Before diving into the world of blogging, it’s important to know how to write blog posts that people will actually want to read.
Blogs are supposed to be informative, but not dry and clinical. They’re not a college essay, and shouldn’t be written like one.
With dedicated time and effort, a blog can become extremely valuable for you or your company. It serves as a way to share the knowledge you have as an individual and showcase the expertise your company has. When done right, a blog can gain visibility for your business, position you as a thought leader in your industry, and help drive conversions of all types.
To get the most out of your blog, follow these steps to create content that people will actually want to read and share.
Step 1: Pick a Topic
The first step is often where people get stumped. Start by thinking about things you’re good at, find interesting, or want to know more about. Whatever the topic is, make sure it will provide value to the reader. Whether it’s a new skill, a how-to, or a list of tips on a certain matter, remember that readers are there to learn, so make sure you’re teaching them something.
Tip: When you have a topic idea, ask yourself, “will someone actually gain something by reading this?”
Step 2: Headlines
Headlines are the first thing that someone sees and is the deciding factor of whether they will give your post a chance. If it’s not an appealing headline or doesn’t solve a problem they have, people aren’t going to bother reading the rest of the post.
This is important because we want people to actually read our content, right? Don’t spend all this time writing a great post just to have people scroll on by because the headline isn’t good.
So what makes a good headline?
Readers go to blogs to learn something so make sure you are communicating your value with your headline. Are you teaching them different ways to increase social media engagement or dissecting the pros and cons of a new platform? Tell them that.
Use words like: tips, reasons, how-to, and ways
Headlines are not the time to flex your creativity or show how clever you are. Tell the reader exactly what they will learn, nothing more and nothing less.
- Be specific
- Don’t use ambiguous wording
Keep your headlines short and concise.
Step 3: Content
Good headlines need good content. While what you say is important, how you say it is equally as important.
It’s probably ingrained in all of us to write in a formal voice when it comes to writing in a work environment, but with blog posts that’s not the case. Blogs are naturally more personal and conversational and should be written that way.
Tip: Write how you speak
Some general rules to follow as you begin your writing process:
- Write in a casual, conversational tone
- Show personality, even a bit of humor is welcomed
- Quality over quantity
- Be specific
- Link to relevant resources
- Add images
- Sound like Wikipedia
- Cover too many topics
- Use complicated words and sentences
Instead of saying: “If your headline doesn’t capture the interest of your audience, you will miss out on an opportunity for people to read your blog as they will not find value in it and will keep scrolling.”
Say: “If your headline doesn’t have something that will make people stop, they won’t give your post a chance.”
Step 4: Format
79% of people skim when they read online. They’re looking for answers through subheadings, lists, bold text, and highlighted sentences. If there are specific points you want to get across, make sure it’s visually apparent.
Give the readers what they want:
- Break up your content, no giant paragraphs
- One idea per paragraph
- Use subheadings
- Bulleted or numbered lists
- Use block quotes
- Bold for emphasis
At the end of the day, you want your blog post to provide value. So pick an interesting topic, tell your reader what they’re going to learn in the headline, write like you’re talking to a friend, and format it in a scannable way.