Everyone seems to be blogging nowadays! How do you make your blog posts stand out? Today’s guest post offers 8 tips you can start using today.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Yes, that was the great Ernest Hemingway. From the first part of the quote, you get the impression that writing is easy. Then, you understand it’s actually the most difficult thing in the world. Of course, a blogger doesn’t bleed when composing a new listicle. But, there is a lot of sense in Hemingway’s words: only the most committed, passionate bloggers can be great.
There are few technical parts in blogging: decent grammar, good vocabulary, great idea, and awesome written expression. If you wrote great essays at college, then you’re one step closer to becoming a blogger people will appreciate. However, all these aspects don’t make a post amazing. It’s the idea, style, approach, and authority that matter. Those are the things that make people say “Now that’s worthy of a Facebook share.”
Do you want to reach those levels? Of course you do! Follow these 8 tips and you’ll get there sooner or later.
1. Think of an irresistible first sentence.
You can’t expect to catch prey if you don’t have the right hook. The first sentence is really important because it convinces the visitor you’re offering something valuable for reading. The purpose of the catchy opening is to get the reader to the second line. Here are some options to consider:
- Open with a quote. Admit it: Hemingway got your attention at the beginning of this post.
- Ask a question you know your target reader has. “Are you wondering how you can get more people to read your blog posts?” If the reader answers with a yes, he will wonder what solutions you offer and you’ll get him hooked.
- Tell a story. “When I started blogging, I was happy to get a single comment under my posts. Now I’m getting hundreds. You want to know how I got there?”
- Start with an anecdote. You can discover and share a moment from the life of a famous person related to your blogging niche. Readers always want to read something interesting about someone they admire.
- Tell an intriguing fact. “According to Berkeley researchers, 90% of writers manage to hook their readers when they use a question in the opening.” This claim is fictional, but you should definitely discover factual data if you want to present it to the readers. Reference the source and make sure to provide a link to it.
2. Keep the sentences short and clear.
You don’t want your reader to lose attention before he gets to the end of a long sentence. It’s important to be as brief as possible. When you see too many adjectives and adverbs in a sentence, get rid of them. Is it necessary to mention Hemingway again? Read his work; he’ll show you that powerful writing has nothing to do with decorations.
Long sentences work only if you write them perfectly. If you have any doubts about them, make them shorter or break them up in two sentences.
3. Don’t use fillers.
Every single word, phrase and sentence you write should serve a purpose: to help you prove a point. Fillers frustrate readers more than anything. Don’t try to achieve a specific word count when you write! Write as much content as you need to say what you want to say.
Here is one trick you can use to make sure there are no fillers in your blog post: read the draft out loud. Do you feel like you’ve tried too hard to explain a particular part? Shorten it as much as possible without losing the meaning. Sometimes it’s necessary to provide some background to clarify and strengthen your arguments, but those sections have to serve the main goal of your post.
4. Use analogies.
Writers are like psychologists. They dissect the human soul to discover the reasons, causes, and triggers of certain actions. That’s how they develop believable characters we can relate to.
That was an analogy that will seem flattering to a writer, right? This approach is quite effective.
5. Stay away from jargon.
Simple, precise words will capture the attention of all readers. Some of them may like jargon, but not everyone understands pretentious words a particular group uses. Don’t use phrases you just found in the thesaurus. They will make your post look artificial.
This is the most important rule to remember: write as you speak. That’s how your content will be comprehensive for the layman.
6. Be creative and unique.
You can’t always have unique ideas. Sometimes you need to go with the flow and write a post on a trending topic, although it has already been covered by every single blogger in the niche. Nevertheless, you have to find a unique angle to approach the issue. If you can’t make valuable contributions to the blogosphere, it would be best to skip that topic and proceed to another one that allows you to find a creative angle.
Here is an example: if your readers ask you to share your opinion on the presidential elections, you can write a post on “10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Was Cool Before the Elections”. That’s an unexpected angle because most people hate him now, so they will be surprised to read something good about the man.
7. Reference pop culture.
When your readers can relate your post to a current topic, they will like it more. Even Salman Rushdie wrote a poem about Kim Kardashian, no matter how ridiculous that might seem. Your audience certainly runs into trending news. If you can infuse some of them into your content without making digressions, you’ll get their attention.
8. Write a powerful conclusion.
When your readers finish the post, they should feel an urge to do something. That’s what engagement is all about. Some of them will like to share a great post, others will comment on it, and some people will do exactly what you tell them to do (buy a product, make a lifestyle change, or whatever else advice you give).
A call to action is your secret to greater engagement.
Find Your Own Rules
The 8 tips listed above are not definite rules for blogging. Everyone’s audience is different, so you need to experiment with different strategies before you discover the final method that leads to success.
The universal techniques that apply to every blogger are: clarity, consistency, and uniqueness. When you achieve these qualities, you’ll discover what else your audience needs.
Linda Craig is an eager writer, language learner and editor for dissertation service. She is mastering her skills in German and Mandarin and pursuing her PhD in Social Science. Feel free to reach Linda by Twitter to get familiar with her recent posts.
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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