Anyone who can use the internet can blog, but it takes more than key-taps and mouse-clicks to craft a well-formed post. So here are seven easy steps to help you make a better blog.
Keep it short. If you’re writing a how-to or a business blog, save your long-winded literary commentaries for another day. Stay on topic and say what needs to be said. If you go into long run-on thoughts and explanations, you’re likely to lose your readers. The average internet reader generally doesn’t want to read a lengthy exposition. If you’ve got something to offer, tell them what it is as quickly as possible. If you take too long to say it, they’re liable to quit reading and move on.
As I said before, if you’ve got something to offer, tell them what it is. Why should they read what you have to say? Why should they click on your ad? Why should they buy your product or use your services? Be specific. Tell your readers exactly what it is you’re offering. Don’t try to be mysterious in an attempt to pique their interest because they may not respond at all. Give them a reason to check out what you’re offering. Tell them why it appeals to them specifically.
While condensability and clarity are important, a congenial tone also goes a long way toward reader retention. If what you’re saying is enjoyable to the reader, you’re much more likely to retain your readers than if it was dull or demanding. You don’t want to bore your readers to death or turn them off with domineering orders. Your readers are real people and they respond as such. Just remember that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Good grammar and spelling also go a long way toward putting out a good image and retaining readers. If your writing is full of mistakes and typos, it doesn’t make you appear knowledgeable. Why should your readers continue to read or take interest in you or what you have to offer if you look unprofessional and uninformed? Although typos can happen to the best of us, taking the time to check for typos and make sure you’ve used correct grammar is an important step.
5: Cut it up
You may notice that I’m using numbers and subheadings. This coincides with Step 1, which is Condensability. By cutting up your article into smaller portions, you help to pull your readers along through the whole thing. Some readers don’t even bother to read the whole article, but scan it for anything that may be of interest to them. If they don’t readily see anything—click—they just closed the window and left your article unread. By providing subheadings this allows readers to scan for useful information and also break it up rather than it being one long stretch of dull, monotonous text. In the same way that you would like to see your progress if you were running a race, subheadings act, in a way, like mile-markers to your readers.
6: Capture the Reader
As useful as clarity is, capturing the reader can be even more important. Strong, vivid wording and relevant, quality images or graphics can be good tools for capturing potential readers’ attention. For instance, “Stunning” is stronger and more appealing than “Great” and “Quality” and “Affordable” give off better vibes than “Nice” and “Cheap”. In the same way, a relevant and good quality image can attract attention to your words that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
The state of being current can also draw attention to what you have to offer. Seasons and trends are constantly changing and your readers are caught up in them. If Christmas is approaching, your readers want to see something Christmas related. If fans are gearing up for the Super Bowl, work in a connection. In the same way that you’re more likely to react favorably to something that correlates to current events in your life, you’re readers are also.
As you write your next blog post, remember these things: keep it short and clear, be specific, be congenial, check your grammar and spelling, cut it up into smaller portions with bullets, numbers, or subheadings, capture your reader with strong, vivid wording and relevant, quality images, and stay current with seasons and trends.
Question: What are the best tactics you’ve found make a successful blog post? Sound off in the comments section below and share your thoughts on it.