Whether you blog for business or just for fun, it’s important to spend some time making sure your content is as good as it possibly can be. After all, nobody wants to read a boring blog…
When you break it down, writing great content isn’t actually as difficult as you might imagine. Here are ten tips that should help:
1. Keep your eyes and ears open for ideas
One of the biggest problems you’ll face as a blogger is coming up with new ideas for posts. It’s very difficult to continually come up with fresh new content, and no matter how hard you try, not every post you write is going to be a blockbuster hit.
My biggest tip for coming up with blog post ideas is to keep your eyes and ears open. You need to constantly immerse yourself in your niche and always be on the lookout for new ideas:
- Read other blogs on a daily basis. What topics are they talking about? Which posts seems to be particularly popular? What are people saying in the comments section?
- Browse social media, forums and discussion groups related to your niche. Again, the trick is to look at what people are discussing. What questions are they asking? Which threads have hundreds of replies? These are the popular ones.
- Look at magazines in your niche. I’ve lost count of the number of ideas I’ve generated from magazine articles!
- Be prepared to get new ideas at any moment – and make sure you keep a note of them. You just never know when you’ll get your next lightbulb moment.
2. Decide what type of post you are writing
Blog posts can take many different forms. It could be an entertaining post conveying a personal story. It could be an in-depth tutorial, or it could be a list of quick tips (like this post). Your article could be 500 words, or it could be 5,000 words.
Before you start writing, it’s important to know what type of post you are writing. What’s the main point you want to get across? What do you want people to take away from it?
3. Start strongly
People have short attention spans, so it’s absolutely vital that you capture their attention in the opening few lines. You need to hook people and entice them into wanting to read the rest of what you have to say…
A good way to engage the reader is to start by asking a question. Another idea is to say something controversial or simply make a statement the reader will be able to relate to.
4. Be entertaining
Even if the purpose of your blog post is to provide useful information, adding some personality and humour into things can help to bring your article alive.
People want to be entertained AND informed. This isn’t to say you need to be a comedian, but adding a personal story to demonstrate your point can certainly help to make your content more entertaining to read.
This brings me neatly onto my next tip…
5. Don’t be afraid to share your personal opinions
As a blogger, it’s really easy to fall into the trap of trying to please everyone. You know the sort of thing I’m talking about… Trying to represent all sides of a story, or skirting around certain subjects because you don’t want to upset anyone. In my opinion, this is the wrong approach to take.
Whatever subject you are writing about, you’re bound to have an opinion on it, so don’t be afraid to share it with your readers. Of course, not everyone will agree with you, but the people who DO agree will be fully engaged with your blog.
6. Make sure your post is easy to read
Avoid technical jargon that people might not understand. Keep sentences short, and don’t use a long word when a short one would do.
In addition, remember to break up your content into smaller paragraphs and include things like headers, subheaders and bullet points to highlight the key information.
These tips are simple, but they make a word of difference when it comes to improving readability.
7. Encourage your readers to get involved
The best blogs are thriving online communities, with readers who get involved and actively share their thoughts.
But how do you encourage this?
Essentially, you just need to tell them what to do. It could be something as simple as adding a line at the end of each post saying something like:
What do you think? Do you have any further tips you think other people would find useful? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave me a comment below…
8. Include some images
People are much more likely to read a post containing at least one feature image – and what’s more, they are also much more likely to share it over social media.
Sometimes you might have to do a little digging around, but usually it isn’t too hard to find a suitable image.
9. Finish strongly
As with the beginning of the post, it’s also important to end on a strong note. This is your chance to reinforce everything you’ve said in the article and/or leave the reader with some final food for thought.
In addition, the end of the post is a great opportunity to get people to take some sort of action. This could be telling them to subscribe to your blog, or encouraging them to check out one of your products.
10. Don’t forget to proofread your post
Finally, don’t forget to proofread your post. Nothing looks worse than publishing an article full of spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.
When you’ve finished writing, take a break from your work and come back to it later on. Run a spell checker on the document and then carefully read through it yourself to ensure everything makes sense.
Bonus Tip: Get into the habit of writing every single day
Ultimately, you’ll only become reallygood at blogging if you do it regularly. Get into the habit of writing every single day and I absolutely guarantee you’ll get better at it.
I’ll leave you with this great quote from author Jane Yolen:
“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.”Jane Yolen, Author
What do you think? Got another tip you’d like to share? Let me know below…