What makes a great blog post? It’s a subjective question but many writers and content marketers can agree on a few general points. A great blog post = good content presented effectively. Writing a great blog post is both an art and a science — you should be focusing on form AND substance.
Whether you write blog posts for fun, for your business, or for your clients, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when it comes to writing a great blog post:
> Give the reader something of value.
After having read your blog post, your reader should walk away having been inspired, informed, challenged, or entertained. Don’t just write fluff to fill your blog — people are smart and can see right through that.
If you own a business and have a blog on your website, a blog can help you build trust with your clients, inform them about your products or services, or give them additional information that can make their experience with your company more fulfilling. Content marketing like this segues into leads and ultimately conversions. Blogs are shareable content, making it easier than ever to get your name and information out there on social media networks. But the key is writing great content that people WANT to share.
Think about, and know, who you’re writing for and craft a message they care about. What are people in your industry/field talking about? What are people debating and discussing? What do they need and want? In other words, what will they care to read about?
> Be concise.
I can’t understate the importance of being concise when it comes to blog writing in 2018. People are flooded with content constantly, especially on social media. If your post is a huge block of text that rambles on and takes a LONG time to get to the point, you’re going to lose readers fast. Give people a reason to stop and read your post, but make it easy for them.
- Break your post up into headers and sub headers. This is much more visually engaging than huge blocks of text. Organize your ideas well and in such a way that allows the reader to follow your train of thought as you write.
- Use short paragraphs. This doesn’t mean have an obnoxious amount of one-sentence paragraphs, but keep it concise. Huge chunks of text are intimidating and annoying and you want to try to avoid the “TLDR” response to your writing (too long, didn’t read).
- Use bullet points or images to break up the space, as well.
> Make sure your headline is catchy or engaging.
This goes hand in hand with being concise. Let your reader know ahead of time what they’re going to get by reading your post. For example, when you clicked on this link, you knew you would get 5 tips on how to write a better blog post. You may not have been so inclined to click if the title had been “Blog Writing Tips” or “Writing Blog Posts”… those are boring and way too unspecific.
Catchy doesn’t necessarily mean witty. You can use witty titles and headers, but don’t underestimate the power of a title like the title of this blog to simply and clearly state when readers are in for when they follow your link.
> Don’t skip SEO.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and it’s really important if you want people to read your work. A great blog post doesn’t matter if it’s hidden in the deep recesses of the interwebs where no one can find it. SEO helps search engines find your page based on keywords, and present it to searchers who are looking for what you’re writing about.
It sounds complicated, but it isn’t hard to put just a little bit of effort into improving your SEO. Platforms like WordPress even have plugins like Yoast to help you through the process. Writing good meta tags, meta headlines, and using keywords judiciously but not obnoxiously are essential. You can read more about SEO here.
> Include a call to action.
Once your reader is finished reading your post, what exactly do you want them to do? Why should they care about what they’ve just read? Tell them — give them a call to action. Follow your social media accounts? Buy your product or use your service? A call to action answers your readers’ question, “so what?”
Blog writing doesn’t have to be complicated!
Writing great blog posts doesn’t have to be complicated; these five tips should help you get started on your way to shareable, readable content. Good luck!