From the outside, blogging seems like a relatively simple task.

You tackle an idea in a few hundred words, hit publish, and the traffic comes flooding in, right? Wrong.

Anyone who’s been involved in blogging at any level knows that it's not nearly that simple. There are dozens of variables you need to worry about—post length, publishing time, content relevance, etc.—and crafting a blog post that people actually want to read is a fine balance.

With so many things to worry about, it can be easy to lose sight of the essentials. That's why we wanted to outline the 10 crucial elements of blogging that you simply can't forget. Here are the 10 commandments of business blogging.

10. Set a Schedule

As you establish an audience, make it easy for them to find your newest content. You don't have to publish every day, but you should establish a regular cadence for your blog posts.

9. Focus on SEO

In the ven the best content can be overlooked, especially if it isn’t optimized for search engines. Be sure to use specific, meaningful keywords and tags to give your posts more visibility.

8. Ask for Action

All the traffic in the world will do you no good unless you put it to work. End every post with a call to action, whether you’re asking readers to test out your advice or download your latest e-book.

7. Layout for Readability

Few things are more intimidating (and off-putting) to a reader than large, unbroken blocks of text. Separate your paragraphs into shorter, easy to digest paragraphs or lists to make your posts more approachable and easier to consume.

6. Make It Visual

The impact of your text is multiplied by the visuals you use to accompany it. Spend some time selecting the right imagery to capture the tone of your post and entice viewers to click and read the full text.

5. Define Success

Know what you are trying to accomplish. Define the metrics you will use to measure success at the outset. Are you tracking visits, pageviews, social shares, or leads? This will allow you to accurately assess how well you are doing and allow you to adjust your content and strategy.

4. Provide Value

You will never be able to build an audience if you are not offering them something of value. Your content should teach your audience something new, address a pain point, or provide insight they wouldn't have otherwise.

3. Know Your Audience

Great content comes from a firm understanding of your audience. Knowing who your audience is, what their top concerns are, and how they like to consume their content makes the writing process infinitely easier.

2. Know Your Purpose

A great blog starts with a solid understanding of your purpose. You need to know why you are writing and what you are hoping to achieve in order to give your content a consistent theme and direction.

1. Tell a Story

While it can be tempting to pitch a product or explain a concept, your blog posts should always tell a story. Why is your topic valuable to your audience? How will reading it help them improve their business or themselves? Tell the full story.

Blogging Commandments-01

These are just a few of the key elements that can help you guide your business blogging. To see the guidelines Salesforce authors use to make their blog posts great, check them out here!

Salesforce Blog Guidelines from Salesforce