comments. Extra: If the comments are lengthy, that shows that you work towards community building and engagement. Your social profile matters too (Are you active? Remember your readers can easily access your profiles through your blog posts).

Where You Post

This applies only to guest posts. In general, when you post in popular sites, your article is perceived to be high of value, but the more educated your readers are, the less effective this is (because, popular blogs these days don’t have that many valuable posts, at least not to bloggers of my status – established bloggers). As I have mentioned in the past, I prefer guest posting on medium sized blogs, not only does this have my target audience, but it also covers perceived value.

What’s the Perceived Value of this article?

To be honest, I don’t think about perceived value when I write about my posts. Why? Because I have a general template of doing things. So, I follow the general template and write as I like. You need to do the same. You need to train your mind to not think about perceived value and yet write article that meets the perceived value demands of your readers.

If you think of this article as useful, comment on it.

I want fleshy comments.

If you are going to leave those one line comments, don’t bother commenting (not that I don’t love your feedback, but I spent a whole lot of time on this post, I want myself and you to benefit more from this post, and we can do that by adding fleshy thoughts and discussing more).

I want awesome shares.

Gimme those πŸ˜‰ Just a click for me? And that will help me to reach more readers and help those readers to read this post and improve their blog posts.

Oh, I forgot, we are near 2000 word limit.

I can’t speak anymore, so it’s your turn.

About Jeevan Jacob John

Hey, my name is Jeevan Jacob John and I am just a blogger who believes in simplicity at its best. I write at Blog Networking 101 and at Blog Preneurs

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