10 Writing Tips For Bloggers
Do you want more people to read your posts?
Of course, you do. Everybody does.
Blogging nowadays is one of the most popular activities. Everybody is doing it. Each one for its own reasons. Either to supplement their monthly income or just for pleasure. Creating a blog can have a positive impact in your life. No matter what kind of online business you have an e-commerce site or a website promoting your offline business a blog can help you increase your sales.
Integrating a blog into your existing website can positively affect your business in a number of different ways. It can help you increase your organic traffic, visitors engagement, your online revenue, the popularity of your brand in the social media, etc. A blog can also help you establish yourself as an expert and a great source of information in your niche.
But despite all the advantages, a blog can offer to your business there is also a big problem with it. Everybody is doing it. I don’t mean that the problem is the competition. What i mean is that people are so familiar with blogging they no longer pay attention to it. The majority of the blog posts today get no traction in the search engines or in the social media.
People have become so desensitized to blog posts that are not really reading them as much as they used to do compared to 5 years ago. Only 2 out of 10 people who see your post will click through to read it. The other 8 will just read the headline and then they will move on. Unfortunately, that’s the reality we all have to face and these are the numbers we have to work with. Those statistics just prove how common blogging really is today.
But i don’t want you to feel demotivated. That’s how things are at the moment. But the writing tips i mention below are some of the most effective ways you can use to create articles that people will want to read.
In one of my previous blog posts, how to create content for your website, i mention a few more writing techniques. I advise you to read that one too.
In this post though, i focus more on how to create a post and not how to create content in general.
1) Create An Outline
That’s actually one of the steps many bloggers and marketers ignore. But it’s one of the most important ones. It’s okay to use pen and paper to create the framework of your blog post. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. Just write down the key points of your article.
The outline will serve you as a guide and it will make things a lot easier. It will also save you time since you will have already created the structure of your post.
Here is an example of how an outline should look like:
One of the most important parts of your posts if not the most important is the headline of the post. Your headline is what makes people click and read your post. Come up with a strong headline that will grab your audience’s attention.
For example, headlines that are formulated in the following way tend to do really well online:
- How To …
- Lists (e.g. “The 10 Ways To …”)
- Question (e.g. “Why You Should…”)
- The Best Way To …
- Personal Experience (e.g. “What I Learned…”)
- “Don’t Do It” ( e.g. “9 Things Not To Do If…”)
Don’t try to trick or mislead your readers with a vague headline that is not relevant to your content. Your headline should capture the whole point of your article. Personally, i am not a big fan of the “click bait” headlines because they usually don’t work. But if you use them make sure your content is equally exciting. Otherwise, you will fail spectacularly.
Pro Tip: Your headline is the perfect place to include your main keyword. Its length should be less than 60 characters for SEO purposes.
Write an interesting introduction that grabs readers attention so that they want to keep reading. Think of an engaging opening line that will make your visitors to scroll down. An effective method is to create a list of reasons of why people should read your post. Choose the best ones and include them in the actual introduction of your post.
Write down the key points of your main content. You don’t have to analyze them. Just mention what topics will be covered in your blog post. Make a few bullet points naming the major ideas you would like to talk about.
That way you will not waste any time later trying to figure out what the next paragraph of your article should be about.
The main point of your article should be included in your conclusion. Think what you want your readers to remember after they finish reading your post.
That’s your outline. Creating one will help you organize your thoughts and cut out any unnecessary information. Try to make it into a habit to begin every single one of your posts with an outline.
2) Use Subheadings
It’s very difficult to maintain your visitor’s attention all the way through the end of your post without using subheadings. It’s just impossible. People won’t read a bulky block of text online. So, using subheadings is not optional. It’s a must.
Subheadings should be used in ways that will also add value and enhance the quality of your content. Most bloggers believe they can only be used to break down the monotony of your text. Although that is accurate there are also a number of other ways you can benefit from using subheadings.
They can increase engagement, clarify the main points of your text and make it easier for people to read the parts of your post that are more interested in. A post can cover a number of topics but not all your readers will want to read every single one of them. The easier you make it for them to find the piece of information they were looking for in the first place the better your results will be.
