How to write a good blog post

How to Write a Good Blog Post in 2020: The Definitive Guide

It’s not easy to succeed at content marketing without blogging consistently. Marketers who blog consistently are 13X more likely to generate higher ROI.

The truth is that writing a great blog post that attracts traffic and drives leads is not only difficult but is also time-consuming. Statistics suggest that marketers with a consistent content strategy will drive 126% more leads than those without.

But how do you write a great blog that converts?

Undeniably, there are tons of tutorials and guides out there that can teach you how to write awesome blog posts. However, even though they can help you to understand the mechanism behind successful blogging, most of them aren’t comprehensive. That’s why you need a definitive guide on how to write a great blog post that drives traffic and generates leads.

In this tell-all guide, I am going to show you a step by step process to write a blog post that will attract people not just now, but for many months and years to come.

If you follow the steps I am going to outline in this post, you will create blog posts that generate thousands of comments, social shares, and rank better in search engines.

Let’s get started.

How to Write an Awesome Blog Post, Step 1: Planning

Regardless of how fast you can press a combination of characters on your keyboard, writing a great blog post isn’t something you can do in minutes or an hour.

A good rule of thumb to speed up the process is to have a plan, to think about how you are going to write your blog post before you start writing it.

Before you get hitting the keyboard, you should make sure you have all that is needed to write.

Many bloggers skip the planning stage and this complicates the blog post writing process or even makes it take longer than required.

First, you need to:

Choose an Interesting Topic to Write About

This you can’t get away with no matter how experienced you are when it comes to writing killer blog posts.

If you don’t pick a topic that has your interests, you will fall short of ideas in the middle of your writing process.

Choosing a topic you can gather tons of information and write about will make the whole writing process a piece of cake.

Draft a Working Outline for Your Blog Post

Great blog posts are founded on a powerful outline. You need a roadmap that keeps you on track so that you don’t wander in the middle of the process. This is why it’s necessary to create a good outline.

An outline will give you a rough idea of how your blog post will flow and it doesn’t have to be detailed.

For instance, here is my outline for this blog post

Introduction

[A summary describing what the blog post is all about]

Step 1- Planning

What needs to be done before writing the blog post- creating an outline, research, etc.

Step 2- Writing a Blog Post

How to write an awesome blog post- Tips and advice for bloggers

Step 3- Editing a Blog Post

How to fine-tune, polish a blog post, and remove common blogging mistakes.

Step 4- Blog Post Optimization

How to make a blog post, search-engine friendly, etc.

Step 5- Conclusion

Final words and call to action

The idea of having an outline is so that you know what step follows after another and what to talk about in every step.

Having an outline will help to keep you focused on the topic at hand. Your outline may be a bit detailed depending on the content you wish to write but I choose to keep it brief.

Besides, you could write your outline on the same page you are writing your blog post, on a piece of paper or in your mind. Choose what works well for you.

Do Your Homework

Don’t be deceived: Even the experienced and professional bloggers sometimes don’t know what to write about. This is a secret they will not tell you.

However, that doesn’t stop them from writing different topics. And if you are seriously looking to make money blogging, you must be prepared to write about topics you know and those that you don’t know.

The only secret to writing about anything is to know how to gather information about a topic before writing it.

Note that when researching, you need to rely on reliable and authoritative sources. Expert bloggers recommend using the top 10 pages in the search result pages when researching a blog post topic.

Writing a Great Blog Post, Step 2: Decide What Type of Blog Post to Write

Assuming that you have determined what your readers want, the next step is to decide how to give it to them. This involves deciding what types of blog posts to write.

There are different types of blog posts you can write such as:

Case studies- Share the results of a study you conducted.

How-to posts- Describe a step by step guide on how to solve a specific problem your readers are facing.

Review post- Describe a product or service showing your readers how to use it and how it can help to solve their specific problems.

List-post- Write a list of things your readers can do to solve their problems. For instance, 10 Reasons…, 9 Tips…, 6 Methods…, 12 Secrets…, 5 Types…, 4 Ways…, 11 Trends…, etc.

Behind the scenes- Share the exact steps you take to handle a task regularly. This involves showing your readers exactly what you do before you achieve something. For instance, in my case above, I shared with you how I create an outline before I start writing a blog post.

