10 Tips for Writing a Blog Post (that People Want to Read!)
Whether you are new to blogging, or simply looking to up your game – keeping a few key things in mind can improve your writing. Here are 10 tips for writing a blog post (that people want to read!)
Lately I have been doing some blog post editing for clients, and I’ve noticed several core things that each one has in common. All of them have required specific things to be edited – simply because writing for blogs requires a different approach than other styles of writing.
Most people have this funny thing in common…
People can usually explain what they do pretty well, and can communicate their area of expertise with relative ease – while speaking.
But then, they see that blinking cursor on the computer, and they are like a deer in headlights!
All of a sudden, they are transported back to freshman year English, where there are a multitude of writing rules to follow.
And they have NO IDEA what to write.
So many end up writing a blog post that resembles that dreaded English paper, complete with big words, and stuffy format.
I am hopeful that these 10 tips can take you from being overwhelmed by the process of blog writing, to writing blog posts that flow simply and easily.
10 Tips for Writing a Blog Post (that people want to read!)
#1. Write with words your readers would use.
This is just as simple as it sounds!
Think about your readers. Who are the people in your audience? Who do you envision is coming to your blog and giving you all of those page views?
If you’ve walked through the process to define your ideal customer, consider who that person is.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that most of your readers are pretty casual people. Chances are – if you are reading this blog post – you are likely NOT looking for tips on writing for medical journals and academic publications!
Most people will find that they can write in a MUCH more casual tone than they would originally think.
Academic writing may have it’s place, but in a plain-old blog….. ease up!
For example, I write about marketing and social media, but I have no “formal” training. I do not have a marketing degree. (In fact, I have a degree in clarinet!)
But I was able to be scrappy and learn what I needed to in the world of marketing to be successful, and have even managed lots of people along the way!
One of the pillars of my business is just this… anyone can do marketing on social media. Seriously, anyone. There is SO much education available, that you too can successfully market your business on social media.
So, in my writing – I do not use any marketing jargon or stuffy terms. This is a social media training blog for “the rest of us.” And I want my writing tone to always reflect that.
#2. Be as clear as possible.
In every aspect of your blog post, be super-clear.
People come to blogs to consume information really quickly. They want to scan, understand the point, and move on. It’s your job as the writer to help them do that!
Make sure the title clearly states what people will be getting out of your post if they read it. How will the post benefit them?
Take this same approach to the headings throughout the post. Be very clear about what that section will be about.
At first, it can seem almost silly to be so elementary in your writing. But remember that it’s really not – you are being clear and helping your readers get benefit from your post quickly.
#3. Use bullet points and lists.
This fits right in with the point in #2.
Remember that people are skimming and scanning your blog post quickly. Lists help them grab onto the information and digest it.
Try to incorporate bullet points and lists often in your blog posts, and you will find that your readers will grab onto those posts!
#4. Write very short paragraphs.
This is one specific area where your blog post writing will look very different than the way you learned to write in high school English class!
Very few people will slog through long paragraphs in a blog post. Avoid them when you are writing!
At the most, put 2-3 sentences together to make a short paragraph. You will often find that interspersing them with 1 sentence paragraphs will really bring out those sentences and help make your points.
Plus, it helps your post to be quickly scanned by your readers.
#5. Use stories and personal connection.
People learn and remember best through the power of story.
I first learned about this idea through Donald Miller’s teaching. And after hearing him speak, SO much about marketing made sense in my mind. (If you haven’t read the book Storybrand, I highly recommend it!)
People learn best through stories. It’s how we emotionally connect. It’s how our brains were wired.
You can make use of that fact in your blog post writing! In your posts, try to share something that creates a story-connection with your readers. Share about a struggle you had, how you overcame it, and how they can have that same hope by learning from you.
When people emotionally connect with your story, they are much more likely to continue being your reader – and your customer.
#6. Make sure your post takes the reader on the full journey.
If you are teaching your readers something through the post, take some time to think like them. After you write your post, read through it with their point of view in mind.
If they start reading at the beginning, do you take them step-by-step through what they need to know to get the result?
Posts that smoothly walk readers through that process from beginning to end are the most effective.
#7. Break up your text with visuals.
Every so often, break up your text with a photo, video, gif, or even a stylized quote.
This adds some visual interest to your blog post – because a wall of text is intimidating! Since people are likely to skim and read chunks of text, breaking it up with photos here and there can make your post much more appealing.
#8. When you write, be in a headspace where you can really dig in.
If you want to truly connect with your readers, it’s important to think like they are thinking. You want to get into the emotion of how they are feeling or the frustrations they are having so that you can address those problems in your writing.
HOW to accomplish getting into this headspace looks different for everyone.
But I can tell you what it requires for me.
Distraction-free time to write
Maybe some people can write epic posts while the kids are arguing and the dog is barking, but not me. I need a block of time where I can get into the headspace I need to be in.
My best writing happens when I have an hour of calm to sit down and write.
A creative environment
Maybe it sounds corny, but I am a person that is hyper-affected by my surroundings. I will be my most creative and produce the best work when I have good lighting, a comfy chair, some classical music, my favorite candle, and some good coffee.
There you have it. Those 5 things are my secret sauce.
Does your environment affect you? If so, use that to your advantage by putting the things in place that make you want to create.
Free-writing before I “actually write”
There are lots of ways to prepare for the blog post you are going to write. The one that works the best for me is free-writing.
And it’s exactly what it sounds like! I grab a piece of paper, with the topic in mind, and just start scribbling thoughts. They are not thought out. They are not complete sentences. And honestly, half of the ideas get crossed out.
But that’s where the ideas take form when I am writing. Whatever pre-writing looks like for you, it can be a powerful tool to get yourself organized, and prevent rambling on and on in your post!
#9. Write just like you would talk.
This may mean you have sentence fragments. It may mean one word sentences…. that’s ok!
Remember, this is a casual post. This is not an academic publication, and there’s no grading involved! =)
#10. Don’t obsess about the perfect blog post.
Once you get it written, give it a look-over, and then publish.
Don’t obsess and demand perfection. Because then you will never actually publish it!
Remember, if people are wanting a “real-life” feel from you – sometimes that means a typo or 2. Within reason, it’s ok!
Don’t stress. Just keep writing!
Walk through these 10 tips for writing a blog post, and you will find that you are writing in a much more casual way. And that your readers are connecting with you even more as a result.
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