Do you want to write blog articles people will actually bother to read? Here’s some simple tips and best practices to keep in mind when you’re writing blog articles.
These will help with engaging your readers, improving your search rankings, being authoritative and persuasive, and making sure your blog posts are aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
1. KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
The first and most important step in any form of online communication is knowing your audience so you can structure and tailor your message effectively.
This concept goes beyond just blogging. Blog article, podcast, video, tweet, doesn’t matter.
But especially if you want to write better blog posts.
If you don’t know who you’re talking to then you’re pretty shooting in the dark. You want your content to be engaging and relevant to the reader.
Know who your audience is and know their pain points. Speak to them in “their” language.
The Express writers Blog has a great article on how to develop a target persona if you’re unfamiliar.
Understand their culture and their identity and make sure you’re crafting your message in a way that truly speaks to them.
Knowing your target audience is also important for knowing which social media platforms are most crucial to engage them on.
For example if you’re selling to yoga instructors you’re better off putting in effort on Instagram than wasting time on LinkedIn.
However if you’re selling to corporate professionals LinkedIn is the place to be.
Great content should do 1 or more of 3 things.
You need to know exactly who you’re dealing with to make sure you can do that effectively.
2. WRITE IN A CONVERSATIONAL TONE
Conversational tone is massively important for being able to relate with your readers, spread your message, and make sure people stay on your page.
For some reason there’s a misconception that effective writing means using long complex words and flowery language. In marketing and copywriting it’s the exact opposite.
As the saying goes, “be clear, not clever”.
And based on the fact that I gained over 10,000 organic followers on Twitter in a single year with very informal and conversational writing, I’d agree with that statement.
Now writing for a blog is certainly different than writing for Twitter or other social media, but I think the KISS rule (Keep It Simple Stupid) still holds true.
Write like you speak. A blog post is not a college essay or a romance novel.
You want to deliver your message in a simple, clear and concise manner.
Attention spans are shorter than ever – get rid of the fluff.
Don’t overindulge in jargon but I wouldn’t necessarily say to avoid it either if it’s relevant or specific to your industry.
Speak to your audience in a simple way they can understand and don’t over complicate things.
3. INCLUDE MEDIA IN YOUR POSTS
Using images and videos in your blog posts is great for making your blog posts more readable and aesthetically pleasing, conveying points and explaining concepts, and increasing your organic search rankings.
I’m a writer.
I’m not a photographer and I’m certainly not an artist.
However there’s a few reasons including images and videos will help you produce better blog posts that people want to read.
It boosts your SEO and organic search ranking.
It’s visually appealing and improves readability.
It helps with storytelling and painting a picture in the reader’s mind.
When you combine images and videos with your words you can get more creative and add more layers to your piece, making it more dynamic and holistic.
People learn and process information more easily when text and images are combined.
You should be using media throughout your posts to separate sections, explain concepts, add commentary or effect, and support your points.
There are several kinds of media you can utilize for impact in your blog posts.
- Videos – Videos are great to include at a relevant point in a blog post to summarize information or comment or provide additional commentary. It’s also great for Google ranking.
INCLUDING A VIDEO IN A POST INCREASES ORGANIC TRAFFIC FROM SEARCH RESULTS BY 157%. (SEARCH ENGINE PEOPLE, 2017)
If you’re creating video content from other platforms (YouTube, Vimeo, Bitchute, etc) you can embed those videos when appropriate into your blog articles to add another layer of communication.
- Stock Photos – Stock photos are great to use for your blog thumbnail images and also to include in your posts. You don’t want to throw just any image onto your website or blog. Having high quality, high resolution, attractive photos is the bare minimum in online marketing.
My two favorite sites for free, high quality stock photos are:
They both offer large and comprehensive libraries of free images that are available for anyone to use on their social media platforms and websites.
- Graphs and charts – People love statistics and they love data that they can see. With short bits of data or numbers you can really display relevant information to the reader.
- Infographics – These are great for storytelling and condensing lots of different info into one easy to digest image.
- Screenshots – Screenshots are really good for showing examples of things. They’re naturally good for any content that involves tutorial/how-to/teaching. Especially on a specific process or tool.
For example in one of my articles about using Hootsuite I used screenshots from my personal dashboard to showcase the application.
Now while all of these things are great for improving your blog posts, don’t take things too far and start plastering images and videos anywhere and everywhere you can.
Be intentional with how you use images and videos. They should be a complement to your written content and not just thrown in for the hell of it.
