Sharp Blog Posts: Cut Your Way To Blogging Success Through The Noise
I would rather read 20 sharp blog posts than one long-winded post any day of the week. That’s my own personal opinion, of course, but I believe it’s shared by many readers, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many sharp blog posts, right?
Look, sometimes I just want to grab those long-winded bloggers and give them a good shake. I’d like to tell them to get over themselves, already. If you take out all the self-serving clap-trap they include in those posts and all their bragging and boasting about this award and that interview, what would you have left? Probably an engaging and informative sharp blog post.
If you really want to engage your readers, get to the point.
How to Write Sharp Blog Posts
Write short, punchy sentences: What’s “punchy?” Each sentence should make only one point. Use language that makes that point clearly and concisely in as few words as possible.
Write short, punchy paragraphs: A paragraph should have no more than 4 short sentences. The first sentence should include all the important information and each additional sentence should expand on only the first sentence. If it only takes two additional sentences, then stop writing.
Eliminate unnecessary words: Words like very and really are unnecessary. If you want your verbs to have greater impact, use stronger verbs. Instead of “He walked very slowly” use “He crawled.”
Use the active voice: Two key elements in sharp content are its sense of immediacy and ease of visualization. The best way to express immediacy is with the active voice. It’s also much easier to visualize action that’s taking place when you use the active voice.
Which is punchier:
- The dog is chasing the cat.
- The cat is being chased by the dog.
The first sentence is punchier because it’s written in the active voice. It’s easy to visualize who is performing the action – the dog – and who is the object of the action – the cat. It also uses fewer words to make the same statement.
Use Positive Language: You’ll also make a stronger impression when you use positive language, even if you’re telling the reader something he doesn’t want to hear. Avoid giving your reader an opportunity to focus on a negative.
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Use a conversational tone: The reason sharp posts work is because there’s nothing there to distract your reader. No hype, no insincerity, no pretension or jargon or acronyms. They’re written as if you were talking to a friend, only you’re using a little less slang and staying on point.
If you’re prone to writing long posts because you feel they give your reader greater value, run a test on your blog. Write a sharp blog post once or twice a week and gauge your readers’ reaction. You just might be surprised to find out they prefer them.
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