Best resources- Share your favorite tools that you use as a blogger or business owner to save money, time, or boost your productivity. The tools must be the ones your target readers are looking for.

Ready with the type of blog post to give your readers? Great! Let’s see how the process goes.

How to Write a Successful Blog Post, Step 3: Research Target Keywords

Target keywords are the terms your readers are entering on Google when searching for information. You need to make sure that your blog post is being found on related searches. That’s why it’s important to research and target readers with the exact search terms they are using.

As you research your target keywords, remember that you are writing for humans, not search engines. A mistake most beginner bloggers make is to focus on getting their blog posts ranked better in search engines, forgetting their readers.

Here, you need to first determine what information your potential readers are looking for on the internet.

Here are a few ideas on how to understand what your potential readers want to read about.

First, search your blog post idea on Google. For instance, if you had decided to write about “Best Dog Food”, enter the exact words on Google, and take a look at the suggested search terms.

Search for target keywords on Google

While you are still on the search result page, take a look at the “People also ask” section. Google picks the most searched questions related to your target keyword and displays them here.

frequently searched questions

Lastly, check below the result page at “Searches related to (your target keyword)” section.

This section shows ideas searched by your potential readers related to your target keyword:

Search related to your target keyword

As you can see, from this simple Google search, you can get sufficient ideas about what your potential readers are searching for related to your target keyword.

You can also take advantage of great keyword research tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner Tool, KWFinder, Moz Keyword Explorer, to find more relevant keywords for your blog post.

Ideally, keyword research helps you to find the exact content your potential readers are searching for on the internet.

Step 4: Research the Topic and Competition

Up to this far, you know what content your potential searchers are looking for and which keywords to target them with. Congratulations!

The next step is to see how you can stand out from the crowd.

With over 4 million blogs being published on the internet every day, it’s no doubt there are tons of blog posts about your topic on the internet.

And when I say you research the competition, I am not urging you to copy what they are doing. Identify where they are lacking so you can fill the gap.

Go to Google and search using your main keyword then check the first ten articles in the top results and see what they are missing.

Can you do what others are doing differently and in a much better way?

Remember, I said earlier that writing a great blog post is not only difficult but is also time-consuming but the effort is worth it.

Step 5: Write an Epic Blog Post Headline That Readers Can’t Resist

The importance of your blog post headline cannot be underrated. Your blog post headline plays a huge role when it comes to driving traffic to your blog. An irresistible headline will entice and engage your target readers to click, read, and share your blog post.

After all, the headline is the first thing your potential readers will see and that’s why it’s important to make it catchy.

In their analysis of 100 million headlines, BuzzSumo found out that headlines that start with the following phrases get more shares:

  • X Reasons Why…
  • X Things You…
  • This is The…
  • How to Make…
  • X Things That…
  • The X Best…
  • This is How…
BuzzSumo analysis of 100 million headlines

You can also use BuzzSumo to analyze headlines yourself.

A mistake beginner bloggers make is to write blog posts before the headline or post title which makes them lose focus in their writing hence confusing readers.

If you want to create a high-quality blog post without confusing your potential readers, spend some time to come up with an irresistible headline that attracts them, shows them a clear direction, and leaves them wanting to read more of your post.

How to Write a Killer Blog Post Headline

A powerful headline can attract and engage your potential readers and improve your content search engine rankings.

Follow these tips to write great headlines that are good for your readers and search engines.

I assume you’ve already researched your target audience.

Show them the benefit of reading your blog post

When you already know your target audience, showing them the benefit of reading your blog post is made easier. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes and write headlines that will connect with them directly. Your headline must give them the reason to click. Show them how your content solves their specific problems, answer their question, simplify their lives or provide great results to them.

Call them out

Yes; here, you speak directly to your target audience. In this case, you should use the second person “you” in your headline.

Include number or data

Another way to grab your potential reader’s attention is to add numbers or data in your headline. In a certain survey, 36% of the people surveyed preferred to click headlines with numbers or data than those without.

In this case, instead of saying “Practical Tips to Lose Weight Quickly”, you could get more specific and use a number like “9 Practical Tips to Lose Weight Quickly”.

Keep your headline accurate

Your headline should reflect the content inside otherwise, your potential readers will close down your blog post if your headline says “9 Practical Tips to Lose Weight Quickly” and the content covers a different topic.