4. WRITE LONGER BLOG POSTS
Longer blog posts get more traffic, They get more social media shares, They rank better on Google, and they’re more beneficial and resourceful to the readers.
Part of the algorithm is selecting content that’s actually useful to real humans. So don’t write for robots or machines or AI. Write like you’re actually talking to a person. People online want help with their problems and they want guidance.
And it seems that longer posts naturally have
Research from Backlinko.com and other sources like Hubspot support that long form content simply outperforms shorter content on average.
- THE AVERAGE GOOGLE FIRST PAGE RESULT CONTAINS 1,890 WORDS (BACKLINKO, 2016).
- GOOGLE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 94% OF TOTAL ORGANIC TRAFFIC (WEB PRESENCE SOLUTIONS, 2017).
As you can see the data shows that Google rewards longer content and the fact that Google is responsible for almost ALL organic web traffic means you want to play nice with their algorithms and pay attention to how you can increase your visibility on their search engine.
In addition to the pure SEO aspect, long form blog posts allow you to explore topics more broadly and with more depth.
While it’s true people have short attention spans it’s also true that people want to be engaged and they want answers to their questions.
People want to be able to have access to all the information they need when they go to a blog post.
A short article probably won’t be comprehensive enough to keep them on your page and if people have to go to other websites or do more searches to find what they’re looking for, they probably won’t come back.
If you want your blog posts to compound and grow, make sure you put in the effort to make them comprehensive and high quality.
Your post should in essence be a “one stop shop” for all the critical information they’re looking for or for the topic you’ve chosen to cover.
5. WRITE FOR READABILITY
No one is going to read your blog post if it’s not structured with basic principles of human readability and aesthetic competence.
In essence, “make it look good”.
Part of writing better blog posts is not just the content you create, but how you present that content.
This is probably one of my biggest personal pet peeves when I come across different blogs in my free time online. I see way too many pages that fail the basic test of readability. I’ve seen some pages that were complete messes because they weren’t formatted properly.
Regardless of the content itself, because of the lack of structure and organization, those pieces were very difficult to read and pretty much soiled my perception and experience of their website.
Don’t let that be you.
Blogging isn’t about grammar or writing in APA or MLA format or impressing some academic or professor.
In a blog you write for readability. Basic elements of this include:
Headings and subheadings – You want to use headings and subheadings throughout your blog posts to separate ideas and points you’re making. It should be very clear what a certain section of the blog post is about since most people skim articles or jump around with their eyes anyways.
People should know where to look for specific content without having to guess, search, or become confused.
Images – As it was just explained in the prior section, images are very important to include in high quality blog posts and improve not only the impact, but the readability of the entire article. Make sure you’re using the appropriate number of relevant images spread throughout your article.
Using bullet points and numbered lists – Using bullet points and numbered lists is another great way to separate ideas and clearly communicate points. Breaking down a sequence of ideas, concepts, people, or things into a simple list is one of the quickest ways to organize content.
Spacing – Make sure you’re giving plenty of spacing and line breaks between thoughts and ideas. When you write blog articles you’re going to have numerous short paragraphs because it’s simply easier to read and skim on a desktop or mobile computer.
Get in the habit of auditing all your blog posts for these basic elements of readability before you publish them and make sure you’re properly organizing and structuring the ideas you’re trying to convey.
6. BACK UP YOUR POST WITH DATA AND STATISTICS
If you’re writing a solid blog article you need to be both authoritative and persuasive.
You should be supporting the points you make with data and statistics .
You should be making objective statements based on real world information and results if you want to write strong articles. If you’re going to give an opinion that opinion should be well-informed and have arguments behind it.
Being able to cite data and statistics adds a factual and authoritative element to whatever you’re saying.
With the knowledge and information you have about the personas you’re targeting you can even make sure that you regularly cite publications and individuals that are known in their industry. This can help to develop extra trust and familiarity.
There should always be some sort of supporting data (whether it’s industry references, statistics, trends, graphs, etc) weaved throughout your content to support the points you’re making.
6 Tips For Writing Blog Posts People Will Actually Read (Infographic)
Make sure you’re creating content that’s actually easy and enjoyable to read.
Know who it is you’re writing for, write in a conversational tone, include media in your posts, write longer blog posts, be sure to write for readability, and back up your claims with data and statistics whenever possible.
Please comment below with your thoughts, opinions, and comments! Is writing blog articles for your brand something you struggle with?
Other Sources: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics
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