How to write better blog posts
Over on LinkedIn recently, I have posted a couple of questions and polls around blogging. What I got from it is that people don’t understand what blogging is, how it works, or more importantly how to do it.
How DO you write blog posts that will get people to follow your brand and ultimately buy from you? Keep reading, and I’ll do my best to answer that for you.
Blogging vs Content
A while ago, I sent a message to a contact of mine asking whether she needed help with her content writing. Her reply was, “Oh, I don’t really do content.”. Just for context, this lady was a regular follower of mine on LinkedIn, she had a website, and had got a blog page on it – although it hadn’t been updated in months.
I think that people tend to be confused about what content is, what blogging is, and the differences between the two.
On the face of it, yes – blogging is a form of content. Although the term ‘Content’ is used as an umbrella term for a lot of other mediums, too. Everything that’s written on your website is content, as are the posts you put on social media.
The thing is, although blogs are a type of content, people tend to take the term ‘content’ more seriously than blogging. You see, blogging has a bit of a shady and perhaps cheap reputation. Some people just don’t trust it.
How can we change that? I believe we start by improving the quality of our blog posts, instead of the old ways of churning out as much content as we can. The internet is drowning in poorly written blogs – the space is becoming oversaturated.
The key is to focus on writing really helpful, insightful, and well-written blogs (quality over quantity) so that people actually want to read them and recognise them as something of value.
Blogging is an essential part of your content strategy
How many blog posts are published every single day? In truth, I can’t say – if you Google the question, you’ll get answers from 2 million, 4.4 million, and even 7 million. In any case, it’s a LOT!
You absolutely cannot tell me that blogging doesn’t work – those huge numbers are testament to that. And I’ve seen it work with my own eyes – my very first client, who I wrote weekly blog posts for, reported that blogs more than DOUBLED the number of visitors to her website within the first 6 months.
The thing to remember is that every time you publish a blog post, it sits there FOREVER. It can be found from the minute you hit publish, to ten years from now and beyond. Just like a book in a library, someone will always be able to read it. And that’s pretty powerful stuff.
Writing better blog posts
People are not going to read your blog post word for word. Instead, they skim – like we all do. That’s why it’s so difficult, and why you need to do everything you can to get their attention as quickly as possible, and then make it easy for them to keep reading – and WANT to keep reading.
1. Write a clear headline. Don’t skip this – make sure you’re letting your readers know what to expect for the rest of your post. Like this one. People know they’re gonna be getting useful information and tips about how they can write better blog posts. Obvious, innit?
2. Keep your paragraphs short. No more than 5 sentences, is a good rule. Keep things looking simple, neat, and organised by creating as much white space on the page as you can. Huge blocks of text are really off-putting, and will just turn readers away - BUT don’t use loads of tiny little sentences either. That’s. Just. So. Frustrating!
3. Use subheadings. Most people who open your blog posts have been guided to it by asking a question – and they want to get to the answer as quickly as possible. Help them to find what they’re looking for by using subheadings. If what they need is two-thirds of the way through, they don’t want to have to read loads of irrelevant stuff to get to it – and they won’t.
4. Add images. People like ‘em. The ‘gurus’ say that having images increases views – which makes an awful lot of sense. But make sure any images you use are of the best possible quality, are relevant to your post, and are captioned if possible.
5. End with a call to action (CTA). Plenty of people don’t think about this, but it’s always a good habit to end with either a question or a request. You don’t want your reader to disappear if they’ve enjoyed your article, do you? Get them to follow up with something. Ask them their opinion on your post (e.g., What will you do to write better blog posts?). Get them to take a follow up action (e.g., If you found this article useful, you can get more like it by signing up for my newsletter at…). List similar articles they might enjoy (e.g., If you liked this, you might also enjoy these articles…).
Come back to these tips when you write your next blog post.
Revise your old posts
Bonus tip: go back and improve your old blog posts, and then reshare them. You’ll be surprised at how much your writing has evolved since you started blogging, and I bet if you re-read some of those early ones, you’ll see loads of glaring errors and places you can make them sound much less dull!
Not only will this make them much more appealing to read, but it will also vastly improve their search engine rankings!
Are you stuck with how to make your blog posts amazing? Get in touch and let’s figure out how you can improve them!
Do you have any tips on writing better blog posts? Comment below!