ATTENTION: You may be reading this message because your blog is utterly boring to read. Here’s how you can fix it ASAP…
Capturing the attention of your readers from the beginning is essential. Why don’t you start with a strong hook to appeal to the curiosity of your audience.
But while that’s important, there’s much more to writing a good ole’ fashioned blog post than meets the eye. Let’s explore some of the ways you can write better blog posts that captivate your audience so they come back for more…
Understand your audience
To write a good blog post you need to understand why people are reading your content. People want to get something out of it. This is much easier if you are writing about a topic in which you have a lot of knowledge to share. You may have been in your audience’s shoes at some point, so make the most of your own experience.
Making a post clearly beneficial to your audience is important for your SEO too. If you are offering knowledge, insert relevant questions and keywords in <h1> titles to target a users informational intent.
Make sure you are targeting keywords and topics that people are interested in reading about too.
Do your research
Strong research converts to good writing. You’re here because you want to know how to write better blog posts, not just churn out content as quickly as possible.
Use a search engine to find various sources of information and take notes prior to writing the post. Making a rough outline in this research stage is also a good idea. Get into the habit of doing this on a regular basis.
If you want to write an authoritative blog post, you should be using reputable sources and backing up your claims. Wikipedia may get bad press, but you can use it as a middleman to strong, reputable sources by using their references section.
Other places to source strong research could be reputable statistics websites, official associations, government websites, research pages and industry experts. Invest time in making a quality post and both you and your audience will appreciate it much more.
Write a persuasive headline
The headline is going to be read more than anything else, so get it right. 8 out of 10 people will read the headline, but only 2 will continue to read the rest.
As with any aspect of writing a blog, it can take a while to develop your own style. Aim to make your headline compelling and persuasive. After all, it’s the reason someone is either going to click on – or ignore, your post.
Harking back to the ‘do your research’ bit, that applies here just as much as anywhere else throughout your process. Make sure you know what keywords you want to target. Perhaps even more importantly, make sure it reads easily and captivates the readers’ emotions.
If you want ideas on making an awesome headline, why not learn from the best? Read magazine headlines, or analyse headlines that have gone viral. There are also excellent free tools out there that will help you perfect your headlines.
For example, the Emotional Marketing Headline Analyser from the Advanced Marketing Institute will give your title an Emotional Marketing value score (EMV). This will give you a score, as well as tell you the predominant emotion. Most copywriters’ headlines score between 30% – 40% EMV, with the most talented scoring in the range of 50 – 75%.
Start with a strong opening
In some ways, this is the most important part of your post. If a blog post isn’t engaging from the start, you’ve already lost a large portion of your audience. It doesn’t take much for a person’s mind to turn into spaghetti-o’s.
Just think of that boring presentation you thought may never end. How long did it take you to start daydreaming? Blog readers don’t even need to wait. They can just bounce off to your competitor’s blog which is so much more interesting to read.
So. How do I write better blog posts than my competitors? Open with any of the following:
- Ask a question. “So, you want to know how to write better blog posts? Let me tell you how…”
- Make a controversial statement that demands an explanation.
- Start with a problem, promise the solution. This is also a classic sales technique called Problem, Agitate, Solve. It’s also (kinda) how this blog started off. Sorry!
- Open loops. If you’re offering irresistible benefits to your reader, reel them along with bits of information. This is a key element to storytelling because the human mind itches for closure. Use it to your advantage and don’t feel bad, it’s a very common storytelling method! This one would be most appropriate for a blog selling a solution; definitely not for all situations.
Make it clear and concise
We get it, you know how to use a thesaurus. But people aren’t interested in how many fancy words you can use. Or how many words you can jam into a single sentence. Or your confusing structure.
Most people are reading blogs for answers. For many it may just be a matter of spending 30 seconds scanning a blog post to get the information they want. Make sure you develop a strong structure and present your information clearly.
It’s essential you start developing the structure in the research phase to avoid backtracking and spending too much time editing later. Make sure you have an introduction, body, and conclusion structure roughly planned out beforehand, to ensure things go smoothly from beginning to end.
Develop your own tone of voice
This is something you will come to develop over time. To ensure you don’t pick up too many bad habits – to develop a truly powerful tone of voice, practice using the techniques here, elsewhere and from other writers.
Keep writing consistently, harnessing that knowledge with each new post. Once you’ve written enough, you will have your own underlying formula that makes writing feel like second nature.
Study other writers
This is a crucial long-term solution to writing better blog posts. You should take the time to read books inside and outside of your industry, as well as regularly reading other blogs.
Some books that are good for content and blog writers are:
- You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins
- Write Tight: Say Exactly What You Mean with Precision and Power by William Brohaugh
- Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content
Although it may not always be directly related to your own mission, it can be mind-expanding to read a variety of content, books, blogs and literature. It will undoubtedly inspire creativity for your next piece of content, and put you on the path to becoming the blogger you want to be.
To write better blog posts that captivate your audience long term, takes time and effort. In reality, there’s a lot that goes into it. Tips from one blog post won’t change everything immediately. However, you will boost the quality of your blog posts immeasurably if you take some of these tips on board.
The main tips for you to take away from this are to write consistently and study other writers. Make this post a valuable starting point – or turning point today on your journey to producing the kind of content you dream about producing in the future.