Keep your headline short and sweet

The idea behind keeping your headline short is to avoid it being truncated by Google. You don’t want a headline that’s displayed half-way.

For instance in my example topic “9 Practical Tips to Lose Weight Quickly” when a reader searches for content related to my headline, the likelihood of my headline displaying fully is higher because it’s short.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your headline shorter than 70 characters. Experiment with headlines of different lengths and see which one performs the best.

Optimize it for the main keyword

Once you have chosen your target keyword, make sure you use it in your heading. To optimize your headline for the main keyword, place the target keyword close to the begging of the headline. Use an on-page SEO headline checker to make sure your keyword is placed in a way that will be noticed by search crawlers.

Evoke a sense of urgency

Your readers don’t want to miss an opportunity. When writing your headline, evoke a sense of urgency or exclusivity. This shows your potential readers that they will miss something in case they don’t click.

Steal headline ideas from competitors

Another way to create killer headlines for your blog posts is to steal ideas from the pros. But don’t steal blindly. Steal smartly and efficiently. Since you have researched your topic and found that there are several other articles on the same topic, you can spy on the top blog posts that are generating a social media buzz, take a look at how they are crafting their headlines then do it in a much better way than them.

Use the available keyword research tools to find content with the most engagement and find inspiration for your headlines.

Quench their thirst, don’t give them the whole thing

Your headline should not tell your readers everything they want to know immediately. It should tease them and make them want to click and read more. If your headline gives them a solution to their problem immediately, they won’t click.

An example of a blog post headline that gives readers everything they want before clicking is: How to Improve Your Writing Skills by Reading More

Even though the above is a headline, you will have given your potential readers the answer to their problem.

A good way to rephrase the headline would be: How to Improve Your Writing Skills Even If You Don’t Know How to Read

Write multiple versions of the same headline

To write great headlines, you also need to write different versions of the same headline.

Write a list of at least 10 different versions of your headline then choose the one that outshines the rest.

Step 6: Write a Stellar Introduction that Grabs and Retains Readers’ Attention

Now that they are inside your blog post, you need to grab them and keep them reading your content.

You will sweat, buddy.

Note that even at that instance, readers can still take a glance and then disappear.

You need to know how to keep them scrolling, and how you craft your introduction will determine whether they will continue reading your blog post or not.

Note that your introduction doesn’t have to be lengthy. In fact, a good rule of thumb is to keep short and convincing. Don’t write a complex intro as well.

Your intro should grab your potential readers immediately and let them know what they are about to read.

Some bloggers like to write the blog post first then write the intro later while others prefer to do vice versa.

Use the approach that works for you. So how do you write an attention-grabbing introduction?

Follow these tips to craft a stellar introduction that attracts and grabs your readers’ attention.

Remember the main goal of your intro is to draw in your potential readers and let them know what your blog post is about immediately without wasting their time.

Generally, your introduction paragraph should:

Draw in your potential readers

You can use empathy or tell a captivating story so the reader connects with the piece emotionally. Or you could throw a joke or even shock them with a stat.

Present a purpose

Show your potential readers why you are writing the post. Ideally, the main goal of the blog post is to solve a specific problem or answer a question. This will give the readers a reason to keep scrolling knowing that their problem will be solved or their question will be answered.

Show how your blog post will answer their question or address the problem

Now that you have presented the purpose of your blog post, your readers are eagerly looking to have their problems solved. This is the time to show them how you will provide a solution to their specific problem, and without wasting their time.

In simple terms, your blog post should make your readers expect something out of it.

How to Write a Captivating Introduction That Hooks Your Readers’ Attention

Below, I am going to share with you awesome ways to hook your target audience’s attention and make them keep scrolling.

Start with shocking statistics

This is perhaps one of the oldest attention-grabbing techniques, although it’s still powerful.

Start with startling statistics that shocks your potential readers. The good thing is that the stat doesn’t have to be related to the topic. Just pick a shocking statistic about any topic and find a way to connect it with your blog post.

You could use something like “did you know that 2 out of 10 blog posts in the top 10 result pages get more than 3 clicks per month?”

Just give them something that leaves them shocked.

Tell an interesting story

People love stories, especially interesting ones. Try to tell a story that gives your readers a chance to put themselves in your situation or something unusual.

