If writing isn’t your strong suit, then creating blog posts and other content marketing initiatives can be a huge hassle. You know how powerful great content can be — you just don’t feel up to the task of creating it.
The good news is, almost every business blogger feels this way at one point or another, so you’re not alone. Even better, these blog writing tips will help you pump out great articles every time.
Learn to write catchy headlines.
The headline or title of your post is arguably the most important part of the article because it convinces people to read the article. If the headline doesn’t do that critical job, the entire post is virtually worthless.
There’s a lot that goes into a powerful headline, and there are a lot of different ways to do it. Use these resources to help you craft attention-grabbing titles:
- How to Write Magnetic Headlines series from Copyblogger
- The Ultimate Guide to Writing Incredible Headlines from Contently
Make content easy to read with subheadings.
Big chunks of text are scary and hard to read on a screen. Entice your visitors to stick around with subheadings that break up your great content into easily consumed bits.
Subheadings should introduce new ideas, so a reader can jump to the part of the post that is most interesting or applicable. Try to use subheadings at least every 400 words or so, and don’t be afraid to use multiple subheading formats to indicate importance or hierarchy.
Write in short sentences and paragraphs.
Shorter sentences are generally easier to understand and are more punchy. Short paragraphs are more approachable than big blocks of text.
Single-line paragraphs like this one draw a lot of attention.
These blog writing tips guide the reader’s eye down the page, so if you write catchy headlines and create awesome content, visitors will naturally keep reading. And they make writing easier, too.
Make content stand out with bold, italic, and color.
Another helpful formatting trick is bold, italic, and colored text. Each of these captures your readers’ attention and helps them continue reading the article.
- Italic is the softest. Anything italicized is important, but not necessarily critical, and it doesn’t draw the eye quite as much.
- Bold is the most common. Bolded text draws attention without being obnoxious (unless you use it too much), and anything bolded is usually a really important takeaway.
- Color is most obvious. Colors are most often used in headlines and subheadings to help break up sections, but you can also color other parts of your article to draw attention to the most crucial steps or information. Stick with colors in your branding color scheme to match your blog design.
In addition to subheadings, short paragraphs, and varied text, try using other formatting options to make the blog post easier to read. Some of the most common formatting options to try include:
- bullets for unordered lists
- numbers for steps to follow or lists ordered by importance
- indented paragraphs for quotes or testimonials
- larger font sizes for quotes, headings, and more
- underlined text for emphasis
Try different post lengths.
One of the blog writing tips everyone has an opinion about is the length of your blog articles. Busy businesspeople think they should be really short (200-300 words), SEOs think they should be at least 500-600 words to please search engines, and many bloggers advocate posts in excess of 1000, 2000, or even 3000 words to offer the most value to their readers.
So what’s the right option? Whatever’s right for your business, your audience, and your topic.
Finding out what your audience wants will help you pick the best post length.
And it can be good for your business blog to mix things up with short, normal, and long posts.
Mix creation and curation.
- Stick with the types of content that you’re known for providing and that your customers want to read.
- Only share the best content you can find for a highly specific angle. The point of content curation is to hunt down and share the best things so your readers don’t have to.
- Include your own commentary in curated posts, such as your opinions about an issue, your predictions in the industry, or your experience with the subject.
Use different content types.
Writing how-to posts over and over gets boring fast, for both you and your audience. Vary your content types to show the range of what you can offer to prospects and to attract more traffic. This means writing different kinds of posts and using different media, including videos, slides, infographics, and more.
Use these resources to help you write different content types:
Write what your audience wants.
One of the most important blog writing tips is knowing what kind of content your readers and prospects want, and then delivering to them. Doing this ensures you’ll always have a happy, engaged, loyal audience for your blog because they never have to look for what they want somewhere else.
How do you find out what your audience wants to see on your blog?
- Ask them to tell you in the comments.
- Survey them.
- Study your most successful competitors to see what they’re doing right.
- Ask customers what posts they like.
- Review your most successful posts and copy what works.
Create high-value content.
Once you know what your readers want to see on the blog, you can create content that delivers a lot of value. These are the kind of posts that readers come back to again and again, and that consistently attract new traffic.
Many bloggers call this “pillar content.” Copyblogger calls it “cornerstone content.” Whatever you decide to call it, use these resources to help you create it:
- How to Create Cornerstone Content that Google Loves from Copyblogger
- How Cornerstone Content Gets You Traffic and Subscribers from Copyblogger
- Write Epic Shit from ThinkTraffic
- 7 Ways to Write Epic Shit from ThinkTraffic
Link, link, link.
Nothing exists online in a vacuum. Links are vital because they:
- help connect related resources and provide a better user experience (which is what search engines want)
- genuinely help your audience (making them trust you more)
- help fulfill marketing and sales objectives (good for business)
To reap all these benefits and more, you need to include links in every blog post you write. You want several links per post to other posts or pages on your site, landing pages on your site, and other reputable websites.
Write compelling meta titles and descriptions.
Meta titles and descriptions appear in search results and social media links, so you want them to be as compelling as possible to get more traffic to your site.
Headlines usually do double-duty as meta titles. Focus on crafting powerful headlines and your title tags will be covered.
Meta descriptions can be taken from the body of the post, but that’s not always the best way to attract readers. You have about 150 characters to convince them to click through, so tell them what they’ll learn by reading your post, or point out some other benefit.
Include high-quality images.
This isn’t a blog writing tip per se, but using good photos and images does make your blog posts better. If you need proof, consider the fast rise and astounding popularity of visual social media, like Pinterest and YouTube.
Images can convey emotions, illustrate a metaphor, and catch people’s attention better and faster than a great headline.
Are these blog writing tips helpful?
Let us know in the comments. And if you still feel not up to the task of creating blog content, we can help!