- Include your secondary keywords in your subheadings to improve your search rankings. But don’t try to force them in there if they don’t flow naturally. You will end up hurting your blog.
- Use the most interesting and the most engaging subheading first. You want to get people’s attention right from the start. So, it makes perfect sense to use the strongest or even a provocative subheading at the beginning of your main content.
3) Write Short Paragraphs
When was the last time you read a 30 line long paragraph online?
Let me guess probably never.
If you won’t read a long paragraph you can’t expect others to do it. So, writing long paragraphs is one of the things you want to avoid. Keeping your paragraphs short will make your content a lot easier to read. The best length for a paragraph is considered to be maximum 5-6 lines. Anything more than that bores people. A post that is structured in short paragraphs looks way more appealing compared to a text heavy one.
The same principle applies to sentences as well. Short sentences produce better results compared to longer sentences. It’s a lot easier to make clear about what it is you are talking about in a short sentence. People prefer to read short sentences that are simple and to the point.
4) Use Visuals
Everyone has heard the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words“. And it’s absolutely true. There are many websites that offer free images. Make your posts as visually appealing as you can. Use images, graphics, statistics, charts, infographics to visually stimulate your readers. As long as your visuals are relevant to your post they will be a welcoming addition.
Not all of your content has to be in text form. You can use charts from Google Trends, for example, a video or diagrams if you want to better explain a topic. Infographics are also a very popular way of adding new content to a post without writing more text. And people love to share them on the social media.
Use your visuals wisely so they will enhance the user’s experience but make sure they will not distract them in any way. Your visuals should act like a quick refreshing break from your text. So, your readers will not get overwhelmed with information. Images can increase people’s attention and keep them scrolling down to read more of your content.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to use a feature image in each one of your blog posts. That way your blog roll will not be just text.
5) Organize Your Content
Even if your post gives out valuable information people won’t read it if it’s not formatted properly. Nobody will read an ugly blog post. You must organize your content so your readers will not be intimidated by the length of your post. The easier you make it for people to scan your content and identify the information they need the more people will read your post.
Images are not the only way to make your post visually appealing. Subheadings can also help you organize your content into different sections but they are not enough. Use lists, bullet points, subsections, tips, bold text to emphasize key parts of your content.
You can also use phrases and words that add value to your content These phrases are called bucket brigades. They can increase the average time a visitor spends on your pages. Here is a list of bucket brigades you can use:
- Here’s the deal
- Let me explain
- What’s the bottom line?
- Here’s why
- You are probably wondering
- It gets better/worse
- Get this
- Guess what?
- Want to know the best/worse part?
Bucket brigades are an excellent way to increase the readability of your content. People usually don’t just visit a post and start reading from top to bottom. First, they scroll all the way down and if they like what they see then they will scroll back up again to read it. The better your content is organized the more people it will attract.
Pro Tip: Creating an outline of your post first will make the process of organizing your post a lot easier. Also, create templates for your future posts. That way you won’t have to start from scratch every time.
6) Write Actionable Content
Producing actionable content is one of the biggest problems online marketers face. Although it’s not the easiest thing to do actionable content is a vital part of content marketing. If you want to increase your conversion rate writing good-quality content is not enough. After all, you want to make sales and not just increase your rankings.
Actionable content can help you establish trust, increase engagement, improve your blog’s reputation, target a specific audience and offer value that will address their needs. You want your readers to get involved and read your content in detail.
Here are some strategies you can use to make your content more actionable:
- Use examples
- Use statistics
- Ask questions to increase your audience interactions
- Use infographics and videos
- Answer your customer’s questions
- Connect your content with your sales funnel
- Show people how to do it and not just tell them
- Add a Call-To-Action (CTA)
Actionable content is showing your readers what you want them to do when they finish reading your blog post. But even more important than that is telling them how to do it. Make sure that all of their questions regarding that topic are covered. You don’t want your readers to end up leaving your post with more questions than they first had when they landed on your page. You don’t want them to be confused. You want them to keep reading and to take action at the end.
7) Talk Directly To Your Readers
Your content should be a discussion between you and one of your readers. Try to use the words “You” and “I” in your content. For example, i recently noticed that in some of my previous posts i didn’t do that. I will have to work on that one too. But even a small change like that in your writing style can increase engagement. What you want to do is to write in a conversational style.
