Have you started a blog, but struggling to get your creative juices flowing and come up with some killer posts? Don’t worry, most bloggers, even the successful ones, have been there.
The thing is, blog writing is both an art form and a science. You need creativity and flair, but you also need to know some fundamental rules for writing a good blog post.
In this post, I’ll show you my top 6 essential blog writing tips. These tips will help your blog stand out from the crowd, gain more readers, and give you a head start to the blogging success you dream of.
Essential Blog Writing Tip 1: Plan Ahead
Writing a good blog post is rarely as simple as sitting down and bashing out 1000 words of whatever comes to mind. While we all wish it were that easy, the truth is that successful bloggers almost always plan their posts.
Choose Your Topic
Start by choosing a topic within your blogging niche that gets you excited. The more passionate you are about a topic, the more it comes across in your writing.
- Create an Outline
Jot down a quick outline that you want your blog post to follow. There’s no need to go into too much detail; this outline simply acts as a guide to keep you on track.
Start with your introduction, then break down what you want to write about using subheadings and section markers. This bare-bones outline will act as your writing map. It will help to keep you focused and stop you from rambling or going off on a tangent.
There are many bloggers out there who regularly write posts about topics they knew nothing about. The best blog writers can write about any subject under the sun, as long as they do some solid research.
Even if you think you know your subject inside out, you’ll often need to do at least a little research before you sit down to write.
Always choose a reliable, authoritative source. Avoid sites like Wikipedia, and cite trusted sources such as government websites, industry expert sites, and research papers.
Essential Blog Writing Tip 2: Write an Engaging Headline
The headline of your blog post is how you’ll draw readers in, so you want to make sure it’s a good one.
So what makes a good headline? There’s no one overriding rule for headlines that all writers agree on, but there are some important guidelines to bear in mind.
- Be Specific
Your readers want to know exactly what your blog post is about, rather than deciphering some clever abstract titles. It can help to fine-tune your headline after you’ve written your final draft to make sure it summarizes exactly what the post is about.
- Be Unique
Whatever the topic of your blog post is, chances are there are other blogs to compete with. That’s why making sure your headline is unique is so important.
Always run your headline through a quick Google search to check it’s unique enough to draw in traffic.
- Create a Sense of Urgency
You want your targeted potential readers to click on your headline and read your article. Not next week, but right now. Good headlines make the reader feel they’re in danger of missing out if they don’t click through and read your post.
- Use Numbers or Statistics
The data shows that blog post headlines which feature numbers or statistics generate almost ¾ more audience engagement than those that don’t. For example, ‘15 Creative Ways to Propose to your Girlfriend’, or “Why 70% of the Earth’s Rainforests are Under Threat”. It’s by no means a crucial component of a headline, but it’s worth including where appropriate to help boost a post’s popularity.
Essential Blog Writing Tip 3: Write an ‘Ugly First Draft’
When it comes to sitting down and actually writing a blog post, it can be hard to get over that dreaded fear of making mistakes. That’s where the ‘Ugly First Draft’ (UFD) comes in.
As described by accomplished writer Ann Handley in her book ‘Everybody Writes,’ the UFD is a great method to combat writer’s block, loosen up into the writing process, and get something solid down on the page.
The UGL principle is simple: Don’t let doubt, perfectionism, spelling, or grammar get in your way (you can deal with all that later). Simply start writing what comes to mind.
Many writers struggle endlessly with their first drafts, crippled by the fear of getting it wrong. The beauty of the UGL is that it doesn’t matter how bad it is. Nobody besides you is going to see it.
Once you’ve completed your UFD, then comes the fun part; the editing. This is when you can go in and fine-tune, dress, correct and edit your work to transform it from an ugly duckling into an elegant swan.
Essential Blog Writing Tip 4: Choose Great Images
Blog posts are a very different beast than the written word in print. A wall of solid text is going to put off the majority of readers. That’s why your posts need to be broken up by eye-catching, relevant images. Visual stimulation draws in the eye and keeps the reader engaged so they continue reading to the end.
Images can also be used to add context to your writing. They can reinforce ideas and help the reader to understand a tricky concept. Diagrams, infographics, maps, and flow charts are a great example of this.
Great images can also help to add a lighthearted, human element to, particularly dry or dull subjects. For example, reading a wall of text about the benefits of online accounting is a struggle to get through for most readers. But it can be much more digestible with the help of some relevant, appealing images.
Where can I find good images for my blog posts?
Always make sure you have permission to use an image before you include it in a blog post.
Essential Blog Writing Tip 5: Triple-Check Your Work
The editing phase is just as essential as the writing phase when it comes to creating a top-quality blog post.
Of course, you’re going to check your sentence structure, spelling, and grammar, but don’t forget to check how it flows too. It can help to read your post out loud. This will help you identify any awkward sounding sentences, jumbled word order, or bits that simply don’t feel or sound right.
If you have a supportive friend or family member at home, ask them to proofread your post for you. Sometimes an extra set of eyes can spot things that you, the author, cannot.
Essential Blog Writing Tip 6: Do Some Basic SEO
You don’t have to become an SEO expert to have a successful blog (although it does help). If you’re a total SEO novice, it’s worth taking a free online course so you can become familiar with the basic principles. Simply knowing a few tricks and tips can help your blog to rank higher in search results.
Remember to do the following:
- Include your target keyword in the title
- Include primary and secondary keywords throughout your post in a natural, unforced way
- Avoid ‘keyword stuffing’ (inserting too many keywords or using keywords out of context to try and generate better rankings). Google is on to you, and your rankings could end up going the opposite way you’d hoped
- Include a meta description for each post
- Use H1 tags
- If your blog is powered by WordPress, use a free plugin like YoastSEO. This is great for beginners, as it identifies all the SEO tasks to complete before you publish your post.
Hope you enjoyed reading these blog writing tips.
There’s no such thing as the perfect blog post. Many new bloggers are terrified to publish their work through the fear of making a small mistake. But that’s how writers learn and grow.
Of course, it’s important to edit and fine-tune each post you publish thoroughly. But understand that it will never be 100% perfect, and it doesn’t need to be.
Blog writing gets easier the longer you practice. If you’re just starting out in the blogging world, it can feel a little intimidating. But by following these essential blog writing tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful online presence.