You’ve got your idea brewing and are ready to open WordPress and write that perfect blog post. But before you do, it’s worth taking a moment to understand what makes a good blog post in the first place. Because blogging is a balance between great content and personal stories and also understanding how posts function and succeed in a crowded market.
Here’s everything I know….
#1 Let your inspiration drive you
The more excited you are about a blog, the better it will be. It is always good to let your enthusiasm drive your words rather than trying to construct a piece based on a subject that doesn’t get you excited. It will show in your writing!
#2 Decide the purpose of the blog
Knowing what you want the outcome of your blog to be early on will help you understand what style of writing and structure to use.
I see my blogs as fitting into 3 categories…..
Like this one! Designed to pass on advice on a particular subject. You should always aim to add as much useful information as you can (prices, links to relevant sites, etc). The information should be easily digested so lists work great as do lots of headings.
Purpose: to drive traffic to my site (these are the blogs that rank highly in search engines)
These are personal stories, feelings, goals, sharing what is happing in my life. Usually, these would be more text heavy with fewer pictures. I wouldn’t pay attention to length or worrying about having lots of headings….these are read by my ‘real’ followers who don’t mind giving the time to read a piece.
Purpose: to inspire my readers and to create a personal insight for followers who enjoy following my journey
Hot Topic blogs
These are blogs I’ve written on topics where I want to share an opinion. They are great for sharing on social media and stirring up debates. As they are read by many you want to keep the length fairly short and to get your point across quickly while using headings.
Purpose: to take a stance in terms of my brand and what I stand for and to attract new followers to my blog
#3 Write in your style
Whatever you are writing, try not to overthink it but to let the words flow naturally. Unlike formal writing, blogs should be far more representative of how you speak. You can even start your sentences with ‘and’ or ‘but’….ooooo, anything goes!
#4 Use lots of headings
It is good practice to break up your text with a heading. Firstly because this makes your blog more SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) friendly. But also because it’s easier for your readers to follow when reading on a screen. The recommended length being maximum of 300 words before using another heading. The only time I ignore this rule is if I’m writing a personal blog and I feel a heading will break the flow unaturally.
#5 Keep sentences short
SEO also likes short sentences. And so do people! It’s hard to read wordy text off your phone or laptop especially when there are usually other distractions happening (TV, commuter train, etc). SEO claims that more than 20 words is a long sentence.
This is 20 words…..
The man sat on the wall and looked up at the sky pondering what would become of this wonderful evening.
If you want to learn more about SEO (which I absolutely essential if you want to be a blogger!) I’d recommend reading 3 Months to SEO! It really does break down the process in simple steps. Nothing is left out. If you want to get more traffic to your site, go buy it now…it’s a no brainer!
#6 Add good photos
Blogs are not just text, they are visual as well. So add lots of photos. I know some bloggers who barely write anything and just let photo’s drive the blog. Most though prefer it the other way round. Unless I’m doing a photo essay I never put more than 3 photos in a row and try to have at least 2 paragraphs of text before the next photo. I always try to use good quality photos and use variety.
Check out: Basic photography tips for bloggers
#7 A link for you and a link for others
There are 2 types of links you might have. An internal link (which takes you to another page on your site) and an external link (which takes you to another site). It’s good to include both in your blog for SEO but also because this means you are providing useful information beyond your own article.
#8 Know the importance of a title
The title is SO important and is probably what causes me the most hassle when writing my blogs. People are going to read your blog based entirely on your heading so you want it to be catchy and intriguing. The ideal length is under 70 characters so it doesn’t cut off in search engine results. Combining both these aspects is surprisingly hard to achieve!
#9 Give it the once over
This should be self-explanatory. Proofread your blog before publishing….I only do it only once unless it’s an important blog. The thing I am mostly checking is the flow of the blog rather than grammar and spelling. I’m dyslexic and couldn’t spot spelling mistakes no matter how many times I proofread. Instead, I use a free plugin called Grammarly which does this for me!
#10 The right length
They used to advise that a blog be no more than 500-600 words to account for readers short attention spans. This is really short! And the blogging world has changed. Now they advice a minimum of 1,500, although I personally like to aim for 2,000 if it’s an advice blog to cover the topic fully.
(to give you an idea – this blog is about 1,100 words in length)
#11 Don’t wait too long to hit publish
A big barrier for so many bloggers is being a perfectionist.
If you wait until a blog is perfect then you will spend days and weeks, maybe even months producing one post. Really the great thing about blogs are that they are casual and timely so don’t overthink things too much. And also that you can go back at a later date to update and improve them (I do this on my popular blogs every single year!).
It’s about finding a balance with writing good well-written pieces and producing enough that your content is full and regular. But the more you publish and post, the better your writing will become….so just keep that ball rolling!
How to write the perfect blog
You might also want to check out:
- Build a website in 10 minutes
- Everything I know about becoming a successful blogger
- Ultimate guide to social media & how I got 20K followers in a year
Got any questions? Just ask in the comments box below!
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