According to WorldoMeters, over two million blog posts are written on a daily basis (on average). As a result, avid bloggers have started to implement many important details to turn an otherwise average piece into a superb user experience.
So, how can you ensure that your content stands out among the noise? Let’s look look at these crucial elements to make new and existing visitors fall in love with your blog posts.
Follow Your Passion (and Money)
Writing a good blog post is about much more than publishing sentences. Depending on whom you ask, some will encourage you to always pick a blog topic out of passion while others will advise to only follow the money.
The latter suggestion implies that you should write about popular topics regardless of how you feel about them — in the hopes that this leads to steady income in the process.
Thankfully, the fact that you picked a certain niche should mean that there’s already some passion involved. You probably wouldn’t want to write about pets if you’re not an animal lover, after all.
This is where a healthy balance (between passion and money) becomes important. Although not every topic will be fun or easy to write about, your natural passion for the subject will help make the writing much easier.
This naturally leads to composing great blog posts time and time again, fueled by passion and ultimately sustained by money.
Plan it Out
Let me ask you this: Would you ever drive across the country without a map or GPS? Chances are you’ll still make it to your destination, but the whole experience might get a bit shaky and overwhelming here and there.
The same can be said about improvising your way through an article. Even if you know the subject matter pretty well, try to create an outline that details exactly what you’ll cover, and in what order.
A standard article outline might look like this:
— Here I will introduce the topic and explain its importance
— Talk about the product’s main highlights and capabilities, such as XYZ.
— This section covers some lesser-known, but helpful goodies.
— A small section dedicated to the product’s shortcomings, including XYZ.
— FInal word and recommendation.
An outline isn’t always necessary, but it can paint a roadmap and help you publish a great article when you need it most. It also keeps you from deviating too much, as it’s easy to go off track when the information is strictly coming off the top of your head.
Titles and Subheadings are Tricky…
Titles and subheadings can be both an art and a science. The most successful blog topics will often contain some of these traits::
- Some people will tell you to keep blog post titles and subheadings succinct…
- Others might encourage you to make them cutesy and witty.
- Certain bloggers have experimented with question-only titles, such as “You’ve Published a Post, Now What?”
- Some other titles are sensational and over the top, similarly to the likes of BuzzFeed and Upworthy…
With so many available options, which route are you supposed to take? The answer to this old question will depend on your audience/niche as well as your main goal.
There’s no right or wrong answer here, as multiple factors will ultimately affect these.
A traditional blog might be better off with simple, descriptive headlines such as, “How to Cook Brown Rice.” Your food-loving audience know exactly what to expect and won’t be put off by all the needless guesswork.
On the other hand, if you have an entertainment and humorous blog, the occasional over-the-top entry might be more appropriate for your audience.
For example, a title like “This is What Happened When I Put My iPhone into a MicroWave” might trigger a better response than simply stating, “My Phone Fried Upon Microwaving it.”
Regardless of your niche and goals, ensure that headlines give [at least] enough detail to draw in a potentially-interested reader. But don’t be afraid to experiment with your titles and subheadings until you find exactly what makes people respond.
Rise Above the Norm
What is a blog post if it doesn’t deliver the very best knowledge available? It’s easy to churn out articles when you’re really familiar with the subject, especially if you wish for the blog to remain fresh at all times.
However, this could potentially put your efforts on auto-pilot, as you’re simply publishing away without bothering to learn anything new (whether it’s groundbreaking or basic).
Let’s say you write a post on increasing email subscribers for internet marketers. Once you explain the general, run-of-the-mill ideas, are you willing to stop there simply because you met the quota or word count? On the other hand, will you browse through the deepest corners of the web to find something new and fresh to include?
Even if there isn’t much new to say, perhaps you could include a few real-world examples to support the overall message. Maybe you could interview a popular blogger via email and ask if he has anything to offer….
Whatever you do, always put yourself in the shoes of an average reader and ask if you’re satisfied with the content.
Pro tip: Search for your chosen topic and analyze the first two pages of Google. What can you learn from your competition? How can you make your article better? What are those other guys missing?
Pro tip: Post your topic on relevant internet communities and ask for feedback on your written piece. There will always be someone with questions or suggestions, even if they’re relatively minor.
