It’s 2014 and anyone can be a writer. We all have the opportunity to become a journalist, an opinion leader and a blog owner, but the difference between the good and the great is their ability to formulate an engaging and well written post. I’m always on the look-out for new contributors or guest writers for my blog, but the standard of the work I’m often sent is almost unbelievably shocking. You don’t have to be Shakespeare to formulate a great piece of writing, but it is essential to take pride in your work and formulate an opinion piece that flows naturally and makes sense. If you want your blog to be the ‘next big thing’ and for readers to return for more, then it’s essential that you’re writing some awesome content. Here are my top tips for making every blog post great.
It’s All In A Title
Your title is the first thing a reader sees, be it on Twitter, Bloglovin, GFC reader or elsewhere. Your title should be engaging, clearly illustrate what the post contains and include key words you want search engines to find, (i.e. the brand and product name.) Gone are the days when song titles or lines from a poem are a good idea; they’ll both confuse your reader and reduce the amount of traffic you get from Google.
Give It Structure
You wouldn’t expect to read a magazine article and be jumping from one fact to another, without anything weaving the story together. Like a great book, every blog post should have a beginning, a middle and an end. Introduce the product or the story you’re talking about it, fill the middle section with information and sign off effectively. You want to make your reader feel like they’ve read a chapter of a book, rather than just a random paragraph on page sixty-two.
Check Your Spelling & Grammar
There’s nothing worse than piles of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and sentences that go on for pages. With spell-checks and grammar correctors now automatically within every platform, there’s really no excuse for a poorly written post. Grammar helps the reader to digest what you’re trying to tell them, without the need to re-read it five times. If all else fails, add a comma where you would naturally take a breath and ensure a sentence is no longer than two lines long.
Break It Down
Write a blog post like you’re writing an essay and you’ll be sure to produce something kick-ass. With every new point, start a new paragraph. With every new product, start a new section. Writing in massive blocks of text wastes your time, as visitors will simply skip the text and look at the pictures. Breaking your post down into an introductory paragraph, three key points and a conclusion will help keep your writing concise, readable and clear.
Make It Relatable
I always like to tell little stories at the beginning of my posts to make the reader feel at home. Writing about a memory, experience or a little background to a product helps to set the scene so they know what to expect. If readers feel comfortable and engaged with you straight away, the story you tell them is more likely to make an impact.
Illustrate It With Pictures
Although words are great, pictures are worth a thousand of them. When I first started blogging we all used stock images or photos taken on a smartphone; now blogs are as much about great imagery as they are about the words that accompanies it. Taking photos of a product and showing off its features will help bring to life your words, as well as breaking up the post into manageable chunks.
Include Key Information & Links
If you’re writing about a product or brand that your reader may want to find out more about, then it’s vital to include all the information they need. Keeping your reader on your site is easy when you’ve got the RRP, launch date, link and website all in one place for them. Essentially we’re all time poor and lazy, so make it as easy as possible for your reader to digest information and act upon it.
Offer A Conclusion
In my opinion there’s nothing worse than a post with no end. If your reader has taken the time to read your thoughts, then leave them with a finishing point. Did you love the product or loathe it? Would you recommend they buy it, or is it not worth the cash? Do you want to know your readers thoughts or top tips? Signing off from a post with a question or comment will bring the whole thing together and leave your reader with a sense of satisfaction.
Although writing a blog post is all about your own personality and experience, I hope these tips will help you improve just a little and generate some amazing content.
Next in the series: How To Generate Content Ideas.
Want to catch up on the rest of the series? Check out all the previous posts here.