Writing Better Posts: 10 Advanced Tips
We all have certain blogs we just love to visit. The content seems to reach out and grab you the minute you hit the page and judging by the response in the comments section, lots of other people feel the same way. There are hundreds of blogs on any given topic. What makes one blog stand out from the others? Spruce up your content with these 10 tips for writing better posts.
Follow your own directions
One of the quickest ways to lose credibility – and readers – is to write a blog post telling them how to do something and leave out a step or two. Some bloggers do this intentionally thinking that they’ll be able to con people into buying their ebook to get the rest of the information. Whether you do it on purpose or not, it’s irritating for your readers.
Before you publish that next How-To post, run through the steps yourself and make sure you didn’t miss anything. It may seem trivial or obvious to you, but if it’s a necessary step then your readers need to know about it.
Use spell check
Again, your credibility comes into question if you have spelling errors in your blog posts. Use Firefox or download free word processing software like Open Office so you’ll have spell check somewhere on your computer.
Even spell check isn’t enough but it’s a good place to start. Pay attention to words like affect and effect, their, they’re and there, its and it’s, and your and you’re.
Answer one question
Personally, I like to write my title first so I have a clear idea of what my blog post is going to be about. To many bloggers start off with an idea and by the time they’re done they’ve rambled all over the page. Answer one question. It’s easier for your reader to absorb the information and it’s better for SEO.
Eliminate unnecessary words
Your readers are coming to your blog for answers, not a novella. Tell them exactly what they want to know and cut out all the fluff. Word-count has nothing at all to do with content quality.
Use short paragraphs
Internet readers like to have short bursts of information. It’s easier on the eyes and it’s easier to absorb the information. Limit your paragraphs to 4 sentences.
Use headings and bullet points
Use H1 and H2 tags to set up headings to break up your content into manageable bits of information. Use bullet points to set off list items or steps.
Most bloggers think that all they have to do to be unique is to change the words around but you’re still giving the reader the same information they could find on dozens of other blogs. There really is more than one way to skin a cat and you’re the expert here. No matter what you’re blogging about find some way to make your content yours.
Cite personal experience
People like to read blogs because they’re more personal than a cold, facts-only website, so let some of you show through. When you’re telling your readers how to do something tell them why you prefer to do it this way, just like that paragrapher up there where I said, “Personally, I like to write my title first because…“.
Tell both sides of the story
When I’m telling my readers how to do something I also like to tell them what happens if they do it wrong. For example, if I’m telling them how to install a WordPress plugin I might say something like, “You should see the word ‘Activate’. If you don’t then you need to go back and reinstall.”
Telling your reader both sides of the story helps in two ways: They know how to fix their mistake if they make one, and they know if they make a mistake it’s not the end of the world.
Open and close your post
I read this somewhere a long time ago and it’s always worked for me. Here’s how you write a good blog post:
Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you just told them.
I write an opening paragraph that lets my reader know right away what they’re going to learn from my article. Then I tell them what I want them to learn. Then I write a closing paragraph that wraps up everything in the post.
It really doesn’t matter what niche you’re blogging in and it doesn’t matter how much competition you have. The key is to provide quality content in a manner that’s easy to read and engages your reader. Do that, and you can conquer the blogosphere.
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