“Did you know that the first time coffee was invented was meant to cure hiccups?”

It doesn’t have to be a true story but just make it in a way that shocks your readers.

Ask them a question

Are you looking to learn how to write an awesome blog post that converts, what if I told you all the tips that I have shared in this post have enabled me to achieve exactly that?

In this case, your questions should be focused on your audience’s desires- and because you have researched them before you started writing, you know what they are looking for and so coming up with a good question isn’t difficult.

  • Have you tried harder than ever to reduce weight but all the odds are not in your favor?
  • Are you looking to cut back your caffeine intake but everything tactic you use seems not to succeed?
  • Thinking of starting a blog to make money online but you can’t figure out where to start?

Make Them Beg

Of course, you already presented the purpose of your blog post (that the main goal is to solve their problem); you want to make them beg for the solutions.

Now make them get afraid at the beginning of your sentence. What’s their problem; do they know what consequences await them if they don’t read the blog post to solve their problem? What could happen if they don’t solve the problem?

Expose those worries.

This way, they will want nothing but the solutions you promised them.

Give them a slice of the promise you made

As you finalize your intro, show them what they will get when they follow your advice. The benefits they will get when they read and implement your tactics, etc.

Note that, you shouldn’t give them everything here. If you give it all away, they will click away because they have found the solutions.

Share a piece of the cake and make them want more of it.

As a rule, try to craft two different versions of your introduction and choose the best one for your blog post.

Also, because you promised your readers something, make sure your blog post delivers right that. Otherwise, you can create irresistible headlines, write attention-grabbing intros, but if your content doesn’t deliver what you promised, you are disappointing your readers.

Step 7: Create Content That’s Easy to Consume

Nice progress, so far.

You presented them with a killer headline that they couldn’t resist but click, you drew their attention with a stellar introduction, and now it’s time to give them what you promised. This is where the heart of your article lies and it’s the section of your blog post that will determine whether your readers will love and look forward to your future blog posts or they will disappear forever. So it’s best to over-deliver your promises.

If you under-deliver, it’s one way of chasing your potential readers.

Choose yourself.

How to Write Valuable Content That’s Easy to Consume

Break your content into subheads

These days, people don’t read. They scan content given that there are bajillions of information at their fingertips, but not all is valuable. They don’t see the reason to read a whole blog post from introduction to the conclusion yet it doesn’t add value to them. So, they just scan (but that’s exactly what you did, I’m convinced).

Breaking your content into subheads shows your potential readers that you know what you are doing. It’s also a way to make them want to read more of your blog posts. Remember if you don’t, your competitor will.

When using subheads, follow these tips.

Use short paragraphs with subheads.

Break your content into several paragraphs each with subheads.

This way, you not only make your blog posts clear but also easily digestible by your readers.

Remember, your number one goal is to give them a good experience when reading your blog post.

If you write lengthy paragraphs without subheads, they’ll feel bored.

Connect each subhead with your main headline

Your introduction, content and your subheads should all be tied together with the main headline.

The information you write on each subhead must deliver what you promised in your headline.

If you change the direction, you will confuse your potential readers.

Make sure everything you write delivers what was promised in the headline.

Give them everything you promised

Many bloggers make a mistake to focus on getting more subscribers and make money with their blogs so they add too much information that is aimed at making readers either subscribe to their email list or click their affiliate links. This way, they are left with no space to give away too much in their posts.

You need to be generous with your readers in your posts. Give them everything you promised and add a bonus if there is. This way, they will get a good impression of your products or services.

Because you promised to solve their problem right from the introduction, you need to work with them to make sure it is solved.

Give them everything possible to get their problem solved. If they realize you are a generous blogger, they will become your loyal readers and customers.

As you can see in my post, I promised I am going to show you how to write an awesome blog post that converts and by the time you finish reading this blog post, you will go straight to creating yours without a hassle.

I don’t want you to go and start reading other articles to understand how to write great blog posts. This should be the first and your last article.

From here, let’s meet at your blog where you will be crafting perfect blog posts that people want to read and take action.

Step 8: Close Your Blog Post With a Great Conclusion

I am not going to lie: Writing a conclusion that leaves an impression on the reader is as difficult as writing the introduction. You’ve said everything you promised to your potential readers, so what should you say next?

