Coming up with blog content on a regular basis can drain even the most creative minds. Some bloggers have told me they never have writer’s block. Good for them.
For the rest of us, it is important we publish web content that is useful and not just a bunch of words strung together just for the sake of having a blog post.
I have also learned that most readers don’t care about your personal life, so don’t blog about it. Not the mundane stuff anyhow (that happens enough on Facebook). This technique may work well if only your mom and best friend are reading your blog, but if you want a wider audience, make it relevant. It’s the whole “WIIFM? (What’s in it for me?)” approach or “great info, so what?” that draws readers. Unless there is something readers can gain by that knowledge, don’t blog about your great weekend hiking with your dog.
It is important to always craft a blog post with the reader in mind. Take the time to create high quality posts that visitors will want to read. If you want to write content that connects your reader to your message, keep these five ingredients in mind:
Not every blog post has to be mind-blowing. But it should at least pique the mind for the few minutes it takes to read the post. There are many ways to do this: lists, tips, insights, and shared experiences. Readers want to read a post that answers their questions or concerns in a clear, informative and entertaining manner.
2. Easy To Read
Remember that most people skim-read web content. Your target readers are probably subscribed to dozens of websites and blogs, so you have to capture their attention. Use short paragraphs, bullet points, numbered lists and subheadings. Not only does this make the article easier to read, it also gives it some structure to make sure that you’re staying on point.
3. The Right Length
The general guideline is 400-800 words. This doesn’t have to be a fast rule, but think again about attention span. Put yourself in the shoes of the reader: are you rambling on? Can you shorten it up? Or is too short that there is not enough substance? It also depends on the topic – some things just require more words. Don’t be afraid to have short blog posts though.
4. Your Voice
Be natural. You can do this by finding your writing voice. It helps readers connect with you on a more personal level. When they get to know you , they will be able to tell when it is you who is speaking. Once you start overstuffing keywords, it will become quite obvious. While this may attract search engines (not really), it certainly won’t attract readers. This doesn’t mean that you can’t include a few significant keywords, but this should be secondary to creating a blog post that’s informative and interesting.
Sometimes a blogger will occasionally go off track a bit with a topic unrelated to their blog. We all have to vent sometimes, but I believe it is not productive if these side-bars come too often. Find a way to bring it back to the subject. Stay on top of your industry and keep your readers informed.
Remember that creating successful, quality content takes some effort. However, it is worth the time if it will compel your reader to take action or return to your blog.
The next time you sit down and write a post, take the “so what?” test to see if you can come up with an answer.
- What Blog Readers Want (pushingsocial.com)
- Proven Steps for Blog Posts That Convert Readers into Followers (boldstate.com)
- Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series) (twit101.com)
- Blog Smarter: Turn Your Blogging Skills into Successful Affiliate Promotions (problogger.net)