If content is king, then a blog is the supreme leader in the kingdom of content. But what makes an effective blog? What makes one blog stand out at another’s expense? Well, it’s all about tone and direction. A blog needs to be engaging if it is to be effective. It needs to resonate, and it needs to inform and entertain. In short it needs to underplay self-promotion and put the reader first and foremost. But how do you write a great blog post? What does a blog need to make it engaging and effective? Well, here are a few tips that might help to inform your blog writing skillset.
Know your audience
If you don’t know who your target audience is, then there’s little point in wasting time blogging. Get to know your audience so you can cater your posts to their needs. Once you’ve worked out who your audience is, you’ll be able to establish which tone best suits your audience. What’s more, you’re writing will be better informed as you’ll be in a better position to decide on which topics to address and what content to write.
Spend time on your titles
A catchy or notable title will often determine whether or not a reader will click on a link. So spend time thinking about titles, and try to pick one which will temp readers. You can either go for the throat with direct titles that get straight to the point for informational blogs; or use clever headlines that speak a reader’s natural curiosity. Whatever option you chose, avoid being vague or insipid. If you want the best results your title should either promise to answer a question or provide a solution to a problem.
Make headings and key phrases stand out
Headings are every bit as important as titles. They separate ideas and key phrases and make it easier for readers to scan through information quickly. Often readers want specific answers to specific questions, and separating information out logically can make it easier for them to find what they’re looking for. If they have to plough through reams of text to find the answer, they’ll probably start looking elsewhere.
Be careful with the length of your sentences
Short sentences grab attention: long sentences drag on and make it difficult for readers to focus. Capturing a reader’s attention is difficult enough, but keeping their attention is something else entirely. If your sentences are short, you’ll keep your reader’s attention for longer, particularly if they’re only skimming through your blog post.
Concentrate on tone and personality
If you want to resonate with readers it’s best to use a friendly conversational tone that shares your personality. You want to speak to your readers; not speak at them. Use simple words, and avoid unnecessary verbiage. Everyday words are just as effective at communicating a point even in more professional and technical articles. Tell a story if the mood takes you, and write in a style that is yours and yours alone. Be consistent in your blog posts so that your readers will become familiar with your style and tone.
Never forget the aim of the blog is to provide a service
Once you know your audience’s needs, it’s your job to provide a service that meets those needs. Whether you’re answering a specific question for readers or providing a solution to their problems, always make sure the information you provide is useful.
What makes you different from everyone else? Hopefully the answer is originality. If you’re doing the same as everyone else and writing in the same manner, you’ll fall by the wayside. So be original and be different. Whether you do that through style or content is up to you, but what’s important is that you say something different, or that you say something already said in a different way.
Proofread your posts
Bad grammar and typos are red flags to readers. In an age of text speak you may think this is unimportant, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Nobody will want to read something that was hastily thrown together and slapped up on the web.
Calls to action
Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, and whatever you’re trying to encourage your readers to do, always end your posts with a call to action.
Schedule posts regularly
If you want to build an audience, you’ll need to share your posts consistently. Audiences want to know when to expect your posts, so don’t disappoint them and let them down.