Those of us who blog — whether it’s for business, a side hustle or a passion project — we all want to make sure what we’re sharing engages our readers and is something we can be proud of. No matter how we measure it; there’s no magic formula to ensure success, but there are a few things we can include that give our blog post writing a boost.
Blogging provides a unique platform to explore our thoughts, ideas and experiences; a wonderful outlet to express ourselves in a creative way. Through showcasing our talents (monetized or otherwise) to promoting our businesses or brands; there is an opportunity to reach an audience — knowing how to write a good blog post is something we should be looking to consistently improve on.
I don’t hold all the answers; however, after blogging for over thirteen years I’ve learned some key blog writing tips that may help beginners hone their skills as well as provide some useful reminders for seasoned pros. I’ll freely admit that most of what I’ve acquired has been through trial and error; but sometimes that’s the best way to forge a path that’s uniquely ours.
Expressing ourselves in a meaningful way that draws in and informs new readers, or boosts brand awareness requires practice, a consistent approach and a little blogging know-how. Making our mark on the web takes time; there are no short cuts, we’ve just got to put in the effort. Once we get into some good blog writing habits, it all starts to come together with a bit more ease.
Here are eight things that make a blog post more engaging …
Passion and Knowledge
If we’re creating content that doesn’t interest us or align with our values; not only are we unlikely to keep ourselves invested in what we’re producing, we’re going to disconnect our readers as well. Passion for the topics we cover in our blog post writing is essential; it flows through what we’re sharing, making it relatable and thought-provoking. Equally important is being well-researched and knowledgeable about the subjects we’re exploring; generating something accessible and valuable. Additionally, it’s easier to stay motivated and committed to blogging when we’re well-informed and captivated by what inspires us; this way our writing remains enticing, accurate and up-to-date.
A huge part of writing a blog post that our audience will love comes from making sure our posting schedule is something we can manage. Consistency is extremely important, but perhaps just as significant is making sure we don’t churn out content just because we think we need to. Staying organized, enthusiastic and on track helps to improve our writing skills while also building trust with our readers. They won’t spend time on something if it feels like we’re trying to fill space or meet a deadline.
How often we publish depends on what our overall goal is; if it’s to encourage search engine visibility, increase blog traffic or boost income from affiliate marketing, then posting more frequently can help. Alternatively, if we’re addressing more in-depth topics that focus on building value, then publishing less often is probably advisable. However, if we want to fully realize our blog’s potential; finding a workable timetable that allows us to produce authoritative, beneficial and appealing blog posts is what should lead our timetabling.
Audience and Purpose
Two things we should be aware of before embarking on any kind of content writing is the interdependence between recognizing purpose and understanding our audience. The reasons we share something should not be at odds with what our intended readers are looking for; if possible, these two aspects should compliment each other.
Once it’s been established what we plan to write about (and why) we should make sure there’s a market for what we produce. To determine this, for example, we can:
- Interact with readers to invite feedback about what they’d like to see/read.
- Do some quick long-tail keyword research by entering a subject specific keyword into any search engine and make note of what the autocomplete suggestions are. If using Google, we can also check out the ‘People Also Ask’ section (if provided) or the related searches listed at the bottom of the page.
- Use site analytics to ascertain which of our blog posts and/or categories are most popular and receive solid engagement (comments, shares, likes).
If we don’t spend time discovering what interests us and our readers, crafting content that resonates and builds engagement will become harder.
Identifying our unique angle — which includes writing in our authentic voice — helps to establish a rapport with any visitors to our site. If we express ourselves in a clear, honest and uncomplicated way, we can reflect part of what makes us stand out from the crowd in a distinctive way. Our writing voice represents an extension of our personality, tone and perspectives, which means there are no shortcuts to being authentic. We have to try things out for a while to see what feels (and sounds) natural; it takes a bit of time, but it’s worth it.
Do not underestimate the importance of a captivating blog post title and an enticing introduction — both can turn a potential visitor into an avid reader. Utilizing these two elements takes a combination of creativity and technical know-how (like sentiment, readability and SEO); however, once we know how to write a great blog post title and an opening statement (as well as an appealing post), we’re on our way to grabbing audience attention. We should think about using a title and an introduction that includes:
- Clear, easily digestible information about what the post is about.
- Generating an emotional connection or response (either positive or negative) through the use of power words — expressions or persuasive terms that evoke a feeling or reaction.
- Improving our site’s chances of increased search engine visibility by using keywords with low-competition and high search volume. We should aim to include keywords that rank easily (low-competition) and also indicate that readers are searching for the topic we’re covering (search volume). The most convenient way to perform keyword research is to use one of the many free or paid sites/apps that will do it for you. If you don’t want to purchase a subscription to tools like Ahrefs, Moz or SEMrush, then search for free alternatives like WordStream.
Writing a blog post that’s easy to read and understand is a necessary part of creating content that our readers will enjoy. If possible we should avoid lengthy, complex sentences that may impede comprehension and instead focus on shorter, concise statements. Breaking up our posts into paragraphs will also help to produce a visually appealing, easily readable piece; as does the use of headings, subheadings and lists. These features enhance the overall structure of our writing and allow visitors to quickly find the information they’re looking for.
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High Quality Images
It doesn’t matter if we use our own images or stock photo sites for blog posts, we should always aim to use clear, relevant and accessible images. We can achieve this by:
- Only using high-quality photos that are connected to and appropriate for, the topic being explored.
- Including alt-text that describes the appearance or function of an image to visually impaired visitors (via screen-reading technology) or for outlining what it would display if it fails to load.
- Using photos to break up the text into separate points that makes it easier to read/understand.
- Promoting a welcoming environment that recognizes and respects difference by using diverse and inclusive photos.
- Compressing images so that they load quickly and don’t slow down the performance of our site — TinyPNG does a great job for free.
- Maintaining a tidy and professional looking blog post by ensuring photos are the same width.
- Refraining from using GIFs in blog posts; they’re typically a grainy/poor quality image with a file size that’s not best optimized for speedy site loading.
If using stock photos: Make sure they are copyright free and/or licensed under the creative commons public domain dedication which allows images to be copied, modified, distributed and used without seeking permission (although some may still require attribution).
As mentioned before throughout this post, long-tail keywords remain an effective tool for search engine optimization (SEO). Even if our focus isn’t necessarily to rank highly on search engine result pages (SERPs); these target specific phrases help potential readers discover our work and should be included throughout our post. Typically made up of three or more words; long-tail keywords help target our niche and desired audience because there’s less competition (fewer results) than using broad terms that will yield vast numbers of SERPs. In most cases, they get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value. Examples of more specific long-tail keywords:
- instead of ‘blog post’ use ‘how to write a blog post’
- replace ‘lunch recipes’ with ‘vegetarian recipes for lunch’
- change ‘journaling ideas’ to ‘journal prompts for mental health’
These tips for writing blog posts are not to be taken as a checklist of what must be adhered to; but I do hope you’ve found them to be encouraging and useful. Uncovering what works for us in a natural, manageable and enjoyable way is ultimately how we bring value to our blog and compose something that’s great to read.
If you’re a blogger; what do you like and dislike about creating a post? As a reader; what stops you from enjoying someone’s writing?
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