So you want to know how to write. Pen, meet paper. Just kidding… This is a mighty big topic, let me tell you! Since we’re almost to the half way point of my “Be A Blogger” series, today let’s focus on how to write an interesting, readable and successful blog post that will keep your audience coming back for more.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked onto someone’s website and been visually accosted by bad photos, a paragraph of text the length of a bible or content as random and incoherent as this. Without the right tools, even if you have great content you may scare people away before they read beyond the first couple of lines. So how do you know if your blog posts are providing your readers with a joyful and valuable experience or if they’re turning people off faster than a clap-on-clap-off-clapper?
Below are my top 5 tips to writing great blog posts that are guaranteed to lead you to successful blogging experiences both for you and your readers.
Be there for them.
The number one rule in knowing how to write, create, sell, etc… is know your audience. Who are you talking to and why do they care about what you have to say? By examining who comes to your website, what kind of brand or company you are, or who your typical client is, you will be able to assess what they need and then you can provide them with the solution. The BEST way to guarantee return traffic (and genuine connections) is to provide something of value (i.e. solutions) to your reader’s questions and problems. What interests them? What will drive them to come back to your website before someone elses? If you aren’t sure, do a bit of industry research to figure it out. Google is right there. Use it. You can also think about installing Google Analytics on your website or hiring a professional to analyze that data for you. Once you know who might be interested in what you have to offer, you can start writing on the subjects that would be of value to them.
Seriously. I’m all for sharing tid-bits and side-notes – I do it all the time. But for each post, pick one general topic (i.e. How to Write Great Shit) and stick to it. If your entire post is about fluffy squirrels and then you throw in a random blurb or photo of wax candles somewhere in the post, I’m going to be left going, WTF? And I’m unlikely to take you seriously. One topic per post, please. If you need to write about wax candles, write a second post. But please, for the love of god, only publish one post per day. Start with a great headline and work from there.
Breaking up is hard to do.
Do it anyway. Knowing how to write means knowing when to take a break. Breathe. Make the reading experience easy on your audience. Bullet points, new paragraphs, headlines and images are all ways to make your post more accessible. If you ramble on without stop gaps, it feels like a chore to get through your blog post – even if it’s only 300 words.
Side note: Just like content breaks are important in posts, so is the quality of your images. Use the best ones you can, don’t steal, always give credit where credit is due (see the “source” under most of my pictures?), and try to center them in your posts. That last one is just a personal preference but they look nicer centered, so does your text if you justify it’s alignment.
It shouldn’t be difficult – you are one! By this, I mean stop writing like you’re the be all and end all of all things in your industry. Have flaws. Tell personal stories. Keep it relevant to your main topic, but extend the connectivity to your audience by giving them something to relate to. This doesn’t mean you get free reign to forgo spell-check (always spell check! And edit!) – it just means you can be professional and authoritative whilst being friendly and approachable. And when you do well or your blog gets mentioned somewhere, feel good about that. Own it. Take pride in it. You’ve worked hard. Share your successes as well as your failures. Learning how to write this way encourages in post SEO without SEOing and gives people something to connect with.
Requesting engagement at the end of your blog posts is a great way to encourage commenting. You’ll see I very rarely finish a blog post without posing a question (or 5) to my readers based on what we’ve just discussed. Give them a reason to read your blog by writing concise, friendly, well formatted posts on subjects they’re interested in and then give them a reason to comment (i.e. ask them to). Ask for their advice, anecdotes, opinions, etc… And the same goes for social media. Encourage engagement. They’ll respond. Let’s test this theory….(please don’t make me a liar ;))…
What do you think makes a great blog post? What posts are the most memorable for you? What’s your most positive blog post experience? Least positive? Do you agree with my tips? Disagree? Let’s talk!
In the meantime, read:
- Part 1: 10 Reasons Why You Need A Blog
- Part 2: 7 Easy Steps to Start A Blog
- Part 3: How To Create A Blog Schedule (Free Printables!)
- Part 4: How to Write Great Shit (& Own It!)
- Part 5: How to Build Your Blog Audience
- Part 6: 10 Things your Blog Should Definitely Have (Free Infographic!)
- Part 7: Keep Your Blog Fresh!
- Part 8: What NOT To Do To Your Blog
- Part 9: Beyond Blogging: What To Do Moving Forward
- Part 10: How to Do It: Free Ebook for Entrepreneurs, Bloggers and Brands!