So now we’re down to the nitty-gritty of it all. Probably the reason you’re wanting to start a blog is because you really love writing and you want to share that with the world. Most people find writing to be a great way to express themselves and put their thoughts out into the world, not to mention the process is mostly cathartic and is ideal as an outlet for emotion. Of course, this will depend on the type of blog that you plan to run, but even if your blog is factual, you’ll still need to have quality writing and content going out regularly.
Your content will depend on your blog theme, and your style of writing is what makes it unique. With that being said, there are still some standard factors that you should always consider when you’re writing anything for any platform. Here, I’m going to note some fail safe pointers for writing content, but don’t treat these as bible, just as general guidelines and good practice for when you’re doing any sort of writing.
Make It Original
Copying a popular piece of writing is an appealing concept. After all, people like reading it, so surely they’ll like to read your idea too, right? Wrong. If their idea is wholly original and they’ve worked hard on it, then it will be infinitely better than what you can write – most of the time.
Like I said, there are lots of ifs and buts when it comes to content writing. But spend some time finding a gap in the market for what you want to write about and write about what people want to read. Can’t find something that you think people want to read? Then write it yourself and be the go to source for that topic.
Make People Want to Read It
It’s no secret that blog posts are written to be read. After all, if no one is reading it then what’s the point? Content is king and if you’re not getting people to click on the posts, then you’re failing. Making sure you have a catchy title, without being clickbait-like, is a really important skill to hone when writing blog posts and ensuring their success. Try out a few methods of compelling titles, like questions or list posts like “10 Things That All Bloggers Should Know”, it’s ambiguous enough to pull people in, but not too vague that people have no idea what the post is going to be about.
After pulling people in with a title, your introduction paragraph will make or break the piece. There are several types of introduction paragraphs you can exercise, but I always find that getting straight to the point is best and delivers fewer bounce rates than if you were to use, say, a drop-intro where you talk ambiguously and then drop the subject matter further down the piece.
Always Optimise Your Writing
Search engine optimisation is a massive business in the internet world, but you don’t need to employ the help of an outside agency to make the first few steps. Choosing a target keyword and optimising the piece for that can do wonders for boosting the post in search engine result pages. Have the keyword littered naturally throughout the text and with different variations so that search engines know exactly what the post is about.
If using WordPress, the Yoast plugin can really help with this as it gives a checklist of everything you need to include. Make sure the alt tags of your images include the keyword, there is optimised H2 titles and a meta description that ca be used as preview text in the search engine results pages.
Examples of Guest Post Topics:
- Social Media
- Creative Writing
Call For Action
Common practice with content writing is to include a call to action somewhere within the text, preferably at the end of the piece to encourage people to perform an action once they’ve finished reading. Your CTA will depend on what exactly the purpose of the blog was. If you just wanted more regular readers, encourage people to sign up for new post alerts or your newsletter, if you’re aiming to increase engagement, ask people to comment on what they thought or if they have anything to add. If you wrote a piece for a third party purpose like social movements, then ask them to sign the petition you’re supporting.
CTAs are amazing for encouraging engagement and actions and helps people to feel involved in the blog, like one big family.
Proof reading should be standard rpactice for any writer. There is no one who gets it perfect first time, every time. So take your time, write a first draft and leave for a couple of days before going back to it and casting a fresh eye over the content. If you’re not so great at grammar, installing a Chrome add-on like Grammarly can help highlight any mistakes that you’ve made while you’ve been flyingthrough the word count.
Remember, the internet will rip apart any bit of writing that they see, so taking a few extra minutes to double check everything is right before going live can save a lot of hassle down the line.