Successful bloggers demonstrate ability to clarify their own values, perspectives, and opinions and to share what they learn from their life experiences by writing about them in various niches. Their posts are aimed at provoking discussion. Whether you write to inform, to entertain, to persuade or to provoke controversy, knowing who your audience is and what your purpose is, are key to your success. Clearly defining your message and structuring your post in a logical manner will insure you convey your topic to readers in way that will hold their interest from the beginning of the post to the end.
When crafting blog posts consider:
- Who is your target audience?
- What is the main message or theme?
- What information is essential?
- How can it be best organized and most clearly expressed?
- from general to specific;
- from specific to general;
- step by step;
- from most important to least important.
Structuring Your Post
A structure of five paragraphs each aimed at a separate aspect of the topic or theme linked together in logical chain can be ideal. You can use each paragraph to develop three or four supporting or explanatory points on a sub-topic. Be sure to create a clear hierarchy and position keywords in headings and sub-headings and in the natural flow of the text. Be aware of the “F” shaped of the eye-tracking pattern.
Research reveals simple and direct language trumps complex language. Say what you have to say in as few words and sentences as you can. Tie your research in to back up content in your post with relevant links within the natural flow of the text. Use appropriate anchor text to link to directly related sources on authoritative sites. This provides your readers with additional valuable information and is useful in terms of search engine optimization.
Creating an Effective Title
Next to content writing effective keyword rich titles that peak interest and draw traffic to your posts are the single most important on-page SEO element. Your blog post titles will appear in these key spots: browsers, search result pages, external websites. Put some thought into your title, keep it short and informative.
Note: You can create a working title for your draft and not choose a final title until you are ready to publish your post.
Writing a Strong Introduction
Your first sentence introduction is your chance to “hook” readers into reading the full post. Lead with a compelling opening statement. Use your introductory paragraph to provide context and set the stage for the content. Craft your penultimate sentence to create a smooth transition between your lead and content. Don’t wait to deliver your main point. Make your thesis statement or take your stand on your topic in the final sentence of your introduction.
Bridging the Gaps
Research reveals readers form hierarchical frameworks in their minds to comprehend content and determine how different points fit together. When a shift in ideas comes out of the blue — readers get lost. Engaging writing flows and carries readers along with it. Use transitional words and phrases to serve as bridges from one idea to the next, one sentence to the next, or one paragraph to the next, and help your readers see the bigger picture.
A strong, well-defined writer’s voice is the bridge between you and your audience. Let your individuality and personality shine through your writing style. Write with confidence and conviction about what you know best. Provide personal examples wherever you can and use the active voice wherever possible. Let your audience know what you think, in your own style. But, remember brevity must prevail as studies clearly find that blog readers skim read.
Jazzing it Up
Nothing is more off-putting to readers than to be faced with an uninterrupted block of text. Large blocks of text that contain no formatting and consequently no white space means no rest for the eyes and no time to consider your content.
Short paragraphs with space between them, ordered lists and bullet pointed lists and quotations can be useful as well. Create emphasis with bold lettering and italics but don’t overdo it. Avoid using colored fonts and differing font styles as they amount to a workout for your readers’ eyes.
Images and tables provide a break in text by adding visual interest to posts and search engine optimization value. Here are seven free sources of free images for your blog I recommend and there are 70 on my Resources page. Image preparation is important size images to fit the space you intend to use them in before you upload them. Get the most out of image search by optimizing your images.
Wrapping it Up
- The worst blog posts leave readers wondering what the point was.
- The best blog posts inspire readers to engage with the content and act on it.
Your conclusion ought to stress the importance of your thesis statement and leave a lasting impression on your readers. Your final paragraph should close the topic while opening up discussion. In the same way your introduction lays out the thesis for the reader, your conclusion can reiterate the main points. The most common approach is to conclude with a concise re-statement of your thesis, followed by a call to action and/or an invitation to ask questions.
Proofreading your draft carefully is a must because all your hard work can lose credibility if you don’t any correct spelling, grammar, punctuation and typographical errors. By using writer’s resources, reading aloud, listening to someone else read your writing, reading sentences in reverse order and using other proofreading techniques, a blogger can correct small mistakes that would otherwise distract readers.
- 17 School Writing Rules You Need to Unlearn in the Real World (onlinecollge.org)
- Four Quick Ways to Improve Any Blog Post (dailyblogtips.com)
- The Importance of the Opening Paragraph and the Accompanying Image (ukwebfocus.wordpress.com)