You also don’t want to leave your readers hanging or confused.

Remember that you walked with them from attracting them with your headline, drawing their attention with your introduction, and delivered your promise. You don’t want to end your blog post in bad faith.

Ideally, the headline tells the reader what to expect, the introduction draws their attention and keeps them scrolling through your content, the subheads make them consume your content with ease, and the conclusion sums up everything.

Sometimes people will read the introduction and conclusion and get what they wanted.

That means that if you end your blog post with a dubious conclusion, you will not have delivered the promise you made to them.

Worse above all, most content marketers add their CTA at the end of their blog posts. So if the reader doesn’t read to the conclusion, no conversions will be achieved.

At the end of your blog post is where you show your readers that you believe they can achieve the goal you stated in your headline. That’s after reading your generous advice.

Follow these tips to write a good conclusion.

How to Craft a Great Conclusion

When writing a perfect blog post, the first impression is as good as the last one.

Your conclusion should leave an impression on your readers if you want them to remember your blog always.

Here are a few tips to end your blog post and leave impressions on your readers’ minds.

Use the word “Conclusion”

Always be consistent with your blog post endings. If you have been using the word “Bottom Line”, “Conclusion”, “Wrapping It Up” or whatever word you have been using, don’t change that. You can also use post specific words to end your blog posts. Just make sure to let the reader know that it’s the end of your blog posts, and not to leave them hanging in their air.

When you include these words, it shows the reader that you are ending the blog post.

Keep your conclusion short

After all, you have covered everything in the body copy of your blog post and because you have used words that show your readers it’s the end, they won’t want to read anything after the conclusion. So keep your conclusion short.

Even though there are no rules on how long or short a blog post conclusion should be, keeping it short makes it sweet.

Don’t add images in your conclusion

We use images to break content so that readers can relax when reading. And because you have already shown your readers it’s the end of your blog post, they don’t expect to get new things.

Adding images in the conclusion will also increase the length. So, don’t add images here.

Sum up your blog content

Another good way to end your blog post is to summarize it. Give your readers the message you passed in your body copy in a summarized form to make it last longer in their memory. Briefly present the main points either in a single paragraph or list them.

End with your personal opinion

Of course, up to this far, some readers may still be struggling, not sure what advice to take or which way to go. You could end the blog post by expressing your personal opinion.

For instance, if you were talking about the best web hosting providers, you could end the blog post by declaring the one you think is the best of the best.

Leave your readers with a question

Another amazing way to end your blog post is to ask a question. This will encourage discussion and engage your readers.

As you conclude the post, you could ask them a question and let them share their ideas in the comment section. This way, your blog post will get more comments and you will get new ideas so you can change where necessary.

Include a CTA

Adding a call-to-action at the end of your blog post is also a good practice. After all, if you are running a blog for your business, you must have a purpose behind every blog post you publish. Do you want people to subscribe to your email list? Share your content? Or buy your eBook. Make that clear at the end of your blog post for your readers to take action.

Tell your readers what to expect next

If you are writing blog post series, this method of ending your blog post can work well.

In the end, you can let your readers know what blog post to expect. This will make your readers subscribe to your email list or allow push notifications so that they don’t miss your next blog post.

Add links to some useful resources

It’s also good to include links to some useful resources especially if your blog post entices your readers to want to read more of your content.

You could either link to your own resources and increase your Pageviews or link to other authoritative resources to boost your blog’s SEO.

As a rule, always put yourself in the shoes of your potential readers when writing content in your blog post. This is especially important when it comes to ending your blog post.

Step 9: Edit Your Blog Post

Phew! You’ve completed your blog post. What next?

Close your computer and relax for a few hours or even days then come back and polish it.

Once you’ve taken a break, come back and do some editing. I know you are thinking, “it’s just some little polishing”

Shock on you!

Did I tell you that writing a blog post is difficult and time-consuming? Yes, and editing it is also harder.

Unfortunately, many bloggers think that editing is all about getting rid of sentences that aren’t making sense and checking grammatical errors.

Well, taking out sentences that aren’t in order and fixing grammatical errors is important, but editing is giving your entire blog post new eyes. Here, you will have to do a lot of sacrifices on words that aren’t bringing any value to the blog post.

How to Edit Your Blog Post to Make it Superb

Here are a few suggestions on how to polish your blog post to make it smoother and sweet in the eyes and minds of your potential readers.

