Audiences demand content that is informative, helpful and fun. How do you write to engage though? You want to improve the quality of your blogs so you have greater impact and create more discussion. Read our blog for some great tips to help you start writing better blogs.
First off, write only because there’s a purpose; because you’re able to and have something to offer to your audience. Write better blogs by being helpful, fun or interesting. You can of course write an even better blog by covering all three criteria, but satisfying at least one is vital.
1. Get to the point
A bit like the heading above, get to the point as quickly as you can. If your introduction can be chopped from several paragraphs into one, please do. Your article will immediately jump to the next level if you’re direct and to the point. Novels are for the beach, don’t forget!
Whilst we’re talking about introductions, start by saying something that grips the reader. It could be curiosity, a false-sense of security or a statistic to make their jaw drop. Whatever the mechanic, be ruthless and write better blogs by working towards a short, punchy paragraphs to be clear and concise.
2. Know your audience
Audiences want to read something at a level that’s right for them, which can be difficult for you to create if you believe they’re going to have a varied level of understanding. For example, if your blog is about neuroscience, you’ll want to write in a language and tone that is right for the intended audience of intelligent scientists because dumbing language down risks you coming across patronising. Whereas using too may acronyms and long, obscure words for a blog intended for teenages can have adverse consequences too.
You want to make no assumptions either; we’re all familiar with the “(making an) ass – (out of) u – (and) me” way of breaking down the word. What if you weren’t familiar with that statement though? No problem, I just explained it in the same sentence. TED talks coach presenters on how they shouldn’t make an assumption about the knowledge of their audience; this exactly the same for writers. If you think part of your writing could do with an explanation, you’re gut is probably right. Write better blogs by making sure you clarify points as and when you think you need to.
3. Plan and organise
We’ve all got that friend who talks too much around his points because he failed to plan what he wanted to say. You can immediately improve your written work by planning what you want to say. Bullet point the key parts of your article before beginning to flesh them out. Apply this approach to make sure you know you’ve included everything you want to, too.
Having all your points written down on paper supports the foundation for a strong, well-organised blog too. You may find yourself rearranging bullet points as you go because one flows better into another, whereas some just don’t gel well. Well organised, planned and thought-through blogs make for better reading; delivering on your promise of an informative, helpful and fun written piece.
4. Put it in front of your audience
Blogs are only great if people on the internet can find them. Google, Yahoo and Bing are the usual suspects the your audience will go to when trying to find sources of information online. Blogs that don’t rank well for search phrases and terms are the blogs most likely to not be found, go unloved and become lost.
Data harvested by search engines to understand your content is an essential too. Make sure as a minimum you’ve got the title tag, meta-description tag and alternative-text tag for any images. All of these help search engines better understand your content and will go a long way to making sure your blog can be found online.
WARNING: don’t fret over or stuff in “keywords”. Search engines are incredibly intelligent and analyse now the time people spend your website and score the overall quality of your content. If the writing is good, and people are finding your pages, higher rankings will follow. Do not shoe horn in keywords, I beg of you. You can immediately start producing better blogs by writing for humans, not search engines.
5. Proof and it’s in the bag
More often than not, blogs written and published have the tendency to be a little rubbish. Take time with your content, it’s costing you time ultimately therefore you should want to take pride in getting it right. Proofreading isn’t an advisory, if you’re not doing it proof-reading already, ask yourself, why?
Spelling mistakes, bad article structure and waffling-on are some of the biggest turn-offs for a blog, yet arguably, the easiest to fix. Write your piece, leave it for a short-while, maybe even a day or two, and come back to if with a fresh pair of eyes. You’ll find yourself amazed at how much you change, tweak and enhance to get your blog absolutely perfect.
So how do we round all of this up? You can start writing better blogs today with no training whatsoever. Be clear and concise; get to the point in a timely fashion in addition to being punchy to engage and excite people. Know who your audience is and position the language and written copy according to them, their interest and understanding. Fill any knowledge gaps you think require it so everybody has an even understanding. Plan what you want to say, organise when and how you’ll say it too for maximum impact. Search engines are how your content is primarily going to be found, make sure to provide them with the information they need! And finally, probably most importantly, proof until it’s perfect.