Make it Easy on the Eyes
Creating a blog post often requires a fair share of visuals to help draw a reader’s attention.
Our short attention span has led to the necessity of more dynamic visuals among text-based content. So, unless you want to intimidate and overwhelm readers, be sure to include a few eye-catching photos and (optionally) a video with your blog posts.
Two good places for images include Flickr.com and Pixabay.com, but we will cover this very topic in a separate post – so hang tight!
Likewise, break down your paragraphs to no more than three sentences. Surely you have noticed how uncomfortable it is to read a wall of text, right? This is the kind of thing that makes your readers close the window and not come back to the blog again.
Inject Some Personality
There’s nothing worse than publishing a blog post that reads like a user’s manual. You know how it goes: It’s dull, dry, and plain boring with nothing but mundane facts.
This type of content certainly has its place, especially if you’re providing instructions and publishing technical information. But for the average blogger, a down-to-earth tone can be much better and attractive.
Try some of these examples when appropriate:
Add storytelling elements. Whenever someone injects a relevant story into their blog posts, there’s something about it that keeps us glued until the very end.
Even if you don’t have a personal story to tell, there’s nothing wrong with an anecdotal piece while crediting the person in question. Make it short and sweet, then find a way to connect it to your post’s main topic.
Use some humor. There are things in life that everyone will always welcome, and one of them is humor. While you don’t necessarily need to be the next Kat Williams, inserting some tongue-in-cheek elements can definitely make your content stand out among the rest.
In fact, remember the previous suggestion about adding multimedia? This provides a golden opportunity to bring a smile to someone’s face…
You may even use images that have nothing to do with the content in question, such as opening your article with, “My cat refused to get off the keyboard and let me write…” followed by a picture of that precious kitty disrupting your flow.
While on the subject of personality, it’s always helpful to write a blog post that is filled with friendliness.
Writing content for traditional media may require a more professional approach, but the average blogger will always benefit from a charismatic piece every single time.
This also opens the door to a relatively laid-back writing style, where impeccable grammar and active voice are the last thing on your mind. We are not condoning a poorly written mess, but the main goal here is to deliver something more naturally — as if you’re talking to a friend.
For example, don’t try to impress readers with difficult words and phrases that might stop them from reading.
Keep things simple and always aim to be likeable and relatable, as if you know the reader in question. And considering you’re (ideally) passionate about the subject, there’s no reason to sound so rigid and distant from the very people you’re interacting with.
Pay Attention to Detail
There’s much more to quality than merely writing a lengthy blog post. Covering your topic in full is a given, but your audience could always use additional information and references.
A great way to strengthen your pieces, for instance, is to always include statistics and factually-proven data…
Let’s say that you’re writing about things to do in Mexico. It would be great to include a surprising fact such as, “Mexico is expected to see over XYZ million tourists next year,” then link to the actual source that published this information.
Likewise, try to link to anything mentioned in the article (products, services, other websites) if they are greatly important to your article. Your audience will love you for guiding them in such a way.
Think of other ways to milk your content in every way possible, which varies depending on your chosen niche.
Interlink to Related Pieces
References are not only limited to external sources, as you can (and should) always link to one of your own published articles. This part should be pretty easy if you only focus on a niche topic as opposed to a wide range of general subjects.
It’s also common to use part of a sentence as the anchor text (this is the text that is clickable). But if you want a link to really stand out, add it in its own line and make it larger in size. For example:
Suggested Read: [Clickable Article Title Goes Here]
Your audience will always appreciate the additional resources. Not to mention this helps give your previously-published pieces new life as a result.
Think Outside the Box
If you ever wonder how to write a blog post that truly goes against the norm, remember that you aren’t restricted to a traditional or standard format. .Here are some examples to make a great article even better:
- Accompany long pieces with a table of contents, depending on length and complexity
- Provide a brief, helpful summary of everything covered at the beginning and/or end
- Publish a quick “recap video” detailing the article’s main points
- Divide a long article into a series of separate posts
Always remember that you can add a lot of creative twists into your blog posts.
Writing a great blog post can feel overwhelming at first, but we all know practice makes perfect. Once you get into the habit of writing the very best content for your audience, you simply wouldn’t want it any other way.
Are you looking to start a blog? Click here for our step-by-step 20 minute guide .