There are a lot of questions when someone starts a new blog and is developing an ongoing blogging initiative. In addition to defining objectives and success metrics, simple concerns on how to actually write an effective blog post arise as well.
This post provides a quick outline of 12 tips and best practices we would recommend when writing better blog posts. It is based off of past experience and what we have seen work for our clients in the past.
Clarity Is the Key
Make sure your readers understand your point and can follow your post as effortlessly as possible.
Quickly Identify the Objective
Long-winded introductions or background details often make people lose focus or get confused, leaving your blog as a result.
Write a Strong Post Title
Spend a fair amount of time brainstorming a compelling title which captures the essence of your post. Use keyword research to evaluate opportunities which can bring search engine traffic. Blend this together to form a post title which catches a reader’s eye and potentially rank in search over the long haul.
Use Images and Photography
Imagery can go a long way to catching the someone’s attention and getting them to read further. A witty photograph or image may also help capture the message you are trying to convey.
Organize Your Writing
Use sub-headings, lists and line breaks to streamline the post. Keep paragraphs short and focused on one major point and use lists and sub-headings to break up subject matter. Blog posts without an organizational structure can be difficult to read and follow.
Stay Focused on the Topic
Keep focused on the post’s objectives and limit the amount of digression. Adding examples or supporting material is valuable, but too much tangential information may dilute the effectiveness of your message.
Make sure to link to references or resources which helped to build the post or support your arguments and positions.
Link to Related Posts
There’s no harm in pointing out posts you’ve written that are related to the topic at hand. Depending on context they may be linked directly in the post or it may be appropriate to add them at the end as “Related Posts”.
Wrap It Up In a Concise Manner
Make sure to tie up the loose ends and draw the reader to the conclusion. If you’re using an analogy to start the post, revisiting the analogy at the end is an option. Use your best judgment and consider the original objectives.
Get Feedback before Publishing
Particularly for more important material, seek out a preliminary review from respected parties. Rushing to publish for the sake of getting something out there is rarely a good idea. Take the time to review for grammar, structure and clarity.
Timing Can Matter
You can use website visitor traffic reports to determine what times of day or days of the week your website gets the most visibility. In addition, pay attention to what else is going on around you in the broader business world. Sometimes a well-timed post can follow the coattails of related material on a more popular resource, gaining traction as a result.
Post, Evaluate, and Learn
Writing better blog posts is an ongoing process. Take the time to identify patterns to understand why some of posts are successful and others are not. And obviously, work to repeat the former and improve the latter.
Being a better blog writer is a challenging task and it should also be understood that most people are not successful when they first start.
Just remember that while patience, evaluation and practice are all steps in the process, that you’re genuinely interested in beginning a blog initiative in the first place may be the most important factor of all.
Looking for additional support and resources? Here are a few related posts to consider for identifying examples and further context in developing a blogging initiative.