Remember when weblogs were a novelty? They featured the musings of tech-savvy teens. These guys wrote in their spare time from a home computer.
These days there are more blogs than you can shake a stick at. Some still act as virtual diaries. However, users are more likely to find the valuable content they seek on blogs written and promoted by businesses.
Perhaps you’re interested in using your blog to build a following that attracts advertising dollars. Maybe you’re penning an on-site blog that helps you to increase authority and generate leads.
Your goal is to convert visitors into paying customers. Either way, stellar content is a must. With so much virtual noise, however, it can be hard to get heard above the din.
How can you make your blog posts stand out? Here are six steps that will ensure you write a damn good blog post every time.
1. Know Who You’re Writing For
There is a tendency, when writing blog posts, to veer toward hype and self-aggrandizement. These inclinations are best avoided. That is because you want to impress an audience, rather than merely writing for your own gratification.
Who is in your target audience? You probably have in mind an age range. Perhaps there’s a gender, profession, or socioeconomic group. Maybe it’s particular hobbies and interests.
This knowledge can provide insight. You’ll have ideas about what you should write. Plus, you’ll learn how to craft your blog posts.
A young, working mother will have different interests than a middle-aged bachelor or a high-school student. They’ll find different content relevant.
Additionally, they’ll respond to different types of language, pop culture references, and tones. What is your audience seeking? What will speak to their wants, needs, and expectations?
Knowing your audience is perhaps the most important part of writing good blog posts. That’s because it lays the foundation for delivering what your target demographic will respond to.
You want to see a return on investment from blog posts. Thus, the process begins by knowing what the people want and giving it to them.
2. Master the 5-Paragraph Essay
I can hear you groaning now, but bear with me. Perhaps you’ve read a tedious, rambling blog post that never seems to get to the point. In that case, you can understand why it’s important to learn to walk before you start running.
Maybe you already learned this basic essay format as a freshman in college, or more likely, as a freshman in high school. If so, it couldn’t hurt to brush up on the format.
If you’ve never mastered the 5-paragraph essay, here’s a brief overview.
You start with a thesis statement. For the purposes of blogging, it should probably answer a question or address a concern common to your audience. This is the intro, or the first paragraph of five.
The next three paragraphs are the body. They spell out the main points, or supporting evidence for your assertion. Then, you wrap it all up with a recap. This will be the last paragraph.
Now, this format is understandably limiting and, I dare say, a bit boring. You don’t have to follow it to a tee. However, it’s a good template for organizing your thoughts. It can make certain that you deliver your message in a timely manner.
As the famous saying goes, “Tell them what you are going to tell them; tell them; tell them what you told them.” This ensures that you make your point and encourages maximum retention.
3. Be Concise
Some people have a knack for prose or the wit and humor to keep people reading. Most do not. Today, there is a short-attention-span-theater that is the blogosphere.
It’s important to get your message across in a clear and concise manner. Therefore, unless you’re William Shakespeare or Richard Pryor, it’s wise to be expedient.
4. Provide Value
People have a lot of sources of information. Many provide the same products in slightly different packages. Why should readers choose your blog over competitors with the same basic content? You have to differentiate yourself.
Leading an expedition on a well-trodden path doesn’t mean you have to provide a same stale narrative as those before you. If you can come up with unique ideas, more power to you.
If not, at least find a way to approach a subject from a new angle. Maybe add a unique perspective or twist to the topic.
One option is to do mashups. Suppose you’re writing a series of blog posts about how to spice up traditional holiday recipes.
Why not use your love of music to create playlists for cooks? They can listen to them while stuffing the turkey or whipping up an apple pie.
In doing so, you get to pair up two things you love (cooking and music) in an unexpected way. Additionally, you are adding value for your audience.
This leads to my next point, which is infotainment. This is a basic how-to blog is great, but it’s not very sexy. It’s important to deliver a message. Yet, you also need to make it interesting enough to hold audience attention.
You want to convince them to come back for more. Strike a balance between information and entertainment. In turn, it can help your blog posts stand out. You’ll be able to deliver the value that sets you apart from competitors.
5. Personalize It
This is perhaps the most overlooked element of writing blog posts. You have to let your personality shine through! Anyone can write a how-to or review. Though, if you want to avoid sounding like a robot, you need to inject your own voice into the text.
Your thoughts, opinions, and personality quirks are what make you endearing to an audience. Therefore, try not to get so lost in delivering a message that you start to sound like a textbook.
6. Make it Marketable
Your damn good blog post is no good at all if no one ever sees it. Thus, you should be thinking about how to make it marketable during the writing process. This means creating a title that hooks your audience and begs to be read.
It means adding subheadings, lists, and other bite-size pieces that are easy to read and share. It means including relevant keywords and other SEO elements.
Great blog posts have to be organized and concise. Additionally, they have to be relevant and engaging.
They must speak to your audience and convey both your message and your point of view. They also have to be tailored to appeal to search engines. When you hit all of these points, you’re sure to see the best results.
If you have a comment about this topic or suggestions about future topics leave them in the comment box below.
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