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Sunday, March 17, 2013

8 Tips to Writing a Wicked Awesome Blog Post

I have been doing a lot of blog writing lately and thought I write a post about a few suggestions of what I think makes for an awesome Blog Post.  I’ve been blogging since 2006, one of the only times I was an early adopter, and have learned a lot about the particulars of writing blogs versus writing in other styles.  So take it for what it’s worth.

1. Pick a GREAT Title/Heading:
When you write a book you have to give your reader a hook in the first chapter. When you write a blog post you have to give them a hook in the title. You get about 3-5 words to summarize and interest your reader. Choose your title/header wisely. Some of the best titles come directly from your content. Choose strong appealing titles that draw your reader in. Remember that you are competing with so much media you get a short chance to draw in your reader.

3. Visual scanning:
I think this is one of the biggest blogger mistakes. Many times if a reader sees that the blog post is longer than they can scan w/o scrolling down on the page they won’t read the blog at all. So...writing short, to the point, brilliant blogs are much more attractive to readers.

When a reader looks at your blog it should be visually pleasing and easy for their brain to process. So be sure to write short, easy to swallow, paragraphs. Run-on-sentences will KILL your blog post.

Less is always more when writing a blentry (blog entry).

4. Good quality content:
Become besties with a dictionary/thesaurus. See if you can find unique vocabulary to say what you want to say. It is amazing what synonyms make your writing more applicable to readers. Don’t get to preachy, intelligent, or use too big of words, but adding variety really does make a difference

Focus on ONE subject. Although many readers need a lot of stimulus, have ADHD, or are in the instant gratification—to many topics are a buzz kill and lead readers to drop out or leave your page in pursuit of more information on many of your topics. Stick to what you know and what you want to talk about.  In other writing situations this is called your Thesis Statement, or the point you are trying to get across.

5. Utilize Links:
Readers love links BUT be careful or you might just be asking your reader to leave your blog and go wandering elsewhere. NEVER use a link to introduce new content. Utilize links to define words, to give clout/evidence to back up your ideas, or to give your readers other resources about your topic. Try not to put too many links in your post or that gets distracting.

6. Media/Pictures:
Like the links above be careful with your media (youtube videos, etc) and your pictures. They should go directly along with your post. Avoid putting in pictures or media in your post just for aesthetic effect. I know sometimes we get tempted to make things pretty and visually pleasing but if they are too distracting, again you will lose your reader.

Choose media that looks professional. Make sure they are cropped appropriately, that the quote is correct and actually by the attributed author, etc. 

It is brilliant if you can use images to replace words. Never use words if you can accomplish your ideas with an image.

7. Call to Arms/Challenge/Question to Readers:
Not every blog post needs a challenge at the end or a question BUT they are a really good way to get your reader to think about your post long after they have finished reading it. HOWEVER, don’t just plop don’t any blanket blah question at the end. This is also the death of your post. Readers don’t like writers/bloggers to be condescending or treat them like idiots. If you want to ask a questions or issue a challenge then make it count and be sure to invite your reader to come back to the blog.

Readers of the world have WAY too many options out there to read. Most actual readers, not the readers that just happen upon your blog, but actual readers have certain blogs they visit, re-visit, and again go back to. They usually have a news blog, a music blog, Pinterst, Facebook, etc and so you need to pull them into your world. You do so by sharing your writing with people who are already invested in your and your life!

Don’t just “share” your posts online. Remember that people in your life are interested in what you love, what makes you tick, and what you are passionate about so open your mouth and invite people to your writing place.  You might be surprised at how many people will end up jumping in your boat (when you invite them).

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