5 Tips to Write Better Blog Posts
Blogging ain't easy. Besides all the things you have to do to maintain your website, there's the writing of it — often the toughest part. But bloggers, thankfully, are a self-improvement crowd, and like a challenge. So you want to be a better blogger? Help yourself to some tips:
Share Your Perspective
The best blog posts out there offer a unique perspective to the reader. It makes for some compelling writing, and ensures the presence of several must haves of every blog post: the writer's passion for the subject and originality of the writing. Couch it in with some stats, facts, and news, and you've got yourself a quality post. If you don't have experience with the subject at hand, feel free to act like a journalist and reach out to someone else for their opinion. If that fails, quote them from a different source. Done!
Use Active Language
Using passive voice is a good sign of bad advice. When giving advice that's actionable, always use active voice to encourage readers to do what you're telling them to. Best case scenario, they do what you tell them to and have gratitude. Worst case scenario, they walk away with some motivation. That sounds like a win/win scenario.
Make Your Writing Simple
Now, simple doesn't mean unsophisticated, and if you're afraid of not having enough room to make your writing attractive, then you should know that using polysyllabic words is not what makes it so.
We read blogs primarily for utility, and that means that you need to be conversational. Using simple language will engage more readers, and using complex language will look like you're trying to impress someone. My, what a big vocabulary you have, professor!
Pretend you're giving a TED talk on the subject you're writing about. Okay, a TEDx talk, who are we kidding here? That's the kind of tone you need to strike.
Make Your Writing Scannable
Get used to the fact that no one reads blog posts like they read books. Mostly we scan through it quickly, glancing at the subheadings and other highlighted elements to make sure that reading it is worthwhile. Learn how to use bolds and italics intelligently to maximize readability.
Remember, we read blogs for utility. We also complain when touchscreens on airplanes have a half-second longer delay than what we're used to. That means that the second your writing becomes cumbersome to read, it will be dismissed. You can complain about shorter attention spans all you like, but you'll be doing it next to the other bloggers who willfully won't conform to their readership's demands.
There's nothing more annoying than finding completely obvious errors when reading a blog post. They're easy to miss, and they also completely undermine your credibility when you do it, so it's worth taking the time to add an extra pass right before you put a post up.
The internet is full of crappy, half-baked content. Hacks make the world go round, and if you're not going to give it your best, then you should step aside for the people who actually try. These tips are merely suggestions, and you should feel free to dismiss anything you've read here if you know that what you do works best for you. But try them on for size and see how they transform your writing.