Take out repetitive content

Nothing is boring than reading a blog post with repeated words or phrases. After writing your blog post, read it carefully and remove words that have been repeated.

Ask a friend or college to read your work

This is especially important for beginners or inexperienced bloggers. Ask someone to read your blog post. Chances are that you skipped several mistakes that a second eye can spot easily.

A good rule of thumb is to get your blog post checked by someone with editing and proofreading experience. Ask them to give feedback on everything from the headline to the introduction and conclusion, the flow of sentences, the content etc.

Truncate longer sentences and paragraphs

Lengthy sentences and paragraphs are boring to read. In fact, many people are afraid of reading huge blocks of text. And this is a mistake most beginner bloggers make.

Keep your sentences short, easy to read so that your readers can consume your content with ease.

Keep your paragraphs short and sweet as well. Include every individual idea in its own paragraphs and keep paragraphs to 2-3 sentences long.

This helps to enhance the readability of your blog post.

When editing a blog post, I recommend reading it out loud.

This way, you will be able to catch many issues, for instance, irregular rhythm, complex wording, etc.

Step 10: Optimize Your Blog Post for SEO

If you are an inexperienced blogger, SEO might sound like an empty class without desks and everything else.

Well, it’s normal. I was there and I can understand.

Don’t get scared, search engine optimization isn’t another monster in the online world and following a few steps, you can optimize your blog well.

And the best part is that I will show you the most important steps to optimize your blog post for SEO before you publish it.

First:

Install the Yoast SEO plugin

Yoast SEO Plugin

Start by installing the Yoast SEO plugin in your WordPress dashboard. If you already have it installed, proceed to the next step. With this plugin, you can optimize your blog post without a hassle.

Add Your Target Keyword in Your Blog Post Title

Include your target keyword in your blog post title (headline). As mentioned above, place it close to the beginning of your headline.

Write a Perfect Meta Description That’ll Boost Your Rankings

Ideally, a meta description is the brief snippet you see below a blog post title in Google’s organic search results.

Even though in September 2009 Google announced that meta descriptions and meta keywords aren’t determinant factors when it comes to search rankings, they are still important for two reasons:

  • They provide a brief description of the content of your blog post.
  • They help to compel readers to click on your links in the organic search results.
  • They indirectly enhance Google rankings as Google measures the click-through- CTR rate.

Currently, Google allows people to write a meta description of up to 160 characters.

You need to use this space to write a description that grabs peoples’ attention and compels them to click your title.

Use the 160 characters to tell your readers what to expect in your blog post making sure they see the benefit of clicking on it instead of your competitors’ blogs.

Edit Permalink and Include Your Target Keyword

Blog post permalinks are the links you can share with your readers on social media to drive traffic to your blog.

You can locate your blog post permalink right above the blog post title before you publish it in your WordPress editor.

It is always good to edit it, include your target keyword and make it short.

You also need to make your blog post easy to remember and read.

For instance, in my blog post, my permalink may look like

To keep it short, I will use https://jdealmmo.com/blogtraining

Step 11: Set a Featured Image

It is said, a picture is worth a thousand words.

And if you are serious about creating a blog post that generates massive traffic then you need to create a featured image for all your blog posts.

This is especially important if you plan to promote your blog posts on social media to drive traffic to your blog.

Your featured image will appear as a preview to your followers when you share your blog post on social media. The more attractive your image is the more clicks it will get

Use these tips to create an awesome featured image for your blog post:

Keep your image simple and clean– The aim of your featured image is to attract as many clicks as possible. Therefore, you should use a clean image that is also friendly to the eye, but attractive enough even from a distance.

Use a relevant and high-quality image- As a rule, you can’t use an image related to a food blog post when you are writing a blog post about blogging. Also, the image should be high-quality and original. If you can make your own images, the better. A good rule of thumb is to use stock photos.

Start Writing Your First Blog Post Now!

Hopefully, you’ve found that, how to write a blog post is not a difficult process, and that you can do it with the help of my step-by-step guide.

If you follow my definitive guide, you will be able to write blog posts that drive traffic, engages with readers, and convert them into customers.

I’d love to hear the steps you take when writing your blog posts and in case of any question or concern, leave a comment below.

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