How to Write Better Blog Content?
Great blog content is the proverbial white whale of the marketing world; a frequent object of frustration and fascination, but seldom seen.
This is in large part due to the fact that anyone who thinks they can write a coherent sentence thinks they can blog. It’s also because so many people are blogging. I can’t blame them; it’s a powerful and personal way to communicate – and when it comes to native advertising, it’s priceless.
The question is then: How to write a blog that people will actually read?
Getting your blog seen is only half the battle; a successful blog has content people will actually want to read, time and time again. Attracting and maintaining a loyal audience, then, is really the name of the game, and I’m going to teach you how to play.
It all starts here.
How to Create Blog Content That Stands Out (and Doesn’t Suck) in 5 Simple Steps
1) Remember It’s Not About You. I know you’re a master of rhetoric and want the world to know, but blogging is not about you – it’s about your audience. You need to take yourself out of your head and put yourself in their shoes.
Think about what your audience wants to know. Think about how you can write a blog that will address that topic. Don’t let your ego cloud your vision. What you want to write about is not always going to be what your audience wants to read.
Tips for finding out what your target audience wants:
- Know your target audience. Pretty obvious, perhaps, but many novice bloggers don’t have a solid handle on who they’re writing for – they’re just writing. Once you know who you’re trying to address, you’ll have a better idea of what to say to them.
- Use Wordtracker. This used to be a free resource, but now, you’ve got to pay. Still, you can use their free trial, and this will help you suss out the juiciest keywords to use in your post to tickle search engines and attract your target readership.
2) Short and Sweet. If people want to read War and Peace, they’ll go to their library. People who read blogs want things brief and punchy, so curb you inner novelist and write blog content that stays on point, and doesn’t drag on.
I’m not say that longer blog posts are always a no-no, but only if the scope of the topic necessitates it – and even then, it’s probably a good idea to break it up into smaller, related blogs. (You can always link – and link building is another invaluable way to write truly helpful blog content since you’re directing them to a trusted resource for more information, if they so choose to use it.)
3) Think Spatially. Creating blog content requires a certain aesthetic. A screen jammed up with words is not attractive. You want your writing to flow around space. Try to keep paragraphs short, and use bullets and numbered lists.
Use bolds and italics to emphasize points.
Also add a pop of colour. You don’t want to go kaleidoscope crazy, but adding a little visual interest is a solid way to engage your audience.
Don’t shy away from embedding a relevant video in your blog. Not only is this a super fast way to generate content, since the work is basically done for you – you just have to do a little intro and share a few thoughts on the video – but it also breaks up the page nicely.
4) Edit, and then Edit Again. I know it’s super hard to edit your own work objectively, but you’re probably not going to have the luxury of calling in a second set of eyes.
Before you hit ‘publish’ make sure you’ve read and re-read your post. Take a break from it between edits. Even just 10 minutes can help you look at it with a more fresh perspective. (Breaks are part of the writing process!) You might also think about printing it out so you can look at it off screen.
Read it aloud, and take out any words that feel extraneous or clunky. Most of all, remember that even when it’s published, you can still edit it, so take a look at it live and see if anything else jumps out.
6) Use Keywords Wisely. Your headline and your first sentence should contain your main keyword. After this, pepper it in throughout the blog, being sure to also include it in your closing paragraph or sentence.
Don’t bludgeon your readers to death with it; keywords in truly great blog content sound organic. If you’ve written it really well, your readers probably won’t even realize your using keywords.
The success of implementing these blogging tips rests in your ability to actually have time to use them.
Blogging is unquestionably a fantastic way to create stronger ties to your audience through helpful and less formal discourse, but like all great writing, it begins with someone sitting in a chair, doing the grunt work. It takes practice and dedication, especially in the beginning, but if you’re up for the challenge, it will pay off – literally. Loyal customers are customers who don’t shy away from spending money.
If you want to jump into the world of blogging, but aren’t sure where to start, I recommend 31 Days to Building a Better Blog. It’s a fool-proof place to start.
Of course, you may simply not have the time to write blog content, period.
If this sounds like you, but you still want to reap the rewards of blogging, then consider out-sourcing to a professional, and the white whale will evade you no more.