This article has been contributed by Florence Mendoza.
Who said blog writing was easy? With SEO and link building and keyword searches it’s hard to produce a blog that rises to the top. Sometimes bloggers get caught up in the technical side of their blog business that they forget about the heart of blogging: quality content.
Anyone can have a blog. But not everyone can write good content on it. If you want to start a blog or already have a blog and are looking to be a Class A copywriter, here are some tips to put you ahead of the competition:
Focus on Headlines
Many blog experts argue that the headline is the most important part of your post. It certainly is the best way to drive traffic to your site. 80% of readers will read a headline whereas only 20% will actually read the post. The point is, there is no point in writing an awesome post if you strike out on the headline and nobody reads it. So, do dedicate a good amount of time to crafting the perfect headline.
Some suggestions for great headlines:
- Be bold: make a polemical statement that will bring up people’s emotions.
- Use numbers: studies show that numbers in headlines bring 2X more clicks than those with “How To”. Also use odd numbers, they bring 20% more conversion than the even ones.
- Be brief: get your point across in 6 words or less.
Short, Clear, Simple
Users are reading your blog because they’re looking for information. Don’t be coy, cute or subtle. Put it out there in the simplest way possible.
- Avoid advanced vocabulary: always choose the easier word over the more difficult one.
- Use short sentences: break up your sentences and get rid of run-ons and complicated phrasing.
- Use numbers: numbers and statistics are a universal language and are also easy to read. They help to quantify things. Instead of being vague by using “a lot”, “a few” or “too many”, tell them the exact number based on reliable statistics.
Get Into the Grammar Groove
Don’t just write short and sweet posts, write them well. Make sure your posts are error-free:
- Edit them several times looking for spelling, grammar and coherence problems.
- Print them out and read them out loud to catch the most sneaky mistakes.
- Use an app such as Grammarly which scans your text for over 250 grammar issues or Hemingway which points out not only spelling and grammar but long or awkward sentences and adverbs.
Talk Like a Human
Don’t be too formal. You’re not writing an encyclopedia or a college essay. Loosen up. Talk in a conversational tone. Use humor when appropriate and be light. Heavy academic writing is not the stuff that great blogs are made of. Making your blog personable is.
Make It Scannable
Give your readers’ eyes a break. People spend a lot of time on the Internet and extra points are given to those who make the experience easier. In order to cut down on eye stress, use these hacks:
- Sub-headlines. Clue your reader in when you’re going to change a topic by using a sub-headline. Don’t make them wade through your copy in order to figure out where you’re going, make it easy for them.
- Avoid hard to read font & background colors. The easiest combination to read is black font on a white background. The opposite (white font on black background) is a huge eyestrain. Also, make sure to choose a simple font that’s not too fancy or difficult to decipher. You want to be creative with your words and the visuals you choose, but you want your readers to be able to read the text effortlessly.
- Numbers and bullet points. Make lists when possible. They break up the text and are much more scannable than paragraphs.
- Short paragraphs. Of course, your entire blog post can’t be a list, so you’ll have to write some paragraphs too. Make them short. Long paragraphs are intimidating to look at. Readers may give up and move on if it looks like too much work to read.
- Blank space. Blank space is like giving your readers a pause for a breather. You can use it to punctuate when you switch from one topic to the next and between paragraphs.
- Visuals. Use pictures, screenshots and other visuals. They’re entertaining and are a great way to illustrate your points. They also give your reader something to look at besides words.
Write for Your Audience
Think about the needs of your readers. Whether you’re offering a service, product or an idea, think about why someone would read your post and what they’re looking to get out of it. If you write a travel blog, think about budget hacks for young travelers. If you’re promoting your company’s app, tell them exactly how it can help them. By thinking about the needs of the customer, you can focus your post on them. Don’t focus on you. Don’t waste your post bragging about how smart your team is to have come up with such a great app or how many countries you’ve traveled to before the age of 30. The more you consider what your audience needs, the better you’ll be able to serve them. The better you can serve them, the greater the chance they’ll come back for more.
Research What People Want to Know About
Dedicate some time to keyword search to find out what kind of keywords people are searching for. Google Adwords and Wordtracker are two programs that show you stats on keyword searches. Use the keywords in your blog post in order to drive more traffic to your site. While some argue that writing to keyword statistics sounds forced, it doesn’t need to be. If you’re writing on the topic anyway, it shouldn’t be difficult to work on keywords naturally. There’s not much point in writing posts on themes that few people will search for. Stay on top of current keyword trends so that neither you, nor your blog, get left behind.
Florence Mendoza is a content writer and blogger at Buy an Essay. She provides writing and content marketing help to bloggers.