If you think about it, blogs are the literary equivalent of an all-you-can-eat buffet. The headline, like the price of the meal, lures you in. You have to decide what is relevant or worth your time. You wonder whether everything you see can be really good, or just unnecessary filler.
When writing a blog, you owe your readers some basics:
OFFER A STRONG INTRODUCTION
What’s your message, why should someone read further? A well-crafted introduction engages readers and convinces them you have relevant content. If your blog doesn’t provide fresh material, you risk losing their interest.
ARRANGE CONTENT EFFECTIVELY
Blogs follow certain templates and should be chosen based on your goals. Are you discussing the health benefits of chocolate or coaching readers on backpacking through Europe? The format of your blog helps you organize your information and prioritize content.
BACK IT UP!
Statistics support your blog’s message. By presenting facts and figures your blog gains credibility. After all, you’ve quoted a source from the internet, so it has to be true, right?
Infographics provide quick topic summaries in nice little packages. Oversized numbers show percentages, catching readers’ eyes, encouraging them to read further for other exciting examples and more details. Blog readers always want more, and statistical information fills that need.
GET TO THE POINT
Does your blog tease the readers repeatedly? Do you restate or reword your message? Just get to the point. Blogs should be clear and direct. Re-wording and repeating your message or presenting an actual point clearly shows that your content is weak.
ADD A PERSONAL TOUCH
A typical how-to blog can be straight-forward with a list of instructions. However, a good writer can weave in an anecdote or personal experience to relate to the audience. When readers can make a connection to a situation, they become more engaged with the subject matter and the writer.
Blogs also provide writers the freedom to express their opinions and influence readers. This journalistic liberty can gain some followers but alienate others. It’s important for a blogger to understand the fine line between sharing information that informs or harms.
CLOSE WITH A CALL TO ACTION
What has your reader gained from reading your blog? Send them off with a plan to apply your advice or learn that new skill. This challenge builds a connection with your readers and could lead to follow-up blogs.
Remember “quality over quantity” when writing your blog. Reaching a desired word count doesn’t equal success, especially if you haven’t informed or entertained, or if you haven’t properly proofread.
You can take this advice with a grain of salt, or you can re-read your next blog and decide if you want to make other choices. Engaging, well-organized content will entice readers to come back for seconds.