Anyone can start a blog. In fact, setting up your own blog is the easiest step to becoming a blogger. The challenging part is writing good blog posts that make your visitors want to read and share your content. Fortunately, building and promoting your website or blog with great content doesn’t require a degree in creative writing.
While the internet is riddled with tutorials and guides on how to write a blog post, the most important aspect of consistently producing the best blog posts is providing valuable and engaging content readers will either find useful or entertaining. And the best part is that you can duplicate the success of the best bloggers by following a basic formula for writing a blog.
This is because there is no secret content strategy or way to increase traffic. There are just certain elements all great blog posts have that make them widely visited, shared, and linked to. Below, you will find tips on how to write a good blog post.
General Tips For Writing Blog Posts
- Spend time crafting an intriguing headline. Get visitors to click-through and read your content by starting with an interesting title. Your headline can take advantage of a big number (e.g. 101 Ways To…), promise results, use a shocking statistic, leverage a controversial or popular topic, or simply give the impression that your visitors absolutely need to read your blog post in order to be successful at something. Any one of these psychological tactics will work. Just ask yourself before publishing– would you read an article with that headline?
- Hook your readers with a great introduction. You’re headline has gotten readers to click, but now you have to convince them to continue reading. Your introduction needs to excite visitors by telling them what they will gain by reading your blog post. Promise to solve a personal or business problem, make a relatable statement, or ask a common question and then make visitors keep reading to get the answer. In the end, people just want to know they won’t be wasting their time reading your content, so make sure they are either educated or entertained.
- Get straight to the point. Building a successful blog isn’t about high word-counts; it’s about publishing content that offers value. Delete the fluff, don’t ramble and be direct. The sooner you start delivering on the promise you made in your title and intro, the more engaged you will keep your readers.
- Address your readers directly. Use “I”, “you”, “we”, and “us” to form a personal connection with your readers. Write like you are having a conversation to avoid preaching or alienating your readers.
- Write as you would speak. As I mentioned, it’s important to use an informal, conversational tone and writing style. Simplify your sentences to avoid long, convoluted thoughts. Don’t try to impress people with your vocabulary. Break up complex ideas into easy-to-understand concepts.
- Keep your paragraphs short and sweet. Online readers have short attention spans. The longer the paragraph, the more likely they’ll skip or skim it. Try to keep your paragraphs 5 to 7 sentences long.
- Use subheadings for better readability. Make it easy for readers to absorb information and skim a page by breaking up long blocks of text with subheadings, such as H1, H2, H3 and bold tags.
- Use visuals. Starting your blog post with an image can increase click-through rates, links, and shares. Using an image, video, chart, or graph can sometimes better facilitate the transmission of information and data, thereby enhancing the user experience.
- Be a storyteller. As a blogger, you have to share more than facts, numbers, and research. Share professional experiences and personal stories.
- Connect with your readers on a personal level. Opening up, sharing your life and letting your personality shine will help readers relate to you. Building a stronger connection with your audience will result in a loyal following and more social sharing.
- Write a strong closing paragraph. A conclusion or closing paragraph sums up the purpose of the post and discusses key takeaways, emphasizing what readers should have learned and how it will help them grow.
- Proofread, edit, and fact-check. To build and maintain credibility, your content needs to be pristine and error free. This means grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and unreliable sources/statements can destroy you and your blog’s online reputation.
- Use relevant social sharing buttons. If you want social shares, make it easy for readers by having social buttons prominently displayed. Above, below and beside your blog posts are ideal. Bloggers must also cater their social platforms to their audience by researching the mediums they use. Business blogs will likely want to display buttons for LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook. Blogs heavily dependent on visuals will need to be active on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
- Publish consistently. You don’t have to publish daily, but follow a consistent posting schedule. Publishing randomly will just confuse and frustrate your loyal readers. Ideally, you will want to write at least 2 to 3 times a week and schedule your posts to go live in the early mornings.
Best Practices For Business To Consumer (B2C) Blogs
- Publish timely content. Timing is everything. Writing about trending topics or breaking news is a great way to increase your blog’s exposure because trendy content lends itself to social sharing. Consumers are definitely more inclined to share socially-acceptable content when it is hot and popular.
- Write evergreen (timeless) content. Breaking news and pop culture trends bring in short-term traffic spikes. For consistent long-term traffic and growth, bloggers must produce evergreen content targeting search terms with regularly monthly volumes. For topic ideas, check out our Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas.
- Utilize visual aids such as images and videos. Consumers prefer visuals over text, so keep your readers engaged and on your blog with the use of images and videos. Embed videos, tweets, screenshots, block quotes, charts, graphs, memes, photos, or anything that will keep their attention. This can be especially practical when the visual is more effective in organizing information and relaying a message than text.
- Appeal to human emotions. Research has shown that people like to share content that taps into their emotions, the strongest of which are humor, empathy, motivation, and faith. Try to uplift and inspire with your blog posts and don’t be afraid to seek empathy for a cause. Nevertheless, beware of exploiting your audience’s emotions or overdoing it. You may just end up being labeled “overly emotional”.
- Treat your readers with respect. Always demonstrate moral integrity by being open, honest, and respectful to your audience. When writing a how-to guide, assume a basic level of intelligence and never talk down to your readers. When discussing a controversial or touchy subject, give your opinion, don’t preach and be open to other viewpoints.
- Keep the conversation light and easy-going. Consumers tend to browse the internet on their downtime as a way to relax and de-stress. Brands managing B2C blogs should keep their content simple and enjoyable to avoid overwhelming their fans.
Tips For Business To Business (B2B) Blogs
- Craft credible titles backed by statistics and facts. While catchy headlines are always important, business professionals tend to look for research-based content such as case studies with numbers and statistics. For example, “How 11 Link Building Strategies Grew My Revenue 139% In A Month” would yield much interest in the SEO and blogging community. However, business people don’t appreciate false promises. Be sure to deliver or you will risk hurting your brand and credibility.
- Focus on a specific topic. B2B readers (professionals and business owners) want useful, in-depth articles on specific subjects which provide them with information they can apply in the business world. General articles without actionable or practical tips won’t work well in this niche.
- Focus on timeless content. Evergreen content will always be useful, thus resulting in search traffic over time. This article, “How to Write a Blog Post”, for example, will remain relevant for years to come.
- Provide detailed solutions to problems. Whatever topic you decide to focus on, your readers will want effective solutions to real-life problems. Offer step-by-step solutions. Write detailed guides.
- Entertain your audience once in a while. Business writing doesn’t have to be boring. Don’t hesitate to interject your personality in your writing when appropriate. Share personal examples in a light-hearted tone. Tell a short story related to a problem. Your audience will thank you for the break.
- Cite credible sources freely. Credibility weighs heavily in the B2B world. Provide figures and facts, and make sure you cite where you got them from. More so, choose sources that are well-known and respected.
- Emphasize your credentials and achievements. Don’t rely solely on your sources for credibility. Show off your own credentials and achievements in order to add authority to your blog and personal brand.
- Always give more than what you promised. You got your readers to click with your killer headline. You got them to continue reading with your writing, facts, figures, and solutions. Don’t make them regret spending their time reading your article by not getting all that you’ve promised to give. Instead, deliver more than what you initially promised. Value-added content equates to recurring visitors, more shares, and more traffic.
Writing a blog post that will get lots of traffic may seem to be a daunting task, especially if you’re still in the beginning stages. The key is finding your place online, having confidence in yourself, maintaining goals and persevering to achieve them. You will not get results overnight, but by applying these tips in your content creation process, you are well on your way to building a solid reader base.