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Guidelines for Writing a WCEI Blog: Best Practices for Guest Authors


Are you wondering how to approach your guest WCEI blog? Here are the steps to writing and formatting your text to be readable, searchable, and engaging to the WCEI audience.

Wound Care Education publishes a weekly 600 to 1000-word blog that drives 30-40K page views per month. We define a successful blog article as one that not only performs well when first posted, but also continues to generate traffic through Google, Bing and Yahoo searches after the initial campaign ends. This 950-word article follows our standard blog format while providing tips and tricks to help you draw readers. You can see how this text appears in our actual blog template, including image placement, by clicking here.
 
Goals of the Blog
No doubt, you have specific goals for your blog article. You may wish to show your expertise in an area or highlight the benefits of a product. In addition, you probably seek to educate the reader. But before you can accomplish these goals, the audience must decide to read your piece! Therefore, it’s important to write and format your blog article with three additional goals in mind:
 
  1. to entice the audience to click through when they view it on social media or other platforms
  2. to hold the readers’ attention once they reach the page
  3. to help Google and other search engines find your piece over the long run
     
Blog Title: The Key to Attracting Readers
The title should be simple and straightforward, directly addressing the question that is answered by the piece (in this case, “What are the guidelines for writing a WCEI blog?”).  Think of the title as the headline of a newspaper. Most readers will decide to click versus scroll past your piece based on the headline alone.

This article includes a subtitle after the colon (“Best Practices for Guest Authors”). However, the title should be able to stand on its own. Look at the subtitle as an opportunity to further show the relevance of the blog article to the reader.
 
It’s tempting to use puns or other clever devices in the title. We find that clear, concise and direct work best. If you want to inject a little more personality, do so in the subtitle.
 
Summarize with a Subheader
The subhead is a one or two-sentence summary, set off in italics, that lays out the purpose and goals of the blog. Think of it as a teaser that reassures the readers that they will learn something new from the information that follows. It’s also a good opportunity to highlight keywords.

Capture Attention with a Header Image
The human brain processes images far faster than text. We’ve observed that a high-quality image can make all the difference to the success of a blog.  Our audience especially loves relevant wound images.

The header image spans the text area and is formatted to 600px by 262px, so be sure to provide an image that will work in this horizontal format.  We can include additional photos in the body. They do not require specific proportions.

The elements discussed so far—the title, subtitle, subhead and image—can make or break your blog.  On platforms such as Facebook and Google search, the audience will see only these elements before making the decision to click through.
 
Lead with an Introduction
The introductory paragraph, which begins under the headline image, serves as a transition into the main body text. Sometimes, authors use this space to demonstrate that they understand or have experience with the problem that is solved or addressed in the body.
 
Identify Key Sections
Every section should begin with a bold section heading.  These headings serve two important purposes. First, research shows that most people read online content in what is known as an “F pattern.” At the outset, they read nearly every word from left to right.  But as they scroll further down the page, they tend to scan the left margin,  pausing only to read the information that will be most useful to them. Section headings give your readers natural anchor points to slow them down and grab their attention.

Second, Google and other search engines use section headings to understand the content of the blog and identify key ideas. Just as readers scan through a piece looking for cues about where to stop and absorb, so do search engines. For this reason, try to include key terminology in your section headings.
 
Write to be Easily Readable
We aim for an informal, down-to-earth style that is clear and understandable to a multidisciplinary audience, including those who speak English as a second language. We recommend that you copy and paste your text into the Readability tool and aim for a 7th to 10th-grade level.

In addition, we offer these tips:
 
  • Use bullets instead of long lists
  • Define clinical terms that may not be universally understood
  • Keep sections under 300 words
  • Break up long sentences into two or more short sentences
 
Bring It All Together with a Call to Action
As you approach the ending, think about your call to action. Do you want to link to other resources? Would you like readers to contact you? Do you encourage them to post questions on the blog itself? Make sure you offer these instructions at the end of your blog.
 
The advice above will help you format your blog for the best performance.  We advise you to incorporate these tips from the outset. It’s easier to create a blog article with this advice in mind than to edit an existing article. We also suggest that you let us provide feedback on format and style before you submit your piece for legal review. If you need any additional guidance, contact woundcaresupport@relias.com.
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