Are you thinking about blogging, but not sure where to begin? Looking to improve the reach of your blog and need a little advice? I've been at this blogging gig four years and have learned a good deal (some of it the hard way!) that I'd like to share with you, starting with this simple thought: blogging is ultimately about sharing good content and developing relationships. Invite your reader into a great conversation, with the feel of having coffee with a friend.
There are tips and tools of the trade that can make writing effective. Recently I've had some great opportunities to encourage new bloggers. So today, I'm sharing tips I've learned about writing that I wish I had known when I started.
Use this post as a resource and overview. If you're new to blogging, give yourself permission to grow into using these tips with confidence. Take advantage of the curated content and helpful links to additional information and examples.
Content is key.
What do you have to say and why is it important? Is your content relevant, and does your post give a single, clear message? Though there are bloggers that make their living by rambling opinions and random thoughts, most readers want to read a clear, relevant message.
Types of blog posts.
- Share an experience with a take away
- Reflect on a meaningful message
- How-to post/tutorial
- List Post/ Five Reasons to ______.
- Solve a problem
- Provide a benefit
- Resource list
Here are more content ideas from Content Marketer's Essential Guide:
Write a great headline.
The headline is your first, and sometimes last chance, to catch the attention of readers. A compelling title generates interest. Use key words in your title and be clear about the benefit of your post. Numbers, power words, and clear benefit are places to start when writing a good headline. Check out this article for some great resources on writing headlines.
Hook the attention of the reader with a strong beginning.
There are many good ways to start a blog post: (The following links include examples from Ginger’s Corner.)
- Ask a question
- State an interesting fact
- Tell a story
- Relate a struggle or need
- Share a quote or verse
- Arouse curiosity or grab attention.
- Describe an experience
- Invite to share a common situation
Keep it short.
500 words is the average blog post. Try to stay within a 500-700 word range. It is better to divide into two shorter posts, than wear out the reader with a marathon post. Seriously, this is important—better to leave them wanting more and looking forward to what you have to say next!
Shorter sentences and paragraphs work well. Keep your paragraphs to three sentences as a general rule. Aim for five sentences as your max in one paragraph. Pull out all the extra words, wordy phrases, repetition, unnecessary adverbs, and passive language.
Take the time to develop strong content, and keep these other simple tips in mind to make your blog post effective and memorable. Write your message with gusto and excellence!
Join me next week for five more writing tips for bloggers.
Ginger is a writer and an inspirational speaker who enjoys encouraging women with humor and wisdom. After 24 years of living the military wife life, Ginger lives in Woodbridge, VA, and is mom to three kids that have grown up too quickly. You can connect with her on social media, and she just might have taken up residence at her blog: Ginger's Corner: Where the Practical Meets the Spiritual. She contributes articles at More to Be, 5 Minutes for Faith, Military Navs, and the Guideposts military blog. You can find a full list of speaking topics and skits on the topics page of her blog. When Ginger is not doing the writerly-thing, she loves having coffee with friends and teaching water fitness. On occasion, she has been known to clean house and cook meals, but the other parts of life are much more fun!