Today in a radio interview I was asked to give 4-5 quick tips on how to write great blog posts.
Quick isn’t my forte when giving tips (I have a lot to say) and I can think of many more than 5 tips for writing great blog posts – but here’s a brief overview of the things I mentioned:
1. Be Useful
When I start writing a blog post, I always identify how useful the post will be to my readers.
Will it solve a problem? Will it make people think? Will it start a conversation? Will it entertain? Will it make readers feel like they’re not alone? Will it teach them something?
Unless a blog post is useful on some level I don’t think it’s worth publishing.
More on Useful Blogging: Usefuless: Principles of Successful Blogging #3.
2. Write Conversationally
This one partly comes down to my own style, so it may not be for everyone, but I find my most effective blog posts are written as if I’m sharing the topic with a friend.
As a result, my posts are fairly informal and written with a lot of ‘I’ and ‘You’ language.
For me, this is partly because I find it a lot easier and more natural to write in this tone of voice – but I also find it connects with readers in a pretty powerful way.
Read more on conversational blog writing at 23 Top Tips to Make Your Blog Posts More Conversational
3. Write Great Headlines
I think about my headline before, during and after writing and it often will change numerous times before I settle on the final version.
Headlines, or blog titles, are often the deciding factor on whether someone reads a post or not – so they have a lot of impact.
Read more about writing headlines at – How to Craft Post Titles that Draw Readers Into Your Blog (with 8 great tips) and Titles that Work on ProBlogger – And Why.
4. Build Anticipation and Momentum
Having somebody read one of my blog posts is something I value very highly – it is a real honour – however I have a higher goal.
I want them to read more posts – both immediately and in the future.
As a result, I’ve discovered that if you write blog posts that build momentum in some way you’re much more likely to keep readers hanging around.
One simple way to do build momentum is to link back to old posts you’ve already written, both during and at the end of a blog post. You can see an example of this a few paragraphs above when I gave you links to read more on writing great headlines.
Linking back to old blog posts drives readers into your archives which makes them more likely to engage and become loyal readers.
I’ve found that writing in a way that builds ‘anticipation’ in your readers is particularly powerful. If you can get your readers to look forward to posts you’re yet to write, you give them a reason to subscribe and connect with you in the future.
I wrote a series on building anticipation that I highly recommend you check out.
- A Secret to Finding New Subscribers for Your Blog
- How to Create a Sense of Anticipation on Your Blog
- More on How to Build Anticipation on Your Blog
The key is to look beyond the blog post you’re writing and draw your readers (particularly new ones) into the story (both past and future) of your blog.
If you can get them to see that your blog is much more than the post they’re reading, you might just find you have a reader that engages with you for years to come.
One more bonus link: How to Keep Momentum Going By Building on Previous Posts.
5. Build Engagement
The last thing I mentioned in the interview was to try to build some level of engagement into the blog posts that you write.
This can start with writing in a conversational style (see above) but it goes a lot further. The benefit of getting your readers to engage with you and your content is that they’re much more likely to stick around and become a regular reader.
It also builds social proof, making your blog more useful and relevant to a wider audience.
I won’t go on a great deal about building community because it has only been a couple of weeks since I wrote this mega-series on the topic:
- 9 Benefits [and 3 Costs] Of Building Community On Your Blog
- The 5 Stages of Building a Culture of Community on a Blog [Case Study]
- 7 Strategies for Growing Community on Your Blog
- How to Build Community on a Blog: 24 Must Read Articles from around the Web
How Would You Answer the Question?
If you had to give 4-5 tips on writing great blog posts – what would you say?
Looking forward to your responses in comments below.