When looking at blogs you will generally find two different blogging styles – those who blog because they think they’re supposed to and those who blog with intent. If you’re blogging because you think you’re supposed to, you’re likely not getting the response you hoped for. I bet it also feels like a lot of work. If you’re blogging with intent, then great! Both types of bloggers can benefit by embracing a few tips to improve their blog posts and the bottom line.
Identify a Clear and Concise Goal for Each Blog Post
Every piece of content that you create – whether it’s a video, email, report, or a blog post – should have a goal. That goal may be something to make people laugh. It may be to drive traffic to a sales page. Or a goal might be to provide value and boost your credibility. Identify the goal for the blog post before you write. Then write the post so that it supports your end goal.
Don’t forget that having a goal for the post doesn’t mean that you are making money from that post. For my personal blog there are many times I’m posting just so I don’t feel the urge to rip anyone’s head off anymore. My personal blog started out just to blow off steam and it’s been a great venue for that. That is my goal and along the way I tend to make people laugh at times.
Create a Plan of Action before You Write Your Blog Post
Many people often blog from the hip. They sit down and write whatever comes into their imagination. This is a perfectly fine way to write a rough draft. However, it’s also a time-consuming way to create a blog post. A more efficient and potentially productive way is to plan a little.
For example, if your topic is “3 reasons you need chocolate”, then list those 3 reasons and a few quick keywords to include in your list. One way to make it easy to write from a blog plan or outline is to write your subtopics in the form of questions. For example, “Why chocolate keep me from hurting people?” When you get ready to write the blog post, all you have to do is answer the question.
Add Interest and Value with Personal Examples
As you’re creating your blog post plan, you may also want to brainstorm how you might share personal examples or stories within the blog. Personalizing the content helps your readers connect with you.
Sharing your personal experiences is what draws people to your blog post. They can read textbook style articles all they want around the internet. But they are looking for the personal story and how it fits in with their lives.
Personalizing your blog post is also everything Snarky Bloggers is about. Anyone can write a blog post that sounds like a lesson out of a textbook. You need to put your voice into it. Grab your unique target market and keep them reading.
Add Credibility with Examples and Data
Add interest and credibility by citing facts and information. You can reference statistics or quote an expert in your industry. Whenever you do use data, always be sure to reference the source and give credit to the appropriate people. Look for very creditable sources or this option will backfire. It also helps if you can find government sites or .org sites too use for your reference links.
Start the Blog Post with a Quote
Quotes often pull your reader right into the material because they can appreciate and relate to the quote. However, you may not want to use this tactic all the time – it can feel too cheesy. If you use a quote it will make a great social shareable image as well. Make sure you credit the quote you use.
Include a Call to Action
Remember earlier how I said you always want to have a goal for your blog posts? At the end of each blog post you want to include a call to action that supports that goal. A call to action simply tells readers what to do next.
It could be asking a question so they’ll comment, telling them to sign up for your newsletter, point out the product you are talking about, join your social media network. The sky is the limit on what you want them to do, just focus on telling them what they should do. If you don’t spell out the next step, most readers won’t do it. They don’t take hints. Smack them over the head with it.
Edit Edit Edit
Before you post your content or schedule it, edit for spelling, grammar, and clarity. Read the material OUT LOUD to catch errors. I hate it when I’ve blogged late at night and clicked publish. Since my eyes are not working as well at 1am, there is always glaring errors. Edit when your brain is in full force. That also means, don’t edit after wine. Just a suggestion 😉
Finally, format your blog posts so they are easy to read. Make sure you’re using a reader-friendly font and a large enough type. Subheadings, bold formatting and bullet points also help separate key ideas. Don’t make your paragraphs more than about three or four sentences.
These seven tips are easy to implement. Embracing just a few of them will go a long way toward making you a better blogger. The biggest thing you can do to help your blog is to make sure your voice is in each post. People are there to read YOU!
Do you feel like your blog posts are lacking?