Is there a right way or a wrong way to write a blog post? I think so. Looking at other people’s websites it is very easy to compare ourselves with our competition. We look at their website, their content, and their social media profiles and compare ourselves and efforts. In some cases, it may make us feel inferior and cause us to lose self-confidence; potentially mentally paralyzing us, giving us writers block and preventing us from networking or connecting on social media. In short it derails us.
I often see this in people when I first discuss the idea of having a blog on their website. Everyone believes they cannot write, they believe they have nothing valuable to say and that no one can learn anything from them. Fortunately, that simply isn’t true. I hope you will learn and use some of these twelve tips below when you write your next post to make it the perfect blog post.
- Write about what you know – If you try to write about something you are not interested in, you will in turn dislike the idea of even writing a post. Write about something you are keen on and your ability to write a blog post will turn from a chore into a passion.
- Centre the post content around a single topic – If you don’t know what to write about, think about what you are interested in. Look at other blogs and analyse what makes them interesting and think about something how you can relate that idea to the product or service you are selling. By writing too many ideas in your post, you can make it too confusing for your reader to focus on what your core message is that they need to take away.
- Focus on your product or service – If your website sells a product or service, remember not to lose sight of your marketing goals. Your blog post shouldn’t read like a sales pitch. If it begins to feel like a sales pitch to your reader, then you will lose them and fail in your blogging efforts. You can insert a call-to-action as a concluding remark, as this would be the more appropriate opportunity for you to make your pitch, just don’t be too pushy.
- Make it interesting to read – Your blog post should be easy-to-read, compelling, and thought-provoking, so make sure it doesn’t read like a dissertation or thesis. If it’s not immediately interesting to read, it won’t translate well across the Internet. One of the easiest ways to make a blog interesting is to tell a story and to make it personal. I’ve written about my experience within Mega Mitre 10 and Bunnings and how it made me realise the importance of good navigation within a website. It was true, which made it interesting.
- Think of a thoughtful title – Write a title that is unique and memorable not necessarily catchy or gimmicky; just one that captures your audience’s attention and makes them want to read more. Keep in mind your SEO though.
- Write a strong compelling introduction – You only have a few seconds to engage your reader, so your introduction or initial paragraph needs to be compelling and align with the rest of the blog entry. It needs to set the scene and provide something that entices your reader to stay with you and actually read the full blog post.
- Include bullet points and subheadings – Not everybody likes to read long paragraphs. I rarely sit and read through a lengthy paragraph online. I scan the paragraph and sometimes pay more attention to what’s in the bullet pointed lists. You should also remember how human nature dictates we read bullet points. Most people read the first one or two bullet points in the list and then skip to the last one. Use h2 and h3 headings to help break up your text and give your readers sections where they can focus their attention. It will be beneficial to both your reader and the search engines.
- Encourage dialog and two-way communication – Talk to your readers like they are human and allow people to respond to your blog. Today’s websites are about interaction. That means you need to allow comments and reply to all of them – the good, the bad, and the really bad. Write your blog as if you were sitting around your kitchen table. If you are using your blog solely as a marketing tool, think about what your reader would want to hear as if you were sitting together around your kitchen table together casually discussing your product or service.
- Don’t forget about SEO – Remember that your blog is targeted to both your reader and the search engines. Make sure your blog posts uses targeted keywords and includes links to other web pages on your website to help build meaningful links between your website and other blog posts. And always use keyword-rich alt tags on your images too. Some people do image searches and find your website through your images so if you have then tagged with a meaningful alt tag and title then they will stumble across your site.
- Publish content regularly –If you write and publish content on your website too infrequently, the benefits will be limited. To gain a loyal base of followers or subscribers, you need to have something tangible for them to follow and read. This means writing regular and meaningful updates and posts. I try to publish one blog post a week and suggest you can publish up to once a fortnight, but no longer. Just try not to publish too frequently or you run the risk of overwhelming your reader with too much information.
- Proof-read your post – Make sure you proof-read your post before publishing. Check for any spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors that may have crept in while you were typing. A poorly written post can damage your credibility. Once you have published, check it out online just to make sure it is correct and your links go to where you intended them to go.
- Spread the word about your blog – Expand your blog entries reach by using an RSS feed and linking your content to other websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media sites. An RSS feed will automatically update and send a notification to those who have set up an RSS feed of your site each time you publish a new blog post. Tweet your blog post and encourage others to re-tweet it. Thank those who help spread your message and be thankful. And yes, I’d love it if you tweeted and shared this post.