In the modern media landscape, web content is king. And web content is built on the solid ground of the blogosphere, a collection of online publications offering readers untold hours of free information and prose. Not all blogs are created equal; some are better than others. If you worry about your ability to write a solid blog, relax. Here are some tips to make your articles perfect as perfect can be.
What you’ll want to do first is find the perfect place to exhibit your wicked writing skills. There are two main choices here. The first is to place it on your own personal or company blog. The advantages to curating a quality blog are multiple. For starters, you get to dictate the content that surrounds the post, allowing you to highlight the strengths of your article. Moreover, the presence of a blog on your site drives recurring traffic to your page, bringing eyeballs back across your content time and again.
But it can be difficult to build a strong blog brand of your own when you’re busy with other things all day. At the same time, nothing turns people away like a barren website obviously being used to plug something. That brings us to the second option: someone else’s blog. Here, you get to exploit a readymade network of readers and bring your excellent work to new audiences. While you don’t get the advantage of bringing people to your site directly, some well-placed links can bring in some traffic.
Of course, if you have the time and the budget, you can do both!
After the perfect placement, you need to decide on a subject matter for your magnum opus. It’s best to start from what you know: your job gives you a store of knowledge unavailable to the layman, making it something worth sharing. Essentially, you want to dig through that mental treasure trove of industry information to find an idea that people will find useful in their daily lives. It helps if the subject sounds interesting or useful as well.
Of course, that will vary based on exactly what it is you do for a living and the target audience for your post. If you plan on using the post to attract customers, you likely want to stay away from tech-heavy subjects, and maybe instead explore one simple facet of your occupation in depth. For instance, if you are a home decorator, you might choose one common home feature and talk about how people can make it look cool with some simple decorations. If you are writing for others in your industry, you can break out the complexity with no regrets.
Next on the checklist is the title and headline, likely the first things your visitors will see when coming to your blog. Your title in a lot of ways is like the display window outside the old fashioned storefront — having great content inside isn’t very meaningful if all your passersby see are bare brick walls. Instead of leaving your windows empty, find a way to liven them up by picking a great title, one that hints at the joys within. Try finding the question that the article will answer and phrasing it in an interesting way that drives home how important it is.
Perfect Prose (and Pictures!)
The main body of the post itself is the hardest part in many ways. It is certainly the most time-intensive task, in most cases. The trick is to break down your writing into smaller sections. You’ll need to subdivide your subject into bite-sized chunks by subject and subheading and organize them under a single banner — you know, kind of like this article. The subheading structure makes it easier for audiences to move through the content and find points that are of interest to them, and the smaller work units help keep any writing task from seeming overwhelming.
Modern internet writing styles favor short, punchy paragraphs. Try to stay within a hundred or so words on each. You can go a bit further on important points that do not lend themselves to being divided further, but otherwise, look for splitting points in your text when the paragraph creeps past the 100 mark.
An article that is nothing but words, words, words, however, is not the greatest thing in the world. When the eye sees a wall of text, it gets tired at all the effort of picking out the meaning of the letters and words contained therein. Break up your article with some appropriate pictures. The best images will illustrate important points so as not to be simple window dressing while also breaking up the prose more to make it simultaneously more substantial with the illusion of length and easier to read in terms of text units. Be sure to attribute your images, and follow the appropriate intellectual property laws.
Just as your title is the first thing your audience will see, the conclusion is the last. Here is where you need to drive things home, tie it all together, and convince the audience to agree with you. Despite needing to do all that, the best conclusions are short and punchy, even more so than the paragraphs in the main body. Try to end your masterpiece with a concrete call to action, telling your readers what to do to implement your suggestions into their daily lives.
Blogs are like Pringles, in that you may find you can’t stop writing after just one. And that is good, especially if you are running your own site; the more entries on your blog, the more legitimate you look, and the more audience members you will attract. After you have written the perfect post, start thinking about the next, even more perfect blog entry. If the next one ties into and expands the expertise you establish with your first entry, you will have a thriving community in no time.
Blog posts are a great way to bring in leads while expressing yourself at the same time. While it may seem like a complex and arcane art, writing is in fact just a skill like everything else. Remember to pick a great subject, write a compelling headline, add supporting content, and bring it all together with a great conclusion. Following these tips will help you write the perfect blog post.