If you’ve been blogging for any length of time, you’ll have found that there’s a lot more a blogger needs to take into consideration than just typing out some text and clicking ‘Update’.
What with plugins to install, getting your site looking great, joining social networks, analyzing your traffic, and marketing your content, often the most important factor–creating great content–tends to be sidelined or neglected.
The truth of the matter though is that without great content, your blog is never likely to achieve more than a modest success at most.
To help you solve that problem however, I’ve come up with these
8 Blog Writing Tips to Create Superior Blog Posts
1. Create a Great Headline
With statistics showing that 80% of readers will read the headline, but only 20% will go on to read the text, you’ll appreciate the value of creating a headline that grabs the reader’s attention.
According to Wired you can improve your blog traffic by as much as 500%, due entirely to great headlines.
Also ensure when writing headlines that you’re optimizing them for SEO, as well as addressing the needs of your readers.
Lots more info on writing blog titles in this post here.
2. Write a Compelling Introduction
Very few people will read your entire post–as I mentioned above, the great majority won’t even venture further than your title. Thus it’s vital to hook your reader’s attention with a great introduction.
Those first few sentences will often make the difference as to whether or not a reader will continue on into the meat of the article, so you need to make an impact immediately with interesting and compelling content. Think of the intro as your ‘elevator pitch’.
Your headline and intro are a ‘one-two punch’ working together to get your readers excited and interested enough to read your entire post. If either is boring or uninteresting they’ll be quickly skipping off the page in search of more exciting fare.
One useful technique to spice up your introduction is to eliminate weak words. Take the word ‘thing’ for example. Some more interesting alternatives are:
For lots more on weak words and phrases see this excellent article.
3. Proofread Your Work Carefully
During the writing of your first draft you should resist the temptation to edit as you go, as this will interfere with your writing ‘flow’. Avoid checking the spelling or using a thesaurus at this stage.
Then a few hours later come back and copyedit. Here you can add and remove paragraphs and sentences, and make other changes and corrections as necessary.
4. Don’t Neglect Readability
With the firehose of information available to people these days via the internet, most blog readers tend to skim much more than they read.
Common ways of improving readability include:
- shorter paragraphs (no more than two or three sentences.)
- good use of white space
- narrow column of text (50-75 characters per line is usually recommended for easier scanning.)
- larger fonts, usually 16-18 pixels.
- good use of headings and subheadings.
- bullet points (like these ones!)
Since a large and growing proportion of your potential audience are using smartphones and tablets, always make sure as well that your blog looks great and runs well on these devices.
I personally use StudioPress ‘Genesis Framework’ which is optimized for mobile for this blog, after hearing good reviews from other bloggers.
Here’s a good site to test your site speed (very important to reduce your bounce rate, and another factor in SEO.)
5. Mind Your P’s and Q’s
Readers will forgive the occasional typo or misspelling, but will quickly be turned off if you make a regular habit of it.
Some examples of the most commonly misspelled words are ‘there/their/they’re’, ‘your and you’re’, and ‘who’s and whose’. For a lot more examples see this post.
Good grammar is important as without it you’ll often muddle the meaning of what you’re trying to say. If you want your blog to be a success you’ll need to be able to get your message across clearly.
And since many bloggers use their blog as a resume to get into PR or marketing, you want your writing to be top-notch (PR and marketing people are very picky about good writing.)
Good spelling and grammar are skills you want to keep working on by carefully proofreading your posts, and improving those skills day by day until you reach a high level of expertise.
Here’s a great post on English grammar for bloggers from SmartBlogger.
6. Include Images
It’s not considered good enough in blogging these days to just present your readers with a mass of text. Blog posts are more and more including images, videos, charts etc to add extra interest and color (they’re also great for SEO.)
At a very minimum you should include at least one image (usually at the beginning) which can also be helpful in social sharing of your post, e.g. Twitter, Facebook etc. Posts and Tweets with images will be shared and ‘liked’ a lot more than those with just plain text.
A picture may or may not be worth a thousand words, but a colorful, interesting, and especially relevant one is much more likely to add value to your post.
Videos are also great for improving your ‘bounce rate’ (they take some time to watch) and Google also rewards you for including them.
Instructions for embedding a Youtube video:
- Click ‘SHARE’ underneath the video you want to embed, then ‘EMBED’ on the left of the popup.
- Next copy and paste all text within the <iframe and /iframe> brackets into the ‘Text’ area of your post or article.
- You can also adjust the numbers in ‘width’ and ‘height’ to fit best in your post – I’ve made width 630 and height 350 in this blog writing tips video by Neil Patel:
7. Make Your Content Unique
With millions of blogs online and millions of posts hitting the blogosphere daily, you want to aim to publish unique and high-quality content if your blog is to stand out from the herd.
Even though any topic you write about is likely to have been written about many times before, you can still make your post relatively unique by being creative and putting your own personal spin on it.
“Think outside the box!” is a rather tired old cliche, but the sentiment is a good one when it’s applied to coming up with your own individual approach to a topic which has already been well covered by other bloggers.
As Apple used to say, “Think different.”
Here’s a great article from ProBlogger on various ideas you can use to create unique content for your blog.
8. Include Lots of Links
You want your readers to hang around longer on your blog (great for your bounce rate and SEO!), and including plentiful internal links is a great way to achieve this.
External links (also known as Outbound links) to other blogs are also great for SEO, helping to improve the overall quality and trust of your site.
Do you have any blog writing tips of your own to add to the above? Let me know in the comments.
FREE PDF: 'How to Write Great Headlines That Get More Blog Traffic'
Enter Email For Instant Access!