If you’ve tried blogging at all, you probably already realize it isn’t easy to write posts that attract an audience. It’s natural to wonder what sets apart those bloggers that seem to get all the attention. The good news is that there’s really no secret when it comes to crafting quality blog posts.
The reason blog posts become popular is because they contain certain elements that make people want to read and share them.
How can you write blog posts that get just as much attention? It starts by following these do’s and don’ts.
Table of Contents
Do: Write in a Conversational Style
The first thing to understand is that it’s a blog post, not a research paper. Informal is better than formal, and writing the way people talk beats using dictionary words and technical jargon any day of the week.
This can be a big adjustment, especially if most of your previous writing has been school-related. Imagine that you’re having a conversation with a friend instead of writing a blog post. It can even help to write the post as if it’s a letter to one person you know.
Jeff Bullas is especially good at writing in a conversational style and inspiring his readers, just like this guide he wrote on social media:
Don’t: Be Generic
One major factor holding back many blogs is that there’s nothing special about them. Even if the information on the blog is sound, there’s nothing to make it stand out.
When you write a blog, you need to let your unique voice shine through, regardless of what it is. Maybe you’re sassy, or perhaps you use biting sarcasm. Your voice could be warm and friendly, or tough and direct.
Think of it like you’re a storyteller. The exact same story sounds very different depending on who is telling it.
Even an exciting story will bore an audience if it’s read in a dull monotone. That’s what happens if you fail to inject personality into your blog.
Do: Break Your Post into Short, Easily Digestible Chunks
If your post looks difficult to read, visitors are going to leave the page. It’s better to be short and concise with your writing, which makes posts look far less daunting.
The way you format your posts can also help in this regard. Adding headers and numbered or bulleted lists gives structure to your posts and makes them more scannable.
Remember that not everyone reads blog posts straight through. Quite a few readers scan posts and only read in-depth if something catches their attention. This is easier to do when you structure your posts correctly.
Don’t: Write a Wall of Text
The opposite of the short, easily digestible chunks is the lengthy wall of text, a massive paragraph that sends readers to their Back buttons. Forget everything you learned about how long paragraphs are supposed to be. You don’t need to make your paragraphs five or even three sentences.
In fact, fewer sentences per paragraph are usually best for blogging. You can even have paragraphs consisting of just a couple words.
Do: Include Visual Elements
Even if you write short paragraphs and format your posts well, they’ll still look a bit boring if all you have there is text. This is where visual elements make a huge difference. These can include images, videos or GIFs.
FlypChart is one blog that use GIFs really well, check out this post on team collaboration:
Not only do these spice up the post, but they also help with search engine optimization (SEO). Of course, you’ll need to make sure that the visuals tie into the content naturally.
Don’t: Forget About Your Keywords
Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore keywords entirely. Search engine bots still look for keywords in your posts when ranking them.
What’s important with keywords is that you don’t overdo it. It’s best to focus on one to three keywords, at least for a 500 to a 1,000-word blog post. You can add more to lengthier content.
See if you can fit your keywords into the content and your headers. Putting one in the post title and URL will also help. Just keep it natural and avoid awkward wording just to fit a keyword in.
Do: Choose a Headline that Grabs the Reader
he headline is the most important part of any blog post. A bad headline means no one will bother to read the post, whereas a great headline will make the reader want to learn more.
Think back on the time you’ve spent browsing the web and social media. Consider what kinds of titles grabbed your attention.
When in doubt, “How To” titles and titles that promise a certain number of list items, such as “5 Tips on Making More Money in 2018,” are popular for a reason.
This research into viral headlines from BuzzSumo is a great indicator of what works:
Don’t: Write to a Certain Length
Considering all the great long-form content on the web, it’s natural to want to write in-depth posts of your own. But you never want to aim for a specific length when you write a blog post.
If you can write about a topic in 1,000 words, aiming for 2,000 is only going to reduce the quality of the post. Instead, write what you can and see where you finish naturally.
When you first start blogging, it may take a while to put together your posts while keeping these tips in mind. As you write more, they’ll start to become second nature, allowing you to easily produce quality content.