Engaging a blog reader is a hard thing to do, especially in this digital age. As more and more content is produced on the Internet, people are less and less likely to read your blog in particular and stay interested in it.
To keep ahead in the blogging rat race, you need to be constantly improving your writing. Here are 11 actionable writing tips to help you do just that.
1. Be Statistic-Friendly
When you're a blogger, statistics are your best friend. Including them in your blog posts makes you sound smart, informed, and authoritative.
Simply source statistics on a certain topic from online case studies, white papers, and other blogs, and put them in your blog post whenever relevant.
Example: It's a good idea to blog often since 92% of businesses that blog multiple times daily has acquired customers through their blog (HubSpot).
2. Write in Solitude
The space in which you write has more to do with the quality of your output than you think. The more you are able to concentrate on your blogging (that means nobody else around, the T.V. off, and the writing space clear and clean), the higher the quality of the final blog post.
Example: When writing, shut yourself up in a soundproof room that has good lighting. Your desks should be clear of everything except your computer and basic necessities.
3. Be Descriptive
Anton Chekhov once said: "Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass". The latter phrase is much more descriptive and much easier for the reader to imagine.
Example: The moon is shining [incorrect] vs. Broken glass on the road gleamed with the light of the moon [correct].
4. Write at an 8th Grade Level
Big words and long phrases in your blog posts only make you sound pretentious. Whenever possible, exchange words that are 3+ syllables with ones that are two or less syllables long.
Example: Pretentiousness can be injurious to the prosperity of your blog [incorrect] vs. Big words hurt your blog's success [correct].
5. Avoid Wordiness
Do I really need to expound further on this tip? The basic principle of blogging is to always use the bare minimum of words. Conciseness is key to engagement.
Example: Extreme and unnecessary increases of length of articles can lead to the eventual failure of a blog post [incorrect] vs. Wordiness hurts blog posts [correct].
6. Open with a Story
Storytelling has remained popular throughout the ages, and today it's a fantastic way to start your blog post and introduce your topic. Stories instantly catch people's attention and, if they're good enough, will hold that attention throughout the post.
Example: If you're blogging about Monaco as a travel destination, start off with an anecdote of a humorous experience you had at Monaco.
7. Steal Blog Post Ideas
Your senior competitor blogs have been out there for a long time -- they know which topics work and which don't when it comes to your niche. Piggyback off their expertise by stealing the topics of their most popular blog posts, then out writing their post on the subject.
Example: If a lot of SEO bloggers have popular posts on keyword research, steal that topic and write the best possible post on keyword research.
8. Use Word Limits
By setting yourself a word limit when you write a blog post, you unconsciously start to do your best to make each sentence as concise as possible. True, word limits sometimes hinder flow of thought, but the gains in terms of conciseness far outweigh that disadvantage.
Example: Set yourself a 1500-word limit when writing a blog post on a certain topic. Give yourself no more than a 50-100 word leeway.
9. Stick to Your Topic
There are few things worse than a meandering blog post. Once you select a topic for your post, stick to it no matter how many irrelevant ideas start bobbling into your head.
Example: If you're writing about social media marketing, don't go off on tangents about complementary email or blog marketing unless your post title encompasses those topics.
10. Never Forget Call to Actions
Call to actions are important! Without an appropriate CTA, you're practically wasting your readership -- you don't even get a chance to convert them into completing a certain desired action, whether that be subscribing to a mailing list, buying a product, or even just commenting.
Example: End with a question and a "Let us know in the comments!" CTA if you're trying to convert readers into writing comments.
11. Link Out Often
One quick and easy way to increase the value of your blog posts is to link out to complementary posts from other authors very often. Not only will it help to put you in good favor with Google, but it will also help your readers to understand topics that you don't extensively cover on your blog, but others do on theirs.
Example: When writing a post on tips to improve social proof, link out early in the post to another blog post about exactly what social proof is and psychology behind it to give your readers a fundamental understanding of the topic.
Which of these 11 actionable writing tips were your favorite? Let us know in the comments!