You've decided to start a blog. You know what you want to write about. You open a blank document and... nothing. Blinking cursor. Blank stare. Dry mouth, even! What do you write? How do you write a compelling blog post? Fear not. There is hope. Follow these tips for blog post success.
Solve a Problem
While your content can educate, entertain and inspire, it's best served with a side of problem solving.
- Identify potential topics by researching keywords through Google searches or a keyword tool
- Choose a topic based on your ability to fill a knowledge gap, providing a solution to your ideal customer's problem
- Add your tilt—your spin, your angle—to your content to make it stand out from the pack. Your experience and your personality are unlike anyone else's so use that to your advantage
It's also worth noting that including research or examples will provide clarity and credibility to a good blog post. Even when you're writing about a topic you are an expert in, provide context through industry findings, a recent statistic or even a compelling and complementary quote.
Format Your Post
Create a headline that grabs attention. There is a straight-forward, search-focused way to do this, which is where I tend to play. Or, there is the clever, catchy headline. I recommend trying out both and seeing what performs best for your blog. Try including numbers in list blog posts (e.g. 5 Steps to Better Bread) to give the reader insight into exactly what they'll get out of your post.
Every good story needs a beginning, middle and an end, and a good blog post is no exception.
- Set your reader's expectations with a compelling intro that teases what you're going to write about
- Tell a tale but tell it succinctly - review your work and eliminate unnecessary words that don't elevate your story or represent your brand
- Provide closure in your conclusion with an A-ha moment or an anecdote, making sure you've followed through on what you promised to deliver
Include important keywords in your post but don't repeat words over and over to the point where they no longer make sense. The point is to help someone who may be out there searching for your solution to their problem, not bash them over the head with your keywords.
Don't forget your call to action. The end of a good blog post shouldn't trail into space, fading from your reader's memory the moment they close the web browser window. Give them something to do next. This could be subscribing to your blog, reading another blog, downloading free content, checking out a product or simply commenting below.
Add Visual Interest
Humans process information better visually so give the people what they want.
You can do this in the text by breaking up blocks of copy with subheads and bullet points when possible to prioritize content and give readers' eyes a break. Keep paragraphs short - about three sentences - for maximum readability, particularly on mobile.
Include compelling imagery to support your story. If you don't have images in your personal library, try a stock photo site, which can be relatively inexpensive. Just be careful of licensing (if there are limitations on when and how images can be used.) Alternatively, you can create a graphic in a program like Canva, which is my go-to. It's drag-and-drop, so incredibly easy to use.
Now you have 12 tips to build a better blog post and fuel your content legacy.
Have other tips that have worked for you? Still struggling with getting your blog off the ground? Let me know in the comments.