Use a friendly tone so that you will not come across as someone who is trying to lecture people. Write naturally in the same way you would talk to someone who’s interested in that topic. Finally, avoid repeating yourself or certain words/phrases in your text.
8) Write Timeless Content
Writing timeless posts is a very well-known marketing strategy that is used by many popular blogs. No matter what your blog is about the chances are you have published blog posts that are not so relevant anymore. Timeless or evergreen content as it’s also known is simply writing posts about a specific topic that will always be considered up-to-date.
That doesn’t mean that all of your content should be evergreen but you should try to write at least a few evergreen posts. Create a list of timeless subjects within your niche and start writing about them. Evergreen content can be promoted again and again in the future. That can be very beneficial especially if you feel tired of having to constantly produce new content. The information included in such a post will always be relevant and useful to your readers.
So, timeless posts will keep bringing you traffic, social shares, comments and likes for a long time after you publish them. You can also use them as guides in your blog. Use internal linking to direct visitors to other posts with more specific information.
Evergreen content can take many forms but in general the most popular ones are the following:
- List-type blog posts. Like the one, you are reading now
- “How to” posts, tutorials for example
- Frequently Asked Questions
Pro Tip: Even evergreen content has to be updated every once in a while. So, make sure you check for any new developments and if there are things you may have to remove or add.
9) Write A Conclusion
You should never forget to end your posts with a conclusion. This is one of the most important things you need to do every time you write a post. Many bloggers and marketers focus on their main content so much they totally forget to write a conclusion. It’s a big mistake. Your final paragraph should always be a conclusion. If you don’t want to name it a “Conclusion” for what ever reason use something similar like “My Final Thoughts”.
Why is a conclusion so important?
Well, basically for 2 reasons.
The first reason is that people usually scroll down first to read your conclusion. Perhaps you are doing too and you don’t even realize it. But it makes perfect sense. Your visitors will want to know first what your post is about and what they will learn if they read your post. If they find your conclusion interesting then they will scroll back up again to read the rest of your post.
So, keep your conclusion really simple and to the point. Just write a quick summary of what your post is about.
The second reason is that a conclusion is a perfect place to use a Call-To-Action. Like i said earlier in this post your content should be actionable. Once your visitors finish reading your post you don’t want them to think “okay now what do i do?”. You should guide them to take action. That could be anything you want from reading another one of your posts, subscribing to your blog, leaving you a comment, sharing your post in the social media, buying a product or a service you are promoting.
A number of marketers, unfortunately, end their posts with a call-to-action but without a conclusion. That’s a mistake and it’s hurting your conversation rate. You will get better results if you add your CTA after you briefly remind your visitors how you resolved the problem they were facing.
It should be clear to your visitors where your post ends. It just doesn’t feel right if an article ends in the main body.
10) Keep It Simple
Don’t bore people with unnecessary information. Get to the point of what you are trying to say and don’t try to impress your visitors. Be specific and use simple words. Your writing should be clear and on topic. Deliver useful and easy-to follow information.
Write with passion but remember that quality is more important than quantity. There is no need to push yourselve to write a 2000 word post if you can say everything you want in 800 words. It’s true that long articles do better in the search engines compared to short or medium length articles. But you are writing for people and not for Google. Repeating the same points over and over again won’t help you.
Write until you are satisfied with the result and then just stop.
You don’t need to have any great writing skills to become a great blogger. Practice makes perfect. The tips mentioned in this post can make the writing process a lot easier. Don’t try to copy the writing style of other successful bloggers. It won’t work. Just be yourself.
Do your best every time and things will gradually improve. Don’t try to please every single one of your visitors. That will never happen anyway. Offer useful and valuable information to your readers. Each one of your posts should solve a problem your audience is facing at the moment.
Keep writing and remember you can make a difference. No one can stop you from becoming a successful blogger.
If you don’t have a blog or if you just want to learn more about online marketing and how to use it you can check below my review for my 1# online marketing training program
Have you used any of these writing tips? Feel free to leave me a comment below sharing your favorite tips with us.